Doddsy’s Man Utd Away RoundUp
Well, like London buses, games start to come thick and fast now and so we travel to Man United’s ground, the so called ‘Theatre of Dreams’, which for a West Ham fan 99 times out of 100, is the theatre of nightmares. Would today be different? (no). Setting off at 6:30 in the morning, I was thinking I would take a draw in my head, but in my heart I so wanted to beat these.
Dawson, the Minibus, took us all the way up to Manchester, as we had managed to procure enough tickets and a few Man United fans to pay for the petrol on the way up. It works out about £10 per trip now as we actually own the Minibus. So it’s good value for money and my car doesn’t get battered every week, which obviously means I can have a sociable beer or two.
About halfway up, I get a phone call from a friend of mine Kevin saying “mate our car has broken down on the M6 hard shoulder, there are five of us can you help us out?” It’s what the West Ham family do of course. So, the AA moved their car 10 miles to a garage in Stoke, and we took the five lads up to the game. In hindsight, I think the game just added to the pain of the car breaking down.
I’ve managed to go since the Sheffield United game without drinking, which watching West Ham is a bloody miracle, but today was a ‘rest day’ and beers were going to flow. We met with other West Ham fans near the media centre on Salford Quays, and the ‘Lime Bar’ was our choice for drinking alcoholic beverages. There are four or five other bars around and plenty of food outlets too, which meant we could spread out a bit.
As always, the West Ham fans were in full voice, but many were still concerned we let two left sided midfielders go without replacing them, and those fears were justified as the game turned out.
We crossed over the river to Mancunian land and Old Trafford, which is apparently a shit-hole now according to their own fans. There’s been little to no investment, with the exception of a hotel called ‘Café Football’, that was built on a corner of Old Trafford by none other than Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers – anything to make a quick buck that lot!
I’ve got to say I was concerned that it was a celebratory weekend for the Busby babes and the air disaster. We all know in these politically correct times, what a nightmare that could bring people who sing or chant the wrong things. However, I should never be worried because, as per usual, the West Ham fans did us proud by applauding and celebrating with the Man United fans.
As for the game, well what can I say (again)?
It was an improved performance, and it’s fair to say both teams could have won the game. The difference was we couldn’t finish but they could, we made silly mistakes but they didn’t. I know that sounds obvious but that is it really it in a nutshell. This performance was definitely better than Sheffield United, Bristol and Bournemouth, although this time we didn’t get the points.
During the game, the stewards were over the top, looking for any reason to get into the West Ham fans and eject them for the slightest thing. This led to some trouble as people were getting wound up with them – they really were jobsworths. To be fair, the police were very reasonable and dealt with the situation very well, two or three West Ham fans had been ejected by stewards but the police let them back into the stand. They even said “this is over the top Stewarding”. So, fair play to the Manchester police – you did a fantastic job! Not words you often hear from me.
3-0 flattered Man United, but let’s be honest if you make mistakes and don’t take your chances you are always going to lose.
It was a long journey back. Having set off at 6:30 in the morning I eventually arrived back home at 10:30 at night, largely because we had to drop off all the fans we had picked up due to broken down cars and the like. Arsenal next, followed by Nottingham Forest, and then Everton away, the games are tough and keep coming. However, if we can take those chances we could reclaim 6th place, as Man United have some real difficult fixtures coming up. Let’s hope we do !
Thanks for reading and please drop in your comments.
As always Brady Out ! And Come On You Irons !