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Tuesday cannon fodder: second favorites

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games One Year To Go
We’ve all got a silver medalist in our hearts.
Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images

Presumably we are all here because of our shared love of Arsenal Football Club. I’d bet that for most of you, your favorite player calls the Emirates home. But today’s CF isn’t about them.

Today is about the other guys — the second-favorite teams and favorite non-Gunners.

I’ve always nursed a small flame for Fulham, both because of the “Fulhamerica” days and the small club feel. I’ve been to Craven Cottage — it looks and feels like I think a football stadium should feel. It’s small, it’s quaint, it’s across the street from a residential neighborhood. It feels like the stadium of a club strongly tied to the hyper-local community.

I’ve also got a soft spot for A.C. Milan. My dad was a big Paolo Maldini fan, so I grew up hearing about the Rossoneri and Italian football in general. That fandom has waned over the years as my Arsenal support was born and grew, but I always keep an eye on the Serie A table in the hope that Milan can recapture their former glory.

As for players, I’ve always admired Juan Mata and David Silva. They both play the style of football I enjoy watching — pinpoint passing, creativity on and off the ball. They’ve both been underappreciated and underrated for most of their careers, playing behind and / or next to “bigger” names at both the club and international level without making a stink about it. I like what Mata has done with his charity, Common Goal, pledging to donate 1% of his wages and getting players and clubs from across the football world to join in.

Let us know in the comments who you like to watch when Arsenal aren’t playing. Who is your second favorite team and your favorite non-Arsenal player(s)?