With Plymouth Argyle looking to win back-to-back league games at the start of the season for the first time since 1978, we spoke to Colchester United fansite A View From S2 to find more about the opposition.
First of all, how did you get into supporting Colchester?
The Colchester United connection runs deep, my grandfather David Coleman actually played for the U’s in the 1960s. When I came along, my dad and I lived around the corner from Layer Road, so as a boy I watched them from around seven and caught the bug!
What are your hopes in general for the season ahead?
Playoffs have to be the minimum. To be fair, the chairman, Robbie Cowling, has put his hand in his pocket over the last two summers. We narrowly missed out on the playoffs last season, so there is certainly expectation as opposed to optimism.
Are there any new signings at Colchester people should be looking out for?
Jevani Brown from Cambridge United is the highlight. He has Sammie Szmodics’ big boots to fill, but judging from the angst from Cambridge fans and his stats from lasts season he is a good ‘number 10’. After the ridiculous goalkeeping situation we had last year, it’s great to have the home-grown, experienced Dean Gerken in goal this term, he was snapped up on a free from Ipswich Town. Also, Connor Bramall has just arrived from Arsenal on a free, he made his debut at left-back last Saturday and looked very lively.
And how about any existing players to keep an eye on?
Winger Courtney Senior is a great (if infuriatingly inconsistent!) talent whose dribbling can be electric. Harry Pell is returning from injury and his all-action performances from central midfield drive the team forward, he was sorely missed during the second half of last season. Also keep an eye out for cult-hero Tom Eastman’s long passing from centre-back.
What sort of tactical style do you expect to set up with on Saturday?
John McGreal loves to use a 4-2-3-1 (although he has teased us with a 3-5-2 on occasions) so I’d be shocked if he set up differently. We play out from the back and look most dangerous when we counter with our quick wingers and full-backs.
And are there any real weak links in the side you’re worried about?
If opposition teams bully us or play a low block then we can look slow and toothless. We started the last game against Port Vale very slowly which was worrying. We also don’t really have a ‘Plan B’ either which isn’t ideal.
What first comes to mind when you think of Plymouth Argyle?
GREEEEEN ARMY! But seriously, a wounded team who should be pushing for promotion back to League One. Also…how was Freddie Lapado so good for you lot?
Which Argyle player, if any, would you like to sign?
Any of the ones you pinched from Bury, in particular Danny Mayor, he looked dynamite for the Shakers. I’m sure if Cowling ever tires of McGreal then we’d have Ryan Lowe in a heartbeat too!
Do you have any predictions for League Two in general this year?
It’s an absolute lottery! Scunthorpe,Bradford, Plymouth, Mansfield and Colchester could all be pushing for promotion or all end up outside the playoffs. I’ve given up on pre-season predictions! However, as long as Jim Bentley is in charge of Morecombe, they won’t go down.
And finally, what is your prediction for the game itself?
I reckon it could be a game high in quality attacking and counter attacking football. I think it’ll be a score draw. 2-2.