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Dirty Lyle

IMHO Manchester on Saturday

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I decided I would add my thoughts having read other''s opinions of the match on Saturday. A number of things stood out.

1. The general arrogance about the place - both city and club. Whilst walking to the ground from the car (albeit in City shirts) we were treated to comments along the lines that we had never been to a big city before and should be in awe of the place. At the ground, we were frisked (as I believe everyone was) and a security guard asked to inspect our "theatre" tickets. I know the place is called Theatre of Dreams or some nonsense but for an 18 stone gorilla to be asking to see theatre tickets was comical and just a bit Disney (ironically, Mickey and Donald both made a half time appearance.)

2. Inside the ground. Why do football clubs and other establishments employ people who don''t have a clue how to pour a pint of lager properly? Just a small point, but I''m sick of enduring a three inch head on a pint of lager. They do it to annoy me. Also, their catering staff were found lacking in the sense of humour department when I ordered a prawn sandwich to go with my pint. Guess they might have heard that one once or twice before.

3. The OT crowd. As an OT virgin I was amazed at the lack of atmosphere the ground created while at the same time being impressed and above all proud of the continous noise the travelling 3000 produced. I feel the onus is on the core 1000 away season ticket holders to encourage the away support to produce similar efforts for the rest of the season. If we sing louder each time we concede we may effect the flow of the game. Saturday was a great example of the negative and positive effects a crowd can have on a game. "One nil and you still dont sing!", "You''re only here for the Champions" etc etc.

4. The team''s performance. Time to be a bit controversial. I don''t thnk Helveg played too poorly at all. Man Utd are a forceful attacking side and the majority of defences will be under pressure there this season. Helveg doesn''t overlap as Eddie can but whatever positive distribution there was in the first half came from Helveg as he settled quickest and had the most time on the ball out of our players. The first half reminded me of the first 25 minutes at Everton last year. We were a little overawed by the occasion and it took us the first half on Saturday to realise we could compete with Man Utd. I was impressed with our fans who after another of Sven''s errors on Saturday were singing his name. With the negativity surrounding his performances at the moment it really must have given him a boost and was a refreshing change from the boo-boy/moaner brigade. Having said that I would give the Doc a start on Wednesday up front with Leon to replace him if Plan A fails.

5. Half time. Was that really Bertie Ahern the Irish Prime Minister drawing their half time lottery? Does he not have better things to do on a Saturday evening - governing his country perhaps?

6. The second half. Alan Smith scored a super goal and I have to admit to being concerned as we conceded so early on we may have succumbed and let in a couple more. However, we stood firm and started to run the game as Francis became more and more apparent in the centre. He is definitely a big game player, perhaps having his best game last season against Everton. WLY looked lively when he replaced the largely anonymous Jonson (he''ll get better) and deserved his goal. Once it was 2-1 the nervousness seemed to leave the players and they realised they could live with their hosts. Man Utd individually were better than us but collectively over the last half an hour there was only one team interested.

7. In conclusion. If the team play like they did for the final 30 minutes of that game for the rest of the season we will stay up - no question. I have never felt so proud walking away from a football ground. The fight, commitment and desire was there - it was promoted with us, you see

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dirty lyle - great post mate, i see you have now buried your virgin badge,well done

i have been to OT many times, some good, some not so good, all times i have never heard the place totally rocking with noise - (not by them anyway!) so was not surprised to hear your comments, or indeed to hear it on sky !

as for the comments, have had them at other grounds, i have found OT to be far from the worst place as far as arrogance is concerned, southampton in the FA cup was pretty farcical, and the hawthorns last season - now that place has changed for the worst.

Man u catering - ummm, not the best no, but the people who they employ are probably not even footie fans (much like some of ours on matchdays) - you will rarely get a decent pint inside any ground - something we probably have to live with and try and source a decent pub a few miles out!!

as for trouble after the game, i have been extremely lucky in the north west, the midlands continues to be my danger zone, i gave OT a miss as i am going to man city (they are the tops as fans as far as i am concerned, real dedicated people and the stadium is awesome!)

once again, top post and glad you enjoyed your day in manchester, sorry salford!

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