Walker the hero as U's claim point at MK Dons

Gazette: Magnificent - Sam Walker pulled off a string of superb saves in the U's 0-0 draw with MK Dons. Magnificent - Sam Walker pulled off a string of superb saves in the U's 0-0 draw with MK Dons.

An outstanding display by goalkeeper Sam Walker helped Colchester United begin 2014 with a hard-earned point at MK Dons.

Colchester were forced to defend for most of the first half on a soggy pitch and keeper Walker was much the busier of the two goalkeepers, at a rain-sodden stadiummk.

U’s left-back Luke Garbutt hacked away Dale Jennings’ effort from near his own goal-line early on, while Walker parried away Patrick Bamford’s low shot soon after.

Colchester looked effective on the break at times but only threatened on occasions, with Tom Eastman wasting their best chance when he headed straight at Dons keeper David Martin from an unmarked position, from Garbutt’s free-kick.

Walker denied Bamford and pushed away a low shot from the lively Jennings, who also went close with a 25-yard strike that dropped just past the post but the first half finished goal-less.

Walker was kept busy in the minutes that followed the interval, pushing away long-range efforts from Ben Reeves and Shaun Williams, while Darren Potter’s deft header dropped just wide soon after.

Bamford fired straight at Walker, who also did well to palm away Dele Alli's low effort following a rapid breakaway.

Walker made another great save with eight minutes to go and MK Dons hit the underside of the crossbar deep into stoppage time but Colchester survived to claim a hard-earned point.

For a full match report, pictures and reaction to Colchester's game at MK Dons, see Thursday's Daily Gazette.

Comments (20)

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5:36pm Wed 1 Jan 14

norwood70 says...

Fantastic result. 7 points from 12 is a great return from the hectic Christmas / New Year schedule.
Fantastic result. 7 points from 12 is a great return from the hectic Christmas / New Year schedule. norwood70

5:46pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Bampotonian says...

Maybe though it should have been 2 points more against Crewe...
Maybe though it should have been 2 points more against Crewe... Bampotonian

8:42pm Wed 1 Jan 14

Medicated Soap says...

The inclement weather, in addition to the MK Dons profligacy in front of goal, and a virtuoso second half performance from Sam walker, helped the U’s pick up another unlikely point in the depths of the concrete jungle this afternoon! Perhaps we don’t need to worry about the drop after all, when the ball even stops by its own accord on our goal line; an incredible amount of good luck is definitely favouring Joe Dunne at the moment!

Once again we were absolutely battered for ninety plus minutes, struggled to keep possession whilst failing to register a single meaningful shot at goal all afternoon, yet come away with a scarcely deserved point. A 5-0 victory would’ve not flattered the home side by any stretch of the imagination. It’s not as if it was a vaguely competent defensive performance, as there was a catalogue of schoolboy errors, which time and again gifted the opposition goal scoring opportunities, fortunately for us they couldn’t take them.

Full credit to Sam Walker for an excellent performance which singlehandedly earned us a share of the spoils, he will be a tremendous miss when he returns to Chelsea after the Gillingham game. An honourable mention goes to Jabo, for taking over the perspiration over inspiration mantle whilst playing through the pain barrier.
The inclement weather, in addition to the MK Dons profligacy in front of goal, and a virtuoso second half performance from Sam walker, helped the U’s pick up another unlikely point in the depths of the concrete jungle this afternoon! Perhaps we don’t need to worry about the drop after all, when the ball even stops by its own accord on our goal line; an incredible amount of good luck is definitely favouring Joe Dunne at the moment! Once again we were absolutely battered for ninety plus minutes, struggled to keep possession whilst failing to register a single meaningful shot at goal all afternoon, yet come away with a scarcely deserved point. A 5-0 victory would’ve not flattered the home side by any stretch of the imagination. It’s not as if it was a vaguely competent defensive performance, as there was a catalogue of schoolboy errors, which time and again gifted the opposition goal scoring opportunities, fortunately for us they couldn’t take them. Full credit to Sam Walker for an excellent performance which singlehandedly earned us a share of the spoils, he will be a tremendous miss when he returns to Chelsea after the Gillingham game. An honourable mention goes to Jabo, for taking over the perspiration over inspiration mantle whilst playing through the pain barrier. Medicated Soap

7:29am Thu 2 Jan 14

angryman!!! says...

I would say it's been a good period to lose to bottom of the table and get a 2 wins against very mediocre sides is nothing to celebrate. It's not the end of the world and very much doubt we dull be relegated, but shows there are some huge weaknesses in the side that need addressing
I would say it's been a good period to lose to bottom of the table and get a 2 wins against very mediocre sides is nothing to celebrate. It's not the end of the world and very much doubt we dull be relegated, but shows there are some huge weaknesses in the side that need addressing angryman!!!

9:12am Thu 2 Jan 14

candy box says...

Mk dons had 29 shots colchester had 3 shoots
On that i would be happy with a point from Jd point of view but mk dons must feel disappointed , i think joe is a lucky guy at times and it must be the Irish luck in him .
Mk dons had 29 shots colchester had 3 shoots On that i would be happy with a point from Jd point of view but mk dons must feel disappointed , i think joe is a lucky guy at times and it must be the Irish luck in him . candy box

9:36am Thu 2 Jan 14

Eddy D says...

Maybe this is the equivalent of the Carlisle game where we battered them and only got a draw?

We've had our fair share of bad luck so to suggest JD has been lucky I think is unrealistic. 4 / 5 of your most likely goal scorers in Massey, Sears, Watt and Wright out injured for most of the season is hardly lucky is it?

Ler's have credit (and criticism if its necessary) where it's due and not criticise unfairly and at the wrong times.
Maybe this is the equivalent of the Carlisle game where we battered them and only got a draw? We've had our fair share of bad luck so to suggest JD has been lucky I think is unrealistic. 4 / 5 of your most likely goal scorers in Massey, Sears, Watt and Wright out injured for most of the season is hardly lucky is it? Ler's have credit (and criticism if its necessary) where it's due and not criticise unfairly and at the wrong times. Eddy D

9:46am Thu 2 Jan 14

BlueandWhiteBaz says...

But for an outstanding performance from Sam Walker it could or should have been yet another hammering at Stadium MK. It has to be said, with the sloppy play in a non-functional midfield, where attacks were almost as rare as hens teeth, this was an extremely fortunate point.
But for an outstanding performance from Sam Walker it could or should have been yet another hammering at Stadium MK. It has to be said, with the sloppy play in a non-functional midfield, where attacks were almost as rare as hens teeth, this was an extremely fortunate point. BlueandWhiteBaz

12:22pm Thu 2 Jan 14

BlueandWhiteBaz says...

Joe also thinks yesterdays game against MK Dons showed how we have improved. I just can't believe that statement, delusional or what?
Joe also thinks yesterdays game against MK Dons showed how we have improved. I just can't believe that statement, delusional or what? BlueandWhiteBaz

12:43pm Thu 2 Jan 14

crazy comments says...

Eddy D wrote:
Maybe this is the equivalent of the Carlisle game where we battered them and only got a draw?

We've had our fair share of bad luck so to suggest JD has been lucky I think is unrealistic. 4 / 5 of your most likely goal scorers in Massey, Sears, Watt and Wright out injured for most of the season is hardly lucky is it?

Ler's have credit (and criticism if its necessary) where it's due and not criticise unfairly and at the wrong times.
Did you go to the game Eddy.? This was a team apart from Sam Walker that played complete trash. In all the 59 years that I have been watching football, then I think its fair to say that I know what I'm talking apart. Yes I will give credit where's its due but this present shower deserve criticism from the highest point. For Joe to say that we have progressed, well then he should be sued under the trade descriptions act for false misreptation. Being honest we do not deserve to be in this division, and I will still be very surprised if we survive and stay up.
[quote][p][bold]Eddy D[/bold] wrote: Maybe this is the equivalent of the Carlisle game where we battered them and only got a draw? We've had our fair share of bad luck so to suggest JD has been lucky I think is unrealistic. 4 / 5 of your most likely goal scorers in Massey, Sears, Watt and Wright out injured for most of the season is hardly lucky is it? Ler's have credit (and criticism if its necessary) where it's due and not criticise unfairly and at the wrong times.[/p][/quote]Did you go to the game Eddy.? This was a team apart from Sam Walker that played complete trash. In all the 59 years that I have been watching football, then I think its fair to say that I know what I'm talking apart. Yes I will give credit where's its due but this present shower deserve criticism from the highest point. For Joe to say that we have progressed, well then he should be sued under the trade descriptions act for false misreptation. Being honest we do not deserve to be in this division, and I will still be very surprised if we survive and stay up. crazy comments

1:26pm Thu 2 Jan 14

Noah4x4 says...

Those that didn’t attend this away game; should read the post-match remarks of MK Don’s Manager Karl Robinson, which (IMHO) accurately reflect it;

“…….We were far superior and dominant and that’s not being disrespectful to the opposition because they are a good side. Credit to Colchester, they came here with a game plan and stuck to it. They never got carried away, they never came out of holes and they never had any clear cut opportunities…..
.

Just like the valuable AWAY points secured at Bradford; Preston; Rotherham: Bristol City etc.; this was a battling U’s defensive display by the underdogs struggling on the lowest budget. Yes; it is true that MK Dons did have 29 shots to our 3. However; most were speculative from outside of the 18 yard area and hence never likely to trouble Sam Walker. The six shots that did cause concern produced world class saves; hence we might have lost 5-0; but we didn’t; and that’s “football” where defence is as important as attack. To talk about this as being the “manager’s Irish luck” is disrespectful to the hard working; albeit less skilled team. This was about tactics; keeping a ‘clean sheet’; and perhaps stealing a win on the break. We were so deeply entrenched that the hard working Jabo Ibehre was totally isolated; not helped by Sanchez Watt that didn’t look match-fit. We came for a ‘clean sheet’ and got it. Well done lads!

Many fans won’t like such tactics; but the fact that Alex Gilbey was forced into a role as a makeshift centre back when Magnus departed injured says everything about our lack of available defensive options. Our natural goal scorers (including Jabo) are all injured or not 100% match fit; whilst Clinton Morrison’s 3 goals from over 50 appearance isn’t inspiring (nor are his wages helpful). But we have now made it to the January transfer window just a whisker below the top half of the table; albeit that we have no money to spend. But who is to blame for that? The FA/FIFA “Fair Play” (60%) rule means this town’s football team will always languish at a modest level dictated by its poor support base. We need to get behind our team as until Joe Dunne can escape from the tide of injuries and the player wage bill inherited from Ward, Boothroyd and Lambert; our only source of new players is likely to be player loans and/or the youth academy. Our better than expected league position; the quality loan signings of (example) Walker and Garbutt; and the rapid progress from the youth ranks of Gilbey; Bonne and Szmodics suggests we are witnessing improvement in the right direction; albeit that I fear we must be patient.
Those that didn’t attend this away game; should read the post-match remarks of MK Don’s Manager Karl Robinson, which (IMHO) accurately reflect it; “…….We were far superior and dominant and that’s not being disrespectful to the opposition because they are a good side. Credit to Colchester, they came here with a game plan and stuck to it. They never got carried away, they never came out of holes and they never had any clear cut opportunities….. . Just like the valuable AWAY points secured at Bradford; Preston; Rotherham: Bristol City etc.; this was a battling U’s defensive display by the underdogs struggling on the lowest budget. Yes; it is true that MK Dons did have 29 shots to our 3. However; most were speculative from outside of the 18 yard area and hence never likely to trouble Sam Walker. The six shots that did cause concern produced world class saves; hence we might have lost 5-0; but we didn’t; and that’s “football” where defence is as important as attack. To talk about this as being the “manager’s Irish luck” is disrespectful to the hard working; albeit less skilled team. This was about tactics; keeping a ‘clean sheet’; and perhaps stealing a win on the break. We were so deeply entrenched that the hard working Jabo Ibehre was totally isolated; not helped by Sanchez Watt that didn’t look match-fit. We came for a ‘clean sheet’ and got it. Well done lads! Many fans won’t like such tactics; but the fact that Alex Gilbey was forced into a role as a makeshift centre back when Magnus departed injured says everything about our lack of available defensive options. Our natural goal scorers (including Jabo) are all injured or not 100% match fit; whilst Clinton Morrison’s 3 goals from over 50 appearance isn’t inspiring (nor are his wages helpful). But we have now made it to the January transfer window just a whisker below the top half of the table; albeit that we have no money to spend. But who is to blame for that? The FA/FIFA “Fair Play” (60%) rule means this town’s football team will always languish at a modest level dictated by its poor support base. We need to get behind our team as until Joe Dunne can escape from the tide of injuries and the player wage bill inherited from Ward, Boothroyd and Lambert; our only source of new players is likely to be player loans and/or the youth academy. Our better than expected league position; the quality loan signings of (example) Walker and Garbutt; and the rapid progress from the youth ranks of Gilbey; Bonne and Szmodics suggests we are witnessing improvement in the right direction; albeit that I fear we must be patient. Noah4x4

2:23pm Thu 2 Jan 14

hungrystudent says...

Noah4x4 wrote:
Those that didn’t attend this away game; should read the post-match remarks of MK Don’s Manager Karl Robinson, which (IMHO) accurately reflect it;

“…….We were far superior and dominant and that’s not being disrespectful to the opposition because they are a good side. Credit to Colchester, they came here with a game plan and stuck to it. They never got carried away, they never came out of holes and they never had any clear cut opportunities…..

�.

Just like the valuable AWAY points secured at Bradford; Preston; Rotherham: Bristol City etc.; this was a battling U’s defensive display by the underdogs struggling on the lowest budget. Yes; it is true that MK Dons did have 29 shots to our 3. However; most were speculative from outside of the 18 yard area and hence never likely to trouble Sam Walker. The six shots that did cause concern produced world class saves; hence we might have lost 5-0; but we didn’t; and that’s “football” where defence is as important as attack. To talk about this as being the “manager’s Irish luck” is disrespectful to the hard working; albeit less skilled team. This was about tactics; keeping a ‘clean sheet’; and perhaps stealing a win on the break. We were so deeply entrenched that the hard working Jabo Ibehre was totally isolated; not helped by Sanchez Watt that didn’t look match-fit. We came for a ‘clean sheet’ and got it. Well done lads!

Many fans won’t like such tactics; but the fact that Alex Gilbey was forced into a role as a makeshift centre back when Magnus departed injured says everything about our lack of available defensive options. Our natural goal scorers (including Jabo) are all injured or not 100% match fit; whilst Clinton Morrison’s 3 goals from over 50 appearance isn’t inspiring (nor are his wages helpful). But we have now made it to the January transfer window just a whisker below the top half of the table; albeit that we have no money to spend. But who is to blame for that? The FA/FIFA “Fair Play” (60%) rule means this town’s football team will always languish at a modest level dictated by its poor support base. We need to get behind our team as until Joe Dunne can escape from the tide of injuries and the player wage bill inherited from Ward, Boothroyd and Lambert; our only source of new players is likely to be player loans and/or the youth academy. Our better than expected league position; the quality loan signings of (example) Walker and Garbutt; and the rapid progress from the youth ranks of Gilbey; Bonne and Szmodics suggests we are witnessing improvement in the right direction; albeit that I fear we must be patient.
Probably the most sense i have seen on this site Noah.

We sat back yesterday and invited them onto us, and although this style of play is ridiculously boring to watch and in my opinion not the right, it worked.

Crazy i think what JD means by progressed, is that we didnt concede today and actually defended very well (Magnus,Eastman and Garbutt anyway) where as we may have given a goal away in the past.

No one cares about your 59 years of footballing experience. it does not always mean you are any wiser. We will not go down this year and will finish in a better position than last year. We are a club that has had to rebuild from the foundations and our whole philosophy has changed.

Lets actually SUPPORT them for a change.

Up the U's
[quote][p][bold]Noah4x4[/bold] wrote: Those that didn’t attend this away game; should read the post-match remarks of MK Don’s Manager Karl Robinson, which (IMHO) accurately reflect it; “…….We were far superior and dominant and that’s not being disrespectful to the opposition because they are a good side. Credit to Colchester, they came here with a game plan and stuck to it. They never got carried away, they never came out of holes and they never had any clear cut opportunities….. � �. Just like the valuable AWAY points secured at Bradford; Preston; Rotherham: Bristol City etc.; this was a battling U’s defensive display by the underdogs struggling on the lowest budget. Yes; it is true that MK Dons did have 29 shots to our 3. However; most were speculative from outside of the 18 yard area and hence never likely to trouble Sam Walker. The six shots that did cause concern produced world class saves; hence we might have lost 5-0; but we didn’t; and that’s “football” where defence is as important as attack. To talk about this as being the “manager’s Irish luck” is disrespectful to the hard working; albeit less skilled team. This was about tactics; keeping a ‘clean sheet’; and perhaps stealing a win on the break. We were so deeply entrenched that the hard working Jabo Ibehre was totally isolated; not helped by Sanchez Watt that didn’t look match-fit. We came for a ‘clean sheet’ and got it. Well done lads! Many fans won’t like such tactics; but the fact that Alex Gilbey was forced into a role as a makeshift centre back when Magnus departed injured says everything about our lack of available defensive options. Our natural goal scorers (including Jabo) are all injured or not 100% match fit; whilst Clinton Morrison’s 3 goals from over 50 appearance isn’t inspiring (nor are his wages helpful). But we have now made it to the January transfer window just a whisker below the top half of the table; albeit that we have no money to spend. But who is to blame for that? The FA/FIFA “Fair Play” (60%) rule means this town’s football team will always languish at a modest level dictated by its poor support base. We need to get behind our team as until Joe Dunne can escape from the tide of injuries and the player wage bill inherited from Ward, Boothroyd and Lambert; our only source of new players is likely to be player loans and/or the youth academy. Our better than expected league position; the quality loan signings of (example) Walker and Garbutt; and the rapid progress from the youth ranks of Gilbey; Bonne and Szmodics suggests we are witnessing improvement in the right direction; albeit that I fear we must be patient.[/p][/quote]Probably the most sense i have seen on this site Noah. We sat back yesterday and invited them onto us, and although this style of play is ridiculously boring to watch and in my opinion not the right, it worked. Crazy i think what JD means by progressed, is that we didnt concede today and actually defended very well (Magnus,Eastman and Garbutt anyway) where as we may have given a goal away in the past. No one cares about your 59 years of footballing experience. it does not always mean you are any wiser. We will not go down this year and will finish in a better position than last year. We are a club that has had to rebuild from the foundations and our whole philosophy has changed. Lets actually SUPPORT them for a change. Up the U's hungrystudent

3:09pm Thu 2 Jan 14

BlueandWhiteBaz says...

Sorry Hungrystudent, I must be of a similar age to Crazy and I was brought up on the philosophy of attack being the best means of defence. This team has no ability to go forward at all and I find it difficult to support a team that has very limited ability to attack and excite fans. You wonder why we cannot accumulate more wins, well that is why and it's also the reason why there are so many stay away fans at home games. Until this is rectified by whatever means, we are going to be in a forever continuing downward spiral.
Sorry Hungrystudent, I must be of a similar age to Crazy and I was brought up on the philosophy of attack being the best means of defence. This team has no ability to go forward at all and I find it difficult to support a team that has very limited ability to attack and excite fans. You wonder why we cannot accumulate more wins, well that is why and it's also the reason why there are so many stay away fans at home games. Until this is rectified by whatever means, we are going to be in a forever continuing downward spiral. BlueandWhiteBaz

5:05pm Thu 2 Jan 14

hungrystudent says...

Baz, did i say i agreed with Dunne's tactics in recent games ? i too believe that attack is the best means of defence, and as a side we do have attacking threats such as jabo, watt, sears, massey ? however Dunne's recent tactics have been to sit off teams and soak up pressure (MK dons, Crewe second half) without providing any attacking threat which is wrong. Maybe this shows that Dunne lacks belief in some of his players ability or perhaps he believes teams around us have stronger sides ?

I would much prefer to see us go out and put teams to bed, go 1 or 2 up then sit back for 10 minutes before having another attacking burst for 10 too make sure the other team do not get too much of a hold on the game.

I do think our home atmosphere may have hindered the teams performances this year as players get criticized for passing the ball about at the back... "Get it out" "Oh not back to Walker" and the crowd constantly panic when we are pressed at the back even though the players have it under control. I understand the fans dont want to see us pass it around at the back but constant criticizing of the players isnt right. Name another fan base that constantly criticizes and abuses the team ?

Its upto the midfield to search for the ball and then we came make things happen from there. Its much better than our one trick pony act of chipping it upto Jabo.

It does make me wonder what the fans actually want ? we say we hated the boothroyd era yet we abuse the team for passing the ball around ? its all very well saying we play attacking football but what basis under ?

Lets actually get behind the team for once shall we, wouldn't it be interesting to see what the teams performance mjght be like if we all get behind them and actually create an atmosphere at the stadium rather than moan.

As football fans we should know to take the rough with the smooth and so we should stick behind the team should we not ?
Baz, did i say i agreed with Dunne's tactics in recent games ? i too believe that attack is the best means of defence, and as a side we do have attacking threats such as jabo, watt, sears, massey ? however Dunne's recent tactics have been to sit off teams and soak up pressure (MK dons, Crewe second half) without providing any attacking threat which is wrong. Maybe this shows that Dunne lacks belief in some of his players ability or perhaps he believes teams around us have stronger sides ? I would much prefer to see us go out and put teams to bed, go 1 or 2 up then sit back for 10 minutes before having another attacking burst for 10 too make sure the other team do not get too much of a hold on the game. I do think our home atmosphere may have hindered the teams performances this year as players get criticized for passing the ball about at the back... "Get it out" "Oh not back to Walker" and the crowd constantly panic when we are pressed at the back even though the players have it under control. I understand the fans dont want to see us pass it around at the back but constant criticizing of the players isnt right. Name another fan base that constantly criticizes and abuses the team ? Its upto the midfield to search for the ball and then we came make things happen from there. Its much better than our one trick pony act of chipping it upto Jabo. It does make me wonder what the fans actually want ? we say we hated the boothroyd era yet we abuse the team for passing the ball around ? its all very well saying we play attacking football but what basis under ? Lets actually get behind the team for once shall we, wouldn't it be interesting to see what the teams performance mjght be like if we all get behind them and actually create an atmosphere at the stadium rather than moan. As football fans we should know to take the rough with the smooth and so we should stick behind the team should we not ? hungrystudent

5:28pm Thu 2 Jan 14

Noah4x4 says...

I too am of a similar advanced age to earlier critics; but having directly lived such history, I choose not to distort its truth. This isn’t a “forever continuing downward spiral”. The U‘s are in Division One; the third tier of English Football and positioned above a number of clubs that have been in the Premier League. So how did we get here and why should this Town take far more pride in its local team?

The fact is that the U‘s spent the entire 1980’s in the fourth tier (now Division Two); then slipped out of the Football League in the 1990’s; albeit briefly. In 1998-99 we eventually got back into what is now Division One. We hence spent over twenty years simply getting back from (arguably) our lowest point to where we are now. In the subsequent 15 years; a dozen far more famous names have dropped out of the Football League.

Hence; including our Division One promotion season (2005-6) and the two subsequent seasons in the Championship; we can count the occasions that we have been HIGHER placed than today during a club history of 76 years on the fingers of one hand; plus we now have a quality stadium. So how can this be a ‘forever continuing downward spiral? It's our best ever decade in seven decades and we are again rising....!

At the end of February last year; we were struggling in ‘relegation zone’ territory having 23 points after a NINE game run of consecutive defeats; where; without the right personnel (e.g. Joe Dunne’s attacking newcomers Watt and Eastmond were injured etc.); we had tried “attack is the best form of defence”; and FAILED. For example; I recall us leaving two attackers on the half way line when defending a corner. After a shocking sequence and steep learning curve; we then had to grind out results to avoid relegation; like the miracle of beating relegation rivals Bury (away) with just ten men for 87 minutes (and where are relegated Bury; Hartlepool and Portsmouth now; let’s perhaps be grateful?).

Today, we have largely the same personnel (because we can’t offload and replace those that we don’t want); and have endured an even worse run of injuries too; yet we have 28 points merely at the end of January; and a mid-table position; having ground out results against sides that would have walloped us last year.

Yes; sometimes it’s ugly and occasionally devoid of attacking intent (but not as acutely as suggested; else how have we won 25% of matches?); but Wenger’s “Boring Boring Arsenal” was first built on sound defence; and look where it is today; e.g. top of the Premier League and attractive to watch. The U‘s have now achieved as many ‘clean sheets’ as any side in Division One outside of the top six; so our defence can’t be that bad? I am sure that Joe Dunne will revert tactics to his more favoured attacking style when our personnel and circumstances permit; but let’s first stabilise our league position by whatever 'boring' tactics are necessary and get behind our team.
I too am of a similar advanced age to earlier critics; but having directly lived such history, I choose not to distort its truth. This isn’t a “forever continuing downward spiral”. The U‘s are in Division One; the third tier of English Football and positioned above a number of clubs that have been in the Premier League. So how did we get here and why should this Town take far more pride in its local team? The fact is that the U‘s spent the entire 1980’s in the fourth tier (now Division Two); then slipped out of the Football League in the 1990’s; albeit briefly. In 1998-99 we eventually got back into what is now Division One. We hence spent over twenty years simply getting back from (arguably) our lowest point to where we are now. In the subsequent 15 years; a dozen far more famous names have dropped out of the Football League. Hence; including our Division One promotion season (2005-6) and the two subsequent seasons in the Championship; we can count the occasions that we have been HIGHER placed than today during a club history of 76 years on the fingers of one hand; plus we now have a quality stadium. So how can this be a ‘forever continuing downward spiral? It's our best ever decade in seven decades and we are again rising....! At the end of February last year; we were struggling in ‘relegation zone’ territory having 23 points after a NINE game run of consecutive defeats; where; without the right personnel (e.g. Joe Dunne’s attacking newcomers Watt and Eastmond were injured etc.); we had tried “attack is the best form of defence”; and FAILED. For example; I recall us leaving two attackers on the half way line when defending a corner. After a shocking sequence and steep learning curve; we then had to grind out results to avoid relegation; like the miracle of beating relegation rivals Bury (away) with just ten men for 87 minutes (and where are relegated Bury; Hartlepool and Portsmouth now; let’s perhaps be grateful?). Today, we have largely the same personnel (because we can’t offload and replace those that we don’t want); and have endured an even worse run of injuries too; yet we have 28 points merely at the end of January; and a mid-table position; having ground out results against sides that would have walloped us last year. Yes; sometimes it’s ugly and occasionally devoid of attacking intent (but not as acutely as suggested; else how have we won 25% of matches?); but Wenger’s “Boring Boring Arsenal” was first built on sound defence; and look where it is today; e.g. top of the Premier League and attractive to watch. The U‘s have now achieved as many ‘clean sheets’ as any side in Division One outside of the top six; so our defence can’t be that bad? I am sure that Joe Dunne will revert tactics to his more favoured attacking style when our personnel and circumstances permit; but let’s first stabilise our league position by whatever 'boring' tactics are necessary and get behind our team. Noah4x4

5:53pm Thu 2 Jan 14

Noah4x4 says...

For the sake of clarity by "best ever decade" I mean most successful consecutive period of ten years (e.g. not literally a decade) and by "twenty years to get back from our previous lowest point" I mean since our last relegation from the third tier. We did, of course; briefly go lower into the Conference; but given our 61 years as a football league club since 1950 that is just two year blip of form (just as our two years in the Championship was perhaps the reverse).
For the sake of clarity by "best ever decade" I mean most successful consecutive period of ten years (e.g. not literally a decade) and by "twenty years to get back from our previous lowest point" I mean since our last relegation from the third tier. We did, of course; briefly go lower into the Conference; but given our 61 years as a football league club since 1950 that is just two year blip of form (just as our two years in the Championship was perhaps the reverse). Noah4x4

6:34pm Thu 2 Jan 14

totallyfootball says...

I am slightly confused by some of the comments above, but I feel that the way the team has played of late that maybe the cause of that, does anyone really understand JD's tactics, are there any tactics, does JD understand them himself? Inviting a team onto you is dangerous unless you have a good counter system, do they possess that? I like to see teams keep the ball but understand the calls for the defenders to get rid, that's all due to a lack of confidence in those on the ball. Shutting up shop away from home and grinding out a point can be advantageous but not if you bring the same game plan to home games where you should be dominant in front of your home fans! In all the games I watched at Layer Road we got the ball down, we got it wide and we provided good service to the front by way of quality passes into feet or good crosses. When we get back to attacking teams at home we will get more points on the board and more bodies in the ground!
I am slightly confused by some of the comments above, but I feel that the way the team has played of late that maybe the cause of that, does anyone really understand JD's tactics, are there any tactics, does JD understand them himself? Inviting a team onto you is dangerous unless you have a good counter system, do they possess that? I like to see teams keep the ball but understand the calls for the defenders to get rid, that's all due to a lack of confidence in those on the ball. Shutting up shop away from home and grinding out a point can be advantageous but not if you bring the same game plan to home games where you should be dominant in front of your home fans! In all the games I watched at Layer Road we got the ball down, we got it wide and we provided good service to the front by way of quality passes into feet or good crosses. When we get back to attacking teams at home we will get more points on the board and more bodies in the ground! totallyfootball

7:45pm Thu 2 Jan 14

crazy comments says...

Noah4x4 wrote:
I too am of a similar advanced age to earlier critics; but having directly lived such history, I choose not to distort its truth. This isn’t a “forever continuing downward spiral”. The U‘s are in Division One; the third tier of English Football and positioned above a number of clubs that have been in the Premier League. So how did we get here and why should this Town take far more pride in its local team?

The fact is that the U‘s spent the entire 1980’s in the fourth tier (now Division Two); then slipped out of the Football League in the 1990’s; albeit briefly. In 1998-99 we eventually got back into what is now Division One. We hence spent over twenty years simply getting back from (arguably) our lowest point to where we are now. In the subsequent 15 years; a dozen far more famous names have dropped out of the Football League.

Hence; including our Division One promotion season (2005-6) and the two subsequent seasons in the Championship; we can count the occasions that we have been HIGHER placed than today during a club history of 76 years on the fingers of one hand; plus we now have a quality stadium. So how can this be a ‘forever continuing downward spiral? It's our best ever decade in seven decades and we are again rising....!

At the end of February last year; we were struggling in ‘relegation zone’ territory having 23 points after a NINE game run of consecutive defeats; where; without the right personnel (e.g. Joe Dunne’s attacking newcomers Watt and Eastmond were injured etc.); we had tried “attack is the best form of defence”; and FAILED. For example; I recall us leaving two attackers on the half way line when defending a corner. After a shocking sequence and steep learning curve; we then had to grind out results to avoid relegation; like the miracle of beating relegation rivals Bury (away) with just ten men for 87 minutes (and where are relegated Bury; Hartlepool and Portsmouth now; let’s perhaps be grateful?).

Today, we have largely the same personnel (because we can’t offload and replace those that we don’t want); and have endured an even worse run of injuries too; yet we have 28 points merely at the end of January; and a mid-table position; having ground out results against sides that would have walloped us last year.

Yes; sometimes it’s ugly and occasionally devoid of attacking intent (but not as acutely as suggested; else how have we won 25% of matches?); but Wenger’s “Boring Boring Arsenal” was first built on sound defence; and look where it is today; e.g. top of the Premier League and attractive to watch. The U‘s have now achieved as many ‘clean sheets’ as any side in Division One outside of the top six; so our defence can’t be that bad? I am sure that Joe Dunne will revert tactics to his more favoured attacking style when our personnel and circumstances permit; but let’s first stabilise our league position by whatever 'boring' tactics are necessary and get behind our team.
Quality stadium ? You got to be joking.
[quote][p][bold]Noah4x4[/bold] wrote: I too am of a similar advanced age to earlier critics; but having directly lived such history, I choose not to distort its truth. This isn’t a “forever continuing downward spiral”. The U‘s are in Division One; the third tier of English Football and positioned above a number of clubs that have been in the Premier League. So how did we get here and why should this Town take far more pride in its local team? The fact is that the U‘s spent the entire 1980’s in the fourth tier (now Division Two); then slipped out of the Football League in the 1990’s; albeit briefly. In 1998-99 we eventually got back into what is now Division One. We hence spent over twenty years simply getting back from (arguably) our lowest point to where we are now. In the subsequent 15 years; a dozen far more famous names have dropped out of the Football League. Hence; including our Division One promotion season (2005-6) and the two subsequent seasons in the Championship; we can count the occasions that we have been HIGHER placed than today during a club history of 76 years on the fingers of one hand; plus we now have a quality stadium. So how can this be a ‘forever continuing downward spiral? It's our best ever decade in seven decades and we are again rising....! At the end of February last year; we were struggling in ‘relegation zone’ territory having 23 points after a NINE game run of consecutive defeats; where; without the right personnel (e.g. Joe Dunne’s attacking newcomers Watt and Eastmond were injured etc.); we had tried “attack is the best form of defence”; and FAILED. For example; I recall us leaving two attackers on the half way line when defending a corner. After a shocking sequence and steep learning curve; we then had to grind out results to avoid relegation; like the miracle of beating relegation rivals Bury (away) with just ten men for 87 minutes (and where are relegated Bury; Hartlepool and Portsmouth now; let’s perhaps be grateful?). Today, we have largely the same personnel (because we can’t offload and replace those that we don’t want); and have endured an even worse run of injuries too; yet we have 28 points merely at the end of January; and a mid-table position; having ground out results against sides that would have walloped us last year. Yes; sometimes it’s ugly and occasionally devoid of attacking intent (but not as acutely as suggested; else how have we won 25% of matches?); but Wenger’s “Boring Boring Arsenal” was first built on sound defence; and look where it is today; e.g. top of the Premier League and attractive to watch. The U‘s have now achieved as many ‘clean sheets’ as any side in Division One outside of the top six; so our defence can’t be that bad? I am sure that Joe Dunne will revert tactics to his more favoured attacking style when our personnel and circumstances permit; but let’s first stabilise our league position by whatever 'boring' tactics are necessary and get behind our team.[/p][/quote]Quality stadium ? You got to be joking. crazy comments

7:50pm Thu 2 Jan 14

crazy comments says...

totallyfootball wrote:
I am slightly confused by some of the comments above, but I feel that the way the team has played of late that maybe the cause of that, does anyone really understand JD's tactics, are there any tactics, does JD understand them himself? Inviting a team onto you is dangerous unless you have a good counter system, do they possess that? I like to see teams keep the ball but understand the calls for the defenders to get rid, that's all due to a lack of confidence in those on the ball. Shutting up shop away from home and grinding out a point can be advantageous but not if you bring the same game plan to home games where you should be dominant in front of your home fans! In all the games I watched at Layer Road we got the ball down, we got it wide and we provided good service to the front by way of quality passes into feet or good crosses. When we get back to attacking teams at home we will get more points on the board and more bodies in the ground!
I agree with you 100%
[quote][p][bold]totallyfootball[/bold] wrote: I am slightly confused by some of the comments above, but I feel that the way the team has played of late that maybe the cause of that, does anyone really understand JD's tactics, are there any tactics, does JD understand them himself? Inviting a team onto you is dangerous unless you have a good counter system, do they possess that? I like to see teams keep the ball but understand the calls for the defenders to get rid, that's all due to a lack of confidence in those on the ball. Shutting up shop away from home and grinding out a point can be advantageous but not if you bring the same game plan to home games where you should be dominant in front of your home fans! In all the games I watched at Layer Road we got the ball down, we got it wide and we provided good service to the front by way of quality passes into feet or good crosses. When we get back to attacking teams at home we will get more points on the board and more bodies in the ground![/p][/quote]I agree with you 100% crazy comments

6:37pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Eddy D says...

Nope crazy I didnt go to the game but listened to it on the radio. Sounded like a dire game with very negative set up from us. BUT we did secure a valuable point in the process as opposed to the stuffings we get at mk generally. These points in difficult games could prive vital come the end od the season.

This season has been consistentky inconsistent. I have been impressed in some games, bemused in others and fist clenchingly frustrated in others.
I only ever claim to be a realist and I think, given the situatuon of the club at present, our current league position is better than it could be.
Nope crazy I didnt go to the game but listened to it on the radio. Sounded like a dire game with very negative set up from us. BUT we did secure a valuable point in the process as opposed to the stuffings we get at mk generally. These points in difficult games could prive vital come the end od the season. This season has been consistentky inconsistent. I have been impressed in some games, bemused in others and fist clenchingly frustrated in others. I only ever claim to be a realist and I think, given the situatuon of the club at present, our current league position is better than it could be. Eddy D

6:53pm Fri 3 Jan 14

candy box says...

Eddy put your gloves away mate
Eddy put your gloves away mate candy box

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