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Shrimper

Life President
Joined
Jun 16, 2008
Messages
9,963
I'm getting very irritated with the lack of news regarding new faces or even links to new faces that could potentially join Southend United. As soon as we beat Cheltenham we lost two of our key players in the season with the end of Dervite and Robinson's loans from Tottenham and Watford respectivaley and around a month after the season ended for us we lost our best defender, Peter Clarke, on a free to Huddersfield. Losing your player of the year is never a nice prospect for fans but the loss of that player on a free is very hard to take but it is something that seems to be a reccurance at Southend. Previously, last year before we embarked on a promotion campaign after our relegation from the Championship we lost Darryl Flahavan and Mark Gower both on free's. Our best keeper at the time and our best winger. We offered both of them new contracts but they both turned us down despite the prospect of new longer contracts and it does beg the question; Why aren't we able to keep these players?

In the case of Mark Gower we apparently offered a significant deal to the player; as stated in this article we also offered Darryl Flahavan a new one year deal so the real question now has to be where our club stands in stature and where it ranks amongst others. We are apparently in the hunt for ex-Reading central defender Alan Bennett at the moment and it's looking likely that he'll opt for newly promoted Brentford over us. We agreed terms with ex-Tranmere center back Ben Chorley and his agent but he opted to move to Leyton Orient at the last minute, so it's hard to understand how we're lagging behind Brentford, a newly-promoted club with a real chance of relegation and Leyton Orient a topsy-turvy club who sacked Martin Ling and are situated in an area where they compete with several Premiership clubs for attendance.

Without trying to sound biased towards my own team, Steve Tilson is one of the best managers in the league and his 6 years at the club along with a fairly decent record go a long way to prove this. A quick hop to his profile on the LMA Website gives you a brief outline of his achievements and awards. The award for manager of the year in our promotion year from 2005 shows that he is a very apt manager and he isn't afraid to speak his mind. However, he is prone to changing his mind. One such moment is his stance on having 7 subs in the league. Whilst originally in favour a year ago he is now morally against it, mainly due to the lack of players at the club and the probability that clubs will be less willing to loan out players if they can plonk them on the bench in one of the 2 extra spots now allocated. Which leads me onto the actual team;

As of writing we've offered American keeper Ian Joyce a one-year extension to his contract, which he has accepted and we have missed out on permanently buying Theo Robinson, who we had on loan last year due to it being "too expensive". Which is something that doesn't get me seeing as we've sold Freddy Eastwood for £1.5million , Jamal Campbell Ryce for £750,000, Nicky Bailey for around the same amount and if you couple that with the big money games we had against Tottenham (twice), Manchester United and Chelsea (twice) it's hard to understand why we haven't spent at least some money. However, given Tilson's previous foray's into spending it is understandable why he hasn't done this. A brief round-up on his past spending shows this;

  • Matt Harrold for around £100,000 ~ Was released on a free after two turgid years which saw a rather fruitless account of 3 goals in 52 official appearances. He now plays for Wycombe Wanderers and has a record of 9 in 37 games.
  • Billy Paynter for around £200,000 - Was another striker who had a poor time at Southend, in his solitary season at Roots Hall he failed to score at all in 9 official appearances. He was shipped out to Bradford on loan in 2007 and scored 4 in 15 before moving to Swindon Town and notching 19 goals in 78 appearances.
  • Zoltan Liptak for around £50,000 - Failed to make a single appearance whilst at Southend and was loaned out to Conference side Stevenage Borough where he made 2 appearances. Was sold to Ujpest for around £60,000 at the end of the season and spent some time on loan at Southampton before joining his current club FC Fehervar. Liptak was signed by Tilson as he impressed by the center-backs appearance against Witham Town in a pre-season friendly and claimed that he "desperatley wanted to sign him".
  • Lee Bradbury originally on loan but later signed for an undisclosed amount, thought to be around £100,000 - Lee Bradbury once commanded Manchester City's record transfer fee spent on a player at £3.5million, now-a-days this is a drab compared to the vast amounts they are spending now. Bradbury was highly recommended and Tilson even said in an article that "Leo Roget couldn't say enough nice things about him". In Bradbury's single year at Roots Hall he only scored 5 goals in 47 games which means he's added not only to another list of poor buys but another poor striker.

Those signings show that Tilson still has a bit to learn and if you put them with some other signings that haven't added mutch to our squad (Gary Hooper , Michael Husbands & Carl Pettefer to name but a few) then you can understand why he's so cautious to splash the cash on anyone, at the moment of writing our current squad looks like this;

Steve Mildenhall - GK
Ian Joyce - GK
Simon Francis - DF
Adam Barrett - DF
Osei Sankofa - DF
Johnny Herd - DF
Anthony Grant - MF
Damian Scannell - MF
Kevin Betsy - MF
Stuart O'Keefe - MF
Alan McCormack - MF
Franck Moussa - MF
Jean Francoise Christophe - MF
Francis Laurent - FW
Lee Barnard - FW
James Walker - FW
Alex Revell - FW
Justin Hazell - FW
Dougie Freedman - FW

A quick look at our squad shows that we have a core center of English, Irish and Scottish players which would hold us in good stead should any foreigner rule come in place. Our youth policy and development is good, Franck Moussa , Johnny Herd , Stuart O'Keefe and Justin Hazell are all youth players and Moussa and Herd are often involved in the first-team with Herd having 6 caps and Moussa with 45 and 2 goals, one of which was a crucial winner against Colchester in the Essex derby.

If i'm honest our front-line is poor and i'd look at changing that but obviously our priority is our defence. We have our loyal captain fantastic Adam Barrett who is a rock at the back. He needs to form a deadly partnership with whoever comes in to replace Peter Clarke. Clarke and Barrett were on excellent terms and were brilliant at communicating with each other and help slow down the draft of goals flowing past Mildenhall along with Dervite. We should look for someone who is tall and agile at the same time. Ben Chorley fits that bill but alas, as stated earlier, he buggered off to Leyton Orient. If we are chasing Alan Bennett as stated then he would be a good signing. At a towering 6ft 2inches he would be a perfect player to fill the gap although he has allegedly been offer a professional contract with Brentford.

Another position we should be looking to bolster is the right and left-back positions. We are apparently trialing Andrei Stepanov and Guus de Vries. Stepanov is another player who is tall at around 6ft and can play across the back four, little is known about Guus de Vries but according to Wikipedia he is currently plying his trade for FC Emmen in the second division of Dutch Football, i cannot comment on him so if any Dutch followers could let me know how he is that would be grand.

Our midfield is almost complete i feel, it needs one experienced and talented head who can command our wing and be versatile enough to play in the center as well. This is the one area that i'm yet to hear anything about, we haven't been linked to anyone as of note but two players who i wouldn't mind bringing in are Hal-Robson-Kanu from Reading and Lee Sawyer from Chelsea. Both have previous experience with us and are likely to be released or sold to help beat the recession and cut down on wages. Sawyer is a fans favourite so i'd love to have him back.

This brings us finally onto our attackers. James Walker is crap, to be frank, Alex Revell isn't the best but the amount of effort he puts in is superb and i would rather keep him than let him go. We got rid of Charles Ademeno and Paul Furlong at the end of the season so we've cut down a bit but Lee Barnard is very injury prone as is Dougie Freedman and Alex Revell broke his leg in January so to trust him with that task of our strike-force is a dangerous one. We do have Francis Laurent who we signed out of the blue and he is brilliant. A very astute signing. I would've loved to have brought back Robinson but he "cost too much" and we've not been linked with anyone so, throwing names into the hat, i'd like to see us make an offer for Jordan Rhodes and Danny Pilkington is versatile and can play in both the wings.

Whoever we do sign i am confident in Steve Tilson and Paul Brush, they are idiots to the game and as Tilson is a local lad i'm sure he'd want the best i'm hoping we don't leave it as late as the week running into the opening game meaning we end up with the dregs. Here's hoping...

--------

I did have a colorful display of flags but it won't let me have more than 12 :( Any feedback is welcome as i am hoping to become a sports journalist. :)
 

Beefy

Life President
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
18,906
Location
Old Leigh
That's more like five cents :)

A few observations I'd make about your post:
- Unlike most clubs at this level we're not overhauling the squad this summer as we have a lot of players contracted for next year already. We're only looking to bring in two or three players so obviously those who have the need to sign six or seven will have made some of those already.
- We tried to sell Peter Clarke last year because it was obvious that he was going to walk away for nothing. It's annoying but I'm not sure what more the Club could have done.
- Flavs left because he wasn't going to be number one here. I doubt that Tilly lost any sleep.
- Alan Bennett was at Brentford last season which gives them a small head-start. They're also looking like building a decent side there and I suspect that they'll finish above us.
- As has been said many times, despite the Man United, Spurs and Freddy Eastwood money we only broke even in the August 07 accounts. Despite the sale of JCR we lost £2.4m in the August 08 accounts and despite the sale of Nicky Bailey we're likely to lose the same amount in August 09. Having lost of income is great but only if it's more than our outgoings. Ours clearly isn't even close to covering our outgoings.
- Were Liptak & Bradbury bad signings? We got our money back on Liptak so it seems like a decent gamble to me. Bradbury was the best foil for Eastwood that we had after Goater left and it was no coincidence that our long winless run in the Championship coincided with Bradders getting injured.
- Petts added nothing? He added solidity when we were fighting against the drop to the Conference and was then ever-present in our promotion winning side the next year.
- I broadly agree with the types of players that you want to bring in. Obviously we're desperate for a left back and a centre-back and personally I too would love to see Lee Sawyer brought back to offer some creativity in the middle. Hopefully his loan spell with us will give us the advantage of getting him ahead of other interested Clubs.
- I don't see the need to bring in anyone up front. We have six strikers, all of whom offer us something different. If James Walker was paying attention to the way that Theo Robinson played in the way that Steve Mildenhall did with Adam Federici then he can still do a job for us.
- Did you mean to call Tilly & Brush "idiots to the game"? Typo?

Nice post though, mate.
 

palexander

Life President
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
8,128
Location
Brightlingsea
Pretty sure it was Wignall that signed Husbands - and to say Pettefer was a 'bad signing' is a bit of an outrage and shows a lack of knowledge about the game really. Petts was every present, but not just that, he gave us balance on the right side, tucking in when needed and working his arse off. IMO, we've been trying to find someone 'in the Petts role' ever since he left.

And its been gone over time and time again - the money raised from the 'bonus games' and player sales has pretty much kept us on an even keel. Very few clubs will give their managers every penny of a transfer to spend, especially at our level. That money is used for running costs.

I very much doubt Man U will go out and spend £80m this summer, the money will be absolved into the clubs running and previous debts - we're no different.

(If you want to be a sports journalist, I'd also probably avoid statements like "James Walker is crap"...)
 

The General

The Mouse (*)
Joined
Oct 24, 2003
Messages
21,140
Location
My Gaff
My main worry, in just a few words is that Tilly is only after 3 players. That to me, is a BIG concern. For us to acheive anything near success, we need at least 6 players in. Had i have known we'd only been making 3 more additions, i doubt i'd have bothered with a season ticket this season. Im certainly no huge fan of Friday night games - so thats hardly helping the cause!

Kev
 

BaileytheQuitter

Spelling Guru
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
3,662
Location
Benfleet, Essex
Not a bad post at all. I do, however, disagree with some parts.

As covered- Bradbury and Petts were not bad signings. Given- neither were the most exciting players to have graced Roots Hall but they did their jobs, and would have said they were good signings by Tilson.

There have been some bad signings yes, but top flight manager such as Ferguson etc have made similar mistakes. No manager is perfect, and Tilson is still learning.

On the monatary side of things, it is clear the club aren't in the position to asign loads of money for transfers. Something that won't help the situation is the fact we're unlike to be receiving any money from transfers. Two years ago we got £1.5m for Freddy and £750k for JCR. Last year £750k for Bailey. The only rumour I've heard is Grant for £100k, but thats unlikely.

Which means this year we will have to get either Loanee's, Free Transfers or Bosmans.

Personally, I think we'll have a similar season, perhaps finishing a little lower. Around 10th-14th would be a decent season considering the squad we have.
 

OldBlueLady

Junior Blues Coordinator⭐
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
49,042
Location
Benfleet
Interesting piece, some of it very well written, although as mentioned by others, maybe some of the comment is inappropriate if you're genuinely interested in following a career in journalism. I also go along with what's been said about Bradbury and Pettefer, and would question the price you quote for Matty Harrold - I don't remember it being as much as that, maybe someone else can confirm?

I also don't see any issues over our front men, I think we have one of the potentially best set of forwards in the division. Lee Barnard, in particular, came back very strongly at the end of last season, despite taking some pretty hard tackling. I really hope that T&B are allowing Dougie to lead some work with the forwards to develop their understanding of each other's play so that an "any two from five" approach can work to our advantage. I may not rate Walker very highly personally, but he has shown he can do the job at odd times.

I find it a bit strange that you select only 4 "paid for" signings to comment on, what about Lee Barnard, Alan McCormack, JFC and others still there? Or, if you want ones that've left, Garry Richards, Peter Clarke etc? The 4 were, for me, an odd selection.

Marky Gower was, apparently, about to sign when Swansea came in with a better offer. No-one can blame him or Tilly for that. Flavs wanted a longer contract than we were prepared to offer, you also can't blame him for that - although I reckon he's probably regretting it now. As others have said, the "profits" from sales/cup games have probably been swallowed up, that's not to say Ron Martin is not allowing Tilly cash to spend. It's been said there is money available, but we're not going to go out and spend ridiculous amounts of money (Theo) to get people in - it's not our way, never has been really. We know we've been close to signing people but we can't compete when other clubs come in waving wads of cash, and we also can't compete when players with families are too settled in a particular area (Rory Fallon), what we have to rely on is Tilly recognising the potential in lower leagues and bringing it in. It's something he's good at, and not something he often gets wrong.
 

Beefy

Life President
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
18,906
Location
Old Leigh
My main worry, in just a few words is that Tilly is only after 3 players. That to me, is a BIG concern. For us to acheive anything near success, we need at least 6 players in. Had i have known we'd only been making 3 more additions, i doubt i'd have bothered with a season ticket this season. Im certainly no huge fan of Friday night games - so thats hardly helping the cause!

Kev

Tilly said after the last game of the season that we were only looking to sign two or three players. Signing six would give us 25 players which would be crazy for a club like our's.
 

fbm

Blue tinted optimist⭐
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
9,105
Location
Cloud cuckoo land
Lets put a little perspective on it.

If clubs like Man Utd can't keep their best players, what chance have we got?
 

Mick

Life President
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
10,393
. As others have said, the "profits" from sales/cup games have probably been swallowed up

The thing that worries me about this oft quoted statement is the fact that if the Chelsea money has been swallowed up in keeping the club afloat, what would have happened if we hadn't drawn (and drawn with) Chelsea?

Not even the most foolish optimist would have budgeted for such a windfall.
 

palexander

Life President
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
8,128
Location
Brightlingsea
The thing that worries me about this oft quoted statement is the fact that if the Chelsea money has been swallowed up in keeping the club afloat, what would have happened if we hadn't drawn (and drawn with) Chelsea?

Not even the most foolish optimist would have budgeted for such a windfall.

We would have managed in other ways, or gone further into debt...
 

Beefy

Life President
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
18,906
Location
Old Leigh
Well the Chelsea cash will be in the August 09 accounts so we won't see how they impacted the figures until June 2010 but Ron has already said he's expecting a similar set of results to last year.
 

DTS

The Business
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
16,173
Location
In a world of my own.
I am amazed people have been so positive about our front line.

Only Barney strikes me a bloke that can get 10 plus a season and he has injury doubts. Laurent is good on his day and terrible on others. He really is a mystery and again injury prone. I dont think Walker is crap by any means but again cant see him staying fit or in form enough to score more than 10. Revell's work rate is fantastic but sadly he is fairly primative as a forward and again never going to be prolific and Freedman finally is class on his day but questions have to be asked as time rolls on and he spends more time injured than fit.

You can get away with not having a 20+ a season man if your midfield chip in with the goals but out of our current wingers (Betsy, Scannell and Moussa if you can class him as a winger) none can be classed as anywhere near prolific enough. Macca on his day can score goals but wouldnt back Grant of JFC to score too many.

All the above worries me personally.
 

CC51DAS

President
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
3,209
I am amazed people have been so positive about our front line.

Only Barney strikes me a bloke that can get 10 plus a season and he has injury doubts. Laurent is good on his day and terrible on others. He really is a mystery and again injury prone. I dont think Walker is crap by any means but again cant see him staying fit or in form enough to score more than 10. Revell's work rate is fantastic but sadly he is fairly primative as a forward and again never going to be prolific and Freedman finally is class on his day but questions have to be asked as time rolls on and he spends more time injured than fit.

You can get away with not having a 20+ a season man if your midfield chip in with the goals but out of our current wingers (Betsy, Scannell and Moussa if you can class him as a winger) none can be classed as anywhere near prolific enough. Macca on his day can score goals but wouldnt back Grant of JFC to score too many.

All the above worries me personally.

Spot on Dave. Can see anumber of these going out on loan and hopefully a few more talented ones coming in on loan (a la Stanislaus, Dervitte etc), which presumably can be acheived on a limited budget
 

shrimperton

Manager
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Mar 16, 2007
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Stanford Le Hope
Also, James Walker isn't crap.

He aint very good though, ever since that miss at Doncaster the lad has gone rapidly down hill, he always seem to lack confidence something i dont think Tilly can give him.

He aint a bad player on his day but if we a relying on him for goals this season we are not in a good position.
 

BLUEBLOOD

Moderator of Moderators
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Sep 22, 2005
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Southend On Sea
Since when did we get £750,000 for JCR ??

I thought the figure was about £175,000

And the figure for Bailey was about £300k i believe, raising to £700,000 on appearances and promotion (though i expect that was based on promotion to the Premier$hite not from L1

To many other inaccuracies than i can be bothered to point out
 

BaileytheQuitter

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I am amazed people have been so positive about our front line.

Only Barney strikes me a bloke that can get 10 plus a season and he has injury doubts. Laurent is good on his day and terrible on others. He really is a mystery and again injury prone. I dont think Walker is crap by any means but again cant see him staying fit or in form enough to score more than 10. Revell's work rate is fantastic but sadly he is fairly primative as a forward and again never going to be prolific and Freedman finally is class on his day but questions have to be asked as time rolls on and he spends more time injured than fit.

You can get away with not having a 20+ a season man if your midfield chip in with the goals but out of our current wingers (Betsy, Scannell and Moussa if you can class him as a winger) none can be classed as anywhere near prolific enough. Macca on his day can score goals but wouldnt back Grant of JFC to score too many.

All the above worries me personally.

I agree with what you say about our wingers, and partially about our goal scoring midfielders. Macca isn't the goal scorer he once was for some reason. JFC for 1 goal every 6 games last year. Which isn't too bad. But hardly Bailey/Gower standard.

Lee Sawyer could be the midfielder who could add goals to our side. Didn't he score 3 goals in about 12 apps?

There is also talk of Matt Ritchie possibly joining. He'd supply goals with 11 in 36 games for Dagenham.

The wingers really aren't good enough either, and someone like HRK would be a good move.

As for our strikers...

If it will ever happen, I think we need to see a full-ish season from Barnard before we make judugement on his ability. If you look at the two periods of the season when he was fit, he was actually quite prolific finishing the season with 6 goals in the last 11 games. A better ratio than Robinson, who has been so highly talked about.

So, altough it seems unlikely with his injury record, we really need to see a full season from Barney. However, when fit- I think he can be one of the most dangerous strikers in the league.

I find it a little harder to defend our other forwards.

Revell- I agree with you, works hard, but very basic.
Walker- Whenever I think Walker, I think Doncaster and (Yeovil?) penalty miss. But he was potential thats for sure. He has pace and actually has an eye for goal. I think what he needs is confidence. Sadly just after the Leyton Orient away game, and after his goal, his confidence might have picked up. But he got injured. It is now down to how Tilson manages him. Personally he would start the season as my second choice striker, behind Barnard.
Freedman- Injury prone with his growing age. On his day very classy, but I doubt we'll ever see the true ability of Dougie.
Laurent- I don't think anyone knows quite what to make of him yet. Against Leeds he looked amazing. Yet towards the end of the season he looked very average. He is difficult for defences with his gangly build, and contrasting quick feet. Too soon to write him off I think.
 

BaileytheQuitter

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Yeah there are times when he seems to fluff at the ball, or even fall over it. Can be very frustrating.

But then there are times like Oldham (H), Luton (H) and Orient (A) when he does make contact and has scored some good goals.

I stand by saying he deserves more of a chance, and hopefully with more confidence will come more goals.
 

NZamba Legend

Deep-lying playmaker ⭐
Joined
Jan 29, 2007
Messages
4,891
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Le Mellotron
As for our strikers...

Revell- I agree with you, works hard, but very basic.
Walker- Whenever I think Walker, I think Doncaster and (Yeovil?) penalty miss. But he was potential thats for sure. He has pace and actually has an eye for goal. I think what he needs is confidence. Sadly just after the Leyton Orient away game, and after his goal, his confidence might have picked up. But he got injured. It is now down to how Tilson manages him. Personally he would start the season as my second choice striker, behind Barnard.
Freedman- Injury prone with his growing age. On his day very classy, but I doubt we'll ever see the true ability of Dougie.
Laurent- I don't think anyone knows quite what to make of him yet. Against Leeds he looked amazing. Yet towards the end of the season he looked very average. He is difficult for defences with his gangly build, and contrasting quick feet. Too soon to write him off I think.

I think one of these strikers will 'explode' on the league one scene and we will once again be promoted as champions. All the ingredients are there (and I'm including the pacy Estonian and Dutchman with excellent positional sense in my estimation) but we just need to bake the SUFC 'cake' at the right temperature and for the correct amount of time. If not I fear the results could be a soggy middle or a crispy burned out top. Also I'm trusting that Tilly doesn't forget the yeast (maybe an extra creative midfielder) so that the mixtures rises under heat. If not we'll have to rely on Kevin Betsy.
 
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