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Long John HIll

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  1. Long John HIll

    Colchester fans still bitter.

    "Bitter" Col U fan here who can see Carra Rud from where I live. Posting this in peace.

    I did see the article before it was pulled and agree that there was a mixture of truths in there. Can''t say that I recognise the chap concerned. I don''t share the deluded view of some that we''ve got a divine right to be in the Championship though I''d love to see us back there - upper mid-table in League One is pretty much our level as things stand and it''ll probably stay that way for a while.

    My own take on the situation is down the conspiracy theory line that McNally had discussions with Lambert in the close season with regard to being the fallback option depending on how Gunn coped with life in League One.

    We all know that there''s a food chain when it comes to hiring and firing - older hands will know all about Mike Walker who Col U let go through the sheer incompetence of our then chairman but he was generally wished well by us when he took you into Europe, before he in turn got poached by Everton.

    What really rankles with me where Lambert is concerned isn''t so much the manner of his departure which I''ll come back to in a tick but that by freezing out five players at the start of the season. The fact that he waited until the summer was over before making certain first-teamers train with the youths and casting others adrift on loan to Southend caused obvious disharmony in the dressing room and the stands. Remember Roeder''s version of man-management at your place? That''s how it was for us.

    I''d already had my suspicions when he jumped ship at Wycombe after taking them into the playoffs in 2008 rather than build on that. The 7-1 apart, he''d never really got the fans on his side.

    It''s been a surprise that he''s become all the things at your place that he never was at ours, but then to my mind your season in the third tier was basically a blip - you''d got the setup which comes of spending nigh on fifty years in the top two divisions and would have been there or thereabouts even without Lambert being appointed.

    The manner of departure also caused ill feeling in that the alleged phone call to Robbie Cowling (can''t remember if it was Bowkett or McNally) was a request to *appoint* Lambert when no prior approach had been made. It''s one thing to ask to talk to a manager under contract, but it''s patently obvious that something naughty had been going on beforehand.

    The Tuesday when the news conference was called showed the character at our place. (contrary to some opinion on here it does exist!) The anger at our place at 10 o''clock that morning was converted into completely getting behind the team when well-loved club figure Joe Dunne was put in temporary charge that same afternoon. Gillingham really didn''t know what hit them that night.

    We know we struggle for any kind of fanbase given that we''re stuck between that place up the A12

    that both of us used to have a bond over when it came to dislike and the amount of people who gravitate towards London and Prem teams while not having watched a live game in years. There''ve been some problems with settling into the new ground due in part to the club operating on far more of a business level under Cowling - the community feel seems to have evaporated somewhat although things are moving in the right direction.

    As for Holt, of course we were interested but of course we weren''t the only ones, so I for one was never really a bone of contention that he came to you. Hammond''s departure has been cited as due in part to not seeing eye to eye with Lambert, though the timing seemed baffling in the circumstances.

    Fox never really got a look in while Hoofroyd was in charge, while Tierney''s departure was viewed with amusement bearing in mind his previous comments about Norwich!

    The Nazigate affair involving Cowling was whipped up no end by the local press here - we know he was a silly boy for saying it and there was an extensive apology to our fans afterwards, but then I can''t see for the life of me how the bloke who emailed him in the first place can complain having sent an abusive email to somebody who he didn''t know personally before crying to Mummy when he got a taste of his own medicine. If you can''t take it, don''t dish it out. You learn that at primary school.

    I''ll be interested to see how things go for you next season but readily admit that Lambert''s off my Christmas card list. That''s football though. He''ll move on again, and so will we. Sorry about the overlong post but I just wanted to right a couple of things from our side. I respect what you''ve done in going up but I can''t ever see myself liking the man. Good luck next season though.