Tuesday, 11 November 2014

A Riverside Ramble

Sad to see the team succumb to another defeat but a thoroughly enjoyable day out was enjoyed by yours truly.  A peruse around the wonderful Olympic Park in all it's glory before enjoying the sights and sounds of Roman Road Market. Not many 'surprise' Xmas presents on the stalls these days, so thank heavens for the issue of Real Clapton scarves at £7 a throw. I will certainly be making a purchase or two at that price, what a bargain. 

Also spotted some bargains on E-Bay as ex Manager Chris Wood clears the deck of surplus team wear to recuperate some of the monies owed to him during his time at the club. Find that whole scenario hard to stomach but some artifacts to be had all the same, not sure I'd still fit into one of those lycra looking warm up tops but the insulated sub suits could be very handy this time of year.

Anyway transgressing rather alarmingly but this rather rambling missive is sort of in keeping with the nonsense (or indeed lack of it coming out of the club at the moment).  It seems rather more than the siege mentality as previously referred to, it's as if all those concerned with communicating with the fans have given up the ghost.   Like it or not, the rudderless approach from the top has begun to be reflected on the pitch, not so much in the effort shown by the players but by the whole shebang around it. Preparation looks disorganised and lacking in professionalism, certainly in comparison to those efforts to turn things around over the last couple of seasons.

Good players and Staff have come and gone at regular intervals this season.  My experience has shown that football at this level seems to be quite insular and, of course, news of exactly how individuals have been treated has began to filter through one way or another, even to my mailbox!  Not going to go through it here, but I'm sure many regular 'Lew' readers can picture some of the likely scenario's without things going in print. It's indicative by the multiple departures of disillusioned players and staff, that they are apportioning the blame in one specific direction. At the moment there seems to be too many 'not so well kept secrets’ about the club and it’s actions and those leaks do not reflect well on the ‘Puppet’ or the ‘ Puppetmaster’.

Back to Saturday; it's my blog and I'll ramble if I want to (in keeping with today's theme).  I must confess to deliberately not going to the Wentworth Arms before the game. I have nothing but admiration for the band of fans to whom I have already apologised for referring to as 'Oiks' back in the day. 'Oiks' they might not be, but noisy they most certainly are! I remember their antics in the Welwyn clubhouse and another 'assault on the eardrums' before the game was most certainly not on my agenda.

I also recall Neil Day being hoisted into the air and ceremoniously dropped and I certainly didn't want that happening to me with my lumbago problems. So I took lunch in the far more cordial surroundings of what local Estate agents like to describe as 'The Village', a conservation area around Victoria Park. Not an Ultra in sight here, so a chance to sit back and sample the local hostelries amidst a gentrified area of outstanding tranquility.

A short walk across the park and I was back on track towards Mile End navigating along the Canal. A riverside walk, fine pubs and the hustle and bustle of a popular London Market, all the ingredients of a great day out with or without the impact the Ultras were bound to make in the afternoon ahead.

An hour later, and after a certain amount of 'hardcore yomping' which belied my years, I came upon a scene, not as tranquil (or gentrified) for that matter. For old times sake and in an affectionate tone, I'm going to refer to the magnificent band of Clapton supporters as 'Oiks' once again,, but what a fantastic group of Oiks they are. They seemed to be joined by a number of external groups for this game but it all made for another carnival atmosphere as there often is at Mile End. Bengal seem to a 'bogey team' of the highest order, but I do have a sneaking admiration for their 'expressive' style of football and I, for one, did not begrudge them a deserved victory on the day.

As the crowd eventually drifted away to their evening pursuits I was left to reflect on what had been a most agreeable day. Once again my spirits had been lifted by a set of fans fast becoming the talk and envy of Non League Football  They continue to give unreserved support despite the shambles surrounding 'their' club. The fans deserve a 'regime' they can give their backing to and I understand that things are nicely 'in place' once the inevitable happens.  That day can't come soon enough for me.

Big Respect to all 'Real Clapton' fans

Lew Listz
11th November 2014
email me

Clapton FC scarves can be pre-ordered    here
Chris Woods Clapton ebay sale is    here

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