Sky Blue Sport News

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Just Another!

Strange headline you might think, but it's not just another game, but its a potential disaster for our club, giving the start we've had to this season. After 5 games we sit at the bottom of the Premier league table (on goal difference), with one point. We also have the worst disciplinary record in the Premier league, with an average of 3 players booked per game and two sending-offs. Tonight we come up against Championship 2 side, Moyola Park, who gave us a lesson in finishing in a friendly in the  close-season.

We must confess we haven't been to Moyola's ground and that looks set to continue as Omar has car trouble and we won't get to the game this evening. But enough about our troubles, its the wee Sky Blues troubles that we should be concerned about. A good result in this evenings game would be a narrow victory and no yellow cards, but its more likely to be  penalty kicks and a spate of bookings. No doubt we want to win this game, we got to the final last season and would like to do so again, but we have been given a hard draw away to Moyola.

Forget about league form, Moyola are two divisions below us and in the lower reaches of that league, but we suspect this is their cup-final, they will want to go down fighting. For that reason we think Spike, will do them the honour of selecting a strong side, in an effort to get a result, rather than have to depend on the dreaded penalty shoot-out. If we score first, we could go on to win easily or not so hard anyway, but if on the other hand if we should concede, it'll be a hard uphill battle.

When the going gets tough we are usually found wanting, but just for tonight, we got to be tough ourselves and ruthless in attack. No namby pamby football, be clinical in front of goal and get the job done and get into the next round, its all that matters. There's talk of us signing a Larne player at the eleventh hour, a striker if you please, but no news as yet. But we digress, for the moment we are up for the JBE league cup, so come on Sky Blues, lets shag those Castledawson sheep!

P.S. There maybe a glimmer of hope on Omar's car trouble, fingers crossed, we'll hope for the best and COSB!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ranger Danger!

Carrick Rangers come to town this Friday, 19-45, hoping to inflict further misery on the sorry Sky Blues, who have played 4 games and lost 4 games, not an enviably record by any means. Carrick, have started off reasonably well in this their first season back in the Premiership, with ex-United skipper, big Gary Haveron, as their manager. Gazza has done well, since Roy Walker, in his infinite wisdom, showed him the door on his Sky Blue career.

Gazza, admits he has a soft spot for us, but that will go out the window, when his side take on United tomorrow night at the Showgrounds. He and his team of at least one ex-United player, will see this as a chance to get a result at United's expense. So its imperative that we get a good start tomorrow night, not like our last two games at the Showgrounds, where our defences were breached in the first 2 mins.

Spike, seems to think our problems lie in defence and with that in mind, he got Gary Rodger, a young Scottish central-defender on-loan from big Tam Wright's St Johnstone. But when our midfield lost possession at Stangmore Park last Saturday, Gary was left exposed and missed with a saving header and the Swifts put the tie beyond United. The all too familiar story unfolded, when we lost possession in midfield, our defence just collapsed and we succumbed to another defeat.

But Spike, is obsessed with fitting square pegs in round holes, Thommo, Falkner and his son, Matthew Ferguson, couldn't tackle a fish supper amongst them, but Spike continues to play them and their like and wonders how opponents get through us so easily. He keeps hitting out at United fans, calling them keyboard warriors and the likes, instead  of addressing the problem and strengthening his midfield with at least one tackler.

As luck would have it, Rangers has such a midfielder in their books, who Spike in his wisdom released this season, none other than Mark 'Sparky' Surgenor. Sparky's presently showing his versatility, by playing at central defence for Carrick, at the moment and will no doubt relish inflicting some pain on his former team-mates. Can Spike awake from his slumbers and select team a team to match the 'Gers or are we doomed to be also-rans again.

If we can get a result tomorrow night, be it a draw or by some miracle a win, it could kick-start our season, or at least give us some belief. But if on the other hand we suffer the same fate as we suffered in last 4 games, I reckon our board will have to act as Spikes job will become untenable. We had a difficult first there games and it was understandable how we didn't get anything from them. But the next two looked winnable and the crunch comes tomorrow night.

This is make or break for us we think, no more chances for Spike and the 3 baldies, it's 'die dog or shite the licence' time. With a League cup game away to Moyola Park coming up next Tuesday, followed by 2 league games away to the Glens and home to the Reds, its difficult to see us getting any points, with our confidence shot to pieces, so a result tomorrow night seems inevitable. So come on United, lets shag those Fergus sheep!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Late News!

Firstly let us apologise for not doing this news bulletin last night. What can we say, except drink has a lot to answer for and senior moments to boot, but really there can be no excuses, just like our manager, there's no hiding place for incompetence. The biggest item of news ahead of this afternoons game away to the Swifts, is that we have signed, Gary Rodger, on-loan from former manager, big Tam Wright's St Johnstone, for at least 6 months.

Obviously our manager is still blaming the defence for being so porous and not taking responsibility for his midfield selections, with no tacklers in sight. If by any remote chance we could get a result today and Gary plays a part, Spike will fell vindicated, but on the other hand, if the Swifts can take advantage of our relaxed attitude in midfield, we fear for the worst. If we don't get a result today the manager will be on a sticky wicket and rightly so we think.

Spike, has been successful in turning our fortunes around when we play the Swifts, the only manager to have a winning record against Dungannon, who used be a thorn in our flesh, so to speak. So he has a reputation for crafting a win and it usually is a close run thing, so if you suffer from a nervous ailment, maybe you best stay at home, with all our other part-time supporters who have been moaning and mewing to anybody who will listen, like young kittens.

But the terriers, who make up most of our die-hard supporters, will be there, supporting the team, for they know, no other way. As far as we know, Mark Magennis, is clear for making his debut today, yet another reason not to miss the trip to Stangmore Park, unless he is still suspended, surely not? No news about JT, we assume he's still injured and the way he's been playing of late, he's no use to us. It seems Tony and Gavin times are up, but we will endeavour to glean as much info as we are allowed.

So its all systems go for a result, any result will, we think, keep our manager in his job at least another week, but its bound to be getting close if we don't turn the corner soon. Maybe the inclusion of Maggy (Magennis), will make the difference. As we haven't been to any friendlies, is he's still an enigma to ourselves. As far as we know, he hasn't got a lot of pace, so he'll slot into our pace-less midfield very nicely, but we are looking for big things from him, COSB!

Friday, August 14, 2015

What Pride!

We were going to start this Sky Blue Sport news, by exhorting our beloved Sky Blues, to show some pride, but we have come to the conclusion, that we don't have any pride. After two shambolic performances, in which our manager took no responsibility for, our players confidence must be shattered and it will be hard to pick themselves up for this the first derby of the season.

New Captain Jimer, should return in defence, but at rightback or central defender alongside Kyley, is anybody's guess. But return he must, for we missed his organisation on Wednesday night, in short we had no leaders on the pitch. Fergie's great move was to take off a defender, Paddy Mac, after 30 mins and bring on an striker, Matty. but then he moved Jenks back to central defence, where he was no better than Paddy Mac and we missed his influence in midfield.

We fully expect Spike to pick virtually the same team again, but if he continues with his policy of making the keeper the scapegoat, then Blaney will be dropped. In truth he was rooted to his goal-line for four of Glenavon's goals, but he made some excellent saves to boot. If Mark Magennis is free from suspension, he should get a seat on the bench at least, if he's still suspended we will have to put up with Thommo.

No doubt the great unwashed are coming to the Showgrounds expecting a victory, but we demand that our players make a fight of it, or I suspect Glen and his cohorts will feel our wrath and its not something to be trifled with. Those stories of referees getting a Police escort, are all true and managers had to resign or suffer a similiar fate, are all too true as well, so be warned, take some responsibility for your team and pick a strong Squad or be dammed. So come Sky Blues get stuck into them, let's shag those Coleraine sheep!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Big test!

United face a big test of their creditability tomorrow night,19-45, against Glenavon, who finished in 3rd place in last seasons Premier league race. United need this game like they need a hole-in-the-head, but beggars can't be choosers and we will be tested right from the start and we expect a high scoring game, but can we come out on top? Surely our manager has to see sense and start ex-Captain Jenks in midfield, alongside Gavin and leave Thommo on the bench.

In the absence of the suspended Captain Jimer and the injured JT, he has a few decisions to make as regards our defence. Tony should return at rightback, but it will be interesting to see who partners, Kyley at central defence. Will it be, Paddy Mac, who didn't make  the the 16 on Saturday past, or new signing, Benny Quigg. As long as he doesn't drop Jenks back and lose his influence in midfield, we should be okay.

He must see the error of his ways and play Cush wide on the left, or right and if Faulkner is available for selection, he should start in place of Hanley, who was a virtual passenger on Saturday. Glenavon have a big team and they will want to assert themselves on us early on, but we have got to prepared for that and it'll be all hands on deck, but we believe it's possible, if we are up for it. So come on Sky Blues, lets shag these Lurgan Lilies!

Friday, August 07, 2015

Nitty Gritty!

A lot has happened since our last post published only last night. Not only has Captain Jenks declared himself fit, but he's no longer the Captain. That dubious pleasure has passed to Jimer (Jim Ervin), it seems Fergie wanted a local man to be Captain, but on the plus side Jenks and Jimer, have both signed one-year extensions to their contracts, which will keep them on the books to May 2017. We feel we must congratulate John Blair's company JBE, for the sponsoring the league cup, well done.

JT, is eligible to play in tomorrow's game and will be available for selection until the IFA disciplinary committee meet and decide otherwise. Cush still hasn't signed an extension to his contract and people are reading too much into that we think. What are your thoughts on the keepers jersey? Will it be filled by number one custodian, Alan Blayney, or does Glenn have utmost confidence in his former number one, Dwayne Nelson, decisions, decisions, who'd be a manager.

Matty Shevlin. was supposed to be in the panel tomorrow, but with Jenks and JT both eligible, he's lost his place in the panel, but no doubt he will get his chance soon. The last time Jimer was our Captain at Windsor Park was that memorable day when we beat the IFA to reach the 3rd round of the Irish cup, could lightening strike twice, stranger things have happened, COSB!

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Closer Still!

Our manger, Glenn Spike Ferguson, has said in a statement today, that David Cushley, better known as Cush by Sky Blue fans, will not be joining Linfield and he's made that clear to everyone at Windsor Park. Spike has had a word with Cush and he's happy at the Showgrounds, but so far, he hasn't signed an extension to his contract. Maybe he's keeping his options open, he wouldn't be the first player to do that, but I expect the extended contract will only stay on the table for a few weeks.

United got caught out during big Tam Wright's reign, as they let a certain player's extended contract stay too long on the table months on end and ended up the losers. But we think the present management committee are too canny to get caught with their trousers down so to speak, they will tighten their belts very soon. Portadown manager, Ronnie McFall, has said he's adamant that Martin Murray, will not be joining Chickenville.

That leaves Reds short of a striker to replace Joe Gorman and I expect they will test our resolve to hold on to Tippers, but in the end, Tippers will decide we think. We get the idea that he's happy at United, but maybe the lure of medals and less travelling time to training will tempt him away from the Showgrounds. But he's got to consider playing on that unforgiven artificial surface, at least every other week and for a man with dodgy knees, it could signal the end of career.

Any thought's on which team Fergie will pick to do battle against the IFA? He's definitely without Magennis and Faulkner, both suspended for the Windsor  Park clash. Captain Jenks is doubtful as is JT, so we may have to go with a 5,4,1, formation in an effort to get a result. But we hope not, we'd rather see us go out a 4,4,2, formation, a back four of, Tony, Kyley, Jimer, Steeky if JT is indeed suspended. A midfield of Cush, Thommo, Gavin and Hanley and Tippers and Darboy up front COSB!

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Three Sleeps!

The excitement is beginning to build and United have just released a new away kit, to replace their all Black outfit, which offered the players an excuse for misplaced passes, under the sub-standard floodlights that we are forced to play under. The tops of this kit are Yellow, the shorts Royal Blue and White socks, we are told. The 'Sport crew are divided on whether we like this kit or not, but Omar doesn't like the Royal Blue shorts.

Our manager, Spike, gave a frank interview to a local Belfast paper, holding forth on his nearest and dearest subject, referees. He intimated that he thought they should admit their mistakes, instead being stood down, but he's been calling for that before and nothings happened yet. It will be interesting to see who gets the whistlers job this Saturday, against Linfield, as 'Linfield are the IFA', the refs tend to favour them, but their chief, Davey Malcolm, refutes that notion.

The Tippers rumour has seemingly died down, but as he has a year left on his contract, it will take real money to prise him away from the Showgrounds, we think. But what do we know, we were surprised when Gibbo and Hanley left in mid-season, in Roy Walkers reign, but many think the bold Roy, 'cut off his nose to spite his face' as they say, we don't see Spike being so foolhardy. No news is good news as they say, except for the away kit, we have no news, COSB!

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Getting Close!

Omar was on the forum tonight and that's real gloom and doom stuff, they're only predicting us to score about 60 goals and concede about 90, where do they get those figures from? It's true in the last few seasons, we shipped a cartload of goals, but there's no earthly reason to assume that scenario will continue. We signed two midfielders in Mark Magennis and Nathan Hanley, who know how to tackle and that's where we think the crux of the matter lies.

Our midfield was weak in the tackle and the defence had to bear the burden.When you get a team in the top six that has realised our flaws, there can be only one outcome, a thrashing. But we believe it will be different this season, we have strengthened our midfield with people who can tackle, play a bit and score a goal if the opportunity presents itself, no longer will we have to rely on one-dimensional players, who can either tackle or attack, we have the goods, lets use them wisely.

No further news on Tippers moving to Chickenville, maybe its all a rumour to encourage Portadown to release Martin Murray, whom Chickenville have been pursuing  for nearly 3 months. That wily old campaigner, Ronnie McFall, says Murray is not moving, he;s a vital cog in their set-up, but as everybody knows, each player has their price and don't we know it? The management side of United has been strangely quiet about the rumour of Tippers move, so maybe there's some truth in it. We will endeavour to keep fans informed, COSB!

Monday, August 03, 2015

Five Nights!

Just five nights sleep, till the season kicks-off proper, with an away game to Linfield. United could not have got a harder opening three games. Following the Linfied game, we are at home to Glenavon on Wednesday 12 August and then entertain the Coleraine scum the following Saturday, 15 August, when new signing Mark Magennis is eligible to be picked for the first time. There seems to be a lot of crying being done in the forum about United shipping so many goals in friendlies.

But our manager Spike, has gone on record to say, 'that he's less concerned with the result and more concerned that everybody in his first team panel should get some game time'. In fact we have only lost one of our friendlies, this latest one at Larne on Saturday. Last season we lost two 'friendlies, Bangor and Ballyclare and Ballyclare was the last game before our league season started and what a start that turned out to be.

If we get half a as good a start this season we will be pleasantly surprised, for we have a lot of new players to blend into Spike's system, whatever that is. On the plus side although we weren't at the game, it was nice to read about Nathan Hanley, scoring a brace, one of them a delightful free-kick. Larne no doubt wanted to win the game, more than our boys, but we are sure Spike feels it was a useful exercise.

There was some rumour going about Tippers going to Chickenville, but we can't see Spike letting that materialise unless he has a suitable replacement in mind. He could play, Cush or Jenks, if he is fit, up front, but that would only be a stop-gap. But maybe the Portadown groundsman has, had a change of heart and reduced his wage demands, it will be interesting to see how this story develops, in the coming days, we will endeavour to keep fans posted, COSB!