This Was A Bad Dream – Cambridge, 23rd January 2015

This was a bad dream right? Somebody please tell me this was a bad dream…

OK then, if you think I’m going to say a word about that shambles I and 1,300 (approx) other reds have just witnessed then you’ve been smoking some pretty strong stuff and I want some of it now brother/sister (equal rights, right?).

The most interesting thing to occur in the first half was when a fight went off in such a way in the South Hobin terrace that the riot squad turned up. The scenes unfolding would have had Danny Dyer screaming like a South American football commentator. This was a proper “off” which went on for well over a minute. Eventually, three United fans were pulled from the melee and taken out of the ground. Immediately after that, the police were deluged with other United fans begging to be kicked out. The police refused to oblige.

United fans were as a whole pretty subdued after a lively and boisterous start. As the full display of comical incompetence was unfolding, reds looked at each other in open mouthed disbelief. They didn’t know as to whether to scream in anger or laugh as Antonio Valencia kept on trying to prove that he can control a ball with his shin. (I chose the latter)

One positive thing to happen tonight was the appearance of Luke Chadwick as a Cambridge sub in the 76th minute for Liam Hughes. Chadwick left United in the summer of 2004 and the parting was rumoured to be over image rights. We never had the chance to acknowledge his work for the United cause, so it was nice for United fans to serenade him as he came onto the pitch. The added bonus was the look of bemusement on the faces of the Main Stand at the Abbey Stadium, most of whom were attending their first game of the season. Tonight’s attendance was 7,967, over three thousand more than their average of this season of 4,785.

Luke-Chadwick.jpg

Luke Chadwick when he was a United player

Because I neither have next to nothing to say about the game, or can bring myself to talk about it, I can indulge in a Bill Bryson-esque travellers review of Cambridge (if you’ll forgive me). A statistic that I have just entirely made up proves that you are 84% more likely to be run over by a bike than a car in Cambridge, or it certainly feels that way.

Magdalene Street in Cambridge. The miraculous thing about this picture is that it is the first photograph to be taken in Cambridge without a bicycle since George Eastman invented the camera in 1889

There was a strange atmosphere in this mecca of academia and beautiful aesthetics in the run up to the game. Half of the city seemed to be populated with international students who were blissfully oblivious to the match. Of all the united nations in this city, one thing was very noticeable. I didn’t come across a single Australian backpacker. If that doesn’t sell Cambridge to you then nothing will. On Market Square, some people were walking round with Jack Russell’s wearing a little boys Cambridge shirt and there were some others who went to their first Cambridge United match in 1974, when Ron Atkinson was manager. They were happily and repeatedly telling their story to local journalists in such a way, that they resembled a dansette that needed the record changing…badly. On Radio Cambridgeshire, Chris Mann (what do you mean “who the bleedin’ hell is he?”) was giving out a hard luck story about Cambridge United that was so stirring, it nearly brought tears to my eyes. I was waiting for a rousing crescendo of trumpets as he was finishing his soliloquy. This was alas, not to be realised. He made Winston Churchill sound like Michael Owen, I was close to pumping my chest and shouting, “come on Cambridge”. Thankfully, sanity soon returned when the perfectly balanced voice and views of Paddy Crerand turned up on the radio and all was well with the world. Almost twenty years to the day from his pièce de résistance of defending Eric Cantona from a baying mob of Fleet Streets most self righteous, Paddy was batting our corner with his usual forthright resilience. I only wish United had a man like him in the side tonight.

There is no way on this earth I am going to seek out footage of tonights match. to put on here. What I have done is to lovingly find the goals from the last time United were at the Abbey Stadium in 1991. The highlight of which is a commentator who doesn’t seem to know the names of half the players who were on the pitch.

This was a bad dream (wakey wakey…)

P.S. Cambridge, thanks for Pink Floyd

9 thoughts on “This Was A Bad Dream – Cambridge, 23rd January 2015”

  1. well ,I backed a couple of results 0-0 never entered my head, glad you kept your sense of humour Tony [looks like you needed it] ,I would imagine the HAIR DRYER WOULD HAVE BEEN WORKING OVERTIME IN THE OLD DAYS, maybe that united side could have revenge against CAMBRIDGE on UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE,still you have the return match to look forward to [or maybe not], chins up 🙂

  2. Thanks for the mini tour report. And for the commentator who didn’t know any bodies name. Well it was pleasing to notice he knew how to keep his mouth shut when he nothing to say. Unlike the blithering idiot who cover United for the BBC last night. It’s like sitting next to the biggest prick from big prick town. The game itself, I thought we were playing with an oxo cube, other ‘meat’ based products are available, because there were so many square balls. ‘Pause for laughter’…. ‘ There is work in progress ‘ I’ve said in the past. But with the last few games it’s hard to see any progress. Is LVG coaching the spark out of the Reds. I remember Dave Sexton and his thoughtful approach. But he was arse and collared out of OT for boring us to tears. I hope the same fate does not await Big Louis. All that aside, I can only say well done to those limited but game players of Cambridge. Answer me this. Is there a fucking big dormitory somewhere, full of part time football supporters, who get bussed in to play bullshit bingo football songs. They all sound the bleeding’ same. We may be thick, but at least we can say we went to Cambridge for some education. Cheers Murph

    1. You’re the second person that has said that to me. That will be Steve Wilson and Martin Keown you’re talking about. Wilson is a Liverpool fan. That shouldn’t be a problem in reality. Alan Parry is a Liverpool fan but you would never know that when he is commentating. Wilson can’t help himself though and his bitterness comes streaming out.

      As for Martin Keown, that will be the same Martin Keown who once said in four-four-two magazine that “Manchester United are a problem to me”. His TV style is something else. He frowns (because he’s intelligent), he looks at the presenter side on (as he’s about to say something really profound) and then, he tells you exactly what’s just happened and exactly what you’ve just seen. He must think his entire audience is blind when the reality is, they wished they were deaf when he’s on.

  3. Just looked at the final scores. Chelsea, City and Spurs out. Talk about a boost? If United need any more encouragement than that, I don’t know where they will find it. Surely United will learn by last nights crap. But before the Reds play Cambridge, we entertain licestererer city. And no doubt big mouth ‘ monty’ will be on show. Come on bullet ‘ed let’s see ya. Remember our lads don’t talk, they do the do. See you on Facebook buddy

    1. Ooooh Monty is after me. I’m sure I’ll be hearing from him soon so he can send me a load of empty threats about what is going to happen.

      Looking at todays results, United now have a great chance but as Southampton have proved this season, you can’t trust United at the moment in an important game that United are favourites in.

  4. Evening Murph. Things always seem better the next day, eh? I’ll pass on discussing the game too, as it now seems irrelevant; we are still in the cup and it’s suddenly looking a lot brighter.

    1. There were certainly a few shocks on Saturday. The biggest winners will be the bookies. The one thing that can help United is the fact that the two teams that are presently far better than United are out. It will all come down to priority, will LVG prioritise the cup or Champions League qualification. I can tell you with some confidence that if United win the cup but fail to qualify for the Champions League, he’ll be gone by the beginning of June.

  5. Hi Murph,

    Midfield problems again?

    Di Maria looks disinterested – like a man who’s missing Madrid…and in any case, he should be playing wide left

    Fellaini looked like a lost soul

    Carrick too deep to have much effect at the sharp end

    Januzaj over-playing and slowing everything down

    So, my question is why can’t Herrera get a start?

    Every time he plays, we look much more dangerous – and Friday was no exception.

    Much more of this and I think LvG will run out of goodwill

    1. There is an undercurrent of disillusion with LVG at the moment. It hasn’t reached the stage of open protest but people are beginning to question how United are playing under him. I’m in the pro van Gaal lobby but I got a text off our kid at half time which said

      “…anyone who thinks we’ve progressed under van Gaal needs to watch this performance”

      I didn’t and don’t agree with him but when he put it like that, it was very difficult to argue with.

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