D3D4 Cambridge United Correspondent Tom Walker looks back on 2017 from a U’s perspective…
Cambridge United – Review of 2017
For my club, 2017 has been: FRUSTRATING. Inconsistency has been the trend of 2017 for Cambridge. We’ve continually flattered to deceive, and always hovered around three points of the play-off places without ever actually entering them, but for three days at the start of January. Away from league position and results, the football hasn’t lived up to expectations either. On the whole, we’ve been negative despite having usually boasted some reasonable attacking talent in comparison to the rest of the league, and so combined with our inability to break into the playoffs despite numerous chances to do so. Discontent among the fans towards the club reached breaking point, culminating in the resignation of our long-serving chairman. Cambridge United’s word of 2017 is FRUSTRATING.
Best Player: Due to the fact that the year covers two seasons, it would only be fair to pick the best player from the end of 16/17 and the best player from the start of 17/18. Firstly, although it hugely pains me to say it, our best player for the first half of 2017 would have to be (now at Luton Town) Luke Berry.
It is no exaggeration to say that he kept our season alive, and was the sole reason behind keeping us in contention with the playoffs right until the last day of the season. Scored more than twenty goals from midfield across the whole season, and rightly deserved a lucrative move in summer, but did it HAVE to be Luton?!
For the start of this season, I’d go with Jevani Brown. Signed from St. Neots Town as a relative unknown, he’s settled into life in the Football League with staggering ease. He’s tricky, fast, and has got a finishing touch that more experienced players than him could only dream of.
I wouldn’t bet against selecting him for the Player of the Year this time in 2018, as well at this rate. Definitely one to watch. Would not be at all surprised to see him surge up the leagues in the near future.
Worst Player: Harsh one. I’m not sure Cambridge have had a standout ‘worst player’, as we’ve mostly been quite average across the board apart from a couple of standouts, like the aforementioned Berry & Brown. Therefore, I’m going to have to sit on the fence and give honourable mentions to Jake Carroll, Gary Deegan, Ade Azeez and Emmanuel Osadebe for being so consistently underwhelming, rather than outright terrible.
I suppose Shaun Derry could get a mention here, it’s fair to say he’s had a less than impressive 2017, too, what with our worst ever league defeat and throwing away unthinkable leads.
Best Moment: Wycombe Wanderers away. Nearly 2000 Cambridge fans packed into the away end in Buckinghamshire for our final match of the 2016/17.
We still had an outside chance of the playoffs, and the noise made from the away end that day was absolutely outstanding. From about an hour before kick-off, right up until the final whistle, it was a non-stop party atmosphere, followed by hope of an exciting and successful next campaign.
Worst Moment: Luton Town 7-0 Cambridge United. Humiliation, the likes of which no fan ever deserves to see their team put through. Horrendous.
For My Club, a New Year’s Resolution Should Be: To sign a prolific striker to give us the extra bit of quality going forward we’ve been lacking to see us into the playoffs.