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Preview: Macclesfield Town

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After the fun and games of Tuesday night, it’s back to League 2 with a bang as the U’s face an away trip to Macclesfield Town. What have the Moss Rose outfit have in store on Saturday afternoon?

Last Season
Following the Sol Campbell led great escape, The Silkmen ended the season in 22nd place avoiding an instant return to the National League. 
Manager
35-year-old Irishman, Daryl McMahon was appointed in August, just three league games into the season. Sol Campbell’s surprise exit was the culmination of a split with the owners despite his hard work over the previous eight months to ensure the club's survival. McMahon’s only previous management experience came at Ebbsfleet, where after taking charge in 2015, made the Kent-based-outfit competitive in the National League.
Form
Well, in a word, mixed. So far this season Macclesfield have won 3, drawn 3 and lost 4, with a goal difference of -1. The financial problems that have been surrounding the club have led to staff not being paid …

5 Talking Points: ColU vs. Leyton Orient

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What are the talking points from yesterday's win over the O's?

1) John McGreal's 442

McGreal’s subtle change from 4231 to 442 has been paying dividends since he made the switch following defeat at Plymouth, early in August. Courtney Senior and Kwame Poku (more on him later) stayed very narrow, with Ryan Jackson and Cohen Brammall providing overlaps and width. Playing against Orient’s 352, this allowed for plenty of possession in the attacking midfield area and also meant that when either Orient wing-back drifted narrower, following the play; our full-backs could stay wide on either flank to provide an out ball. However, he wasn’t used on every occasion. This version of a 442 also gets the best from Frank Nouble as a deeper target man, who could feed Theo Robinson. It’s been clear this season that McGreal values him above many other attackers, but in his previous left-wing role his potential wasn’t being maximised.



2) Poku's Potential
Kwame Poku’s first home start was a…

Preview: What Can We Expect From Leyton Orient?

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On Tuesday night, the U's secured a surprise 0-3 away win to Swindon. John McGreal made 5 five changes to the starting eleven, Kwame Poku, Cohen Brammall and Theo Robinson particularly impressed. it'll be interesting to see what line-up McGreal will favour as we face a opponent in in-different form, Leyton Orient.

Last Season
2018/19 was a bitter-sweet one for the O’s. Although they achieved promotion from the notoriously tough National League. As I’m sure you’ll be aware, Orient’s talented gaffer Justin Edinburgh passed away in June after guiding his side to first place. In terms of playing staff, former U’s striker, Macauley Bonne left for Charlton Athletic after scoring 45 goals in 90 games over two seasons. Attacker Josh Koroma also earned a move up the pyramid, securing a transfer to Huddersfield Town after a successful campaign. Both have been hard to replace, although Lee Angol, freshly signed from Shrewsbury Town, is co-top scorer this season with 3.
Manager
Edinburgh’s …

Preview: What Can We Expect From Swindon?

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Colchester came out on top the last time the two sides met in the Carabao Cup, but what can we expect this time 'round?

Last Season Swindon had a mixed 2018/19 campaign. They started the season with Phil Brown in charge before relieving him of his duties and appointing Richie Wellens, with the club performing well below expectations. Wellens steadied the ship, leading the side to a 13th place finish. Goals proved to be a problem all season as Michael Doughty top scored with 6 and the club only scored 59 in total. Since then, the club have looked considerably stronger.
Manager 39-year-old Wellens only took charge at Swindon in November of last year, but since then has improved the playing style and results. Despite only managing Oldham Athletic before taking the reins at the County Ground, Wellens has amassed a win percentage of 38% from the 39 games he’s managed, interestingly John McGreal’s win percentage is identical albeit after managing 162 matches. The former Manchester United y…

Preview: What Can We Expect From Forest Green?

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Last Season In just their second season at League Two level, Forest Green Rovers earned themselves a very impressive 5th place. Christian Doidge top scored with 14 goals. Following his disastrous loan to Bolton Wanderers, during which he wasn’t paid by the Trotters. His return fired them into playoff contention. They were only denied a playoff final at Wembley by a single James Norwood goal against Tranmere. It would be easy for a team to struggle under the disappointment of coming so close, however, there are signs that the Gloucestershire outfit are bouncing back.
Manager Former Rovers midfielder, Mark Cooper, has been in the job since May 2016. After overseeing their National League playoff win in an ‘advisory role’, Cooper has taken the vegans from strength to strength. He masterminded a great escape, as the club avoided the drop in their first League Two season on the final day to a 5th place finish last term. He has gained a reputation for playing football ‘the right way’, playing…

ColU's First 10 Games, A Summary.

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So, what can the first 10 games across 3 competitions tell us about Colchester United’s season so far? In terms of results, the Essex outfit have managed 4 wins, 4 draws and 2 losses. A healthy start has led to a cup run in the Carabao Cup and 9 points on the board from 7 games. The U’s suffered from a sluggish start in the league, possibly feeling the effect of losing key players, Sammie Szmodics, Kane Vincent-Young and Frankie Kent. However, they have recovered, embarking on a 6 game unbeaten run, which includes an impressive 4 clean sheets.


Game-by-Game

Firstly, drawing at home to unfancied Port Vale 1-1 on the opening day was disappointing. The first game of any season is always an unknown, but after a flurry of signings, Colchester looked sloppy. Tom Lapslie clumsily conceded a clumsy, first half penalty that was easily dispatched by Tom Pope, before the U’s had managed to string a pass together. Luke Norris equalised early in the second half to level the game. Plymouth edged the …

5 Things We Can Learn From ColU Vs. Walsall

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So, it wasn't a match that will live long in the memory, but what can we glean from the stalemate?



1) Blundering Brett

I’m sure many of us hadn’t heard of Brett Huxtable before yesterday. It is safe to say that we are all aware of his work now. When I googled his name, it didn’t come as a surprise to see fans of other EFL clubs bemoaning his refereeing ability, he even managed to wind up the famously calm and level-headed Joey Barton. The whole team of officials had a poor day, making baffling decisions as Huxtable set an early precedent for stopping play for niggling fouls. I don’t want to moan about referees generally, it is a tough job under pressure. That being said, I can’t remember a poorer performance. A performance which sucked any momentum out of the contest.
2) The Great Wall of Walsall

Walsall wanted a point, and from the first minute they defended resolutely and looked to time waste at every opportunity. There is nothing wrong with this behaviour; it is completely unde…