Candle in the 80mph wind?
Life post-Vertonghen (I know he’s not dead) begins with a fourth round FA Cup Saturday lunchtime trip to the pragmatically named Weston Homes Community Stadium, a windswept (and if the weather tomorrow is anything like today then it will be truly windswept) Meccano building opposite McDonalds next to the A12 just outside Colchester.
Driving past it, it looks a soulless venue but I’ve never been there for a game. Maybe when it’s full to the brim the 10,000 inhabitants make it rock like the Britannia, or maybe they save that for the visits of Elton John & Lionel Ritchie.
Colchester’s most famous result was the 3-2 win over Leeds at Layer Road in 1971. Revie’s side was one of the best teams in Europe at the time and whilst we obviously have no pretensions to that status if we were to lose tomorrow’s game, such is the current gulf between the two clubs, it would rank as just as big a shock.
Last weekend’s stirring last half hour at Selhurst Park has put a spring back into everyone’s step after the battles of attrition against Leicester and it’s been a relief to be able to enjoy the feeling with a week off for a change. The chief architects of that win against Palace should find themselves with even more time to kick back as it’s extremely unlikely that Kane, Alli and Dembélé amongst others will find themselves in the starting line up until Tuesday’s game at Carrow Rd.
A stab at the eleven to begin the game would be Vorm, Walker, Davies, Wimmer, Dier, Bentaleb, Carroll, Son, Lamela, Chadli, Onomah, but that is total guesswork. Poch may mix things up even more by including the likes of Winks, Carter-Vickers or Mason but he’ll be well aware that the important thing is to win the game rather than blood the youth.
In League One Colchester are in a right old mess. 24th out of 24 they are seven points from safety and have conceded 65 goals in 28 games with a goal difference of minus 29. They have lost 11 of their last 14 games and drawn the other three. They last won on Oct 20th. Even if you include their three FA cup wins in that time it’s still an abysmal trail to leave behind you. Surely only complacency will stop us making it through to the next round……?
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