It’ll Be Off

FC United 2-1 Worksop Town

Worksop is the home of Wilkinsons. This, more than anything, should endear Worksop Town to us. Where would we be without Wilkos when we need to buy stuff and you’re not sure where to go? Cutlery trays for your kitchen drawer. Mr Men books. Cheap Haribo. Hamster and other small rodent accessories. Cheap bathroom sets. Lengths of chain. I still find it utterly incomprehensible that Oxford Street in London manages to have room for a Debenhams, John Lewis, Selfridges, and other department stores, but not a Wilkos.

Worksop: Beautiful

It seems fitting that Worksop were as uncomplicated and as direct as a Wilkos store. They were a typical East Midlands side. Big. Uncompromising. Dirty as fuck. There’s literally nothing to do in the East Midlands except break down brick walls with your fist, and beat up other humans. This explains their intimidating gigantism. In Worksop, or Retford, or Hucknall, they’d look at Carlos Roca and treat him with the amused curiosity that David Chadwick would treat a hamachi, salmon roe and basil flower, or similar amuse-bouche. They just wouldn’t be able to appreciate his delicacy and subtle skills. No. Worksop is all about slabs of meat, and torn flesh. Which is why it was excellent to see Chaddy in our defense on Saturday. These are the games he relishes. With him at the back, Norton taking kicks for the good of the team up front, and the frighteningly able Matthew Tierney in midfield, we were much better prepared to face a team like Worksop than we would have been at the start of the season.

Luckily for us, the physical strength of the East Midlander is offset by a mental weakness and gross stupidity. Despite scoring from their first real chance from the match, Luke Beckett smashing the ball in to the roof of the net as he would smash his fist in to a brick wall during his leisure time, Worksop soon panicked in the face of a Matt Tierney led onslaught, and James Cotterill, who is desperately trying to sound like Jake Cottrell, swivelled on the edge of the six yard box, and stuck the ball high in to his own goal. There was about a minute between their equaliser and the own goal, and this new-found mental resilience, that compliment our silky footballness, is one of the reasons we find ourselves peering in through the back window of Hugh Heffner’s lesser known house, the Play-off Mansion rather than flirting with the mundane world of meaningless, midtable mediocrity.

There was still time for Worksop to threaten, but a great save from Sam Ashton, followed by an awful fuck up/great tackle combination from Sam Ashton, saw to it that we ended the ninety minutes as winners.

Things could have been much better for us had Halifax, who’ve been fucking irritating all season, not decided to lose to Buxton. I reckon they did it on purpose, the obsessed, bitter cunts.



Welcome to Manchester. Again.
March 8, 2011, 9:11 am
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In a scene reminiscent of a Spike Jonze film, my train carriage yesterday was filled with Andy Walshes. It was odd, surreal, amusing. Everywhere I looked the proud, statuesque pose of El Presidente peered back. Not since BPA on the final day of the 2009 season, when an entire Manchester Road End of Eric Cantonas watched me watching the first half of the game, have I ever been so pleased I don’t smoke weed or take psychotropic drugs. Had I done, then in the words of the media’s current favourite mentalist, Charlie Sheen, it is likely that my face would have melted off and children would have wept over my body.

There’s still a thrill when a club as small as ours gets such widespread coverage. That the Co-op chose to use us in their advertising campaign should be of immense pride. We were featured on the back page of a newspaper that has an official (as official as a wikipedia fact can be) readership of some 3.5million people. Further to this, two huge billboards were put up in Manchester, again featuring the determined face of our honourable leader.

We may be small, but we seem to be becoming increasingly important. Long may that continue.

We’ll build our ground at Ten Acres… oh, crap.
March 7, 2011, 10:36 pm
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When the news filtered through on Friday evening that we weren’t going to Ten Acres Lane, it felt like I’d been punched hard in the stomach. I was winded, and wounded, and I didn’t understand why. The statement from the council was equivocal, the one from our club unequivocal. I wanted to believe the council, but common sense told me that our board was the trustworthy side of the see-saw of truth.

The see-saw of truth? Fucking hell, you see what this has done to me? I’m typing complete shit. Even more so than usual. It messed with my head. There was an emptiness that soon gave way to a fury. I knew who to blame straight away. It was the Tories. Or city. Or a gruesome combination of the two. It was someone anyway, and whoever it was would pay. The fuckers.

But while city and the Tories were far from off the hook, those in positions of relative power seemed calm among the maelstrom of misdirected emotion. As accusations and bloody rhetoric flew, they remained steadfast in their viewpoint: wait and see. And when the anger and hurt and disappointment crept away a realisation kicked in. Whenever have the club let us down? When have they done anything to cause us to doubt them?

Remember when the whole kit supplier thing kicked off, and there was widespread confusion and what have you among the few fans who gave a fuck, what happened? Andy Walsh stood up, gave a speech, and they were all pacified. And then what happened? We ended up not with some no mark, two bit kit supplier, but with Admiral. Admiral! For fuck’s sake, with an Admiral kit we may as well have won the 1977 cup final against Liverpool ourselves. Sometimes second choice ends up as the best outcome.

Not that this is necessarily the case this time. Although I was at Doc Adam Brown’s talk in Malcoms on Saturday, I can’t reveal anything publicly to those who weren’t there. Details aren’t always important, yet even though detail was the one thing missing from Adam’s talk, it ironically became the one thing that calmed us all down. Like I say, I can’t give too much away, but the positivity that radiated from our elected board member soon spread among the gathered, expectant crowd.

It’s easy to be pacified by our board and by Andy Walsh. You feel they could talk a bear down from a tree. Andy, in particular, uses his oratory skills to maximum effect. If the fucker did the morning weather forecast on Granada, you’d think you could go outside and beat the shit out of a cloud. So much remains unanswered. Are we as well off as they suggest we may be, or have we been pacified by a verbal benzodiazepine? Well, as I’ve said, I’m inclined to trust the board over even myself. Why would I not?

But all of this is just local political jostling. There are bigger issues at play. There are those who maintain we aren’t a political club. That we’re nothing more than a football club and an excuse for drinking. If this, and the Mehdi Mirzae affair, has taught us anything at all, it’s that we’re an intrinsically political club. Our very existence is inherently political. There are those who see us as a thorn in their side. An annoyance and a distraction. Long may that continue. What we stand for and what we believe in runs contrary to the ideals of those running the game, and these days the country.

And don’t be fooled in to thinking that the Tory government have nothing to do with this,. They have everything to do with this. Their cuts have hit Manchester hard. The city council will see 2000 jobs cut, some 17% of the workforce. Libraries are closing. Public toilets disappearing. General rubbish will be collected fortnightly rather than weekly. The closure of Arcadia, Ardwick and Ten Acres leisure centres would be necessary unless external funding could be found.

Hold up there a minute. The closure of where?

Forget the conspiracy theory of city buying TAL and converting it in to Mario Balotelli’s own personal 3g astroturf pitch and Nando’s complex. That may or may not be the case. The only fact remains that the council, as far in bed with city as they are (and let’s be honest, they’ve spread their legs and find the UAE ball deep inside them) are only responding to the cuts enforced upon them by the current government.

So while David, and Boris, and all those other cunts from the Bullingdon Club sit around a large table worth more than half your house, drinking wine that costs more than your car, there’s an area of East Central Manchester that may have lost out on some of the investment, involvement and Mancunian love and tenderness that they deserve.

Think of that next time you try and claim that FC United aren’t a political club.

Another picture heavy post, because I can’t be arsed to write anything
February 27, 2011, 1:37 pm
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Following on from Aris Thessaloniki’s programme mishap the other week, Wigan went and printed a picture of the MRE during an FC United game under the impression that it was a Manchester United game. I mean, technically they’re right, we are Manchester United fans, but I’m not sure Gill and Ferguson will see the funny side.

I’d like to think it was a deliberate mistake, but maybe I’m giving them too much credit.

Where there’s muck, there’s brass
February 25, 2011, 1:55 pm
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Excellent work from FC United fan Lee Barrow, who has taken his high-pressure hose thingy around Manchester, and used a stencil top blast the filth away to leave these handy community share reminders everywhere. Sites covered so far include Manchester Road in Bury, Blackfriars Bridge, and areas of Newton Heath. Stylish, innovative, and functional. Us to a t, that.

February 25, 2011, 1:48 pm
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Apologies for the lack of update recently. Ian from over at 200% grabbed me by the neck, held my head under water and screamed “WRITE SOMETHING FOR MY WEBSITE, YOU FUCKING SHITE.” He has a point. I’m amusingly listed on the authors section, beside people who have contributed about 200 – 1800 articles to the site. I was on one.

But the TAL video that was released last week seemed the obvious choice for me to write about, and with Ian’s advice of ‘write from the heart’ still ringing around my cochlea, I smashed my way through four cans of Tyskie, and produced this. I’m not sure it makes much sense, but I clearly had some point to make, even if I don’t know what it was. Still, read it, you’ve obviously got nothing better to do with your time if you’re on here.

In the meantime, FC United have climbed up to seventh in the table. This seems remarkable seeing as people were talking relegation a few weeks ago, the knee-jerk, pessimistic twats. A 3-1 win over Burscough, with three excellent goals from Norton, Wright and Carlos Roca, continues our remarkable run, of eight wins from the last eleven games. And with second playing fifth and third playing fourth this weekend, we’ve got a great chance to move closer in to Halifax’s chasing pack.

Assuming we beat Stocksbridge Park Steels, one of the hardest sounding teams in the country, of course. I had intended to lace this post with facts about the club and the town, but it seems nothing of note has ever happened in Stocksbridge. So Saturday could be the finest day in the town’s long history. but probably not.

And finally – I like saying “and finally”, reminds me of Tony Wilson on Granada Reports doing the light-hearted bit about the cat who came home after seven years missing – Kenny Dalglish paid tribute to former Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson after leading Liverpool to a 1-0 Europa League win over some team or other. Says Kenny: “I’m only here managing in the Europa League because of the work done before me by the players and Roy.” Which is a little hard on Hodgson, as I blame the work done last season by Howling Mad Rafa Benitez for Liverpool playing in the Europa League. Typical Scouse blame culture, trying to pin it on old bollocks chops Hodgson.

Even Aris Thessaloniki find them funny
February 17, 2011, 11:32 pm
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intrinsically funny


city’s Europa League opponents apparently pulped every copy of their match-day programme after printing the above picture as city’s squad photo. Apparently they only realised it wasn’t genuine when someone pointed out that Tevez wasn’t wearing a snood and had his mouth shut.

Read more on the Manchester Guardian’s website: