Date:Friday May 4 2007
Let`s get punch drunk!
It`s time to celebrate U`s fans. Though there`ll be those of us today with ears glued to radios and all our shoes and socks off to count the goal-difference - chances are this will be our last game of the season.
For a moment there were concerns it`d be our penultimate game at Layer Road ever. Sneak into the play-offs and three games later we`d be in the Premiership. A season rubbing Ipswich or West Ham`s noses in our Premiership status and then straight into the newly built Cuckoo Farm. Would have been a grand way to see the old Drome off eh? Could still happen - keep those socks off!
But either way, what a season. I was tempted to fill this column with a repeated list of the team, extolling all their virtues and getting a bit "Winston Churchill! Maggie Thatcher! Your boys took a hell of a beating!" - but I fear the editor knows his salt and would have been less than impressed by repeated use of copy & paste no matter how drunk on U`s-joy I am.
The players deserve it though. Talk about punching above your weight. Whilst the likes of Leeds, are staggering around with all the punching power of a narcoleptic Audley Harrison the U`s are the equivalent of Ronnie Corbett running in and delivering a Tyson-esque upper cut. POW! Take that Championship! Relegation fodder? I think not. We`re one of the top 30 teams in the entire country!
It`ll be carnival time today. The blue and white theme and the team`s fantastic achievements over the season will see to that. Hopefully even a glimmer of hope that we might chase the unlikely (but possible) huge win we need - early goal anyone?
Then on to the important task of applauding the lads for their efforts. The end of season awards.
Remember when 'Rio` swept the board last season? His embarrassed smile turning upwards into a cheesy grin as his name was read out over and over again? Remember when he was out of the side early in the season? Seems so long ago now doesn`t it?
There are so many contenders this year it`s (another) testament to the entire team. Wayne 'Immovable` Brown or Rio (again) at the back? Dean Gerken`s come on another huge leap this year too (surely a shoe-in for the Young Player of the Year?).
Loanee Chris Barker has been the model of consistency too. It`s a heck of a trip from Cardiff to Colchester and I bet he never even dared hope we`d finish well ahead of the Bluebirds. Another prediction ripped up.
Then there`s the irrepressible Kemi in midfield. He had his bad spell this season too. Many wrote him off as a try-hard, not up to this level. How wrong they were.
And what about Captain Fantastic himself? Hand on heart I didn`t think he`d make it back from his injury. To come back and play at the level he has, week in, week out is phenomenal.
Our strikers tell their own story. They got a hatful in League One - but that was against the likes of Cheltenham and Gillingham. The Championship would prove a sterner test. A test Curo and the Lumo-nator were more than equal to. Way, way more then equal.
Then there`s the dugout. Geraint Williams. Decried as our own Steve McLaren when he was appointed. The number two who was, well… a number two. Four games, four defeats, KO`d from the Carling Cup by a League Two side… and he was so bloomin` nice about it all the time. We all know where nice guys finish. In the top ten apparently.
George has been a marvel. He ducks the spotlight whenever he can and always has something complimentary to say about opponents, win, lose or draw. The Premiership prima donnas could learn a lot from him.
But there`s no ducking it today - we`ll sing his name 'til it hurts and he`s earned every tribute. His right-hand man Mick Harford shouldn`t be forgotten either.
So punching above our weight, punching the air in delight or just necking your own glass of Championship punch let`s celebrate our wonderful, Super U`s! Championship? You took a HELL of a beating!
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Date:Friday May 4 2007
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