Date:Sunday January 4 2009
Regular Vital Colchester columnist Matt Calmus returns for the new year with his views on the U`s ...
Marc of Quality
In the space where a match report for the weekend`s proposed visit of Tranmere would have been comes this comment on Colchester United`s newest signing Marc Tierney: he looks a very good player.
If that hardly sounds like a revelatory analysis, it`s because I`m stating the obvious. He`s a young left-back, who has been hustling and harrying well during his initial loan spell.
Now he`s full-time, Colchester fans should celebrate his capture, sure, but without raving about him being the next future international. We did that with Dean Gerken and he can`t even make the team's starting XI these days.
The January transfer sales is football`s silly season, mirrored this year by a high-street that`s bottoming out in credit crunch Britain. Hyperbolic times call for some honest reporting, minus pen-pushing publicity.
Which means describing Tierney as he is: a decent full-back. Not hailing him as the best thing since sliced bread, or Chris Barker.
Playing Away A Losing Tactic?
A persistent charge against Paul Lambert is that he leaves training in mid-week to assistant Ian Culverhouse while pulling the strings from home in Scotland.
If it's true, Colchester United`s new manager apparently never heard of the tale Titanic, else he would know that all great captains are obligated to take the hits and, if required, go down with their ship.
The comedy image has Lambert playing a management game on some console south of Hadrian`s Wall while firing off e-mails and faxes in preparation for the weekend`s games around England.
Although he`s not gone public on the issue, Lambert might tell you it makes no difference where he is between matches, even if U`s fans point to how much this toing and froing costs the club. He`d be right, of course; provided the team wins, nobody really cares.
Not true? Look at the case of Roy Keane, whose habit of not showing at his own sessions daily was exposed during his final torrid days as a harassed-looking Sunderland coach. No such hoo-ha back when Keane took the Black Cats from the Championship`s bottom three champions inside an incredible ten months of 2006-7. Colchester, incidentally, were the only side to beat Keane`s team in that division during 2007.
Now remember how Germany disliked their national team coach living in America before the 2006 World Cup, and then how trivial that fact became once a nation`s prodigal son almost won them the trophy on home soil.
Conclusion: victory renders all else irrelevant.
Consider this, though. Colchester United took seven points from a possible nine over the Christmas period, when Lambert presumably had a lot less time away from work.
Is it just coincidence that this current run of results, with Lambert in closer attention, is the club`s best since the start of November?
Parkinson Has Much To Prove
Three points from eight games - and no wins - is enough to get Phil Parkinson the job he was seemingly always waiting for with Charlton Athletic, currently glued to the Championship`s last spot.
The former Colchester United managerial hero was appointed permanently last week, despite his caretaker spell only continuing the poor form that prompted Alan Pardew`s departure.
From that action you can either conclude that their chairman preferred the safety of an internal appointment, or that no-one else wanted the job.
Charlton fans must fear for the future, as United`s followers look at Parkinson`s battered CV since his time in Essex where he left for Hull, in pursuit of a 'bigger club` and almost saw them relegated from the Championship. That, in the same season Colchester ironically nearly made the Premier League play-off places.
Still, Parky has his way now with a former top-flight club and the chance to right his wrongs and rescue Athletic where he failed with Hull.
Fail in that, and League One, the division in which Colchester coincidentally now find themselves, beckons. Parkinson has much to prove.
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Date:Sunday January 4 2009
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