The pre-game ramble: Cambridge Utd

A visit to the spiritual home of Dion Dublin’s moustache awaits. Marvellous.

Lose and your team’s a disgrace. Win and you’re champions elect. I do hate being a football fan this early in the season. We really are a bunch of maniacs, aren’t we?

I’m still trying to err on the side of rationality but it’s pretty hard to curb those natural tendencies. We are fourth having yet to really find our feet – that certainly feels like a positive thing to me. Mind you, while we may not really be up and running performance-wise, there are growing signs that our defence and midfield are starting to get a grip, while Lee Burge has brick-walled the shit out of things since his return.

A third win in seven days would surely give us a better sense of trust in the confidence we’ve recently acquired. Standing in the way of that comfort is Cambridge United – a team that last season gave us one of the biggest hidings we’ve had in years. Can we return the favour?

How are they getting on?

It’s fair to say they’re a little all over the place so far, with three wins and three defeats to their name (and a draw dropped in for politeness), but they’ve got something about them. Recent form shows they’ve only actually lost one of their last five matches, and grabbed three wins in the process.

Their problem – much like our own – is they’re finding it tricky to grab the goals. They tend to find the net, but have yet to score more than a single goal in any of their league matches this season, leaving them with the joint-worst attacking record in the division. Luckily for them, that record also comes with a formidable defence that’s on par with the best that League Two has to offer (except for City, of course).

They picked up their first and only home win earlier this month, but does distribution of win location really tell us anything at this stage? It feels far too early to solidify any of these things as genuine patterns.

Who could cause us trouble?

Former Sky Blue scamp Gary Deegan is guaranteed to make a nuisance of himself. Keep your eye on the niggle-fest that’s bound to occur in the middle between him and the equally disagreeable Michael Doyle.

New signing Jabo Ibehre notched the winning goal in their midweek victory over Crewe and has always struck me as a pain in the arse to deal with. He may be 34 now and alternated between League One and Two for most of his career, but there’s still performances left in him. The man’s scored 30 goals in the last two years. That’s noteworthy by any measure.

Elsewhere, Karl Anthony Uchechukwu Mubiru Ikpeazu (AKA Karlos Anthony Uchechukwu Mubiru Ikpeazu AKA Karl AKA Uche AKA Uche Ikpeazu) is the footballing definition of “a handful”.

Sky Blues team news

Well, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that Tony will be out for the season, and some of us will lose the ability to shout “Tony” at matches anymore. Those of you can’t do without will have to relocate to his home on the treatment table if you wanna keep doing it. I know, gutting. On a more positive note, the good news is, Rodney is back, so… every cloud.

You’re still thinking about the bad news aren’t you?

Prediction

We’re at it again, winning back-to-back and whipping fans up into a positivity frenzy. The recent signs do point to a team that is capable of doing all the dominant things needed to win games in this league. A confident and solid keeper; growing familiarity in defence; bastards patrolling the midfield; a lighting-fast talent on the wings; and a Mallard up front.

I’m calm and measured about the possibilities, but all these factors suggest we might just conjure up another result that I’ll be happy with.

Cambridge 1 – 3 Coventry

Image by Liamtaylor007 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Total
3
Shares

Leave a Reply