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Ooh, what a lovely pair

Ooh, what a lovely pair

Torvil and Dean, Laurel and Hardy, Jack and Jill - wherever you look there are famous pairings. One`s usually bigger than the other too (tall, skinny Stan Laurel vs. short, stout Oliver Hardy) look at Noel Edmunds and Mr. Blobby!

If you get pairings that are too similar, it can go wrong. The Proclaimers. Uncannily alike (strangely, given they`re twins) and sometimes it came off brilliantly. We`ve all wailed 'I would walk 500 hundred miles` at full volume but at the end of the day, they`re two startlingly unattractive, speccy, ginger doinks - who had one decent record. Sorry lads, the truth is a sharp knife.

You need chips and ketchup, sea and sand, Bank Holiday and beer… contrasts that compliment.

And this (tenuous) analogy even applies to football. Wright and Bright, Toshack and Keegan, Rush and Dalglish - all famous partnerships, very different, that achieved greatness.

The U`s have done well, finding great pairings. Cureton and Iwelumo are an obvious example. McDonough and McGavin another. Platt and Lisbie haven`t scaled those heights, yet - but there is certainly the green shoots of what could be a very beautiful, budding double-act.

At least one of them has scored in eleven of our nineteen games this season. That`s nigh on 60% of all matches that at least one of our leading strikers has bagged a goal. Considering both have had spells of unavailability due to injury/suspension, that`s promise indeed.

We`re all aware that scoring goals hasn`t been our problem this term. It`s at the other end where we`re suffering but the same logic can apply.

Adams and Keown, Bruce and Pallister - the same logic works at the back. We have our own Stan Laurels: Pat Baldwin and Matt Connolly and the more Oliver Hardy-esque bruiser: Adam Virgo. I`m not sure which Bela Balogh is yet. He`s a big lad, but seems to like to play his football on the deck, when he can.

We`ve yet to find the best pairing from this lot. Experimentation has been forced on us at times (Pat`s red card; Bela`s injuries) but I think I`ve made it clear what the guideline should be for finding the perfect twosome.

You can`t doubt Adam Virgo`s application but we don`t own him long-term. Perhaps a new bruiser to compliment Pat/Matt/Bela is what should be top of George`s Christmas shopping list?

Given most of our divisional rivals follow the advice with their own strike duos: King & Henderson; Sidibe & Fuller; John & Wright-Phillips even Lee and Counago down the road - this would seem sensible.

The same applies in midfield too. Petit and Vieira, Gattuso and Pirlo, Makelele and Zidane, Gerrard and Lamp… ah.

See? Too similar and the pattern is broken. In most of the (decent) partnerships above one acts as the destroyer, so the other can be the creator. Makelele: the dust sheet to Zidane`s creative artistry. Gattuso the gristle on Pirlo`s steak.

I can`t have been the only one that`s noticed Kemi Izzet`s been more desperate to get into the box, now he`s playing alongside Kevin Watson. Kevin has many attributes, but pace and goal-scoring aren`t among them! (For those of you saying Kemi`s not blessed with them either - hush.)

But are our dynamic duo too similar? Both are ball-winners/simple passers. Win it, play it simple. No Hollywood 90-yard passes here, no box-to-box lung-busters. Something we`ve not really had since Neil Danns left.

You`ll have to wait a long time before you hear me criticise a U`s player - publicly at least! I`m not saying the current squad aren`t up to it, far from it. They were magnificent at Wolves the other night and within a whisker of a well-earned win, on the road at a promotion-chasing team.

However tea and coffee together doesn`t work, Gerrard and Lampard together doesn`t work and I`ve always been a fan of Laurel and Hardy. See where I`m going with this?

I`m not saying it can`t work. Rooney and Tevez were electrifying together… sometimes. But contrast is your friend.

Make a stark contrast today - drown out the visiting support. Home versus away, noisy versus quiet, you versus them. Maybe we`ll get a result which contrasts with some of our recent home form too! Up the super U`s!

CO2 is taking a break from his articles due to the impending arrival of his first Child, Vital Colcheater wish him and his family all the best and look forward to welcoming him back in the new year.

More from CO2 in the U's Award Winning Matchday Magazine, available from the ground and club shop priced still at just £3.

Good Luck Mate!

Date:Monday December 3 2007
Time: 12:00PM


Kem can't score either - you think they'd tell him to practice that all day! Great article.
03/12/2007 16:30:00
Congratulations on the good news, too!
03/12/2007 16:33:00
Good Luck! :)
StevieG Col U
05/12/2007 18:35:00
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