Vital Football

Latest Colchester United News

Beware The P-Words

Beware The P-Words

Joie De Vivre: But Beware Many P-Words As U`s Go For Promotion

"Now there is too much professionalism, we have to revert to urging players to like the game, love it, do it with joy." - Felipe Scolari, Chelsea`s new manager, speaking in 2002.

Let`s get this party started, then, on the eve of Colchester United`s most important season since, frankly, the last one. The club starts the 2008/9 campaign in joint poll position behind Leeds United to gain League One promotion.

Cue a Colchester cakewalk now Scott Vernon, Steven Gillespie and Kem Izzet all confirmed that aim via the dreaded P-word this week, right?

Not quite. History`s path is littered with examples where missions have failed because of people underestimating their opposition, so the U`s must beware of presuming too much ahead of the big kick-off. Still, here, in the word`s of Chelsea`s motivator supreme, Luis Felipe Scolari, is an antidote to the pressure: "We have to revert to urging players to like the game, love it, do it with joy."

He has a point, encouraging teams, in essence, to adore football in a sense that only the fabled amateur sides ever managed. Too much tension and strain these days is in negative evidence through performances everywhere in the game, including at Colchester United.

The long and winding road of their latest 46-game term begins away at Hartlepool tomorrow with United all set to take the division by storm, courtesy of their experienced back four, young manager and brand new stadium.

They seem better equipped to make a Coca-Cola Championship return this time than when they got there by surprise for first in 2006.

"Every new season that we go into we`re always asking big things of ourselves," explained 27-year-old midfielder Kem Izzet, recalling a recent revelation by former skipper Karl Duguid that Phil Parkinson got him targeting automatic promotion during 2005/2006.

"The experience is there a bit more now because we`ve been in the Championship for the last two seasons. We`re looking for another promotion - but we know it won`t be easy," added Izzet.

While Colchester United`s conditions for success have increased, so has a possible price for failure. As those behind the scenes at the club will know better than anyone, the currently booming U`s fan-base is a fragile commodity that will ebb and flow with the results.

Another good point well made after last season`s first relegation in almost 20 years is that a whole younger generation of U`s fans will have inhaled only the sweet smell of relative success along the club`s terraces.

So when manager Geraint Williams described United as victims of their own success in the first Championship season, you can appreciate what he meant; chiefly that expectation expands in an irreversible spiral, with as many good ramifications as bad ones.

Williams` diagnosis tapped into the self-effacing nature of doing well in sport; that it increases the stakes overall, and invites nosy talent-pillaging scouts, and pesky press-packs at a lower level.

But here`s the good part. Colchester`s surprise ascent from League One obscurity to Championship heights created a positive atmosphere around the club for at least 24 months, fostering a winning mentality that saw the club play without fear or inhibition. Players strode like giants on history`s virgin and very fertile ground.

Messrs Jamie Cureton, Chris Iwelumo, Richard Garcia and Kevin Lisbie, for instance, hit 69 goals between them, from 2006 to 2008, before the pressure-cooker of last season`s losing-streak saw it all implode.

The past`s transmission ends there, though, because Saturday`s game should be the club`s equivalent revisiting of the year dot. Acknowledge previous achievements, remember their spirit and look to move forward.

After all, in almost 24-hours, Colchester United must take up the baton and charge for League One`s exit. As they begin the assault, the squad could do worse than take Scolari`s advice and try enjoying their football again, without pressure`s debilitating influence. They should like the game, even love it. Do it with joy.

No Poetry, Even In Slow Motion

ITV4`s Football Funnies: The Best Ever blooper re-run on Wednesday night featured the terrible gaffe by Colchester`s former stopper Aidan Davison, from the 2004-5 season, allowing fans to relive the haunting memory all over again.

The ex-Northern Irish international, since retired to the US, sees the ball whiz by as he kicks air against Premiership club Blackburn, in the F.A. Cup.

Blaming a divot, Davison even offered to purchase Rovers` groundsman a new pitch-roller at full-time. Be advised that it was not poetry in motion. Especially when the reply is in slow motion.

Adam Vertigo

Around now, this column would normally pick a preferred Colchester XI for next season, but after Adam Virgo`s experience from 2007/8, it appears safer not to bother.

"The manager has made it absolutely clear that I`m here to play as a striker," said the defender-cum-attacker last term, post scoring from the bench in his side`s 2-3 loss against Championship team Burnley.

Was Adam 'vertigo` Virgo scared by the experience of scoring? He never featured up front again that season. Go figure.

Salute Sir Bobby

Sir Bobby Robson`s admission this week that he may not be physically able to fight another cancer battle, having defeated the illness many times already, is sad news indeed.

Legend has it that Bobby`s humorous response upon hearing of the logistics behind his first diagnosis ran: "Malignant melanoma? We don`t need him!" Infamously, the 75-year-old apparently mistook the doctor`s identification of his tumour for a German left-back.

His status as an Ipswich Town idol, aka The King of East Anglia, may seem to have little relevance in a space usually reserved for all-things Colchester United, even to geography-conscious readers.

Almost as unimportant as the fact that Bobby nurtured some of the all-time greats of the modern game, like Brazil`s Ronaldo and Romario, Rudd Van Nistelrooy or Luis Figo to the peak of their powers, in fact.

All that pails into insignificance, anyway, when considering how one of football`s most endearing individuals, a Grandfather-like guardian of the English game both here and abroad, offers us a mirror of the most desirable traits of all humanity. Grace. Wisdom. Bravery.

We want to know YOUR thoughts...


Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.

Join the FREE Telegraph League One Fantasy Football League!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Friday August 8 2008
Time: 3:59PM

Best of Vital Network

Vital Boxing - Khan Ready for Alvarez


Poignant and sad to read the piece about Sir Bobby Robson. Just returned from the Oldham Athletic v Millwall game where we won a 4-3 thriller but additionally where Latics allowed a fundraising group i'm involved with Factor50 to take a collection in aid of research into Malignant Melanoma. Our aim is to raise funds for Christie cancer hospital in Manchester to research and develop a very promising clinical trial with a view to one day finding a cure for Malignant Melanoma so people like Sir Bobby won't have to fight the fight he is doing at the moment. any help you feel able to give would be warmly received.
Andy Worthington
09/08/2008 21:01:00
Thanks for the comment. He is one of football's great men in this modern day of sport. Hope many people will be driven to support worthy groups like the one you mention because cancer is bound to have impacted someone near and dear to everyone.
11/08/2008 14:06:00
Factor50 was set up to raise funds as a friend had Malignant Melanoma and was going to lose his fight against it which he ultimately did in May 2008 aged 30. I also have a niece who is 28 who is still in recovery after having a tumour removed when she was 26. Neither were sun worshippers who chased a tan. It really is an awful disease that can literally hit anyone. More recently an ex player of Latics Ernie Cooksey succumbed to it at 28. The bucket collection we took at Latics Saturday raised over £1000 for the fund which was nice gesture from everyone who donated.
Andy Worthington
12/08/2008 07:50:00
Certainly is a one of footballs great men.
StevieG Col U
14/08/2008 15:03:00
A brilliant piece on Sir Bobby Robson; it is short yet effective, I enjoyed it a lot. Well done, Matt.
19/08/2008 00:46:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Colchester United Articles

Match Day Officials v Rochdale (8/5/16)

The Football League have now announced the Match Day officials that will take charge of the game against Rochdale this weekend.

A Vital Challenge - Ben Nevis To Face The Fear co-owner Jonathan Fear is pushing himself to the limit in order to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis.

Who Will Colchester Face In 2016/17 (3/5/16)

With less than a handful of games remaining in the 2015/16 campaign, some promotions and relegations in the football pyramid are already known.

Stats: Barnsley v Colchester

All the stats from Barnsley (2) vs (2) Colchester, Oakwell, 30/4/16 Att: 12,021

Archived Vital Colchester Articles

Vital Colchester articles from

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Colchester
Write For Vital Colchester
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

Barnsley v Colchester
Suggested By:
Colchester win25%
Barnsley win75%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
P Wigan 45 24 15 6 87 40
2 Burton 45 25 9 11 84 20
3 Walsall 45 23 12 10 81 17
4 Millwall 45 23 9 13 78 23
5 Bradford 45 22 11 12 77 13
6 Barnsley 45 21 8 16 71 13
7 Scunthorpe 45 20 11 14 71 11
8 Gillingham 45 19 12 14 69 16
9 Coventry 45 18 12 15 66 16
10 Sheff Utd 45 18 12 15 66 7
11 Rochdale 45 18 12 15 66 6
12 Port Vale 45 18 11 16 65 3
13 Peterborough 45 18 6 21 60 5
14 Southend 45 16 11 18 59 -5
15 Bury 45 15 12 18 57 -18
16 Swindon 45 15 11 19 56 -10
17 Oldham 45 12 18 15 54 -12
18 Chesterfield 45 15 8 22 53 -10
19 Shrewsbury 45 13 11 21 50 -18
20 Fleetwood 45 11 15 19 48 -6
21 Blackpool 45 12 10 23 46 -19
22 Doncaster 45 11 12 22 45 -16
R Colchester 45 9 13 23 40 -41
R Crewe 45 7 13 25 34 -35
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Colchester United Results (view all)

Colchester United Fixtures (view all)

May 8 2016 12:30PM : Rochdale (H)
Sky Bet League One