GETTING READY FOR ANOTHER BUSY TIME

Well, no football as such this past week with the Internationals and a friendly for England against Spain this evening, I’ll be glad when they are all over, and hope that all the players on international duty get back fit and well.

See Rooney already left the England camp with a knee injury, so id he out for Saturday along with Chris Smalling (broken toe)?

Last week-end was different, managed to get to see the Scotland – Australia and Wales – Argentina rugby union games on the Saturday, and on Sunday the highlights of the England v South Africa rugby union game from Saturday and the England v Australia Rugby League clash.

Busy time at work, usual 12 hour days and now it’s into work in the dark and dark when get back at night, still the weather is kind, cool in the morning, 3-4C but warms up nicely to 14-16C with almost daily clear blue sky.

Friday, usual 12-00 finish, straight to Madrid airport for the 13-30 flight to Heathrow, then up to Manchester, should land at 18-15, Vibeke picking us up, subject to us not having suitcases and then she tells us she has found a pub in Wilmslow that sells Chilli Beer. We got a taste for it in Houston, both Jalapeno and Habanero Beer, brewed by No Label Brewery, its a delight, so if this pub does something similar it’ll be worth the short travel.

Then it’s up to Dave’s, The Hare and Hounds at Simmondley, where I can get a few good beers, always got guest beers and hopefully there in time to check out the specials of the day, George, the chef does a great job.

Saturday morning, into Manchester for 08-00 and breakfast with Mark and who ever of the lads are out and about, nice tradition getting set up, this week however, the morning will be cut short.

Arsenal, 12-30 kick off, so it will be down to the ground early doors for me, by 11-00 latest, need to pop into the ticket office and then meet the branch members who need to collect tickets, pay for the cup games and then hopefully get into the International Suite for 11-45 ish.

Here’s hoping for a similar result to last season and a performance full of speed to overcome the Gooners.

Back to H&H after the game, certainly for some of the Rugby, should get the 2nd half of the England – Fiji game, then the Ireland – New Zealand & later France v Australia, that should take us up to about 10pm so a full day out.

Sunday morning, Jenson’s christening (Dave & Tracys grandson) at 11-30, then hopefully back to the H&H for an hour before we shoot to the airport for the flights back to Madrid.

Thursday see us travelling back to Manchester, got Fans Forum meeting at 13-00, followed by the Feyenoord game that evening, Frifday lunch into Manceshter to Reds True BBQ for lunch with friends over from Malta, then Friday evening we have a Branch Meeting at The Navigation Marple.

Saturday, no game, playing Sunday v West Ham, so quiet day I hope, but we will see, need to get the Xmas presents wrapped and all the packaging discarded, so we can see the bedroom floor again.

Hope to see everyone soon, either at one of the places above or if we have time, we can try to fit in a little more.

Cheers Keith

BRANCH MEETING – FRIDAY 25TH NOVEMBER HARE & HOUNDS SIMMONDLEY

Pease be advised that the next meeting will be 20-00 hours at a different venue for a change –  The Hare & Hounds, High Lane, Simmondley, Glossop SK13 6LS on Friday 25th November, the day after we play Feyenoord in a must win game to keep Europa Cup hopes alive.

Hope everyone can make it, we will have some food on for after the meeting

 

ARSENAL – HOME

Next game we have is now against Arsenal on 19th November, 12-30 kick off

Bus times are as follows:

Whaley – 09-30

New Mils – 09-40

Marple 09-50

Bredbury 10-00

Looking forward to the game, just hope all players away on International duty get back fit and well

HECTIC LAST PERIOD

We don’t need to many weeks like the past one, that is for sure.

Travelled back from Madrid for the MUDSA dinner on the Friday 28th October, what a great event, Lou Macari and Nello guest speakers.

Saturday saw us absolutely pummel Burnley at OT and end up with a 0-0 draw

Travelled back to Madrid on the Sunday, flights 3 hours late, fog in Heathrow, so not back in the apartment until 01-00

Worked Monday, 06-00 to 18-00 and then it being Lise’s birthday, went out for a quiet celebration.

Tuesday saw us in Madrid airport on the 06-10 flight to Frankfurt then onwards to Istanbul. Non eventful day, got to the hotel and then went in search or R-Bar, the place we use as a base for all the lads when in a city away from home.

Wednesday saw all the lads arrive, set up a room in the hotel with beer as a welcome drink for them all whilst getting checked in.

Out for a few hours, well more like until between 02-00 and 04-00 when lads back to the hotel.

10-00 meet for those who wanted to go to the Grand Bazaar, amazingly people did not have there watches set to the correct local time and others just to hung over to bother, down to the centre and into a bar for a few drinks around 11-00, then back up to Taxim Square

The buses to the stadium were not in Taxim Square, except for the 4 from Thomas Cook, the others were at the bottom of the hill across from Besiktas Stadium. uneventful journey, I think the coaches were that early that everyone was in before the local’s.

We had category 1 tickets, so had to walk a little round the ground, no issues at all, police and stewards were helpful. got in and luckily free programmes in that part of the ground, managed to pick up a few for the lads in category 2 part.

Forget about the game, hurts to talk about the lack lustre performance, no urgency, we could have been on pre-season tour, except this mattered, it was only after we pulled a goal back did there seem any sense of urgency, but too little to late

Game ended and we were allowed out with the Fenerbahce fans, no problems at all, trouble was we were told we would have to wait for a period until all the category 2 area were out. We saw no point in standing there and jumped a couple of taxi’s, even with it being across the bridge and a 30 minute taxi drive, it was less than £20 for the journey, and we were in the local bar for 23-25

2nd taxi just behind us and the rest of the lads around 00-30, last thing I did was pay for the drinks we had and went back to the hotel, this was 03-30 and the rest were still at it, ok because we had 13-00 pick up on the Friday, however 3 of the lads had a 07-00 pick up, not a pretty sight that morning.

Back to Madrid via Frankfurt, 12 of us on the same flight to Frankfurt, then Lise and I off on our own. Arrived back at the apartment at 01-10, emptied clothes out, put on washing machine and off to be at 01-40, up Saturday morning at 04-00, showered, packed bag, emptied washing machine and taxi picked us up at 05-15 to go back tot he airport.

06-55 flight to Heathrow, landed 08-25, hire car picked up at 08-55 and on the road to Swansea, made it to the hotel for 12-00, bit of traffic around Cardiff, Wales v Australia in the afternoon,

Out to watch the Rugby, few beers and a few more beers, back to hotel, Lise crashed for a couple of hours, I did the travel reports for Odessa, answered a few e-mails and made sure we were up to date on cup tickets.

Out in the evening for the Ireland v New Zealand game, funny it being played in Chicago, but the Irish turned up trumps and beat the Kiwi’s

Tim and Ang had found a curry house, it was ok, but no alcohol, so took the edge of the meal a little. Cheap enough though and quality ok.

Sunday, up early and checked us in for the flight back to Madrid on Monday morning, also checked one of the lads in going to Aus for 2 weeks on Monday as well, down for breakfast and into Lloyds Bar and met up with the lads down for the day, usual people there all early into the bar, then the lads on the mini bus arrived.

We played better than Thursday, but it was still a stroll and no one on the pitch had any real speed in them, great goal by Pogba, hit is as sweet as a nut, then 2 more by Zlatan, 3-0 at half time and I thought we may have gone for more to get the goal difference up. Only when Swans scored did we increase the tempo a little, but no more goals.

Drive back to Heathrow was ok, got away from the ground about 17-20 and was parked up at 20-00, into hotel, couple of drinks, bite to eat and bed.

Monday 03-30 up for the 06-15 flight, landed early, got taxi straight away and in the office for 10-00.

Glad we don’t have weeks like this every week

QUIETER PERIOD THIS PAST WEEK

This past week was a lot quieter, worked in Madrid until Thursday afternoon, then after having meetings and saying my farewell to the engineers leaving the project I am working on, made my way to the airport. (Lise had left earlier in the day, to get home and then get to the game against Zorya)

I didn’t arrive into Manchester Airport until 21-30, by which time the game was almost into it’s last knockings, a frustrating evening against a team content to sit with 11 men in defence, but dangerous in the quick counter attacks, but Zlatan provided the winner.

Friday morning saw me attend the first Fans Forum of the season, (see my comments in the branch meeting notes) then return home in mid afternoon to update my notes for the Branch meeting later that evening

Back to Marple, our old stamping ground for the meeting, thanks again for al those who did attend, your support is really appreciated.

Saturday was a quiet day, was in the town early doors, ears lowered, picked up the tickets for the MUDSA dinner and invite to the evening ‘Peter Schmichael & Edwin var der Sar for this Wednesday, Woody using the tickets in my absence, even managed to get to see Glossop North End win 2-1, I must admit, I did stay in the bar with a couple of pints and watched it through the window

Sunday up early doors, pick up 09-20 from home, carry on luggage with us, ready for our return flight to Madrid, need to get away sharpish after the game

Stoke City, e absolutely battered them, we could and maybe should have been 1 up after 45 seconds, except for a fine double block from Zlatan shots. 26 attempts during the game, and as Jose rightly said it could have been 6-0, except of course it ended up 1-1, what a travesty.

After the game, straight over the bridge and back to the bus, Bob ran us to the airport and arrived in good time, we were in the airport by 14-45 for a flight at 15-50 so plenty of time.

Amazing that there were at least 15 united fans on the shuttle down to Heathrow, including 2 families with young boys, good to see the colours being displayed.

Back into the apartment in Madrid at 23-00, easy flights, no hassle and warm when we got back.

This week quiet time, ballot results for Swansea out today, (Wednesday) so see how we get on it that.

Plans for the week-end – nothing, just sit around and have a relaxing time, the forecast is 25-27C all week-end, so I guess it would be foolish not to support the local economy and spend some time in our local bars and restaurants.

Hope you all have a good week-end off football, and for those of you that I know are going away, have a great time.

Next up Liverpool away on Monday week, 17th October, not the best of places on a Monday night, especially with a ticket pick up for some of the lads, hence the earlier start than we would have normally had.

BRANCH MEETING 30TH SEPTEMBER – NOTES

Last Friday we held the September Branch meeting, it was attended by approximately 30 people and was held in the function room upstairs in The Navigation Marple, thanks to Sarah & Mike for putting on a chilli for us, they did a great job and had a barman upstairs.

Alan Gowling kindly did a Q&A session, many thanks for this, it was very enlightening and informative

Below is a brief summary of the meeting

Travel & Tickets.

Away Tickets

Scousers next away game Monday 17th October, 20-00 kick off

Branch Tickets – nothing for Scousers but we did get 2 Chelsea

League Cup 3rd Round

City at home on 26th October 8pm kick off.

Europa League

Tickets for Feyenoord and Fenerbahce at home available.

Home Travel

The Stoke City bus will start at 09-00 in Whaley, for 12-00 kick off, we will only have 1 bus.

Away Travel

Liverpool – There will be 2 buses, one from Buxton starting at 15-45 and the other from Glossop at 16-00.

Chelsea away – Sunday 23rd October 16-00 kick off, no bus.

Social Events

Old Boys Dinner – Thursday 22nd September, the feed back received was that it was an excellent evening.

MUDSA Dinner – Friday 28th October, tickets £35 each, guest speaker will be Lou Macari accompanied by his friend Neil Baldwin (Nello) who was employed by Lou as the kit man at Stoke City and both appeared in the film ‘Marvellous’. The branch has 4 tables for the dinner and there are no places left.

FANS FORUM

There was a Fans Forum meeting this morning, the first one was to be have been before the League Cup game if we had been drawn at home

Away tickets – there were questions raised by myself that United have answered, it raised the awareness of members of the forum to the issues we have been discussing over the past 4 seasons.

Ed Woodward was at the meeting, he made the following statements:

They did not approach Jose at the turn of the year and it was only that they heard the week before the Cup Final that Jose was going to take another position that they started talks in earnest.

Ryan Giggs was offered a position in United, but wants a managers role, United think this could be good for the future and him coming back to united in the future, the door is open for him to return

The revenue at OT is the biggest in the world for a football club and the operating profit is 2.5 times larger than the 2nd premiership club

United have employed 50 additional scouts worldwide to ensure they capture the best players available, with a strong emphasis on youth.

During the season United will be calling concession ticket holders to take evidence of their age to the ticket office to verify there date of birth.

United are looking at assisting fans fly to long distance domestic away games, but Thomas Cook are not sure it would be economic for the fans

Everyone agreed that the singing section at Wembley for the Charity Shield was not a real success and that perhaps it was to large an area. United said they would support future initiatives

It was discussed and agreed that one of the supporters groups MUST, IMUSA would have a seat on the forum, but that they were to nominate 1 person for the year.

Next Meeting

It is proposed that the next meeting be Friday 25th November as there is a fans forum meeting on the Thursday 24th Novenber.

 

A BUSY 2 WEEKS WITH LITTLE REWARD

The past 2 weeks has been a tiring sand testing time, starting with the derby at home, we left Madrid at 13-30 via Heathrow to Manchester, the flight up to Manchester was late and very busy, but you grin and bear it, it is only 30 minutes once you get in the air

The derby itself was a game of 2 half’s, with us unlucky in the end to go in 2-1 down, the changes Jose made at half time had an instant impact, the reds looked a different team in the 2nd half, and in the end we were unlucky not to have gotten something from the game

Afterwards we had a couple of hours in The Navigation Marple, rammed with reds in good voice, you would have thought we had won, being our old village before we moved 2 years ago, it was great to see so many friends at the same time in the pub, including the 3-4 token blues who I class as friends

Back to The Hare & Hounds in Simmondley which is now our local, Dave & Tracey run a great pub and with George as the chef great food, His specials are excellent, Few other reds up there as well, so we went over the game again and where it went wrong.

Sunday saw us have breakfast and back to the airport and onwards to Madrid

Wednesday, had an early dart from the office, on the 16-00 flight to Amsterdam, met Mark, Ryan, Rocky and Tobin in Schipol airport, got transfer to hotel and met up with the other branch members who had travelled,

Thursday, we had 2 VIP vans take us to Rotterdam and Feyenoord stadium, some of us had what was classed as VIP seats, what a load of rubbish, back two rows in the corner, at least I could sit down though. No trouble, but police there in ridiculous numbers

The journey back to Amsterdam we twice as quick as going, with little to talk about with the way we played. The goal everyone decided was offside

Friday saw us picked up at 09-30 and back to Schipol, said our cheerio’s to the lads, and back to Madrid.

A quick few beers in our local, then Saurday morning we are travelling back to the airport, landing in Heathrow at 12-30, transfer to Jury’s hotel in Watford and a great afternoon out with a superb and cheap meal in the evening (A Taste of Lahore) well worth a visit.

Sunday morning saw us in Wetherspoons early doors, all the lads in there, great to see so many people we knew.

Next the saga of ticket pick up – I had been chosen to collect my ticket at the ground, getting there it was a joke, Watford had let United down, not being able to provide a secure window for the picket pick up, in the and there was a trestle table and a few barriers set up with united stewards in attendance, felt really sorry for Darren, he shouldn’t have been subjected to this stress, but with 200 picking up he did a great job.

Another game where lady luck didn’t help us, firstly Martial was fouled before their first goal and then later we didn’t get the rub of the green, 3-1 loss a difficult pill to swallow

Couple of drinks in the pub and then back to Heathrow, for the 19-10 flight to Madrid, home late about 00-30 and then up at 04-30 for work.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday til 13-30 in the office, then back to the airport, flight to Heathrow, then up to Northampton, managed to get a couple of beers before we went in, first half was not very good, but we ran out winners thanks to the cracking goals be Carrick and Heerera and the cheeky one by Marcus, this boy does not know when to give up, great to see such determination, some of the older players should take a leaf out of his book

Transfer back to Northampton, bed at 00-30 in hotel at heathrow and then up at 04-00 for the 06-15 flight back to Madrid, office in record time, and at my desk by 10-15 (09-15 UK time)

Glad Friday we finish at 12-00, missing the game today, to bloody tired to get on a plane, never mind the cost of it all.

All start again next week, Zorya on Thursday night, Fans Forum meeting Friday morning, Branch meeting Friday night and then Stoke 12-00 Sunday, then a dash back to Manchester airport for the flights back to Madrid.

The joys of being a United supporter, see you all soon Keith