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Two more points dropped at the Globe Arena! 22:43 - Jan 12 with 380 viewsdurham_exile

So, Colchester have extended their unbeaten run to 12 games and remain only 3 points from the automatic promotion places and with Macclesfield and Bradford to come as a home double header, what’s not to like.

Answer everything. The fact is that we are not convincing at present. Too many players are running on empty and the tactics, particularly against Stevenage and Morecambe are questionable.

More of this later. In the meantime, we played out a draw against bottom club Morecambe yesterday coming seven days after playing out a draw against the other bottom club Stevenage Borough. Ok it could be argued that last season we might have lost both games, but hold on we have already lost to both Stevenage and Morecambe at home this season. Hardly inspiring.

Now I would like to think of myself as a positive and glass half full sort of person, but recent performances are testing for even the most die hard supporters. There were boos again at the final whistle yesterday from some of the 100 faithful who made the 7-hour journey battling the elements and the M6 closure for the demolition of a footbridge between J32 – J33. I met some U’s supporters who had driven from Sheffield and of course Noah was present in the stand. I brought my youngest son the 61 miles from Durham. It is a scenic journey via Kirby Stephen, Tebay and then via J35 and through Carnforth (Brief Encounter!) and then hugging the coast and a drive along the promenade to Atkinson’s fish “n” chips which were very good as usual (haddock, chips bread and butter and a pot of tea for £8.60).

Parking is at the local Primary School for £5 (£1 of which goes to the School funds).

Collecting the tickets was considerably easier than last week (but of course we only had 100 present this week as opposed to 600 last week). The programme was also very good (not an e-version) and the Shrimps had prepared a double header with Port Vale visiting the Globe Arena on Tuesday night. So excellent value for £3.

Now I am beginning to think that JM overthinks these games. He mentioned pre match about the number of drawn games that we have played out with Morecambe. Prior to yesterday one win each and five draws, make that six draws now. Is this our problem, is he satisfied with a point even against the bottom club and does he instil this mantra into our players? Four successive draws tells its own story and this is why, despite the unbeaten run, why we have lost ground in the promotion battle.

Look at the next six fixtures:

Macclesfield H
Bradford H
Exeter A
Swindon H
Cambridge A
Plymouth H

If we serve up the same drab and uninspiring performances against those clubs then we will drop to mid-table. Fact.

Returning to yesterday, the pitch was certainly much better than I had anticipated at kick off and the temperature was hovering around the 8 degrees Celsius mark. For the first 33 minutes it was also dry.

JM had lined up his charges as follows:

Gerken

Jackson Eastman Prosser Clampin

Pell Stevenson

Harriott Poku Nouble

Norris

Subs

Ross Kensdale Fernandes Comley Lapslie Gambin Junior

Now I don’t know what Comley has done to upset the manager because he refuses to play him and therefore fails to play Pell, Stevenson and Comley together. The midfield dream team.

The faithful were in good voice. They have a new song about JM. Now I don’t know whether it is sung with sarcasm or genuine emotion.

“We’ve got super John McGreal, he knows exactly what we need. Prosser at the back, Norris at the front and Col U’s gonna win the f***ing league.”

Now we kicked against the strong win in the first half and as I mentioned the weather started dry. What I found incredibly frustrating was that we played the ball backwards sideways and passed back to Gerken perhaps 30 times in the first half.

This nonsense encouraged the Shrimps on. One of their four new signings Phillips tried his luck with a free kick which went over the bar. For our part Chuck Norris shot from an acute angle and another new Shrimper Jordan Slew fired over the bar before after 33 minutes the weather deteriorated. The floodlights picked out the heavy showers which started and blew into the Colchester player’s faces.

However almost immediately a disputed throw in was taken quickly and Ryan Clampin (who gets better every game) drove forward and crossed with purpose for Big Frank to score sharply on 35 minutes.

The weather continued to deteriorate, and the wind seemed to grow in intensity whilst the waves of rain continued to cover the pitch. Half time came at the right time with the U’s a goal to the good. My son tried one of their chicken and leek pies (hand made by the Shrimpers chef at the stadium), whilst I had a hot chocolate which was wet and warm!

Second half and we now had the wind and rain at our backs, and we were attacking the end where the faithful were sitting in the stand. Unfortunately, the players must have experienced one of JM’s inspirational team talks because they decided to defend what they had.

Result Morecambe grew in confidence and seemed to react better to the conditions. Dean Gerken had to save smartly from Mendes-Gomes and the lively Slew.

When Poku could move forward he was effective and was very unlucky when he surged forward and struck a shot which the keeper saved and touched onto the far post. We should have been 2-0 up at this stage.

Then of course on 69 minutes came the equaliser – O’ Sullivan crossed, and new boy Phillips deftly headed past Gerken to square the match.

Frustration amongst the faithful boiled over (including from yours truly) and we called for JM to change it up.

Instead of bringing Junior on JM simply replaced Harriott with Gambin on 72 minutes. This was not the move to make and then on 82 minutes the lively and hardworking Poku was replaced by Junior. However Norris should have been replaced and Junior should have played from the start.

Worse still Ryan Jackson received a second yellow for a challenge on the edge of the box and this only encouraged Morecambe on and on. The substitute Gambin was then subbed in turn to allow makeshift right back Tom Lapslie to enter the fray on 85 minutes. In fairness to JM his options were limited at this stage.

Colchester could still have won the game and Big Frank was unlucky with a late effort. Additional time passed and the U’s dropped another two points.

Now before the game I stated that Junior should have played from the start and JM gave him only 8 minutes. Worse though he was asked to play on the right wing rather than up front and so his pace was negated.

Before he was sent off Jackson had failed to make those lung busting runs that we have become accustomed to. I suspect that he is not fully fit. Well he now sits out the Macclesfield game.

Paris Cowan-Hall is supposedly fit bit didn’t make the bench, just what is going on.

JM must sacrifice the favouritism and play his most effective team. That means Pell, Stevenson and Comley in midfield and Poku and Junior up front. Drop Norris and play Big Frank.

Therefore, against Macclesfield JM should try the following:

Gerken

Cowan-Hall Eastman Prosser Clampin

Pell Stevenson Comley

Poku Junior Nouble

And attack them!!!!!!!!

The journey home was uneventful and there was plenty of time to reflect on the performance which resulted in two more points being dropped.

The table:

Swindon 27 53
Exeter 26 50
Cheltenham 26 44
Crewe 25 44
Plymouth 25 44
Bradford 26 44
FGR 27 44
Northampton 26 42
COL U 26 41

The week ahead is changeable weather wise and so we must maximise the two home games to cement our position in the top seven.

Will we dip our toes into the transfer market to bring in another striker and if so who exactly?

Up the U’s


Durham_exile

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Two more points dropped at the Globe Arena! on 12:22 - Jan 13 with 342 viewsgerry_us

Your pain shows through Peter.
I share you deep frustration especially with a clueless manager. When will our illustrious owner see the light and look for a new manager with a modicum of experience. Regrettably it is unlikely, so we are stuck with him and Div 2.
With our penchant of struggling against bottom teams think what will happen when we meet a mid to top of table half decent team?
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Two more points dropped at the Globe Arena! on 21:34 - Jan 13 with 299 viewsGOSBTS

Two more points dropped at the Globe Arena! on 12:22 - Jan 13 by gerry_us

Your pain shows through Peter.
I share you deep frustration especially with a clueless manager. When will our illustrious owner see the light and look for a new manager with a modicum of experience. Regrettably it is unlikely, so we are stuck with him and Div 2.
With our penchant of struggling against bottom teams think what will happen when we meet a mid to top of table half decent team?


I remain optimistic that we'll do better against teams who come to beat us. Leaves more space for some of our pacier players to run into. We find it so hard to break down a wall of 10. Here's hoping for the trio of games coming up!
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Two more points dropped at the Globe Arena! on 23:36 - Jan 14 with 252 viewsdurham_exile

Two more points dropped at the Globe Arena! on 21:34 - Jan 13 by GOSBTS

I remain optimistic that we'll do better against teams who come to beat us. Leaves more space for some of our pacier players to run into. We find it so hard to break down a wall of 10. Here's hoping for the trio of games coming up!


Incredibly the Shrimps beat the Valiants 2-1 tonight to leave Stevenage rock bottom of the league.

UTU's

Durham_exile

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Two more points dropped at the Globe Arena! on 00:04 - Jan 15 with 251 viewsnoah4x4

Two more points dropped at the Globe Arena! on 23:36 - Jan 14 by durham_exile

Incredibly the Shrimps beat the Valiants 2-1 tonight to leave Stevenage rock bottom of the league.

UTU's


I don't reckon Morecambe are that bad based on the two games I have seen. They have enlisted three new players that rejuvinated them on Saturday whilst we played the usual misfiring duo up front. Tonight's result further suggests they are improving.

By contrast, Stevenage are terrible and we should have won 3-0 (away) given the chances we had. Losing to them in the Leasing.com Trophy was inexplicable. We came up against Morecambe twice on days when fortune smiled on them. Had Poku's shot not hit the post and gone in we would be all smiles. But it wasn't our day and conditions were awful. Exeter was another draw where if the better team always wins it would have been us. But unlike Rugby, the best team doesn't always win as games can be won or lost after a single individual mistake.

Junior scored today for the U23s. I wasn't there, but play him up front and he can be our talisman. But McGreal played him wide at Morecambe. That is what I find inexplicable. Theo Robinson and Junior might be an interesting combination.
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Two more points dropped at the Globe Arena! on 18:21 - Jan 15 with 217 viewsghughes11

Two more points dropped at the Globe Arena! on 00:04 - Jan 15 by noah4x4

I don't reckon Morecambe are that bad based on the two games I have seen. They have enlisted three new players that rejuvinated them on Saturday whilst we played the usual misfiring duo up front. Tonight's result further suggests they are improving.

By contrast, Stevenage are terrible and we should have won 3-0 (away) given the chances we had. Losing to them in the Leasing.com Trophy was inexplicable. We came up against Morecambe twice on days when fortune smiled on them. Had Poku's shot not hit the post and gone in we would be all smiles. But it wasn't our day and conditions were awful. Exeter was another draw where if the better team always wins it would have been us. But unlike Rugby, the best team doesn't always win as games can be won or lost after a single individual mistake.

Junior scored today for the U23s. I wasn't there, but play him up front and he can be our talisman. But McGreal played him wide at Morecambe. That is what I find inexplicable. Theo Robinson and Junior might be an interesting combination.


Apparently Junior played on the wing in Ireland??? Still banged in the goals though.
Plus our wingers aren't known for their tracking back (Senior, Nouble etc).
So I guess Junior is deployed on the right of a 3 man attack?
Or are you saying to play him in the number 9 role instead of Norris or Robinson?
I read Nouble talking after the Morecambe match, that he has been "working on trying to get on the back post when I’m playing out wide." I thought that this was wing play 101?!?However, if we can get our wingers/strikers on the end of these crosses, I am sure we will start putting a string of wins together, as our play has been good for the majority of matches so far this season!

Poll: What was the main reason for the Col U win versus Carlisle?

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Two more points dropped at the Globe Arena! on 19:41 - Jan 15 with 203 viewsdurham_exile

Two more points dropped at the Globe Arena! on 18:21 - Jan 15 by ghughes11

Apparently Junior played on the wing in Ireland??? Still banged in the goals though.
Plus our wingers aren't known for their tracking back (Senior, Nouble etc).
So I guess Junior is deployed on the right of a 3 man attack?
Or are you saying to play him in the number 9 role instead of Norris or Robinson?
I read Nouble talking after the Morecambe match, that he has been "working on trying to get on the back post when I’m playing out wide." I thought that this was wing play 101?!?However, if we can get our wingers/strikers on the end of these crosses, I am sure we will start putting a string of wins together, as our play has been good for the majority of matches so far this season!


I argued that Junior should have started on Saturday and to play in the number 9 position.

When Junior came on at Stevenage and had 4 minutes he played up front although on Saturday he had 8 minutes but was played on the right wing because Chuck Norris was still on the field.

Now that Robinson has returned he should play up front with Junior and Big Frank with Kwame Poku in the number ,10 position.

That still leaves space for Pell and Stevenson in midfield

UTU's

Durham_exile

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Two more points dropped at the Globe Arena! on 20:26 - Jan 15 with 195 viewsGOSBTS

PCH injured again according to the Gazette. Argh!!!
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Two more points dropped at the Globe Arena! on 20:45 - Jan 15 with 190 viewsdurham_exile

Two more points dropped at the Globe Arena! on 20:26 - Jan 15 by GOSBTS

PCH injured again according to the Gazette. Argh!!!


Sadly likely to be out for a long period. Currently seeking guidance from a Consultant. Achilles problem.

Worst possible time with defensive injuries as well.

UTU's

Durham_exile

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