Date:Saturday October 20 2007
Greatness walks among us. The CUFC message board had a distinguished guest this week. A famous number seven, who missed an infamous penalty and cried. 'Captain Fantastic`, the bloke touted in certain quarters as the answer to England`s right-wing-woes.
Yes, Karl Duguid had a read of the message board! Who did you think I meant? Doogs has been resting his ankle knock and obviously passing the time constructively!
I`m not sure how much he`ll have learned, the international break tends to make things quieten down a fair bit. The next refs we`ll have; Braintree`s new stadium and rugby have been amongst the topics discussed.
Some of the more relevant subjects have been concerning the same player: George Elokobi. George`s international ambitions have been discussed as have the rumours of top-flight clubs watching our rhino-like left-back.
To think just seasons ago Big George was on loan at struggling Chester City and before that, finding his way at Dulwich Hamlet. The speed and level of his improvement has been enormous.
However, having just broken into the first team I`d counsel George to bide his time. Watching Greg Halford struggle to adjust to the step-up in class at Sunderland (with four and a bit seasons under his belt) may perhaps temper any ideas George or those scouts have about him being quite ready - just yet.
Much like George our defence doesn`t quite look the finished article at the moment. With: Davison, Gerken, Connolly, Virgo, Baldwin, Duguid, Granville, White, Balogh and Elokobi - the ingredients are there, it`s just a matter of finding the right mix, the perfect blend.
What sort of 'chef` are you? If it doesn`t taste right, do you keep throwing ingredients in hoping to happen on perfection? Or do you stir once and stand back, letting things settle to see how they fare in your fayre?
Funny shaped balls
Perhaps it`s not the ingredients but the pan or the hob or something else? My Gran swears her porridge tastes better cooked in her own saucepan. When she visits she brings it up with her on the train, bless her.
Possibly the problem isn`t the defence but the pieces around it. Much has been made of Mark Yeates` lack of tracking back on the right. With Danny Granville, a natural full-back, playing on the left recently maybe Geraint agrees.
Is it me, or has the England defence looked more assured lately? Perhaps that`s down to Terry and Ferdinand (and Sol, who must give Sir Teddy hope!) - but then again, perhaps it`s down to Gareth Barry giving the ball away far, far less than Lampard/Hargreaves/Carrick/Gerrard?
That`s one thing I`ve found easier to pick up in that other sport - the one with the funny shaped, over-inflated balls which has been on the tele a lot lately. A misplaced pass and that bloke in green, Brian Havana (or something else like a cigar?) runs down the other end and scores. Cause and effect. Easy to see.
In our beloved footy a misplaced pass (cause) can be many minutes before the ensuing goal (effect) so the causal link can be harder to follow - but that doesn`t mean it doesn`t exist.
Maybe the mix is right but it needs time to steep. Maybe. Either way you need the patience of a Saint or a fit of Ranieri-esque tinkering to find out.
One thing is for sure. The backline will get a serious test today against West Brom, especially if rumours that Kevin Phillips is fit again are true. The Baggies were one of the most impressive sides to visit Layer Road last season when they ended our mammoth 14-game unbeaten run at 'The Drome`.
Our record at home this term couldn`t be more different. Perhaps victory over WBA could be the launch pad to return us to that form.
As ever you can play your part. Fire up the rocket, provide the fuel for lift off from the launch pad. Sing and chant more than a hippy at a yoga convention! Up those super white and blues!
Taken from CO2 and the U`s awrd winning Matchday Mag priced still at just £3
Date:Saturday October 20 2007
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