Friday, 20 November 2015

Wenger, Cafu or Collina ? Not in the ESL

It's Pie and Mash for me at Kelly's on the Roman Road tonight and then I'm off to Mile End for Clapton's Essex Senior League game against Tower Hamlets.  Obviously I am hopeful of our lads getting the three points but, its a local derby, there will be the inevitable edge to it, and one can anticipate a hard fought encounter.

Despite the disappointing result, last Wednesday's match at Wadham Lodge was an interesting and entertaining evening.  The Neil Day connection was the initial focal point but I am pleased to say that, despite the personal issues, everyone contributed to a great atmosphere.

By everyone, I mean everyone.  Yes, even the referee, Mr Markwick.  Whilst I understand the frustrations of many of the Clapton players, management and supporters at having to suffer two dodgy penalty decisions that won the match for our hosts, the chap with the whistle gave no less than his best, as is the case with all the match officials that take the middle or run the line at our level of football.

As supporters of football at this level we should be used to lowering our expectations of what to reasonably expect on a Saturday afternoon.  For example, it is unreasonable to expect Mike Walther to have the tactical 'know how' of Arsene Wenger, or for Peter Moore to make Cafu look like a carthorse.  Likewise, Mr Markwick is no Pierluigi Collina and he cannot reasonably be expected to turn in an entirely faultless performance.  The common thread is that these folks are giving of their best and providing a lot of fun for us all.

Despite perceived daft substitutions, wayward clearances or dodgy penalty awards, the entertainment is no less enjoyable, and the atmosphere generated on an afternoon/evening by the Clapton Ultras, pyro or no pyro, far exceeds that served up at many grounds at higher levels of the game.

Finally, there were few better sights in football than what I saw on Wednesday night when, having seen their side defeated in frustrating circumstances, the Clapton Ultras saluted both teams with songs, flags and genuine appreciation for a good match.  Having read the interview with old Clapton fan Ian Simpson in Red Menace, I have no doubt that he, and Bert, his Dad, would have been very proud as to the fine sportsmanship shown by our supporters at the end.  It was real Clapton (sic)

It is therefore a shame that the Essex Senior League appear to be doing their best to dampen that enthusiasm by the implementation of new rules and fines over the 'pyro' issue but that subject is for another blog post.

Play up Clapton !

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.