Friday, July 22, 2005

FCUM all

Source: The Big Tissue

The first home fixture of the season sees the Dons take on the newly formed FC United of Manchester. Their second ever game should be a momentous occasion, as well as being a good opportunity for Anderson's team to continue their winning pre season in front of a packed Kingsmeadow.

Stand up if you like FCU.

There's always been a lot of talk around AFC Wimbledon about Getting It. From the very beginning fans were always concerned about if players and staff, old and new, Got It. Eames was adjudged to have Got It with a vengeance, Sully Got It even if he couldn't always cross it, while Dave Anderson was obliged to go and see A Fans' Club (twice) in an attempt to show that he was at the very least, Getting It.

But I was never really sure what It was we were supposed to be getting. I thought the AFC manifesto was that we Just Wanted To Watch Some Football, just like every other football fan.

And now along come FC United of Manchester, something a bit similar and yet very different. The media may have portrayed them as a Glazer protest move but that's really to miss the point. Ever since the start of the Premiership Man Utd has become synonymous with everything that was wrong with the English game while their fans were characterised as vacuous, journeymen gloryhunters.

Among the terracegentsia an urban myth grew up of the Decent Man Utd fan, a creature of integrity and passion that understood the needs of the wider football community and were indignant at the way their club was going, but few people really believed it.

But now they've come up with FC United, proof that some of them Get It, they really really Get It. It's a shock, but heartening, to discover that some of them dislike what Man Utd has become almost as much as the Anything but United brigade; that they haven't been bought off by the trinkets of success.

It's one thing to Get It when everything you ever loved has been hijacked and stolen away to Milton Keynes, quite another to Get It when everything you ever loved has been hijacked and stolen but is still playing in the Champions League and still called Man Utd.

There'll be many aspects to the FCUM base - those priced out of Old Trafford years ago; those who assume that they'll inevitably be priced out by GlazerSpawn's
business plan eventually; those that'll support both Uniteds and those that will only, in the words of Harry Dean Stanton in Repo Man, "come back when the place don't stink so bad" - and we salute them all.

Attention, FCUM.

Still, as much as we might admire and respect them, we'd still like to give them a bit of a thrashing. Reckon if you took a poll of our favourite moment from all those long years stuck at The Abattoir of Dreams, the moment Marcus Gayle's great Klingon expanse of forehead powered the ball past Schmeichel to gives us that 1-0 FA Cup replay win would take some beating and it would be nice to repeat that in some way.

OK it's not actually Man Utd but it is Man Utd fans and even though they're nice ones it'd still be rather good to beat them.

I know Anderson has got a dozen trialists to look over before he finalises the squad but I hope he's is going to treat this as a bit more competitive than the standard pre season friendly and is committed to winning that Supporters Direst Cup.

As they are only one game into their existence the FCUM should be takeable. Saturday's first outing, a 0-0 with Leigh RMI, was judged to be a creditable enough opening for Karl Marginson's side even though they apparently didn't manage a decent effort on target.

That game saw skipper Billy McCartney go off with a dislocated elbow. Possible United players to watch include combative midfielder Tony Coyne and ex- Scunthorpe striker Steve Torpey.

Urse Well?

After three win in four days the Dons have made a flying start to the pre season. 22 players featured in last Saturday's win 2-0 over Conference South Bognor Town and though 15 of them were playing in the Yellow and Blue for the first time the team manged to keep its shape remarkably well.

This will be many fans' first game since the Surrey Senior Cup Final at the end of April and it'll very exciting to see all the trialist and new players. Particularly interesting will be the new goalkeeper - Lennie, Little or a combo of the two - and the new central midfield pairing of Barry Moore and Matt York.

Word from the three games so far has been overwhelmingly positive. The one big negative is word seeping out that Rob Ursell has picked up an injury and will be out for 3/4 months.

If you haven't already got your ticket then get there early as the Main Stand is now sold out and only 1,500 terrace tickets remain.