Beauty and the Beast

Since last updating the blog there have been two matches.  Southend at Home, a horrific match that Oxford lost 2-0 and a fantastic game at Torquay which the U’s won 4-3.  During the course of these matches I have been celebrating New Year in the furthest reaches of Dorset with my family, another Oxford United supporter and his family.

We always knew that to be able to attend BOTH matches while away was going to be too much to ask of our families.  The choice we therefore had was which match to pick.  I would like to describe the choice we made in the style of 1980’s Saturday evening television:

Cilla: Alright chuck ask your final question

Me: Alright Cilla.  Girls, I’m a big football fan; if you were a football match what kind of match would you be and that’s to number 2

Girl Number 2: I would be a curvy roller coaster of a match featuring twists and turns that would leave you enthralled and spellbound throughout.  You’d love the fantastic climax at the end, and if you pick me you could end up with a hat trick of your own.

Me: Sounds nice Cilla. Right, same question to number 1.

Girl number 1: Face facts mate I’m a munter

Me: Hmmmm…..

Cilla: Right Chuck, you’ve heard what the girls have to say, are you going for the enthralling roller coaster or the munter

Me: It’s got to be number 1

Cilla: Well, let’s draw back the screen and see who you’ve picked…………..

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Happy Torquay, Torquay, Happy Talk*

There was a lot of talk before the game against Torquay of ‘making amends’.  Our own Captain Sensible sent some of us an email underlying how important it was that the players reacted in the right way.  Craddock and Wilder also talked up the effort that was going in, to make up to the fans for Bradford.  For whatever reason, it did not transpire.


 
Now; there’s a number of ways we can deal with this.  It takes very little effort to be negative and point the finger.  It requires a little more energy to constructively criticise, putting more emphasis on where we think things could be improved.  It takes EVEN MORE energy to do this in a way of positive enforcement that encourages a change in confidence and ultimately, results.  I am confident the Chris Wilder has the ability to do the latter. 

What shocks me is the way that some supporters react.  The vast majority I think put the effort into offering solutions, however I never cease to be amazed by the number of people who think that the right way to deal with this, is throwing their arms up in the air screaming “we’re all going to die”.  This is ultimately destructive behaviour that if it goes unchecked could have a wider negative affect .
 
The club should be applauded for the way it communicates with the fans.  The emails from the players are great, and you could say that maybe the last one was a gamble and as such backfired, but, does that mean that they should stop?  Absolutely not.  Talk IS cheap, and actions DO speak louder than words.  However the talk shows conviction, and that conviction is the platform and aspiration on which to act. 

I would like to see more of these positive vibes from everyone, not just the club.  Man for man the players we have are as good as any in the league.  Anyone remember singing “a team to be proud of” at West Ham?  It’s the SAME TEAM.  What we have now is a confidence problem, and confidence problems can be addressed.  As the 12th Man it’s our responsibility to back the team and overcome it together.
 
After all, you’ve got to have a dream, if you don’t have a dream, how you gunna make a dream come true?

*For younger readers, “Happy Talk” was a quite awful song recorded by “Captain Sensible” in the 1980’s that he nicked from “South Pacific”.  If you want to lose 4 mins of your life (that you will NEVER get back) watch the video at the top to see what you missed out on.