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Morecambe 0 v Super U's 0 enough said....Durham 20:33 - Mar 21 with 642 viewsdurham_exile

John Cleese famously stated “It’s not the despair, I can take the despair. It’s the hope I can’t stand.”

That quote from the classic Clockwise 1986 film encapsulates exactly what it is like to be a Colchester United supporter.

I would like to dedicate my thoughts on last night’s game to the 52, who like me suffered for 94 minutes in the cold of the Globe Arena.

Now the evening had started well, a good journey down the M6, off at Junction 35 and a pleasant drive along the A5105 in the Sunshine, through Carnforth (a brief encounter!) along by Bolton le Sands and then a splendid view across Morecambe Bay along Marine Drive. I had taken a friend who actually supports Plymouth Argyle (the Green Army) and who accompanied me last season to the 0-0 draw at the WHCS.

Destination was Atkinson’s Fish “n “Chips shop in Albert Road Morecambe (about 0.7 mile from the Ground). The special was a large Haddock and Chips with bread and butter, a pot of Earl Grey tea for £7.50. Very impressive and enjoyable, the fish was lovely and white in crisp batter with a healthy portion of chips and brown and white bread and butter.

A short drive to the Globe Arena and the car park at Westgate Primary School about 5-minute walk to the stadium. £4 for safe, secure parking and all proceeds ploughed back into the School for the benefit of the pupils. Very good.

So far so good. The 68-page programme offered good value for money, with contributions from Manager Jim Bentley (whose stature resembles that of a night club bouncer) and club captain Michael Rose (and former U’s player). Now the only problem is that the programme notes were clearly penned after their win at Wycombe Wanderers on 24 February and had not been updated to take in their games at Accrington, Crawley and against Exeter. The price of a postponed match I suppose. In some ways of course, it would have been beneficial to the U’s if we had been able to wind back the clock some four games!

The temperature was dropping fast, and the wind was quite keen, but it was dry and the pitch although bumpy had a little more grass on than when I went towards the end of last season.

Clearly JM doesn’t occupy his time reading my outpourings (ed: why would he!) because the U’s lined up thus:

Walker

Jackson Eastman Prosser Vincent-Young

Wright Comley Lapslie Szmodics Dickenson

Mandron

Subs:

Barnes Shodipo Murray Rooney Mandeville Stevenson Senior

I had recommended the following side in my preamble:

Walker
Eastman Prosser Kent
Vincent-Young Comley Stevenson
Senior Mandron Ogedi-Uzokwe Dickenson

More of that later.

The attendance was a meagre 893 (eight hundred and ninety-three) of which 52 (fifty-two) supporters were cheering on the U’s. The stattos were to inform me later that this was the fourth lowest attendance ever to watch the U’s in a competitive match. I would also question the word competitive!

The 52 were very vocal and supportive throughout and largely a credit to the football club. I say largely because the lone Colchester flag behind the goal stated, “In Cowling we trust.”

Now given that this was a match that the U’s had to win, JM had set up a 4,5,1 with Mandron cutting a loan isolated figure up front. Worse still when we defended a corner or free kick, we always had eleven players behind the ball with no outlet for any counter attacking.

Now despite their recent performances the Shrimps are a very poor team and they offered no threat going forward, the problem is neither did we. Frankie Kent had been due to start the match, but the knee injury sustained against Yeovil ruled him out and Tom Eastman played instead.

The closest that we came to a goal in the first half was when Winnard for Morecambe headed the ball backwards and against his own cross bar with keeper Roche beaten.

Just on half time Sam Walker was called upon to make a double save, first from McGurk and then he quickly recovered to palm Thompson’s shot around the post.

A long stoppage of 4 minutes for an innocuous challenge on the Morecambe midfielder led to only 2 additional minutes being added on.

Half time brought the opportunity for a hot chocolate, which at £1.80 was reasonably priced and steaming hot.

So, second half and no changes, but at least the team were “attacking” the corner where we were gathered. The stand out performers for Colchester for Luke Prosser who only lost out once in a headed duel all night and otherwise was imperious and Kane Vincent-Young. Drey Wright had the best game for the U’s that I have seen this season but still with no end product.

Our best chance second half fell to a Brennan Dickenson direct free kick taken from just in front of where we were sitting. He swung the ball in at pace and it evaded everyone and was heading for the far post when Roche clawed it away.

Still JM did not show any degree of urgency and no players were seen warming up, until a bizarre incident when JM wrestled with the Morecambe right full back who refused to give the ball back to us quickly enough. This prompted vitriol from the faithful aimed at the Shrimp. The ineffectual officials did nothing.

The calls for changes from the faithful grew in intensity but nothing was forthcoming until the 79th minute when Ben Stevenson replaced Comley. The totally ineffectual Szmodics was replaced by Courtney Senior after 84 minutes and the frozen-out Brennan Dickenson was also replaced on 84 minutes by Sean Murray.

Now Stevenson and Senior should have both played from the start. Yes of course it is easy to opine that after the game, but I had included both in my suggested line up the day before.

Senior is quick, pacy and skilful and made more attacking forward runs in the 6 minutes that he was on the field than others had achieved in the previous 80. Likewise, Ben Stevenson who is such a talented footballer and will grace the Premier League next season for Wolves. Why JM doesn’t play him is absolutely beyond me. He displays an ability beyond his tender years and he opens up defence with simple and accurate passes.

Where Junior is I have no clue, but he also seems to have been consigned to the Macca Bonne school of warming the bench by our illustrious manager.

Sean Murray unfortunately has never been the same player since his injury and he added nothing to the attacking intent in the last six minutes.

I would rather have seen the QPR loanee Shodipo given a run out.

Mandron managed one shot in the 94th minute and it went high wide and not very handsome to the right of the goal.

I felt genuinely sorry for some of the players at the full-time whistle. Walker, Prosser, Eastman, Vincent-Young, Senior and Stevenson had all tried hard, but the team has never in my view been so low on confidence and ineffectual generally.

Kurtis Guthrie is a shadow of his former self and clearly on his way out of the club. We will of course see him banging in the goals next season for Pompey or someone similar, but he doesn’t want to play for JM or Colchester.

Mikael Mandron is an enigma. He has scored some goals and notably the winner against Coventry but to quote Mike Bassett’s assistant manager “he couldn’t hit the side of a Renault Espace.”

Here’s the real kicker, we have 8 games to play and victory in all of them will secure a top seven spot. But even if I polished up my rose-tinted specs there is no chance of that happening. Where is my medication!

Worse still we have most of the top six team in the league to play:

Stevenage A
Luton H
Forest Green A
Accrington H
Notts Co H
Lincoln A
Swindon H
Exeter A

Even worse with my unenviable three-year spectating winless record still intact I am planning to go to three of them! Surely things can only get better.

If we are to achieve any more victories this season JM must abandon his ultra-defensive tactics. 4,5,1 with everyone behind the ball for corners and free kicks which is beyond stupid when we need to pressure the opposition.

Grim times indeed.

Up the U’s



Durham_exile

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Morecambe 0 v Super U's 0 enough said....Durham on 20:52 - Mar 21 with 631 viewsgerry_us

Great report Durham. You are a soft touch for a good fish and chip supper but you should give the football a miss; always ruins a good day out.
All we can hope for is a 2018/19 season without JMcG or else we could be joining Chesterfield (my second fav team) in the National league and that would be too much for me to take.
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Morecambe 0 v Super U's 0 enough said....Durham on 22:27 - Mar 21 with 622 viewsnoah4x4

Glad I wasn't there. The quality of Durham's write up has delivered far more pleasure than the players evidently did.

I have followed the U's home and away for nigh on 15 years. That is short by comparison to many folk on here, but my support for all teams, managers, including Humes and Cowling has been consistent. I have argued on many occasions that managers need at least three complete seasons to turn around an ailing club and cries to sack them are hence counterproductive. But I have reached a point where I cannot defend the current management any more.

Other managers have made honest mistakes; selected the wrong players; made the wrong substitutions; but they did try to win games. McGreal playing 1 up front; selecting two holding midfielders; not involving any creative players until the last ten minutes; is driving me nuts. Even John Draw (Ward) wasn't this backwards (geddit?). If you draw 43 games 0-0 you still need three wins to be certain of avoiding relegation.

Fans are abandoning the club in droves. I am not quite at that level of despair yet, but close.
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Morecambe 0 v Super U's 0 enough said....Durham on 08:10 - Mar 22 with 599 viewsbwildered

Club has lost it's ambition.
Without a more positive approach, worryingly even next season the play offs , a position of seventh in a mediocre league look distant by some margin.
A academy manager that cannot strive to the next level, can happen to managers has well has players, who is reactive than proactive .
I remember when we did give it a good go , not say it but not do it .

Poll: Prediction of final place for season 2017/18 season.

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Morecambe 0 v Super U's 0 enough said....Durham on 09:49 - Mar 22 with 590 viewsPinault_Noir

Magnificent report Peter, but as I say on the other thread it's getting to the point where I prefer your previews!! They are more positive - at least we've not lost or been clueless by that stage!

I've had my say on t'other thread but next season is a real concern. Declines have no set end date and as we stand we have wasted the talent in this squad, wasted the likes of Slater and Loft [who are very good players actually], are already creating Bonne-like disinterest in some young and impressionable players new to the 1st team and are now wasting the genuine core support. It has shed 500 this season.

What's baffling is that the reasoned and entirely down to earth and non-emotive positive thinking on this message board is wasted as well.

The powers that be in Colchester United seem to be totally behind the pace - unaware of the potential problems. Immune to them even? Nobody is managing anybody. Guthrie's reactions are probably symptomatic and only scratch the surface of a problem we can all see.

My huge congratulations to the 52 on Tuesday night whom you can hear on the film clips. The supporters care and the supporters have reason to worry.

Up the U's.
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Morecambe 0 v Super U's 0 enough said....Durham on 11:12 - Mar 22 with 584 viewsHungryStudent

Once again a rather fantastic report Durham. I was not one of the 52 hearty souls to travel to Morecambe. Out of the country currently but too far for me on a Tuesday night anyway and quite frankly fed up with what feels like a continual self-flagellation every match-day. Yet not soon after I've written this, I will be buying my tickets for Stevenage away... Not sure what that says about me!

I managed to watch the game on the laptop via the EFL subscription based platform for fans abroad and found myself surprised to see the team set up as a 4-5-1... I understand Morecambe are fighting for their lives at the bottom but with nothing to lose, i'd expected, and would've liked us to go for a more attacking approach.

Unsurprisingly our dynamic, yet unimaginative midfield (Comley, Lapslie) were unable to control the game and so were quickly bypassed by the defence who reverted to long balls forward to the ever isolated Mandron. The Morecambe gonks were happy to deal with this and thoroughly dominated Mandron all game.

Nothing was sticking up-top and so as a result Szmodics dropped deeper into midfield hoping to get on the ball more. Which in turn isolated Mandron further and took Szmodics out of his best position (number 10)

Dickenson/Wright recieved the ball often on the wings but both's end product was sub-par and no crosses really threatened.

Senior/Stevenson brought the game to life in the final 10 minutes but not really enough time to impose themselves on the game. Senior is some player and we need to not only tie him down with a 3/4yr contract but play him regularly. He is currently the only player we have with serious attacking intent and I think some excitement is owed to the fans after the recent steady Eddie approach.

Likewise, Stevenson a potential potential Premier League player next season is made to warm the benches here. A player who can dictate the game, make things tick over. Yet not utilised.

From what i can see, McGreal has really lost the plot over the past few weeks. His comments after the game laid bare for all to see... "We came here knowing what to expect and we combated them and limited them to a number of shots from a fair distance out," said McGreal... Well thanks for that John, I'm sure the 52 hearty souls enjoyed us restricting 18th placed Morecambe to ensure we picked up the valuable point.

Stevenage away on Saturday and I'll be hugely frustrated if we set up for the draw. Time to lay the law down now JM, get contracts signed and experiment with the team. Our defence is 5th best in the league but attack is 15th best, how do we rectify that without harming too much the defensive record?

4-3-3

Walker

KVY
Prosser
Eastman
Jackson

Stevenson
Comley
Lapslie

Senior
Mandron
Wright

Bench: Barnes, Rooney, Murray, Szmodics, Issa, Junior, Dickenson
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Morecambe 0 v Super U's 0 enough said....Durham on 11:44 - Mar 22 with 574 viewsmfb_cufc

" Stevenson a potential potential Premier League player next season is made to warm the benches here. A player who can dictate the game, make things tick over. Yet not utilised"

This is one of things that infuriates me most. What is the point in getting such a class player on loan, and not play him. I would like to know McGreal's reason for not playing him.

" Our defence is 5th best"

In fact our defence is only 8th best. Seven of the top eight have conceded less.

mfb

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Morecambe 0 v Super U's 0 enough said....Durham on 14:15 - Mar 22 with 554 viewsgerry_us

...but we still will not dim Durham's prediction of 8 wins from 8 for a play-off place; well not until Saturday anyhow.
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Morecambe 0 v Super U's 0 enough said....Durham on 14:48 - Mar 22 with 550 viewsdurham_exile

Morecambe 0 v Super U's 0 enough said....Durham on 14:15 - Mar 22 by gerry_us

...but we still will not dim Durham's prediction of 8 wins from 8 for a play-off place; well not until Saturday anyhow.


Gerry, that is exactly the reason why we all support the U's - we are all eternal optimists!!

Just imagine if JM managed to secure 8 victories and we crept into seventh place.

Ah well back to reality.

Thank you all for your excellent contributions to this thread. We are all hurting.

Up the U's

Durham_exile

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Morecambe 0 v Super U's 0 enough said....Durham on 17:10 - Mar 22 with 520 viewsgerry_us

Morecambe 0 v Super U's 0 enough said....Durham on 14:48 - Mar 22 by durham_exile

Gerry, that is exactly the reason why we all support the U's - we are all eternal optimists!!

Just imagine if JM managed to secure 8 victories and we crept into seventh place.

Ah well back to reality.

Thank you all for your excellent contributions to this thread. We are all hurting.

Up the U's


I really don't want to be top of the ones that fail like last year Durham. All that does is paper over the cracks. Management will say we have "been close to the play-offs for the past few seasons" as if that is an achievement. This is NOT want we want. If we can't play attacking football against the likes of Morecambe and Barnet then we have serious problems within the management of the club; something we actually already know.
I believe we have the nucleus of a decent team coming through Florence Park but unless they get game time we will never realise the worth of these players to the club. And as for Junior; has he inherited the Macca Bonne mantle and never to be given a full ninety minutes? Yes I know he started one game...and he scored, from a penalty he won.
All a big shame really. Perhaps we should appoint a player manager in place of McG. I vote for Tom Eastman. He lives and breaths Col.U. When I have seen him play this season he seems to spend more time attacking in the opposition penalty area than Guthrie and Mandron ever do. Just a thought.
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Morecambe 0 v Super U's 0 enough said....Durham on 18:24 - Mar 22 with 503 viewsdurham_exile

Morecambe 0 v Super U's 0 enough said....Durham on 17:10 - Mar 22 by gerry_us

I really don't want to be top of the ones that fail like last year Durham. All that does is paper over the cracks. Management will say we have "been close to the play-offs for the past few seasons" as if that is an achievement. This is NOT want we want. If we can't play attacking football against the likes of Morecambe and Barnet then we have serious problems within the management of the club; something we actually already know.
I believe we have the nucleus of a decent team coming through Florence Park but unless they get game time we will never realise the worth of these players to the club. And as for Junior; has he inherited the Macca Bonne mantle and never to be given a full ninety minutes? Yes I know he started one game...and he scored, from a penalty he won.
All a big shame really. Perhaps we should appoint a player manager in place of McG. I vote for Tom Eastman. He lives and breaths Col.U. When I have seen him play this season he seems to spend more time attacking in the opposition penalty area than Guthrie and Mandron ever do. Just a thought.


Or the Doog who has Blue and White blood running through his veins!

Up the U's

Durham_exile

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