Written by basilrobbiereborn on Monday, 31st Dec 2018 10:41
So Christmas came and went and for many the lasting memory will be of Valeri Belokon breaking a long, self-imposed silence to send we supporters festive greetings.
Human nature being what it is, many of the people who have been most vocal in complaining about the lack of communication from Riga were quick to criticise when it DID arrive. You can't please some of the people any of the time, as a famous man once said.
For my part, I thought it was a statement which did the job in terms of reassuring people that VB has not gone away and retains a strong affection for the club. He was careful not to promise anything specific, or set artificial deadlines for progress. That is unnerving for some ; but as someone who has seen Shaun Harvey of the EFL speak a great deal without ever saying anything, I find VB's refusal to flannel quite refreshing.
VB was also at pains to point out where the major impediment lies, and I have to say that one of the things that always dismays me is that when people are frustrated, often the first instinct is to lash out at people who are trying to resolve the problems, rather than at those who create them.
Two other thing stood out for me. The first was the seemingly casual reference to resolving the EFL issue. What this means is anyone's guess ; VB has been tight-lipped about his dialogue with the EFL, and the latter - as we know - don't think telling the club's supporters anything useful is a priority. I hope in some ways that this issue ends acrimoniously, because it will bring the EFL's conduct in all this into sharp relief. They will NOT look good if this is the case.
The final thing was that Valeri talked. about unity and fairness. Even now he is still willing to give OO some credit for the good he may have done ; and he re-emphasised that now, of all times, is one when we must stick together and pull in the same direction whenever we can. We will have to come back together as one whole once the Oystons have gone ; and any energy we spend on mutual recriminations will be energy wasted.
Happy New Year everyone.
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Letters from Wiltshire #27 by wessex_exile
Welcome to 2021, and hopefully a vaccine-driven start to a much better year for everyone – which as you can guess was going to be my introduction two weeks ago. From a selfish perspective, hopefully an improved year for the U’s as well that sees us cement at the very least a play-off spot, but why stop there – don’t mess around with the lottery of play-offs, go straight for it with automatic promotion (who am I kidding). First up in that quest is a tough match against Tranmere Rovers Cambridge United, and no longer with Chuck to help us out. Still, set up for Jevani to put one over on his former club.
Letters from Wiltshire #26 by wessex_exile
Well, after a piss-poor Xmas period so far for the U’s, culminating in the Roots Hall horror show on Boxing Day, let’s hope the U’s have burned off those festive calories and are raring to go. They’ll certainly have to be at their best against a Cheltenham side aiming to force their way into the automatic promotion places. In other news, we now finally have confirmation that there will be a trade deal in place with the EU once Brexit arrives in 2021. It remains to be seen whether it’s a good deal or not, and more to the point, who for, but at least it’s not the economic uncertainty of no-deal.
Letters from Wiltshire #25 by wessex_exile
A little earlier than usual, but as we approach the end of what has been a most difficult year for everyone, I’ll keep the introductory editorial brief, as I’m sure you will all be very busy in the coming days rescuing what you can from this pandemic-ravaged festive period. I simply wish you all peace on earth, goodwill to all (yes, even our South Essex cousins), and here’s to a happy, prosperous and most importantly healthy 2021 for us all.
Letters from Wiltshire #24 by wessex_exile
Welcome to our last match before Christmas. With South Essex going into Tier 3, by the time we take to the pitch at Roots Hall, it’ll be another behind-closed-doors match. With the Tier 3 boundary creeping inexorably closer, one wonders how long the JobServe will hold out and still be able to allow fans to attend. Robbie is doing all he can to make it possible for supporters to attend, and I confess I’m seriously considering our January 2nd match against Tranmere. In other news, I’m relieved to read that the FA will not take disciplinary action against Colchester United after a shameful minority chose to boo players and officials taking the knee, in the words of the EFL “[i]as they highlight the inequality and injustice experienced by the Black Community[/i]”. I noticed a tiny minority chose to boo at our mid-week match at the Abbey Stadium, but I was pleased to hear they were immediately drowned out by the remainder of the 2,000 cheering and applauding. I admit I’m a little anxious about today…
Letters from Wiltshire #23 by wessex_exile
As I’ve been providing updates on the ongoing US presidential election, it is worth mentioning that the Electoral College votes have now been cast, which formally confirms Biden as the new President-elect. Normally a formality, as the losing candidate has usually long-since conceded defeat, but these are far from normal times, and America has far from a normal lame-duck President. Still, at least the threat of members of the Electoral College ignoring the popular vote in favour of an outcome demanded by Trump has failed to materialise. In the UK, new Covid tiers were announced this week, with London going into Tier 3. Colchester stays in Tier 2, but only just, with as far north east as Maldon, Braintree and Chelmsford also moving into Tier 3 – and as if you need reminding, Tier 3 means no supporters at matches.