In the blue corner, Aidy Boothroyd, helping Colchester United punch their weight this season. But what`s that coming over the hill? Why, Norwich City and Paul Lambert of course…!
We`ve had our fun so far this season, right?
Spanking Norwich 7-1 on the opening day of the season, replacing a certain ex-manager with perhaps an even bigger talent in Aidy Boothroyd and then plucking Kayode Odejayi from reserve obscurity only to place him among the goals.
But what`s that? Stop the press! Our not-so dear neighbours Norwich have brushed themselves up after our opening-day dressing-down and look ready to leapfrog us on points anytime soon? The initial gargantuan gap created when Kevin Lisbie and company ripped holes through their AWOL defence has shrunk to a few goals, one league placing and just three points. Fourth V Fifth? The heat is on!
So, should we be scared? No, I say, because it`s a bit early for pantomime. No prizes, by the way, for guessing that I won`t be rushing to rip up the season ticket at the prospect of possibly going toe-to-toe with City within the next few weeks as their decent results continue to propel them into promotion contention and right, as it presently still is, behind us in those standings.
Bring on Norwich; bring it all on! Bring on an inevitable war of words and the compensation-claim baggage. And bring on their manager, a guy never held with any great affection in Essex due to his unorthodox, albeit strong, approach to winning matches with United.
Bring on Grant Holt, too, a great striker at this level, who might have signed for United instead of City during the last transfer window. Use pride and bravado to suggest, besides, that Holt might just be eclipsed on any given day by Lisbie, a former City loanee who Norwich fans love to hate after his role in a very heated East Anglian derby exchange last season.
Some might say such boldness is misplaced, since Lambert`s win ratio as Norwich manager, although with more fixtures played, outshines Booythroyd`s already. We`re hanging onto a greasy pole, they`d suggest, while City are puffing their chests while finally keeping some consistency.
Have no fear! With a little creative accounting, some stat shifting, the facts can be transformed to advance Colchester`s case as much as they can City`s. They`re a bigger club? So what; we played them – the XI – not their reputations as individuals on the opening day and can do exactly the same come January. They`ll be out for revenge? Whatever; this game is a local derby, of sorts and we`ll be in our back yard when the rematch kicks-off.
And so the list of claims-and-counter claims might spiral, ad infinitum.
Sure, City are approaching.
Somehow, we always knew they would. You can either relish this fight or run from it. And yes, I know – that’s a non-choice. We’re all in this together. So, who`s with me?
Story So Far…
Paul Lambert: W: 10 D: 3 L: 3 (= 16 games)
Aidy Boothroyd: W: 5 D: 4 L: 1 (= 10 games)
So what do you think?
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