A Shower of berks – Man United V West Ham United January 16th 2013 FA Cup

A freezing cold night, a shite atmosphere and Old Trafford being stewarded by people that our visitors tonight would colloquially call a shower of “berks”. As much as nights like the one we all had at Stamford Bridge three months ago emphasise the privilege it is to be a red, nights like tonight are as much bad as that night was good. The irony is that United lost that night at Stamford Bridge but we all came home jubilant having taken the piss out them frauds that pollute that stadium. Tonight, United won but never has the old pun, “cold Trafford” been more appropriate. I sometimes read the K stand top left section in UWS fanzine and wonder if I’m living in a parallel universe to the fella writing it. The self mythologysing K Stand were silent for almost the entire match, outshouted by roughly 1600 traveling West Ham fans but worse were the fuckin’ stewards. Whilst the West Ham fans were stood up for almost the entire match (no skin off my nose, just as long as they don’t cut our allocation there for the same reason), Three lads just behind me in the B stand walked out after being mithered by a steward when trying to get an atmosphere going. My guess is that they probably went to the Bishops, which they might as well have been all night for the contribution they were ALLOWED to make to the atmosphere. There was another fella in the K stand in a white coat who was kicked out of the ground for the same reason. I’ve seen uprising in our proud old stadium before against these goons. The first time I saw it was the J stand in the summer of 1991 when them busy bastards that Michael “Ned” Kelly employed got a good slapping when they tried kicking out reds making an atmosphere during a match against Luton Town. Maybe Old Trafford has been stealthily neutered over the years, as a lot of people believe but I know of enough rum lads who still regularly go for that idea to be rubbish. The problem is, they’re all scattered around the stadium. The idea that was mooted last season about a singing section, where lads can gather together in a prominent part of the stadium, can’t come to fruition quickly enough in my eyes.

Goalscoring return: Wayne Rooney slid Javier Hernandez's cross into the net early on

A returning Wayne Rooney scores the winning goal on eight minutes after brilliant work by Anderson

United started tonight with 10 different players from what started against the mickies on Sunday just passed. Robin Van Persie was left on the bench, just like he was at the Boleyn Ground eleven days ago. Tonight, no doubt to Sir Alex Ferguson’s relief, he wasn’t needed to pull United out of the shit like he was then. It wasn’t plain sailing though. Anderson found Javier Hernandez on eight minutes with a pass equally as good as Ryan Giggs’s pass to Van Persie at the Boleyn Ground. Hernandez squared the ball over the six yard line to give Wayne Rooney an empty net to put the ball into. After a pedestrian and comfortable first half for United, the second half was far from it. West Ham if anything, played better in the second half than they did at anytime in the first game at the Boleyn Ground. Matt Taylor missed two great chances, the most glaring was when he squared the ball attempting to find Carlton Cole when he should’ve shot himself on 61 minutes. The only survivor from Sundays line up, Rafael was on hand to clear that one up.

Ryan Giggs won a penalty after performing the type of run which he’s been doing for the last twenty two years. When Jordan Spence was adjudged to have handled the ball from Giggs’s cross on 79 minutes, I believed the decision to be rough but however harsh that decision was will be nowhere near as harsh as the words Sir Alex Ferguson will be having with Wayne Rooney for the ensuing penalty. The stattos were out in force after that miss, I’ve now found out that Wayne Rooney has missed ten penalties in a United shirt since he signed for United in September 2004. That’s obviously a lot but I wouldn’t be screaming for any knee-jerk embargo on him taking anymore. Put it this way, if United get a penalty at White Hart Lane on Sunday and Robin Van Persie isn’t on the pitch then my vote would go for Rooney to take it. The most important thing with Rooney is that he has bottle to spare, taking another penalty wouldn’t faze him in the least and I’d trust him to put it away.

Spot of bother: Manchester United's Wayne Rooney fired his penalty way over the crossbar

Wayne Rooney puts his penalty high into the Stretford End on 79 minutes

Thanks to Big Bad Bill for his help in wronging this blog

9 thoughts on “A Shower of berks – Man United V West Ham United January 16th 2013 FA Cup”

  1. I have Rooney to thank for missing the pen as it won me £40 off the poor broke bookie. I should never have backed united to win 1-0 as the fav scores were 3-4 nil, but all round not a great game but a result none the less [for both united and myself]. When the weather is like last night and the match is on the telly its only the die hards that turn out, so well done the fans, United JUST about done their job

    1. Interesting that you say that united just got the job done. it’s incredible really that statistically, this is one of the best starts to a season that United have ever made (it might even be the best). To my eyes, United have been just getting the job done all season and I’m amazed that a side that can play so poorly like they did on Wednesday night and too many other times this season can play so well at places St James park, Stamford Bridge and the Bradford Gasworks stadium and be seven points clear.

  2. The atmosphere has been going down for years though I can only go when I borrow tickets. But I stand up and scream and shout . I’m usually in the old Scoreboard end but you can see stewards going round telling people to sit down ffs. How safe do you want it to be?? They tell you to stay seated but when ball/ player comes hurtling down the wing or down the touch line everybody automatically just stands up. You cant help it! Where & why dont the dick head marshalls try and make everyone sit down then ? It’s probably even more “dangerous” because we are all reasonably safe thats why. Let us stand when we want to sing and get WARM.

    1. United issued a decree a few years ago that fans could only stand during moments of “high excitement”. With statements like that and the present haphazard crowd control/make it up as they go along policy implemented by both the club and the local police, it goes beyond satire.

  3. Fair play to the travelling West H fans. Out sung United all night. They knew they were up against it, but sang their heads off anyway. West H were also on the wrong end of a poor decision in the penalty box. The best team on the night won. But the best fans on the night didn’t. Coming up against fans like them used to be food and drink to lads of my age group. Now all they want to do is watch. Not be an extra man. Some of the conversations you can hear are about, tactics, formations, or how strong the f…ing bench is. As if it matters what they think, f…ing nob’eds. Unbelievable. Get it straight lads, it’s about the shirts. Whoever is wearing them. Keep your fanciful waffle for the pub. In the ground, well, make some noise. Even when your not happy. Moan out loud, it’s better than nothin’.

    1. ‘fans like them used to be food and drink to lads of my age group’, I love that one. Is that the age group who met them on Chester Road in Hulme in ’85 or on the Harwich/Hook of Holland ferry in 1986?

      Gotta agree with your sentiments with people talking constantly about tactics or formations. I sometimes think I’m surrounded by wannabe John Motson’s or that ilk. People pay their money and have their rights to an opinion and all that bollocks but they seem to forget or perhaps now fell they’ve lost, their right to actively support the side. A few weeks ago, United played Cluj and the best atmosphere supplied by United fans that night was by a load of pre-pubescent kids (no doubt, the bane of “cool top redz”) (sic) with their end of half count downs. That night, the football was dire but it didn’t really matter as United were through and there was a lot of people there only because of the Glazer imposed ACS. Last night was totally different, there was something on last night and the crowd still couldn’t be up for it against an opposition whom are traditionally hostile to United and our fans.

  4. The stewards were even trying to make the Stretty sit down too, as for atmosphere I thought I was at the shithole down the road

  5. What was noticeable last night was how many strange faces there were. Near me, a lot of them although ‘United fans’ were not making any noise. Possibly friends or relations of the regulars. We all know the FA cup is not a priority, as it is to say West Ham, but it is a trophy that kept us going in the dark days of the 70s/80s. We don’t want fall into trap that the arrogant scousers did and think we will win something without us fans putting a shift in. The team needs us. The need us noisy. Cold night. Clappin’, SHOUTIN’ and jumping up and down warms you up. Come on lads and lassies, lets get stuck in.

  6. We’re at the bottom of W3101 up in the stretford end, probably the only 150-odd in the whole end who sit down when they’re told, all in front of me. I have it with the stewards every week. It came to a head against the Scousers when the language they were using to the lad next to us and a couple of lads down the front was getting way out of order. Anyway we fought them off for that game. What was infuriating however was the two scousers next door in the NW Quadrant who jumped up and celebrated when they scored, right infront of the stewards. Did they get thrown out? did they fuck. But we got a right mouthful of abuse of the stewards when we told them to do their job and kick them out.

    I agree nights like down at Stamford Bridge are an absolute privilege and I’m proud that I was there and part of that away end, but games like last night leave a very sour taste after you’ve paid your £37.

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