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Dec 31, 2008
Over the years of supporting the Blues I have seen such potential in certain players and am dismayed at how often it is lost or even thrown away. You can have the silky skills of a Gascoigne/Brooking or the 100% commitment and dedication of a Keegan or Batty. Often though, however you play, your talent is not enough. There is, as with all of us, the added family problems, peer pressure, colleague support issues that can also have a massive effect on anyone a fraction less than single minded about their goal in life. Furthermore, as with us all, the players have to contend with mental health problems, addictions and sometimes the added pressure of being firmly fixed within the spotlight.

At Southend alone we have witnessed the fallout on enough occasions. Think of three top strikers. Stanley V, Freddy E and now possibly Nile Ranger. Stanley was superb but as much as he achieved he also underachieved. A great footballer who could and should have done so much more. His off-field exploits were also less than meritorious.
Freddy E was a super player that should have gone on to achieve so much more, even before his knee problems, but one that, like some plants, did not flourish once uprooted.
Nile Ranger is the latest in the line. Clearly a talent and, if some reports are to be believed, has further blotted his copybook and is at risk of throwing his career away.

Its easy to judge and condemn but we so rarely know the truth of their life. The external factors and internal issues that rage. We often hear contempt because such people are in a privileged position and one that so many could only dream of being in. Lets hope Nile sorts it out and is supported to do so.

I think it is best summed up by Rag'n'Bone Man - I'm only human after all.