Archive for July, 2006
t has been a strange summer for Reds. The world cup helped pass the time in some ways, but simultaneously seemed to make the wait for proper football worse. With Rooney and Ronaldo in the headlines Reds have also been torn, most expressing a degree of anger at the Portuguese winger but also accepting they will defend him when the rest of the country attacks. The usual excitement ahead of the new season has been clouded by anxiety, a lack of signings, players leaving, a scary reworking of the infamous debt, unsold tickets and rivals spending cash for fun.
A preseason trip to Celtic would usually create a buzz but this was flat as a pancake. With probably no more than 1000 Reds in an allocation of 3000 seats, this was a real symbol of change. Afterall, Celtic managed to bring 27,000 to Old Trafford in May despite the tickets costing double. Our support was moody, expressing anger at the Glazers, at the lack of signings and at the gloomy future prospects of our club. What ought to have been a fun and friendly match in the sunshine was instead an opportunity for fans to show anger and frustration at a club who thinks 33 year olds returning from injury is as good as major signings. That argument dismisses the inevitability that others will get injured in their place.
The game itself was good. United’s reserves wiped Celtic aside with Scholes leading the team. He got two goals himself and young Jonny Evans scored his first for the club. Celtic fans were silent, booing Liam Miller but sitting in silence the rest of the time. I do not think many Reds there liked Miller any more than the home fans, with chants of “Liam Miller is a football genius” sarcastically ringing out. The United crowd was loud throughout, despite many present being part time Scottish Reds and total muppets in their new AIG shirts. The faithful mixed amongst them received hell throughout from the police and stewards with one Red even thrown out for having a lid on his plastic bottle of water. Another seemed to be thrown out for holding up a United flag too high; strange. A group of five stewards later proceeded to bully a group of young kids who wanted to keep a ball that went into the crowd, it was pathetic and shameful.
So anyway, proper football is almost back. It has been a dreadful summer and a poor preseason so far, despite not conceding a goal. Fans are worried, the club seem to being doing little about it, and more players are likely to leave than arrive. It is a long way from the likes of Ballack and Shevchenko arriving in London. The only smile can be raised from a t shirt on show at Celtic last night that read, “Manchester is famous for football, not a flower show.” I doubt we will be having the last laugh in May though.