Date:Wednesday June 9 2010
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.
So what do you think?
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Date:Wednesday June 9 2010
Contract Talks Continue With Fox (Wednesday May 20 2015)
More Colchester Exits (Wednesday May 20 2015)
Coach Exits For Birmingham (Sunday May 17 2015)
Wingers U's Future Secured (Sunday May 17 2015)
Colchester Captain Departs (Sunday May 17 2015)
Talks Open With Defender (Sunday May 17 2015)
Trio Commit To U's (Sunday May 17 2015)
Former Defender Linked With Yeovil (Friday May 8 2015)
Experience Matters (Friday May 8 2015)
Two Shown The Door (Tuesday May 5 2015)
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