Opposing views: Colchester (H)

Opposing views: Colchester (H)

Colchester fan Noah4x4 has done his research having watched Vale’s last game against the Orient. Here are his views…

About the fan

I’m Noah4x4 (it used to be 2×2 but that’s inflation) a long time supporter.

My wife buys me my season ticket, so if we do get relegated and admission prices drop it will devalue my birthday present. Yet she will still have me out of her hair upon Saturdays.

Some things in life are so unfair!

How is your team faring this season?

We’re in a relegation battle because can’t string two consecutive wins together. But it is what I expected given Financial Fair Play, but others with blue and white tinted specs will inevitably expect far more. 

Where do you think you’ll finish?

It was a big bonus to us seeing Neal sent-off and hence suspended against the O’s…

I think we can escape. With eight games to go there are still plenty of points to play for and Notts County, Crewe, Scunny, Coventry are all still in our sights. I think Vale are the first side above us that are ‘safe’, so maybe you will relax. It was a big bonus to us seeing Neal sent-off and hence suspended against the O’s.

Who should we watch out for?

Porter, Massey and Murphy form a formidable strike force. Szmodics and Lapsie are like rottweilers in midfield. Our season’s problem has been our defence, but that is now coming together.

What are your thoughts on your manager?

Frankly, we have more loans on the books than Wonga, but I don’t see what else the manager can do…

I am not a member of the “Humes Out” brigade. Tony inherited a mess; then within a couple of weeks he lost key defenders to long term injuries. Financial Fair Play and our low gates meant that only youth and loan market signings have been available to him. Multiple defensive loan players have failed to meet expectation (Packwood, Kepkawa, Osborne, etc), but in the last few weeks there are indications that we might be turning things around, notably with the loan signing of South Africa captain Khumalo on loan.

However, another quality full back Briggs (on loan from Millwall) was unjustly second yellow-carded last week and yet another Elliot Hewitt (loaned from Ipswich) has been recalled; so we now have yet another emergency loanee Brindley from Rotherham.

Frankly, we have more loans on the books than Wonga, but I don’t see what else the manager can do. At least he is always trying things to improve the results, albeit that they are not always successful.

What are your thoughts on your board?

We are grateful for the Chairman’s investment, as our likely fan base will always be modest…

Robbie Cowling (the sole owner) can’t invest more money in the First XI (due to FFP) so he has invested big bucks in the Youth Academy. It is exactly the right way forward but it will take a few years to pay dividends. In the meanwhile we may have to suffer some pain after a great run in the third tier (and briefly in the Championship).

Off the pitch the Club is a great success (examples are the Elton John Concert; bi-weekly tribute bands and comedy nights). But unfortunately Colchester is a ‘garrison’ and ‘commuter’ town sandwiched between the big London clubs and Ipswich in the big expanse of ‘East Anglia’.

It has a modest local indigenous population enhanced by a huge presence of London overspill/commuters and/or military. Many of its residents therefore have established loyalties elsewhere (West Ham, Arsenal; Ipswich etc). We are grateful for the Chairman’s investment, as our likely fan base will always be modest.

Any views on Port Vale?

I saw Orient v Vale last weekend when U’s game was called off. Why did the officials ignore so many Orient offsides? The game should have been halted long before both penalties (hence before the game changing sending-off). Marshall impressed me, but I saw vulnerabilities in the Vale defence that I think we can exploit. Our away record is much better than at home. Has Pope gone AWOL? He didn’t seem too interested.

What are your thoughts on the earlier game between the two sides?

Once again referee Trevor Kettle wanted to be the centre of attention (we hate him). The U’s had 53% possession, 45% more shots; 50% more on target; yet lost due to poor officials; two defensive lapses and the brilliance of Marshall. He will be man-marked out of the game at Vale Park by Szmodics or Lapslie. With Pope off colour, I think the U’s can take a vital three points.

A score prediction?

Vale 0 – 2 U’s (Porter and Szmodics).