Vital Football

Latest Colchester United News

Birmingham's East Anglian hoodoo

Birmingham's East Anglian hoodoo

In a week where both Liam Chilvers and Neil Danns will have returned to Layer Road like ghosts from the past, two annoyingly enduring futures of Colchester United`s whirlwind season in the Championship are defiantly buried for good.

As the roller coaster rolls on into February, we finally wave goodbye to all the transfer window`s white noise, and dissolve a niggling sense of self-doubt following last Tuesday`s 1-0 victory (over promotion-chasers Preston) that produced a first win in 2007.

One factor that continues to bite at the psyche, as Birmingham come to town today, is what a colleague recently called 'the curse of the ex`. With the return of affable Scouser Dannsy comes former goal-poacher, Rowan Vine - both might be selected to help City break the hoodoo that engulfs our fortress of a ground.

While football`s very fabric is always riddled with superstition - an integral part of the game`s rich and entertaining tapestry - the away side`s dismal record down in East Anglia during recent weeks makes particular demand on the attention. Steve Bruce`s team have lost to Ipswich (1 - 0) and Southend (1-3) during consecutive league fixtures, giving rise to a theory that there will never be a better time to face them.

A personal suspicion is that this game offers us a chance to see the soccer seesaw in action, thus ruling out a draw. Either Colchester will add another impressive scalp to that spike of sharp-shooters, or Birmingham will react to recent losses by schooling United in the art of keep-ball and clinical finishing.

Preston tried the latter, failing because of the U`s willingness to combine physical prowess with fancy footwork in equal measure. A narrow win, it evoked an ornate beauty about this division, whose cockfight character compels the watcher to argue that any one side really is capable of overturning another.

That`s fine, unless you happen to be a manager. Only five of the 24 men responsible for rallying their troops on a Saturday have been in the job for longer than a year. A stark fact, it confirms that clubs are constantly fretting about what goes on upstairs in the Premiership.

Birmingham manager Bruce is actually the longest serving Championship boss - appointed in December 2001 - despite the fact that he faced the sack last autumn. The whole season is a marathon, not a sprint, so his continued tenure in the Midlands is as much a triumph for common sense as it is morals.

Not that stability is always king, which is why Colchester`s Geraint Williams sensibly took his players to Spain for some well-earned rest and relaxation a fortnight ago.

Since then Reading, who knocked today`s opposition out of the F. A. Cup, have acquired Greg Halford, whose departure is well-documented elsewhere in these pages. Sometimes, the fewer words you use, the more you say, and Halford was a player who let his football do the talking.

United tend to follow suit, although would be wise to recall the words of Hamilton Hoult before kick-off to ensure victory, "Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Half effort does not produce half results. It produces no result."

The autocue directed United to lose against Preston, but the cast decided it was better to adlib when under the stadium lights, and so caused Layer Road to rock like an evangelical church once more. Oh, Col U, may you always be in vogue!


Atricle reproduced with kind permission of Colchester United FC

Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football


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

Writer:Matt_Us
Date:Saturday February 3 2007
Time: 8:25AM

Login to post a comment

Recent Colchester United Articles

No More Quarter Final Replays For Colchester

Should Colchester United progress through to an FA Cup quarter final from the 2016/17 season onwards, the game will no longer be subject to a replay.

Colchester - FL Dates 2016/17 (23/5/16)

The Football League have released the key dates for the coming 2016/17 season.

Who Will Colchester Face In 2016/17 (22/5/16)

With no matches remaining in the regular 2015/16 campaign, some promotions and relegations in the football pyramid are already known.

Wholescale League Changes For Colchester?

The Football League have confirmed that Colchester United have received a 'discussion document' that details proposed major changes to the make up of the game in this country.

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)

Colchester v Rochdale
Suggested By:
Colchester win0%
Rochdale win100%
Draw0%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Wigan 46 24 15 7 87 37
P Burton 46 25 10 11 85 20
3 Walsall 46 24 12 10 84 22
4 Millwall 46 24 9 13 81 24
5 Bradford 46 23 11 12 80 15
6 Barnsley 46 22 8 16 74 16
7 Scunthorpe 46 21 11 14 74 13
8 Coventry 46 19 12 15 69 18
9 Gillingham 46 19 12 15 69 15
10 Rochdale 46 19 12 15 69 7
11 Sheff Utd 46 18 12 16 66 5
12 Port Vale 46 18 11 17 65 -2
13 Peterborough 46 19 6 21 63 9
14 Bury 46 16 12 18 60 -17
15 Southend 46 16 11 19 59 -6
16 Swindon 46 16 11 19 59 -7
17 Oldham 46 12 18 16 54 -14
18 Chesterfield 46 15 8 23 53 -12
19 Fleetwood 46 12 15 19 51 -4
20 Shrewsbury 46 13 11 22 50 -21
R Doncaster 46 11 13 22 46 -16
R Blackpool 46 12 10 24 46 -23
R Colchester 46 9 13 24 40 -42
R Crewe 46 7 13 26 34 -37
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Colchester United Results (view all)

Colchester United Fixtures (view all)