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danburyshrimper

Manager
Joined
Sep 25, 2008
Messages
2,103
So, now our squad is 30 players

Morris, Bentley, Belford
Clohessy,Phillips,Barker,Hills,Prosser,Gilbert,Baldwin,Coughlin,Nesbitt,Leonard
Timlin,Grant,Kalala,Mohsni,Sawyer,Ferdinand,Martin,Hall,Woodyard
Sampson,Benyon,Harris,Dickinson,Crawford,Flood,Sturrock,Corr

(on top of this i expect we are still paying wages to Paterson,Johnson& Asante)

30 players -- i accept one or two are injured but this is ridiculous for a club in Div 2 with a limited budget.
i am 100% certain this is the reason for our recent slump-- too many unhappy players not getting a game.
The team spirit appears terrible + little wonder when half the squad have no chance of getting a game every week...and i would argue most players are similar in that all they need is a run of games and confidence and they will play well. Games breeds confidence.

In my opinion 22 players is more than enough, as long as a few of them are versatile enough to play different positions.

God knows what Ricky Duncan thinks , working his butt off producing wonderful quality youngsters who are gagging to bust a gut to get into the 1st team only for their enthusiasm to drain away when they see their chance of a game is next to nothing.
The only way we will ever know if Bentley is good enough is to give him a game. Same with Nesbitt. He looks a cracking left back , ok a little raw but to me he has what it takes to make it. Now we've got Gilbert,Prosser,Hills + most probably Barker who would all play ahead of him he hasnt got a chance.

It wouldnt surprise me if we scrap the youth team next season - which would be a massive shame + the lifeblood of the club will be lost.
 

Clinton Baptiste

Life President⭐
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
7,976
Location
Leigh
Far too big, Luggy doesnt know his best team. Hard to foster a good team spirit, likely to be cliques I imagine. At least 10 of those will be gone in the summer, not good enough, either for league 1 or 2.
 

BLUEBLOOD

Moderator of Moderators
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
Messages
16,223
Location
Southend On Sea
Agree totally with the OP .. to me using so many players is usually a sign of a struggling side, didnt we use something like 33 when we were relegated last? and i think Plymouth have used more than any other in our division this year
 

Sandbach Shrimper

Life President⭐
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
5,982
Location
East Cheshire
Agree that the squad is slightly too big. The squad that we won League One with in 2005/2006 was tiny, I still have the team poster on my wall and there can't be more than 20 people in it (and one of them's a fan who won a competition to be in it). That team had probably the best team spirit I've seen in my time as a Southend fan. We were lucky that we didn't get too many injuries that season but still, I think smaller squad = tighter knit, better team spirit generally. Obviously a bigger squad has the advantage of giving you more options and strength in depth but I can't help but feel, at the moment, that Baldwin and Flood were rather pointless signings. And what's happened to all these 'promising youngsters' we had at the start of the season like Asante, Nesbitt, James-Lewis etc.? Sturrock doesn't know his best team at the moment which is never good and I don't think that constantly changing the team is good. Let's see how it goes today, though, I'm sure a will win vindicate him temporarily.
 

Jam_Man

Life President
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Messages
25,545
Location
Southend
So, now our squad is 30 players

Morris, Bentley, Belford
Clohessy,Phillips,Barker,Hills,Prosser,Gilbert,Baldwin,Coughlin,Nesbitt,Leonard
Timlin,Grant,Kalala,Mohsni,Sawyer,Ferdinand,Martin,Hall,Woodyard
Sampson,Benyon,Harris,Dickinson,Crawford,Flood,Sturrock,Corr

(on top of this i expect we are still paying wages to Paterson,Johnson& Asante)

30 players -- i accept one or two are injured but this is ridiculous for a club in Div 2 with a limited budget.
i am 100% certain this is the reason for our recent slump-- too many unhappy players not getting a game.
The team spirit appears terrible + little wonder when half the squad have no chance of getting a game every week...and i would argue most players are similar in that all they need is a run of games and confidence and they will play well. Games breeds confidence.

In my opinion 22 players is more than enough, as long as a few of them are versatile enough to play different positions.

God knows what Ricky Duncan thinks , working his butt off producing wonderful quality youngsters who are gagging to bust a gut to get into the 1st team only for their enthusiasm to drain away when they see their chance of a game is next to nothing.
The only way we will ever know if Bentley is good enough is to give him a game. Same with Nesbitt. He looks a cracking left back , ok a little raw but to me he has what it takes to make it. Now we've got Gilbert,Prosser,Hills + most probably Barker who would all play ahead of him he hasnt got a chance.

It wouldnt surprise me if we scrap the youth team next season - which would be a massive shame + the lifeblood of the club will be lost.

Our "recent slump" started beginning of december before we brought in an extra 5 players or so, the squad was smaller then and we still had moral/discipline issues.

Id say your argument was valid if we had 30+ players who are fighting for a place, but a large portion of them arent.

Bentley - Obviously deemed not good enough for first team
Coughlin - Too old, emergency use only
Nesbitt - Will never play
Leonard - Out for the rest of season
Gilbert - Has been replaced and will no doubt be gone in the summer
Mohsni - Probably gone
Woodyard - Will never play
Crawford - Will never play
Corr - Out for season and gone in the summer

Out of those 30 players 9 of them are highly unlikely to ever feature so that brings us down to 21.

Baldwin wasnt a pointless signing at the time as we had injuries and form issues, but doubt we will see much of him and think he will leave in the summer.

As for the youth system, you dont play young players for the sake of it, the manager clearly doesnt think they are good enough. They may make it, but now is not their time. We still have one youth player playing in the side and its no different here than in any other club.

You say players are unhappy not getting a game but its 4 first team players who are causing the problems, so that doesnt really add up.
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
36,154
Location
London
The squad is massively too big.

You want a first team squad of about 18-20 players, topped up by youngsters and the occasional loanee to cover for long term injuries.

Otherwise you are going to have a majority of players who are out of the team and therefore either unhappy or just lazy and content to go through the motions and pick up their pay cheques.

You can't keep more than about 18 football league match sharp anyway.
 

Feathers

Coach
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
652
The squad is massively too big.

You want a first team squad of about 18-20 players, topped up by youngsters and the occasional loanee to cover for long term injuries.

Otherwise you are going to have a majority of players who are out of the team and therefore either unhappy or just lazy and content to go through the motions and pick up their pay cheques.

You can't keep more than about 18 football league match sharp anyway.


Which is roughly what we have. Of the players listed you could class the following 21 players as the 1st team squad (and this includes Baldwin and Flood who are more on the edge of the first team):

Morris
Clohessy, Phillips, Barker, Gilbert, Prosser, Leonard, Baldwin
Timlin, Grant, Kalala, Moshni, Sawyer, Martin, Ferdinand, Hall
Benyon, Harris, Dickinson, Flood, Sturrock

The rest are indeed youngsters and loanees signed for cover.

I suspect the squad will be trimmed at the end of season (eg Gilbert & Prosser) but Sturrock should be commended for signing players like Hills now on loan rather than worrying if it might upset our current (underperforming) left backs.
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
36,154
Location
London
Which is roughly what we have. Of the players listed you could class the following 21 players as the 1st team squad (and this includes Baldwin and Flood who are more on the edge of the first team):

Morris
Clohessy, Phillips, Barker, Gilbert, Prosser, Leonard, Baldwin
Timlin, Grant, Kalala, Moshni, Sawyer, Martin, Ferdinand, Hall
Benyon, Harris, Dickinson, Flood, Sturrock

The rest are indeed youngsters and loanees signed for cover.

I suspect the squad will be trimmed at the end of season (eg Gilbert & Prosser) but Sturrock should be commended for signing players like Hills now on loan rather than worrying if it might upset our current (underperforming) left backs.

Who are Hills and Sampson covering for?

Corr isn't on your list so it's not him. None of our full-backs are injured.

The keeper has been signed on loan as much because Sturrock has no faith in his number one as because he's no faith in his replacement.

We were without four senior players because of disciplinary issues and we didn't miss them at all and were able to name a full bench on top of the injuries we are carrying. That says our squad is far too big.

It means the dissatisfied or apathetic outnumber those in the team. We could easily lose 4 players from this squad and still not be stretched for depth. That's a cut of over 15%.
 

southendkid

Director⭐
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
4,815
Who are Hills and Sampson covering for?

Corr isn't on your list so it's not him. None of our full-backs are injured.

The keeper has been signed on loan as much because Sturrock has no faith in his number one as because he's no faith in his replacement.

We were without four senior players because of disciplinary issues and we didn't miss them at all and were able to name a full bench on top of the injuries we are carrying. That says our squad is far too big.

It means the dissatisfied or apathetic outnumber those in the team. We could easily lose 4 players from this squad and still not be stretched for depth. That's a cut of over 15%.
Surely the fact that we dropped 4 players because of disciplinary issues and didn't miss them is evidence that we should have a squad of this size, it's no different to if they all got injured, didn't we have a spell last season where we had so many injuries we were struggling to name a team that didn't have youth players in it?
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
36,154
Location
London
Surely the fact that we dropped 4 players because of disciplinary issues and didn't miss them is evidence that we should have a squad of this size, it's no different to if they all got injured, didn't we have a spell last season where we had so many injuries we were struggling to name a team that didn't have youth players in it?

I think the large squad size is contributing to the disciplinary problems in the first place.

I want a small tight-knit squad not a large and unruly one where dissatisfied players outnumber the satisfied ones.

Michael Vaughan has a theory about team dynamics that you can cope with three out of eleven being more individualistic if the rest of the team are very hard-working and team orientated as they will keep those players in check. But you can't afford to let the unruly lot get critical mass. The same will be true in a football squad where those not getting games will become disillusioned, set a negative tone or start plotting against the manager. You can't afford to let those become the majority or build critical mass. In a first team squad you'll have around 14 who'll be getting regular football who'll be OK. You can they have another five or so on the fringes. Any more than that and you're going to have issues with keeping everyone happy and a large group forming who resent the manager.
 

southendkid

Director⭐
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
4,815
The fact premier$hite clubs can only name a squad of 25 proves we have way too many players
25 plus an unlimited allowance of under 21 year olds, meaning you still see people on the bench in premier league games sometimes that have not played a league game all season.
 

BLUEBLOOD

Moderator of Moderators
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
Messages
16,223
Location
Southend On Sea
25 plus an unlimited allowance of under 21 year olds, meaning you still see people on the bench in premier league games sometimes that have not played a league game all season.

I wasn't aware of that but even so, we have too many players. Case closed
 

Feathers

Coach
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
652
Who are Hills and Sampson covering for?

Corr isn't on your list so it's not him. None of our full-backs are injured.

The keeper has been signed on loan as much because Sturrock has no faith in his number one as because he's no faith in his replacement.

We were without four senior players because of disciplinary issues and we didn't miss them at all and were able to name a full bench on top of the injuries we are carrying. That says our squad is far too big.

It means the dissatisfied or apathetic outnumber those in the team. We could easily lose 4 players from this squad and still not be stretched for depth. That's a cut of over 15%.


I did not include Corr on my list as he is injured. Are you suggesting a squad of 18-20 including long term injuries?

Belford has been signed because Morris is injured. Bentley is youth/reserve team player.

If you read the 2nd half of my post you will see that I commended Sturrock for signing Hills as left back as cover for our under-performing left backs. The priority has to be promotion are you seriously suggesting we should not sign anymore players, even if they are better than the current ones?
 

Feathers

Coach
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
652
I think the large squad size is contributing to the disciplinary problems in the first place.

I want a small tight-knit squad not a large and unruly one where dissatisfied players outnumber the satisfied ones.

Michael Vaughan has a theory about team dynamics that you can cope with three out of eleven being more individualistic if the rest of the team are very hard-working and team orientated as they will keep those players in check. But you can't afford to let the unruly lot get critical mass. The same will be true in a football squad where those not getting games will become disillusioned, set a negative tone or start plotting against the manager. You can't afford to let those become the majority or build critical mass. In a first team squad you'll have around 14 who'll be getting regular football who'll be OK. You can they have another five or so on the fringes. Any more than that and you're going to have issues with keeping everyone happy and a large group forming who resent the manager.


In theory that all makes perfect sense. I guess Moshni is one of the "individualistic!"

It does not explain though why 2 of the 3 disciplined players (Dickinson & Hall) are first team regulars and Ferdinand was back in the team at the time. However both Harris & Sawyer (and to a lesser extent Grant) have spent a long time out of the team yet played integral parts in a great team performance yesterday.
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
36,154
Location
London
I did not include Corr on my list as he is injured. Are you suggesting a squad of 18-20 including long term injuries?

Belford has been signed because Morris is injured. Bentley is youth/reserve team player.

If you read the 2nd half of my post you will see that I commended Sturrock for signing Hills as left back as cover for our under-performing left backs. The priority has to be promotion are you seriously suggesting we should not sign anymore players, even if they are better than the current ones?


I said to get loan players in to cover long term injuries. You haven't included Sampson signed as a replacement for the long term injured Corr.

Getting in a better player is only half the job as you also need to move on the player replaced. It's ludicrous that we have five left-backs on our books (Hills, Gilbert, Barker, Prosser and Nesbit).

In theory that all makes perfect sense. I guess Moshni is one of the "individualistic!"

It does not explain though why 2 of the 3 disciplined players (Dickinson & Hall) are first team regulars and Ferdinand was back in the team at the time. However both Harris & Sawyer (and to a lesser extent Grant) have spent a long time out of the team yet played integral parts in a great team performance yesterday.

Hall had actually been on the bench in the previous games and like Ferdinand had become a fringe player rather than an automatic selection, but my point wasn't so much about individuals involved as in the dissatisfied gaining critical mass leading to a breakdown in discipline and/or morale. When you have a large squad you are going to have more dissatisfied players which will rub off on the other players.
 

Feathers

Coach
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
652
I said to get loan players in to cover long term injuries. You haven't included Sampson signed as a replacement for the long term injured Corr.

Getting in a better player is only half the job as you also need to move on the player replaced. It's ludicrous that we have five left-backs on our books (Hills, Gilbert, Barker, Prosser and Nesbit).



Hall had actually been on the bench in the previous games and like Ferdinand had become a fringe player rather than an automatic selection, but my point wasn't so much about individuals involved as in the dissatisfied gaining critical mass leading to a breakdown in discipline and/or morale. When you have a large squad you are going to have more dissatisfied players which will rub off on the other players.


I agree that we need to move on players that are being replaced but it is not that easy whilst they are under contract (especially if they are not very good) and with potential promotion we do not have the luxury of waiting until the end of the season before signing a replacement.

I guess the key questions are:

Are we are better team for signing Hills?
Is it worth the risk to team morale?

And no prizes for guessing my answers!
 

Beefy

Life President
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
18,901
Location
Old Leigh
I tend to think that our squad is a little too big but the fact that we could lose four key players at the weekend without reducing the quality of player on the field has to be a positive sign. We're in a better position to cope with injuries and suspensions than any other Club in the division.

A huge number of those 31 players aren't anywhere near close to the first team and for good reason. It's the likes of Sawyer, Harris and now Benyon who probably have lost out in the shuffle and hopefully they take their chance when it coems along.
 
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