Just three short days after the last home game, Colchester United took to the field for another home game, this time the opponents were bottom placed strugglers Crewe Alexander. Luke Garbutt started the game in the left-back position and Colchester enjoyed some good early pressure.

Garbutt’s first real involvement was to collect the ball after a cleared corner; the youngster showed good control and then fired in a shot which I thought was on target. Unfortunately Colchester striker Jabo Ibehre got in the way and used his head to deflect Garbutt’s shot over the bar. It was a real shame as I believe had Ibehre left the ball alone there would have been a good chance Garbutt’s shot would have been on target and might have found the inside of the post.

Garbutt’s next involvement was a quick interchange of passes with Colchester winger Blair Turgott. This was notable because Turgott pinged the ball at Garbutt with pace and quickly turned to run up the pitch. I thought Turgott had put too much pace on the ball but Garbutt calmly controlled it and confidently, using the outside of his foot, pinged it up over a Crewe player’s head to find the running Turgott. This was a real moment of class from Garbutt and he got a round of applause from the Colchester fans.

Then, around the half-hour mark, Garbutt won a free kick a few yards outside the Crewe box. It was quite a distance from the goal and, as the ball was placed, I remarked to my friend that this was probably too far out for a shot and would probably be a cross.

Garbutt and Captain Brian Wilson stood over the ball and I strongly fancied Wilson to cross it but surprisingly Wilson dummied and Garbutt hit the ball with some serious pace. Garbutt’s shot struck a Crewe player, deflected and wrong footed the goalkeeper, ending up in the Crewe goal. Garbutt wheeled away in delight celebrating his third goal for Colchester. Although technically the ball deflected off a Crewe player, I doubt it will be taken away from Garbutt whose powerful shot was on target.

Colchester ended the first half with a one goal advantage and, for my money, Garbutt was the best player on show.

The second half was a real drag though with Colchester seemingly switched off. They conceded an equaliser and then Crewe scored a winner three minutes later. The second-half performance was really awful from Colchester and the fans started to get on the players’ backs.

Garbutt, to his credit, did okay in the second half. He spent much more time defending and a couple of times he had to make a couple of last-ditch sliding tackles which reminded me of Tony Hibbert.

Garbutt is prone to letting attackers run at him and quite often they go past him but luckily Garbutt has a good amount of pace and usually he can catch attackers and execute a sliding tackle. It’s not that Garbutt is blisteringly quick; it’s more that Garbutt has a terrific change of pace. In either attack or defence, Garbutt can in a second change his pace and surprise his opponent.

The only other mention of note in the second half for Garbutt was receiving the ball and using this change of pace to explode forward. He went past two Crewe players before the third one finally stopped him. Shame because, had he gone past the third, he would have been on to the Crewe goal.

With five minutes to go, the Colchester speaker system announced the Man of the Match and once again it was Luke Garbutt. I think he won it for his terrific first-half performance but he wasn’t bad in the second.

So a disappointing defeat for Colchester United but another Man-of-the-Match performance and a goal for young Luke Garbutt.

I think I’ve watched Luke Garbutt in seven or eight games now and I can honestly say he is probably Colchester’s best player. Garbutt is certainly very important to Colchester. He takes every corner, every throw-in and pretty much every free kick. His crossing ability creates goals for other players and, like today, he’s good for a few goals himself.

Officially this was Luke Garbutt’s last game for Colchester as his loan spell expires January 4th. I’m sure boss Joe Dunne will contact Everton to arrange another extension but personally I think Roberto Martinez should decline this request.

I love watching Garbutt play for Colchester and he would undoubtedly be a big loss to the team but, from an Everton fan’s point of view, I would prefer to see Garbutt at a Championship side for the rest of the season.

Garbutt is good enough for a step up into the Championship and, if I was Martinez, that would be how I would next develop him. With some time in the Championship, I honestly believe Garbutt could be ready to offer an option to Oviedo if for whatever reason Leighton Baines is not at Everton next season.

Anyway, Goal for Garbutt, Man-of-the-Match award for Garbutt and a great Everton win. HAPPY DAYS!!!

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Reader Comments (3)

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David Starsky
1 Posted 30/12/2013 at 09:20:48
Thanks for the write-up, Dick. We are always thinking about you when you don't appear on the forum, and while we may rib you sometimes, we appreciate the effort you have put in to checking up on Luke.

I and others alerted the forum when Luke scored yesterday. Looks like we could have THREE decent left backs at the club....

All the best for New Year!

Michael Winstanley
2 Posted 30/12/2013 at 12:17:14
Cheers for the report Dick.
Dan McKie
3 Posted 31/12/2013 at 08:49:35
No disrespect to Colchester, but I think Garbutt has had a few stints at a similar level now. Everton need to take him back and find him a loan at a Championship club at least, if not a lower end Premier league one. Glad to hear he is standing out though, rather than blending in.

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