Colchester United - Iwelumo & Cureton: both on the way?
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Iwelumo & Cureton: both on the way?

The possible transfer of Colchester`s champagne strikefocre, Jamie Cureton and Chris Iwelumo, who have scored a combined 41 goals since August, is thought enough to make most United fans choke over a cuppa.

Colchester are pace-setters in the Championship, a division they joined less than a year ago, possessing both the league's best disciplinary and finest home records, having only lost three games at 'Slayer Road.`

Despite a season of high drama in North Essex, where the mighty to have fallen include Sunderland, Stoke and Derby, the club would probably still have to provide the faithful with pace-makers should either Iwelumo or Cureton up sticks in the summer.

Don`t blame me if you have gone a distinct shade of blue and white, like the club`s crest, at this news.

Mumbling and rumours about either Iwelumo (who has just bought a house in Ipswich) or Cureton (said to want more money) have become too loud to simply cough over in hope that they go away.

Dealing in a currency of facts, instead of black-market speculation and counterfeit gossip, is in order; this chatter is PR enough to wreck the party that has propelled Colchester to within a point of the play-offs.

Convenient as it may be for those in the media to claim that Iwelumo, with 36 goals to his credit in two U`s years earmarked by great achievement, will hitch a tractor ride to Ipswich, it`s not credible at all.

By extension, then, are we supposed to believe that manager Geraint Williams will switch hot seats sometime anytime soon?

"The gaffer lives there, too, don`t you know," people might cry. Do me a favour.

Granted, it`s slightly concerning that Iwelumo`s current contract is still due to expire in three months, but since Town boss Jim Magilton has declared that the Scot "is not for me" last week, the gabble on this one ought to come down in favour of Colchester.

Ruling out an Iwelumo switch altogether would be foolish until the 28-year old puts pen to paper on a new deal, but the purchase of a house just fifteen miles from his place of work, albeit in the Suffolk borough, suggests he intends to stay.

Those who think he is seduced by the prospect of gaining international recognition with Scotland, via Hearts in the wake of their reported interest, are probably reading the situation wrong.

Besides, the fact is that he`s on the verge of selection for the Tartan Army anyway, and it`s likely his current employers have assured a new contract verbally, even if both parties have yet to discuss the finer points.

That makes sense, given that the season is still in progress; the six-foot target man could get a bigger since of a pie worth 40 million pounds if Colchester do the unthinkable and go up another league. It works two ways, because the club would also have more in the coffers to offer.

As for Cureton, he is often quoted as saying that he thought the opportunity given to him by Colchester, in plucking him from the Swindon reserves, might be his last chance at this level.

Curo has worked tirelessly on the field these past twelve months to ensure that wasn`t the case. In my opinion, he merits a place in the PFA Championship Player of the Year XI in place of Cardiff`s Michael Chopra, whose not scored since February. One bit of News of the World drivel will not convince me that he really wants away.

The rescuer tale would turn sour if Curo skipped ship to Southampton, as the largely unreliable NOTW newspaper suggested last week. It`s the residence of one hugely unpopular man in this part of the world, George Burley, anyway.

You cannot expect Williams to want to part with the division`s leading sharp shooter lightly either, after his 24 goals - thankfully, 'Thierry` Cureton`s contact does not expire until 2008.

It seems almost a moral duty to cuff away claims that the classic big and little combination of Chris and Curo, amid all this crystal-ball gazing, are on thier way, mostly because of their star performances in stripes right now.

It`s not panic stations quite yet, though, so take my advice; when you`ve finished that cuppa, just wash it out like you normally would. There`s no point in trying to read the tealeaves.

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

The Journalist

Writer: Matt_Us Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday April 24 2007

Time: 1:28PM


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