Sometimes here at Dream Team, you pull the short straw.
When I heard about my new assignment I thought: what will it be? Where am I going?
A Premier League game? A fixture abroad perhaps.
But no, instead I was sent across the entire city of London with nothing but a travel-card in hand and a simple challenge.
Can I visit all five Premier League London clubs and their official megastores in five hours and pick up the worst possible merchandise in each?
Arriving at Stamford Bridge at 10.45am, my colleague Liam and I were optimistic of our chances.
The simple maths told us that if we spent 15 minutes max in each shop, found the worst tat and headed for the tube, it was possible.
We knew instantly that the official Chelsea store was nothing to be messed with.
With the latest Drake track playing in the background and two floors to contend with, the Blues had nailed their fan experience.
Packed with tourists and some classy retro gear to purchase, it was clear they made a fair dollar in here on match-day.
Sadly, our quest for tat was rather limited. A few ‘yer da’ shirts and DVDs remembering their title win last season were about as embarrassing as it got.
Until we found this bad boy:
We gave them a rating of seven out of 10 and headed straight back to Fulham Broadway with our £2 shirt secured. The Emirates was destination number two.
Now I’m just going to come straight out with it, we spent far too long in ‘The Armoury’.
Arsenal have perfected the entire premise of a football megastore.
It was spacious, the pricing was reasonable and the selection was vast and fashionable.
From the famous Arsene Wenger coat, and their very own ‘Guess Who?’ board game, we can see why ArsenalFanTV’s Ty spends so much cash in there.
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There was only one item for us however, our own cuddly Gunnersaurus. Eight out of ten was the rating for the Gunners.
Mid-day had come and gone with just two clubs under our belts.
A quick look online told us that we could be in Stratford by half-past. With stomaches rumbling, a quick pit-stop for lunch was essential before club number three: West Ham.
The long walk to the London Stadium was nothing short of a pain in the a*se. We can see why Hammers fans are so disillusioned with the place.
We could feel the hours slipping from underneath us, but we knew it was still do-able.
Instantaneously we spotted a bargain. The home shirt for just £10. With Liam a huge Irons fan, it took just five minutes before we made our purchase.
Six out of ten for West Ham, time to move on.
Our final two stops were the longest journeys by far.
With Spurs’ temporary home of Wembley quite the trek, and with Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park at least an hour from the home of football, time was not on our side.
We arrived at Wembley at 2.30pm and didn’t muck about whizzing around the megastore.
Much to our surprise, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Man United merchandise was available to buy, instantly harming Tottenham’s score.
A foam finger was the tattiest tat we could spot, so we handed over the cash and got out of dodge.
45 minutes remained on the clock with one club remaining.
Our train pulled into Norwood Junction at 3.39pm. We had six minutes to reach Palace’s shop.
Despite a brisk sprint, we failed in our mission by mere minutes.
Typically, an official Eagles garden gnome would have lifted our spirits. But our final purchase of the day was in vein.
So, where did we go wrong?
Lunchtime certainly let us down. With plenty of time to spare, we leisurely went about our McDonald’s, oblivious to the time we were wasting.
What could have been ay?