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Well that was better, but standards have really dropped....
at 08:56 28 Sep 2016

I said when we sold Murphy that if we don't get a good replacement in straight away then this season becomes a transitional one and sadly nothing I've seen since has changed my view on that.

We've brought in Williams, Varney and Best who aren't up to speed yet, we were already down McGoldrick and Hyam; and have been unfortunate with injuries to Smith, Webster and Pitman so the squad is desperately thin.

But last night and recent previous games almost feels like pre-season - where we are still trying to work out what we are doing....but it's basically October!

We passed the ball around better tonight, there seemed a real intent to go shorter, to play it out from the back more and that was good to see. Best did well up top but needed more support - Ward looks as though he could do with a rest.

I thought Bru had one of his better games, but just isn't suited to that more advanced role as just doesn't play high enough - and Skuse/Douglas as a partnership playing the way they are isn't going to lead anywhere because they sit so, so deep - it's no surprise we are short up top with Bru drifting deeper to those 2.

Pleased with and for Emmanuel, much more comfortable on the ball and got forward and involved well, and think Lawrence did well too.

I have a feeling we may nick it against Hudds on Saturday, but we really need to get a better balance between defence and attack and think that comes mainly from the midfield - would like to see Grant, Bishop or Bru playing alongside Skuse in the middle 2 to give us a bit more quality and impetus there.

Season feels like it has mid table written all over it though, and if we don't start continue with the first sprouts of passing football that showed last night, doubled up with a bit more chance creation then it could be a long boring season!
Times reporting Allardyce 'set to be sacked' (n/t)
at 12:01 27 Sep 2016

Out of contract players...
at 16:57 26 Sep 2016

...just been sent a list of those players not currently contracted that are available as free agents if we were to try and add to the squad.

Players here listed are those with an ability in game of 100 (bottom end Championship players)

Over 30
Stéphane Sessegnon
Emmanuel Adebayor
Leon Osman
Joey O'Brien
Peter Odemwingie
Marouane Chamakh
Bobby Zamora
Sylvain Distin
Charles N'Zogbia
Kieran Richardson
Nigel Reo-Coker
Ryan Taylor
Luciano Becchio
Marco Motta
Tony Hibbert
Luke Moore
Chris Burke
Chris Kirkland
Marc-Antoine Fortuné
Anthony Gerrard
Matthew Upson
Lloyd Doyley
Dean Hammond
Carlos Edwards

Under 30
Junior Hoilett
Diego Poyet
Federico Macheda
Jose Baxter
Jordan Spence
Ishmael Miller
Reece Wabara
Frank Nouble

Some of these players are unavailable as taking time out of the game (Kirkland), likely to retire, serving a drugs ban (Baxter) or rubbish (Nouble)

A couple are interesting options though - wonder where Diego Poyet will end up as he is a class act.
Injury crisis
at 12:51 26 Sep 2016

Tommy Smith
Teddy Bishop
Brett Pitman
Luke Varney
Adam Webster
Grant Ward
Luke Hyam
Jonny Williams

Have all missed the last, or are due to miss the next, game.

On top of that Leon Best isn't really up to speed yet and we (normally) try not to rush players back before an international break because it can really set them back.

Also the U18s had 8(!) players missing through injury on Saturday, be interesting to see who plays for the U23s tonight and whether someone like Morris may get a look in tomorrow for the bench as we are desperately short throughout the squad.
Guess the quote...
at 10:08 26 Sep 2016

It won't be that clubs don't want to let players go out. It will that they won't let someone go out without making sure they have got someone coming in first. I've been there myself and we are in that situation here in that we can't afford to leave ourselves exposed in any areas. It's a balancing act.

Was it

a) Mick McCarthy, in the programme notes of the Preston game, on the day we agreed to sell our best striker and arguably our most important player without seemingly having a replacement lined up

b) Someone else
If I were Mick I'd resign....
at 16:45 25 Sep 2016

...he's doing an impossible job where he has to push for promotion with limited resources and has to work in the short term when it could be argued the only way we'll get there is to take a step or two back and try and re-build something.

He has enhanced his reputation, and any parachute payment club would be a fool not to consider him for a vacancy.

And it is going to end badly for him here, the fans are turning and the football is turgid. He's done too much here to turn the club around to get the boot and wouldn't like to see that at any point.

Aguero has scored 28 goals in his last 27 league games....
at 09:05 25 Sep 2016

....ITFC have scored 24
Well that was a waste of a day....!
at 21:46 24 Sep 2016

Game couldn't have gone any worse really.

Bullied by Chris Wood from start to finish we struggled to get in the game and 1-0 flattered us.....although from the way we played you wouldn't have thought we were 1-0 down for an hour as we offered absolutely nothing going forward. No shots on target and not even a half chance.

We just showed absolutely no attacking intent, no one close to Pitman or Best, and whenever Ward or Sears got the ball rather than going forward they turned back to face their own their goal and allowed Leeds to regroup so we got nowhere.

Douglas and Skuse played so deep that when we consistently went long and lost it, we had no-one to pick up the second balls - it was an embarrassinly inept attacking performance.

To make matters worse, Best looked knackered towards the end and will probably need to start on Tuesday and we will be missing Ward, Webster and Pitman presumably. The squad has no real depth when you look at that bench.

The only time we had anything when going forwards was with Berra having long balls lumped at him - although the day was summed up when he tried to flick one and cleared it for Leeds.....!

We miss Murphy so desperately and predictably - the fact Mick was chucking 7 figure bids around makes it so obvious he was aware of this for all the bluster since both from him, and those supporters who thought we were going to turn into a footballing side overnight despite all evidence to the contrary.

The hour stuck on the M62 wasn't much fun either.
The whole game solution....
at 17:24 23 Sep 2016

AKA The EFL's attempt to restructure the league - potentially into 4 divisions of 20 as opposed to 3 divisions of 24.

As a positive - they have ruled out the inclusion of B teams and potential for Rangers/Celtic to join the league.

Be interested to see how it goes - but very good news that these things are totally off the table so early in the process:
MOTs - why don't we get reminders when they expire!
at 15:40 22 Sep 2016

Just checked MOT status on one of my vans and it had expired, checked the rest and another 3 had or were days away from doing so, so have booked them all in. Expensive week!

Told another guy this and he checked his and both his car and his van had expired.

Told someone else I saw and there's had too.....

Why is there no reminder for this like there is car tax etc? It used to be that when you renewed car tax that it checked whether your insurance and tax was valid, now that is set up by Direct Debit it doesn't seem to?

I bet there are hundreds of thousands of cars out there where the owner doesn't realise it doesn't have a valid MOT.
CJ de Mooi arrested for murder....!
at 11:46 22 Sep 2016

In his autobiography, he put in there some (no doubt bull5hit) story about getting mad and pushing someone into a canal in Amsterdam and most likely killing them......

Dutch police issued a warrant, he has now been nicked at Heathrow and has to go to court for an extradition hearing....!
Alishan Pavillion, Penzance Road
at 19:38 20 Sep 2016

Anyone been? Tempted to go tomorrow for a couple of reasons:

1 - It's about the only place within walking distance of my house

2 - They have a cracking midweek special of Starter, Main, Side and Rice/Naan for £11.95
What event or period in history fascinates you the most?
at 19:15 20 Sep 2016

With all the talk on the 9/11 thread it just made me think about other events, or people or time periods that people are interested.....

I'd say mine is the Cambridge Spy Ring.
Hopefully that last 10 minutes will encourage Mick to take the handbrake off....
at 08:57 18 Sep 2016

We've got some talent going forwards, and felt as though he left it too long before bringing Best on - Pitman was so quiet in that 2nd half and seemed to really be struggling.

Was very similar to the Reading game when they looked really shaky at the back and almost there for the taking - Mick did make the changes yesterday and it made a huge difference - we haven't had a 10 minute spell like that since our play off season when we were just battering them.....

We defended well throughout, and Lawrence looks a good signing - was really impressed with best's 10 minutes and feel that Pitman is on borrowed time as a lone striker because that just isn't working..........and after 4 goals in a half on the opening day it has taken us 7 games (plus 1 cup game) to score our next 4.

Work to do, but it seems like all the pieces are there for a succesful season - hopefully Mick can get the combination right and the balance between defence and attack right.
This seems wrong to me....
at 09:10 17 Sep 2016

We are unlikely to get a visit from the health visitor before my wife gives birth, which is standard process because the health visitors are too stretched.....

Been told that because we haven't had any problems and that English is our first language we are at the back of the queue.

All the info says it's an important part of development, but am not too fussed as pretty sure we are ok - but another example of why people are voting for Brexit in places outside London when services are stretched and immigrants are ahead of you in the queue.
Any Quantity Surveyor's on here?
at 09:48 15 Sep 2016

I've got a ridiculous schedule of rates I need to get completed in next couple of days and am getting nowhere....

So much detail, and can't really get anywhere with it - if you are and fancy some work drop me a PM.
Places to eat in Colchester
at 14:49 14 Sep 2016

That are realtively quick and not too expensive....

Meeting a mate at 7 on Friday, and want to be out for the Liverpool-Chelsea game afterwards......planned on North Hill Noodle Bar but they only have tables at 5.30 and 9 which doesn't really work

Who's going to Leeds then?
at 10:35 14 Sep 2016

I've not been for a few years, and my father in law is a Leeds fan so am going up with him.

Been meaning to for a few years as he hasn't been to Elland Road for ages but always seemd to fall on a Tuesday night which makes it very difficult.

Guessing it hasn't changed much?
Nearly shat myself at the end there, thought we'd conceded!
at 21:38 13 Sep 2016

Cracking result though, good to see positive changes made at half time as first half sounded dreadful.

Pitman as a lone striker with no support just isn't going to work - hopefully we won't see that again. Lawrence sounded relatively involved and good to see a clean sheet with Webster in the back 4 as we need to get him into the side.

Hopefully nothing serious with Skuse though, would be a big miss
Doesn't sound great....
at 20:22 13 Sep 2016

Hitting long balls and ball not sticking, defence under loads of pressure, same old.
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