Friday, June 3, 2011

Change (Is Gonna Come)

Less than a week after promotion, and before Iñaki Alonso has even signed a new contract, the demanding sector of Murcia is sharpening it's knives. Admittedly, in Segunda B we should theoretically clean the fact that we obtained a record points score and went up at the first play off round, has been taken by some as simply normal. But the same could be said of Cádiz, Castellón or Oviedo, and they won't even smell promotion for another 12 months.

So why have we seen comments like "this team played very badly all season" or "with this manager we will NEVER go up to Primera" or "the play has been shocking"? People don't have a sense of perspective - if you spend all your time watching Barcelona or Real Madrid, of course our style won't compare well.....but then...whose does? I won't bore you again with the story of unfair funding for those two, and the snowball that makes Spanish football an unfair competition.

I've said it before.....the Real Murcia fan base is changing. The demanding, negative and "I told you so" crowd are fewer and fewer within the hardcore 7,000 who turn up come what may. There is a younger generation who don't have Madrid and Barcelona to shelter under.....and back the team to the hilt. Our press has been catering to the old crowd, and hasn’t realized that a different view will have its followers in increasing numbers. But today our local "La Verdad" paper has an excellent piece by Cesar Oliva, which I will translate.

"We are up. Again our team has ascended to a superior category. Meaning that we had previously lost it. That's life. Up, down. Celebrations, the red tide, tears, enthusiastic speeches, passion, happiness.... throughout my life I have now seen a dozen or so such events. I know about all the good intentions, and the phrases that flourish in moments like these, the love of one's colours, and similar clichés. I know about the praise of the players and to a manager seen as a saviour. I know all about it. And I’m living these days just like it were the first time.

The bad thing about age is the experience that you accumulate, and the evidence that all those who are shouting in favour now, can shout against due to a miserable defeat in the last minute against the bottom team. The same people. I want to believe, however, and this is the great teaching of this season, that a new generation of fans has developed, a lot more noble and positive than their predecessors. A generation that accompany the team wherever they go, supports it even in moments so bad, like those in the last game, paradoxically probably the worst time of the whole season. This new support is more English; it leaves debates about play and quality for discussions. In the ground they give everything to the players. Very different to those old and rancid fans that remain, to whom I don't take way and merit for their fidelity, but who even yesterday loudly criticized the tactics of the manager, the speed of our captain or the lack of resources of our forwards. Convinced that with their voice they intend something positive, they sew the eternal unhappiness of Murcianism. That which threw our Lucas Alcaraz and Jose Miguel Campos, or Felipe Mesones after an unjust draw against Real Sociedad in whatever year etc. Those fans will never learn. Our hope is with the new generation.

We are promoted. All are parties and homage’s. Let's learn from experience, and leave the intolerance manifested in the ground for discussions in the pub. We have to support our team at the difficult times, as well as now. Now it is easy".

Excellent, and one of the few times I have found myself nodding in agreement with one of our sports journalists. grumbling old fart....thanks for your support over all these mediocre years....but if you have nothing positive to say in the stands....STFU!

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