Written by basilrobbiereborn on Monday, 31st Dec 2018 10:41
So Christmas came and went and for many the lasting memory will be of Valeri Belokon breaking a long, self-imposed silence to send we supporters festive greetings.
Human nature being what it is, many of the people who have been most vocal in complaining about the lack of communication from Riga were quick to criticise when it DID arrive. You can't please some of the people any of the time, as a famous man once said.
For my part, I thought it was a statement which did the job in terms of reassuring people that VB has not gone away and retains a strong affection for the club. He was careful not to promise anything specific, or set artificial deadlines for progress. That is unnerving for some ; but as someone who has seen Shaun Harvey of the EFL speak a great deal without ever saying anything, I find VB's refusal to flannel quite refreshing.
VB was also at pains to point out where the major impediment lies, and I have to say that one of the things that always dismays me is that when people are frustrated, often the first instinct is to lash out at people who are trying to resolve the problems, rather than at those who create them.
Two other thing stood out for me. The first was the seemingly casual reference to resolving the EFL issue. What this means is anyone's guess ; VB has been tight-lipped about his dialogue with the EFL, and the latter - as we know - don't think telling the club's supporters anything useful is a priority. I hope in some ways that this issue ends acrimoniously, because it will bring the EFL's conduct in all this into sharp relief. They will NOT look good if this is the case.
The final thing was that Valeri talked. about unity and fairness. Even now he is still willing to give OO some credit for the good he may have done ; and he re-emphasised that now, of all times, is one when we must stick together and pull in the same direction whenever we can. We will have to come back together as one whole once the Oystons have gone ; and any energy we spend on mutual recriminations will be energy wasted.
Happy New Year everyone.
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Blogs by basilrobbiereborn
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Matches of Yesteryear - Northampton v U's 24/4/99 by wessex_exile
Well, here we are going through the exhilarating highs and despairing lows of what it is to follow the U’s rollercoaster journey this season – one wonders what Saturday will bring, apart from yet another storm (Dennis this time). Vale Park is a tough enough place to go at the best of times, so will howling winds and lashing rain be the great leveller for the U’s? We shall see, but in the meantime, how about we go back to a time when our perennial concentration around this time of the season always seemed to be at the wrong end of the table, maybe put things a little bit into perspective…
Matches of Yesteryear - Bees v U's 11/3/03 (eventually) by wessex_exile
It was noted that Saturday’s stunning defeat of promotion rivals Plymouth Argyle was the first time we had beaten them since our League Cup victory back in 2003. Well our record against tomorrow night’s opponents Grimsby can challenge that – if you’re wondering ‘not another Tuesday night trip to Blundell Park’, the last time we played at Grimsby on a Saturday was also back in 2003…and the last time we won there? Over 40 years ago believe it or not, on 22nd September 1979, winning 2-1 thanks to two goals from Trevor Lee, with the U’s managed by none other than Bobby Roberts on that day.
Matches of Yesteryear - Southend v U's 17/2/04 by wessex_exile
“[i]…Parky couldn’t quite keep the momentum from September going in the league, and we finished 11th at the end of the season. However, for the entertainment of the faithful, he was just about to embark with the U’s on two successful runs in both the FA Cup and the LDV Vans Trophy, the latter just about to start the following Tuesday (14th October) at Cheltenham[/i]”.
Matches of Yesteryear - U's v Blackpool 11/10/03 by wessex_exile
Ahead of our upcoming match at the Abbey Stadium tomorrow, we again go back to the Parky era, and for this match his first full season in charge at Layer Rd. It’s funny, when I first started following the U’s in the 70s, matches against local rivals Cambridge United always seemed to be a really big thing, up there with Southend in many ways – they just don’t seem to have quite the significance these days?
Matches of Yesteryear - U's v Wivenhoe 23/2/91 by wessex_exile
And so the unbeaten run goes on. Ahead of yet another vital match against a promotion contender on Tuesday night, we pay our first visit to a yet to be featured competition, going back nearly thirty years in the process. Last time in the Matches of Yesteryear series we explored our furthest distance for a ‘local derby’ match at Wycombe, this time we reflect on what must surely have been the shortest distance ever between the U’s and opponents for a competitive match?