The four letter word, obviously, cannot be reproduced here in print, but for those Facebookers amongst us, just type in ‘Paul Lambert` and search the groups now dedicated to him – some 500-plus members already? in less than a week!
Although Lambert is currently the most disliked person among U’s fans, he certainly isn’t the first – and won’t be the last – figure of apparent hate. Here are the leading contenders, from the club`s recent history – and in no particular order.
Appointed July 1994 and led the side to one defeat in 20 games, after 6 straight defeats at the beginning of the season. With the U’s flying high and on a winning role, and an F.A. Cup Third Round tie against Premiership Wimbledon to look forward to, Burley resigned on Christmas Eve, with the club in fifth place.
He promptly took charge of struggling Premiership neighbors Ipswich Town. To cut a long story short, Colchester took Town to the High Court and promptly won over Burley`s ‘tapping up’ while he went on to guide Ipswich to relegation from the top-flight that season.
Prior Lambert`s departure, the George Burley terrace songs were still favourites amongst the U’s faithful.
In fact, I heard one supporter comment that Burley would be a much happy man, now, given what Lambert has done as it would at least take some flack off him!
Famously resigned in June 2006 after the successful promotion season to take over at big-spending Hull City.
He promptly took Hull to the bottom of the Championship and was sacked five days after a famous 5-1 drubbing at Layer Road. When interviewed by Sky Sports after the game, in an almost empty stadium, one voice could be heard from somewhere in the stand behind him; ‘Parky, Parky what`s the score?’. The look on Parkinson’s face was a classic!
His time at Hull was certainly a troubled one, with rumors of player disagreements between him and ex-U’s physio, Stuart Ayles. Like Burley’s departure several years before, Colchester were vindicated through the courts.
Parkinson will return to Colchester as a manager with Charlton Athletic on September 29th. It will be interesting to see what kind of reception he gets and which terrace chants are brought to the fore.
Has made a number of derisory comments over the years and is a figure of dislike for many club fans.
One particular comment springs to mind made about Colchester before a match against his then Plymouth argyle team: ‘Little teams like Colchester shouldn’t even be on the same pitch as big clubs like Plymouth.’
He also, when interviewed, failed to give any credit to a victorious Colchester side, who had just beaten another of his former sides, Sheffield United, commenting instead that he ‘rested a number of first team players’
Took over the managerial reigns at Colchester in 1999, after Steve Wignall quit. Wadsworth brought in a number of players, including Sagi Burton, Stephane Pounewatchy, Warren Aspinall, Brian Launders, Joe Keith and the unproven French trio of Fabrice Richard, Steve Germain and Thomas Pinault, while allowing several crowd favourites to leave, Tony Adcock and Dunne being among them.
The majority of Wadsworth’s signings were very questionable with really only Pinault and Keith going on to carve out a future with the club. Most were connected to agent Barry Silkrman, who unsuccessfully took the club to court over the sacking of Launders for gross misconduct (still unknown as to what the misconduct actually was). Post this, the club took the stance of not dealing with agents, which has only recently changed. He mysteriously departed within two weeks of the 1999/2000 season.
Not more much needs to be said about ‘Curo’. Rescued from football obscurity and adulated by the Layer Road fans, he went on to become Championship Golden Boot winner, before requesting a transfer and claiming ‘lack of ambition by the club’. With only rivals Hull City reportedly interested in his signature he went onto effectively engineer his own move with the comment ‘I’m not really interested in a move to Hull City, however, if a club like Norwich was to come along I would love to return’.
The rest is history and those terrace chants will live on.
And now, the best of the rest:-
ROWAN VINE made some derogatory comments about the club after a loan spell and has received some abuse on his many returns, most notably when he came to Layer Road with Birmingham, where upon substitution, he was booed and jeered off the field. As he sat down in the dugout a U’s supporter took the abuse to the extreme by banging on the dugout in a rage and subjecting Vine to a tirade of abuse.
Big ROY McDONOUGH during his second spell with club was always booed when his name was read out by the team announcer. With the U’s winning, say, 2-0 he would regularly be caught offside, infuriating the fans: ‘Get back, you old man!’ would come the cry. Was this indeed the sign of an old man, or a very clever ploy to waste time and break-up play? McDonough was a man we loved to hate and I think he reveled in it. After all he prompted the chant: ‘Always see him in The Lamb on a Saturday night’.
Less notable but worthy of a mention, RON GREEN, truly the worst Goalkeeper ever to wear a Col U shirt and during one match could perhaps have been sent off on two separate occasions for a professional foul which, on both times, had the entire crowd chanting: ‘Off, off, off!’
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