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5 Things We Learnt From ColU vs Cambridge

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Okay, so what can we learn from yesterday’s 1-2 defeat to Cambridge United? 1)Tactical Tweaks John McGreal doesn’t venture far from a 4-2-3-1 if he can avoid it.Yesterday, he continued to stick to his principles; however, the attacking movement was slightly different. The three attacking midfielders and striker were closer together, allowing for more rapid and effective interplay. This movement led to Ben Stevenson winning the ninth minute penalty, after Courtney Senior attacked the 18 yard box cutting in from the right hand side. Jevani Brown played on the left wing and Senior on the right, but both floated around and cut inside, allowing the full backs to overlap. This worked well, when we were on the front foot, especially in the first half.
2)Retaining Possession and Missed Opportunities Throughout the match, there were times when we had good spells of possession in the Cambridge final third. Unfortunately, it ended up resembling a game of chess, with the Cambridge defence waiting…

PREVIEW - What can we expect from Cambridge United?

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Last Season It wasn't the best season for Cambridge United, finishing in 21st place, just six points separated themselves and Notts County in 23rd. New ColU signing, Jevani Brown, was at the centre of the U’s attacking, scoring 7 goals and assisting in 10. However, they only scored 40 goals in total, the lowest in the division. They’ll also be hoping to be more defensively solid this season after conceding 66 last time out.
Manager Experienced Colin Calderwood took over from former ColU manager Joe Dunne in December. It's his first management role for a while, he last managed Hibernian back in 2011. He appears to have got his team defensively well-drilled, but doesn’t have the budget to add more effective attacking talent.
Form Cambridge have had a mixed start to the season in the league. On the positive side, they haven't conceded, however they haven't scored either! The first of the draws was a creditable one, away at Bradford City, where they played reasonably well in fr…

5 Things We Learnt vs. Port Vale

1)Slow Start
After some great work from the Blue and White Army, the first 25 minutes of the season made for frankly scary viewing. The side looked slow and ponderous on the ball with a worrying lack of movement. We played a strange low-block, at one point there was a back five with four attackers on the half-way line expecting the ball, rigidly in a row.  Tom Lapslie’s unnecessary lunge after 5 minutes had ‘first game of the season panic’ written all over it. Thankfully, the second half was much brighter and only one team looked like winning it. Hopefully, the slow start will be learnt from to prevent anything similar against Plymouth next time out.

2)Good Performances
Despite the slow start ColU grew in to the game and individually there were some very promising performances, even if we looked slightly disjointed throughout. Tom Eastman rightly won Man of the Match. He kept Tom Pope quiet all game and looked composed throughout, especially making a late challenge in the U’s penalty…

What Are My Top 3 Favourite ColU Kits?

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A lot has been written about the new all-blue Colchester United home shirt, which got me thinking about my favourite ColU kits through the years. Obviously, opinions on football kits are incredibly subjective, somebody’s perfection is another's bang average. Personally, I think a great kit is based on two factors: nostalgia and design.

Being in my late twenties, I reminisce about the Colchester United sides, and shirts, of the turn of the century. I was slightly too young to appreciate the 1997 playoff team but idolised the 1998-2002 teams made up of names like: Lomano Tresor Lua-Lua, Mick Stockwell, Steve McGavin, Scott McGleish, David Gregory, Thomas Pinault, Joey Keith and Joe Dunne. Even though some of the football played wasn’t the most scintillating, I loved the players and shirts.
In terms of design, I personally uncluttered shirts with local sponsors, I always really liked the kits sponsored by Ridleys Brewery and Tiptree Jams. I have an issue with betting sponsors generally…

5 Things We Learnt From ColU 0 Ipswich 5

Although a preseason friendly, the match last night was obviously embarrassing. The first half was relatively respectable,if uninspiring, but the second half became increasing difficult to sit through. I don't want to be too reactionary because of an one-off friendly result, however, there were lessons that can be learnt. 
1) Our defending was ineffective. To an extent, I can understand why McGreal started the right footed Cameron James at left back. It worked for Vincent-Young. However unlike KVY, James looked nervy and ponderous in possession throughout. Bringing down the attacker to give away the penalty for the first goal. Matthew Blaylock (@blayyers), pointed out on Twitter that four out of the five goals come form James' side of the pitch. After a season playing at centre back and defensive midfield for Braintree Town,hopefully this experiments shows the need for another specialist full back. Omar Sowunmi didn't cover himself in glory either, he was dispossessed which…

19/20 Season Preview

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Key Transfers Out 2018/19 Frankie Kent – The academy graduate moved to Peterborough for an undisclosed fee this summer. He had been an imperious centre back presence during the 2018/19 season, showing ball playing ability and a level of maturity greater than his 23 years. He will be missed by fans, though there is an acknowledgment that after the U’s missed out on promotion that he deserved at shot in League One after 147 appearances for the North Essex outfit. Sammie Szmodics – Playing for Colchester since the age of 9, Szmodics had grown into a talismanic figure over the last few seasons. In 165 appearances, he has scored 40 and assisted 17. He had been courted by many Championship and League One sides, eventually signing for Bristol City for an undisclosed fee. Already, he looks like proving to be a popular figure at Ashton Gate, scoring a delightful chipped goal in preseason. The funds from both Kent and Szmodics, believed to be in the region of £1.25m have been well invested by C…

Colchester United’s 18/19 season in numbers

When assessing Colchester’s 2018/19 campaign after a few months, it would be easy to remember it as one that was ‘bottled’, riding high in the automatic promotion places until March, before failing away to a bitterly disappointing 8th on the final day. An injury crisis in the spring involving Harry Pell, Tom Lapslie and Brandon Comley created a soft centre exacerbated by regular goalkeeping errors from (cult-villain) Rene Gilmartin and Dillon Barnes. But I wanted to explore in detail, using numbers taken from footystats.org, where Colchester excelled and where they were poor last season with half an eye on 19/20. 41% - The most eye-opening statistic was that we had a league clean sheet percentage of 41%, the second highest in the league behind second-place Tranmere Rovers. I find this a remarkable statistic as one the key areas that we were weakest in was that of the goalkeeper. Flip-flopping between two goalkeepers is hardly ideal, especially as there was a variety of mistakes made …