By Tony Alvarez
With 2011 coming to an end with most clubs only having a single fixture left or having already completed their duties in 2011 we look back to the stand out moments in 2011 and to see what yours are no matter how big or small.
The joy of this topic is it will be different for everyone and can span from a Champions League memory to one in the lowest of levels of Football.
For the sake of this article I will look back to my top 4 memories of the year. These are in no particular order but are all moments that have touched my heart, made my chuckle or just made me celebrate like a mad man.
1 Billy Sharp ( RIP Luey Sharp)
Many of you will know what Billy Sharp has been through this year, despite the loss of his new born son Luey, Billy Sharp played a few days later and found the back of the net.
For the courage to take to the field just a few days after his loss Sharp gained huge respect amongst football fans all across the United Kingdom and hopefully world wide.
I have previously written an article about my new found admiration for Sharp and he was my first thought when deciding my shortlist of Football memories in 2011.
2 Arsenal vs Barcelona at Emirates
Being an Arsenal season ticket holder there was always going to be something from an Arsenal game on this list.
Beating the soon to be crowned European Champions, the Spanish champions and the now World Club Champions is certainly up there with the best of Football memories.
It was two teams playing what the Dutch called total football and what people more recently will say the way football should be played.
It was end to end stuff played at a frantic pace, the game had everything it was a mixture of brilliant style and technique with pace and power and despite belief the odd aerial battle.
Truth be told Barca were the better side but it wasn’t as one sided as when the clubs met in 2010.
A highlights package will show u Arsenal had their fare share of chances too.
Not only was this a win against the best side on Earth, the reason this is the resounding Arsenal result on 2011 was because I haven’t cheered another goal this season as much as I did Robin Van Persie‘s equaliser, which put the game back into the balance, then of course the winner from Andrey Arshavin.
This game for me also showed Jack Wilshere has what it to take to be one of the best midfielders in the World, he was rightly awarded the man of the match award when he was up against the best midfield pairing in the world in Andres Iniesta and Xavi.
3 Mario Balotelli‘s why always me celebration.
I’ve grown to love Mario Balotelli, he is certainly the biggest personality in the Premier League at the moment he is impossible to second guess and the stories that have come up in the press about him have been remarkable and added to the reputation as a bit of a mad man.
There are many stories off the pitch that I will look into in a bit but I’ve chosen the why always me celebration at Old Trafford as its the first time Balotelli truly showed his lunacy in a comic way on a football pitch.
It is always said that great comedy is about the signing and the fact that the news papers that weekend had been filled with stories about Balotelli setting portions of his house on fire whilst playing with fireworks added to the humour of the celebration.
The other football moment I was considering from Balotelli was his casual goal with his shoulder followed by lack of celebration but for me the “why always me t-shirt” was better.
I spoke earlier of his off the field antics which include reportedly going round Manchester handing money to the homeless, driving round dressed as Santa handing cash to people (although the validity of this is questionable), when being found with huge sums of cash telling the police he had it because he was rich and finally walking into a pub buying a round for everyone then going off to midnight mass.
Ladies and Gentleman I give you Mario Balotelli.
4 Being at Barnet vs Port Vale as Barnet survived on the last day of the season
This is something that a lot of people would not expect me to say, being a season ticket holder at Arsenal and a lover of the crem de la crem people often assume that I have no time for the lower leagues and grass roots football this is simply untrue.
I am a lover of all Football and have been to Barnet a few times as they are my closest Football League club when the opportunity came up to go and watch them fight for their survival I snatched at it.
The situation was simple Barnet needed to beat Port Vale and hope that Stockport did not bearAldershotTown.
Underhill was packed everyone behind the team with one big push to try and keep their place in the Football League, passion was running high not only in the players on the pitch but from the fans in the stands and the managers on the bench, despite this the first half was very quiet and low key.
The second half however was anything but, stsraight form kick off Barnet won a penalty which was converted by Izale McLeod there was pandemonium in the terraces.
News then came through of anAldershotgoal even more pleasing for me it was a friend of mine that scored it.
The Barnet game continued with Barnet looking like the side more likely to score Port Vale offered very little and the impressive on the day Mark Marshall ran rings around the Vale backline.
The only scare was a shaky moment from the keeper Sam Walker who was on loan fromChelseaat the time, but Barnet sealed out the victory andAldershotheld their part of the deal Barnet survived.
The was a pitch invasion, no one cared the players, fans and staff celebrated together like best friends, I have been to many Football League games but none with the intensity and atmosphere of this one.
What are your thoughts? What are your best memories of 2011? Do you agree with my choices? Leave a comment and let us know what made 2011 for you
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