A Megaphone And The Truth – Manchester 23rd of October 2013

Tonight was the trial run for the ‘Singing Section’, to be situated in the L stand at Old Trafford, the usual place where away fans are allocated. The idea of the singing section is nothing new. It was mentioned frequently in the fanzines in the mid to late 1990’s and after much lobbying by IMUSA, was finally opened in the second tier of the Stretford End in 2001. Having watched matches in that part of the ground in that era, I can well remember the lads ‘n’ lasses in there making plenty of noise but because it was an enclosed part of the ground at the time, the noise stayed within confines and could barely be heard in the lower tier of the Stretford End, never mind the rest of the ground. With it now being re-placed to the L stand and the whole stadium as their audio audience, the singing section made plenty of noise and the whole exercise was very encouraging. It is a great idea to have a group of like minded people together who want to create an atmosphere rather than have them scattered around the ground like piffy. The enclosure was an experiment for tonight’s game. From what my eyes showed, it should not only be encouraged, but implemented as quickly as possible as it enhanced the atmosphere immeasurably. This time last year at Old Trafford, United played Sporting Braga and the only atmosphere in the ground was provided by pre pubescent children who were there en masse via free tickets sent to their schools. By all means have groups of kids in the ground on freebies, but it is embarrassing when they set the benchmark for the vocal support. The regular use of the L stand for United’s more boisterous fans can’t come quickly enough.

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Ryan Giggs about to take a short corner and get caught offside seconds later when Wayne Rooney returned the ball to him (Photo courtesy of Neil Meehan)

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Burst The bubbles – East London 5th of January 2013

Gutted, absolutely gutted, were the West Ham fans in the Priory Road/East Stand at the Boleyn Ground when Robin Van Persie equalised just into injury time yesterday. It was a very pleasing sight after all the gloating that had been going on in the previous twenty minutes. The noise from the West Ham fans, in anticipation of victory was reaching a level of crescendo until Van Persie burst the bubbles. The sudden heartbroken silence was a joy to behold followed by the sheer terror in the ranks of the ‘appy ammas’ (sic) as they suddenly realised there was going to be a siege on their goal for the last two minutes. When Van Persie equalised, the result of a truly brilliant crossfield switch pass from Ryan Giggs, I could see United getting a winner. That United didn’t was down to two dreadful finishes, one from Shinji Kagawa and the other from Antonio Valencia seconds before referee Martin Atkinson blew the final whistle.

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