Resolutions not revolutions
I hope you all had a great Christmas U`s fans - well done to those of you braving what will be, no doubt, 'bracing` conditions on the terraces on the 28th December.
It`s always a slightly different crowd at matches around Christmas time. You get many more families as Dad`s take their sons (and daughters!) to the match, sometimes to get them out of Mum`s hair; but mostly that`s an excuse so they can watch the game - much bribing with hotdogs and burgers is required.
It`s not just the younger Dads that come along too - you`ll see a few Dad`s being taken along by their kids today too - a reversal of roles now its 'Grandad` not Dad and the older generation complaining about the noise, rather than the younger ones being scared of it.
The FA fixture machine is supposed to churn out more travel-friendly games around this time of year too. Playing at home we cannot complain too much and I hope our visitors from East London didn`t have too arduous a journey to get here (let`s hope they`re slightly less well-spirited on the way back!).
Without wanting to ruin the magic for you, I`m writing this before the Scunthorpe game, so if I seem unaffected by our barn-storming battering of Scunny and our rampaging rout of Micky Adams` Brighton - it`s not because I don`t care!
An away trip to Brighton isn`t exactly 'next door` for us to travel down to on Boxing Day - but I suppose it could be worse.
It does seem a bit of a shame though. Trips to Brighton are just synonymous with seaside sunshine, rather than winter woollies. Still, they can`t play every team in the few sunny days we get in England - talk about fixture congestion!
That said, the games do come thick and fast during this period. By the time you`re reading this we could be a top-half of the table team! Mathematically we could also be back in the drop-zone - but it`s still the festive period, let`s be optimistic!
It`s also coming up to New Year - time to make (and then quickly break) some resolutions. What pledges do you hope the U`s players should make (other than win more often!)?
Mark Yeates has to promise to deliver at least one decent cross every match; and/or not try and beat every opponent three-times-over whilst cutting inside towards goal.
Scott Vernon and Sunday Waisu: try and correctly read/guess a handful of Clive Platt`s knock-down/flick-ons… and Clive? He can pledge to try and win headers for his team-mates too.
Steve Gillespie is a simple one: Repeat after me Steve: "I promise not to get injured again this season." Matt Lockwood could join him in that promise!
A couple of players would do well to remember what they promised in previous years - whatever it was, it worked then, we could do with a return to that form. Step forward: Johnnie Jackson; Chris Coyne and Paul Ifil.
I`m being harsh (and slightly tongue-in-cheek). Most of the players will probably be glad to see the back of 2008. It was a hell of year: relegation; players sold; new players bought; move to a new stadium; terrible run of form; manager sacked; temporary manager; new manager appointed - all in all quite a period of unrest really.
2009 offers a clean slate, a new beginning. Post transfer-window, it`ll have been Paul Lambert`s first chance to really change and shape his squad to the way he`d like it - or at least to start down that road.
In the New Year we can start out as the people we want to be - and the U`s can start out as the team they`d like to be. A team of winners, a team with promotion ambitions. Be the fan you`d like to be too. Make the new stadium the haven of our team and the bane of our opponents - roar the U`s on in the last game of 2008!
Up those super white and blues!
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