“Mentally strong people overcome setbacks with confidence because adversity makes them better”. Amy Morrin
As I write, the Beast from the East, or Storm Darcy as it is fashionably named, is bringing snow and icy blasts all the way from the Urals .Icicles hang from rooves in Barton Bendish and yet the weather was not severe enough to postpone the game at Salford yet again. A pity, since I suspect that the difference last night was that they hadn’t played for 3 weeks and we have played a lot of games in a short time, travelling miles and playing on terrible pitches. However, I can accept that and the fact that key players were unfit. What I find hard to accept is the hail of criticism, sometimes aimed at individuals, all over social media, when people can’t deal rationally with their own disappointment. There is a young forward banging goals at Wimbledon now who might have stayed here had he not been subjected to unending and pointless criticism from so called fans. Sometimes standing on Habbin North is no more pleasant than enduring the Siberian weather but fans pay their money…
So much for fickleness or fickability or whatever its called nowadays. This feels like a promotion season and when we have our best team out, it looks like one too. Intriguingly, I was interviewed by the Irish Daily Mirror about Wes Hoolihan. They revere him in Dublin and they wanted to know what we thought. Every successful side has a player who, on their day, is better than everyone else, someone with more vision, time on the ball and skill than anyone else. Wes is that man.
I remember Hereford coming here in the early seventies with ex England winger Terry Paine in their ranks. He was forty and did nothing but amble around. Oh, and he took every free kick and corner they had. He was wonderful. And Wes is more than that. He plays in front of the back four, gets into the box. He reads situations and displays real leadership skills. We have many other really gifted players but when Wes is missing we are not the same team. He is our Jimmy Anderson and we must keep him for as long as we can.
At least people will stop saying that we only play well on I Follow. The sooner the crowds can come back, the better for us all. During these long unnatural months of the Pandemic the success of our team has been wonderful because of the effect it has had on the City’s morale. Cambridge is so much more than a University, however wonderful, great architecture and tourism. There is another side to the City which deserves more attention and better provision. The Community Trust have done a fine job in supporting our community, perhaps in ways that only football clubs can. It is trying much harder to cater for diversity, disability, disadvantage and need in every way it can. At the end of this season I really hope to see that we are top of the league. As much as that I want to be associated with a club that has got its values right and makes its own contribution to making society better , fairer and more tolerant. I believe that Cambridge United is making great strides in this direction.