Last Friday morning we had a 9am, quite reasonable start, and were chauffeured down to Holyhead by friends Joe and Dolly to catch the mid-day packed ferry over to Dublin’s fair city.
After settling in at the hotel, we ate then ambled over to the Temple bars and enjoyed some good music in the Thunder café. I’d braced myself for the Irish Rover, Wild Rover, Seven Drunken Nights etc. but we rocked along to Crowded House, Floyd, Neil Young etc.
Saturday it was the first game at The Arriva, an impressive stadium in a strange setting where it’s not possible to walk round the ground, being hemmed in by houses and the railway line.
The ground was far from full, which was annoying, the second tier almost completely empty. There was a smattering of Blues, but plenty of Celtic fans who congregated behind the goal and in the top tier, doing the Poznan and booing Vlad Weiss mercilessly. Sergio Aguero made an appearance but didn't play and is on the bench for Sunday.
City’s team was mainly a second eleven but included Gareth Barry, SWP and Adam Johnson. 0-0 at half time, we went down for a coffee and the goofy kid with glasses informed us that “manu are better, all you’ve got is money” so naturally he got a stern lecture.
City were too powerful for Airtricity in the second half and ran out 3-0 winners comfortably.
The second game, after an impressive display of drumming from the locals was Inter v Celtic, and Inter went 2-0 up before having a player sent off. I was wondering where Robinho was, but have since been put right by manclad in that he plays for AC not Inter! We decided to leave at half time and observed a rag/Celtic fan chanting “you’ll never win f*ck all” to a Blue who ignored him completely. Didn’t they chant that at us for the past 35 years? At the station we chatted to an Irish fella who informed us he was a big manu fan. “Never mind” I said. Do these people have to pass an exam to become a rag? Do we really want to know? Can’t they just keep quiet? The Irish astound me. For such a cussed nation, it’s surely against their nature to follow the flow, although we do have good and loyal support over there.
On the Sunday we did the Dublin bus tour and arrived at The Arriva just as Celtic, 2-0 up, banged in three goals in the last few minutes.
So to the Big One. Many more Blues at this one, and some old and welcome acquantancies were spotted, plus the usual braindeads in rag shirts. No wonder.....
X factor Mary, belted a couple of songs out and I’m told I was spotted in the crowd singing along!
Plenty of Celtic fans remained, booing every move City made. Two of our goals were disallowed before Mario notched a header on half time. This was loudly booed by a Celtic fan near me, and when I asked him why he couldn’t or wouldn’t answer.
Edin stroked in another after half time and Adam J finished em off in the last minute to gain revenge for last season’s 0-3 defeat in the USA. We were then presented with the Dublin Super Cup. Very nice.
Flogged a few zines at the end of the game and was accosted by a young rag singing “united, til I die….” Which isn’t even a rag song.
So all in all a couple of satisfying results. It’s a strange competition though, and it would have been nice to put Celtic in their place with a game. If the competition survives next season it will need some revamping. Two games (out of three) in two days doesn’t inspire and the ticketing arrangements need sorting.
We had a great time though and finished off with a couple of enjoyable days in Northern Ireland.
Next up it’s the rags at Wembley, here’s the It’s A Fix extract from KK189 :
SUNDAY AUGUST 7TH : MAN. UTD : COMMUNITY
SHIELD K.O. 2.30 or is it 3pm ? AT WEMBLEY
It’s bloody them, again. Well they won the ‘title’ last season with a – wait for it - dodgy penalty at Blackburn, where they took 250,000 fans apparently. Ironically, this was the final straw in a season where dubious refereeing decisions for and against, off the top of my head v Fulham, Stoke, West Brom, West Ham, Villa, Arsenal etc etc gifted them at least 10 points.
They also knocked Liverpool off their perch by beating Pool’s five Euro Cups by notching their 6th European Cup by beating Barcelona in the final. Oops, still stuck on three! Even Arsenal beat Barca this season.
Fergie, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney in particular disgraced themselves last season followed closely by Camelgob’s antics. What a club. I don’t mind Giggsy to be honest, but he does sum up Manchester united. Poached deviously at an early age, claimed a goal on his debut which was actually an own goal, booed by his own fans, lauded in the media to be given a knighthood, then fell into disgrace for off the field misdemeanours of the lowest kind. Arise Sir Ryan!
JBurfield : And just to show that we’re really up to date, how about rags burning City scarves outside the City store in town. Seriously how utterly lame is that?!! If I wrote in this fanzine that I was going to go down to the united megastore with a few mates and set fire to a load of Ryan Giggs duvet covers (for an extra fiver you can get them with authentic stains now by the way) outside, I’d thoroughly deserve to be laughed off as an embarrassment. Self awareness and shame though are qualities lacking in your average rag numpty, eh?!
Whatever, form is temporary, class is permanent, right?
Latest additions to the plastics are David Hasselhoff, Brian Blessed, Bill Oddie, Neil bloody Diamond and sadly Robbie Williams who’s adopted them as his ‘fantasy team’. Twat.
In the Charity Shield it will be our 7th appearance. We lost to Arsenal 0-4 in 1935, and beat Sunderland 2-0 in 1938. We then lost 1-0 to united in 1956, Bobby Johnstone having his backheeled goal direct from a corner mysteriously disallowed. In this game, played at Maine Road as the forward thinking united didn’t have floodlights, part of which was televised, 15 year old David Gaskell came on in goal for the injured Ray Wood. In true rag tradition David disgraced himself and the club for baring his smelly, spotty, bare backside to the crowd in a later game. United fans sent death threats to Villa winger Peter MacParland prior to the 1957 Charity Shield game at O/T. No wonder everyone hates them. Moving on City recorded the highest ever score in this fixture beating West Brom 6-1 in 1968, then lost 2-1 to Leeds in 1969. Then came a couple of games where the Champs and the Cup winners couldn’t be bothered to help raise charity money and so City played and won 1-0 at Villa in 1972, but lost 1-0 at home to Burnley in 1973. So to today and the rags have spent a fortune on players this summer but are not ruining the game, oh no. Never mind, and don’t forget, “Let’s all wink at Rio, let ’s all wink at Rio….”
Hopefully today the police will have a more attentive presence on Wembley Way and in the car parks.
Wembley Stadium Capacity : 85,000 (27,500 for City)
Had a call from the manumirror re Joey Barton but didn’t give the answer they wanted so it wasn’t printed. Also had a call from the Mail on Sunday, told em I wasn’t bothered at all about the money our support and loyalty deserved, so whether that’s the angle they wanted we’ll see.