Do you love your ex?
So, it`s Preston today and the return of Liam Chilvers. I hope he gets a good reception, he always did well for the U`s and was part of our historic, promotion-winning team.
Yes, he left for gratis but then we signed him that way too and at the time a move to promotion-chasing Preston seemed a good idea. Them sitting in 3rd place in the table would seem to back that opinion, but I bet he never imagined the team he was leaving would be in the top 10 too! Be honest, how many of us thought that`d happen?
There`ll be all sorts of concerned U`s fans, worried about the 'curse of the ex` that always seems to see former players returning to old stomping ground and, well, stomping on their old team mates.
It happens too, Hasselbaink against Boro; Andy Cole against Fulham and Darius Vassell seems to be at his best when facing Villa. Even when we trounced Luton here on Boxing Day, Rowan Vine got himself on the score sheet, albeit because the ref felt sorry for the Hatters and gave them a penalty.
Then again, we`ve seen off Dannsy, Fagan, Morgan et al. All who`ve been in the goals for their new teams but drew a blank against the U`s. Mr. Chilvers has never exactly been a goal machine. He scored three times in over 100 appearances for the U`s. He`s got two in 30 games for the Lillywhites. Gulp. When he lumbers up for a corner, hold your breath.
I`m sure there`ll be those in the crowd that`ll boo Liam`s name in the team-list and his every touch - it almost expected. "Col U reject! Col U reject!" etc. etc. when we far from rejected him.
A mate took me a Spurs game at The Lane a few years ago. They were playing Norwich who had Ian Crook and Mark Bowen in their team (told you it was a while ago!) and over the tannoy the announcer said: "And we`d like to extend a warm welcome back to White Hart Lane to Ian Crook and Mark Bowen." - cue polite applause. I was impressed. It broke the curse too, it was 0-0.
Now I`m not saying we should welcome back defectors with open arms, I mean, I was in North London under sufferance as a favour to a friend. There are those that leave under a black cloud and those that bad mouth the U`s once they leave - they`ll always get stick from the stands.
But good pros, like Liam Chilvers (and Dannsy too when Birmingham come here next week) they`ve earned my respect. Neil Danns especially, who took time out to get his message across to the fans, to thank them for their support and wish the club luck.
Yes, the cynic will say he`s just a new, media trained, footballing machine of the new generation - saying the right things to make everyone like him. Well hush your mouth cynics!
This week the U`s were announced as one of the nominees for Community Club of the Year. Lets show our community spirit and extend a warm welcome back to our favoured ex`s. Face it, you still love your ex a bit - you`re sorry they left you really.
Then, with a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart roar those super U`s to victory and show them you`ve moved on and you`re too good for them now anyway!