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Will It Be Déjà Vu, All Over Again...?

Will It Be Déjà Vu, All Over Again...?


John Ward as Colchester manager - yes, I`m happy! What do you mean, you don`t believe me? Oh, you`ve read the paper and seen this shocker of a quote.

"Graham Taylor is the biggest influence on me," Ward has told the Evening Gazette and it was printed yesterday, reserved one assumes for topicality.

Give the new man a chance? I`m sorry, can`t help it - the last person to admit an alignment with Taylor`s past was Aidy Boothroyd upon arrival in September. Nine months later he`s out the door, his U`s team having supposedly morphed into direct-footballing bandits. So you can forgive the phobic response.

Anti-football some called it, even on occasions when pretty passing and creative ball-carrying outweighed the ugly stuff. Pressure mounts - Boothroyd picked up sod-all points at the back end of the season, after all.

Next thing you know, the moaners are given credence in the press and Aidy`s beginning-of-the-end is spelt out in some apocalyptic, although very well-written, article headed with his words: "I`m here until I`m told any different."

Not long after what I`d gladly call Robbie Cowling`s Thomas Beckett situation, along come Coventry and very little sentiment is shed as Boothroyd packs his bags.

Now - on to a new era! Or so we thought.

Looks like Ward`s schooling alongside Taylor at Watford means the old long-ball chestnut won`t drop.

Point is, I`m sick of hearing about direct play, if not necessarily the tactic itself.

I`m sick of the phrase, sick of people moaning at the mention of playing-styles and sick of needless criticism about big men up-top and aimless lumped passes.

Yes, we`d all like the side to play carpet football. But it`s myopic of anyone to believe that Colchester United will not have to deploy at least some long-balls next season in a division deficient sometimes on skill but not guts and a perverse sort of guile.

Unhappily for me, then, Ward`s comment raises the spectre of last season`s conversations happening all over again, when those more mercurial U`s fans who enjoy airing off about the possibility of not renewing their season ticket seem to hide a lack of loyalty conveniently behind the route-one football.

Some people will say this limp defence of rough-house play means I wasn`t watching matches myself last season. I was, but believe Boothroyd was unfairly chastised over his links with Taylor`s infamous Watford teams.

So before the naysayers get all steamy about Ward`s comment along similar lines - at I`m bound next season to be one of them, if last season`s style continues - let`s just give him a fighting chance.

Frankly, I`m just as scared as you are.

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Writer:Matt_Us
Date:Wednesday June 9 2010
Time: 1:21PM

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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
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22 Doncaster 45 11 12 22 45 -16
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R Crewe 45 7 13 25 34 -35
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