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fbm

Blue tinted optimist⭐
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
9,114
Location
Cloud cuckoo land
It's a tall order now. We MUST win both games and hope Leeds and Hull both collect no more than 1 point each from their last 2 matches. Possible, but unlikely.

But apart from a probable relegation, I fear that as fans we are going to make ourselves a laughing stock of the entire football world - and here's why.

It can be seen from my signature that I think Tilson has done a remarkable job here. He had absolutely no senior management experience before being thrust into the management job on a caretaker capacity with Brushy.

Since then - and these are facts, not opinions - we have

Reached 2 ldv finals
Won the play offs at the Milstad
won League 1 title
Beat Man Utd
Got to Carling Cup q/f for first time ever
Recorded our highest average attendance for years, possibly ever (can't be arsed to check)

In addition, our rookie manager has won manager of the year in both league one and league 2, and has had the honour of an involvement with the national sides U21 team (plus possibly other achievements that I have overlooked).

And all this has been achieved in 3 and a half seasons.

Now we as a club are probably the envy of many other league clubs and I think we can consider ourselves fortunate to still hold onto Tilly.

I think most of us agreed that at the beginning of the season we knew it would be a dogfight and that we would be lucky to survive.

So we weren't wrong, were we?

And before anyone accuses me of being a Tilson lover and viewing everything through rose tinted specs, let me say this:

Is Tilson a master tactician? No, certainly not yet and I am not sure he has had the playing experience to become one. But that is more Brushy's department.

Has Tilson made mistakes? Certainly. He is new to the job, and in managerial terms is still a rookie. he had no particular experience or knowledge before he took the job on and has learnt as he has gone along. His substitutions are sometimes interesting and the timing of them are questionable on occasion. Up to this season he had an excellent record with signings but this campaign has produced a couple of duds (Ricketts, Paynter) as well as a couple that have yet to produce the goods (Foran, Harrold).

Counter this with two good signings (Hammell, Francis) plus two youngsters that have enormous potential for the club (Hooper and Moussa) together with two players who have the potential to be up there among the best players that have ever played for the club - Clarke and McCormack.

Does Tilson present himself in a professional way? Well, not exactly. His "style" is different to every other manager in the league currently, if not in history. But that is part of his charm. He wears his heart on his sleeve, bleeds blue blood, and comes across almost as a fan rather than a manager.

I am sure that a straw poll of other teams fans would see them wanting Tilly and Brush in charge of their side and many of them, if viewing some of the threads on here recently, will be thinking "what have you got to moan about?". Spare a thought for the fans of Torquay, now conference bound after over 100 years in the league. Boston fans, who look to be going the same way, are just like you and I and it is not their fault that their management has, lets say, a "chequered" history that has led to them being one of the more unpopular clubs.

Of the teams below us in the football pyramid, Wimbledon were for me the epitome of every young boys dream, going from Southern league to FA Cup winners (and Europe if we weren't banned from it at the time) in little more than a decade. They were Division 1/Premiership survivors for another decade or more, until it all went pear shaped and they now preside in the Ryman Premier as AFC Wimbledon with the alleged "real" team relocating to one of Britains famous concrete cities, Milton Keynes, and have slipped from the Championship to league 2 in 2 seasons, although the play offs beckon for them.

We have the following teams in the FL that are certainly "bigger" than we are historically and who at the beginning of the season would have gladly swapped places with us (and some would maybe even now) - Bristol City, Notts Forest, Blackpool, Swansea, Millwall, Huddersfield, Brighton, Bradford, Swindon, Bristol Rovers and Notts County.

So, the point of my post is - what do we really want?

Liken Tillys managerial career to the playing career of a fine young player - Wayne Rooney for example. Exploding onto the scene as a rookie, for 2 years he can do no wrong. Then, mistakes are made, form suffers... but is he a bad player? Should he be cast aside by his club, only to resurface somewhere else and take the world by storm again? No, of course not - he has to work through the bad patch and emerge a stronger player.

Tilly will have learnt from this season and that is the only way that one improves - to learn from the mistakes. So do we want to be the benefactor of this increased experience or shall we hound Tilson out of a job so that he goes elsewhere and develops his promising career?

The immediate thought that springs to mind is certain posters ought to try and also learn from their mistakes, but I guess that really is too much to ask. Some behave like spoilt rich children wgo have been given too much too soon. As soon as something doesn't go their way, they throw tantrums until it does. Well grow up is what I have to say to them.

Have I been happy with what has happened this season? Not happy exactly, but very, very entertained at times. It has still been a memorable season although I would rather we had at least 10 more points. But we can't have everything and I am realistic enough to accept that.

So, if - I refuse to use the word when - we get relegated, I expect Tilly to work his league one magic again, maybe not for another immediate promotion but to consolidate and strengthen so that we can again progress. And remember, if you do take 2 steps forwards and one step back (possibly literally in our case), you still go forwards.

And who knows? The pressure is on Leeds for their home game against Ipswich next week. Maybe they'll falter and perhaps Cardiff will do us a favour against Hull. If we beat Luton then anything can happen. Football's a funny old game, after all.
 
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Rusty Lee

Coach
Joined
Jun 9, 2004
Messages
754
For someone to write such a long post defending someone shows something has to of gone wrong.
 
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palexander

Life President
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
8,139
Location
Brightlingsea
Great post - as one of the 'Dare to criticise Tilson' brigade, alot of what you say makes sense.

Doesnt mean that people cannot have their own opinions! Look at clubs like Arsenal, Man U, Chelsea etc - even great managers get criticised by their fans because they make mistakes.

I dont think anybody is hounding Tilly out of job - has their been any (public) calls for his head at games? I dont think so.

If we struggle next season, I can see unrest, but for now, I would image 99.9% of fans would want Tilly to stay - if we go down or stay up.

Hardly 'hounding' or a witch-hunt!!!
 

Richard_Cadette

The Realist
Joined
May 11, 2005
Messages
1,613
Location
Eastwood, Leigh-on-Sea
What we really want FBM is success for our club, full stop.

There is no denying that over the last 3 years we have enjoyed huge amounts of success, and your post quite rightly sums up how well we have done, but I dont think anyone has ever denied that have they?

It's very easy to use the 'Look at where we have come from' approach, because it almost excuses any mistakes and errors which are made from that point onwards.

Yes, of course Tilson deserves the chance to continue as our manager, I dont think there is anyone in there right mind who would think otherwise, and the reason he deserves to continue to as our manager is because stability is the one thing our club has had a huge lack of in recent times.

Yes, he has also earned that right after what he achieved over the last two years, and quite rightly, he has to be applauded for that, along with Brush and Uncle Ron.

My biggest concern is that there seems to almost be a chip on the shoulder of some supporters who draw comparisons with other so called 'larger' clubs which are not doing as well, and would love to swap places with us. The size of the club and its fan base is to a certain extent irrelevant if you have the correct structure in place.

I could counter your argument of larger clubs not doing as well as us with the likes of Colchester, who are on the verge of the Premiership and Wigan Athletic who are in the Premiership.

It is simply not the right attitude for people to suggest that if we go down next season that if we end up mid table that will be OK and we can stabilise.

If that happens, then so be it, but it cannot be the right attitude to say that is acceptable. We are now doomed, for all intense and purposes, and we absolutely have to start next season with the sole intention of returning to the Championship, and nothing less. Thats no guarantee it will happen of course, but it has to be everyones aim.

We have to stop thinking like a small League Two club because we are not one anymore, and the fact we were only 3 years ago means nothing now. Based on this season, we are fan base wise a pretty large League One club, and as such, should be challenging for success next season.

Expectation levels have risen since then, and that is down to the success Tilson and Brush have brought to the club, but you cannot have it both ways. If you are successful, you have to expect that along with that will come higher expectation levels, its called pressure and it is what they signed up for.

Rightly or wrongly, supporters will now be expeting a lot more than what they did a few years ago, and you have to accept that.

I for one will not be happy if we are not challenging for honours next season in League One, but I am realistic to know that of course there is a chance that wont happen.
 

Jam_Man

Life President
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Messages
25,545
Location
Southend
If that happens, then so be it, but it cannot be the right attitude to say that is acceptable. We are now doomed, for all intense and purposes, and we absolutely have to start next season with the sole intention of returning to the Championship, and nothing less. Thats no guarantee it will happen of course, but it has to be everyones aim.

We have to stop thinking like a small League Two club because we are not one anymore, and the fact we were only 3 years ago means nothing now. Based on this season, we are fan base wise a pretty large League One club, and as such, should be challenging for success next season.
.

No we arent a league two club, in fairness with our level of support we are a league one club, just because we got to the Championship doesnt mean we should expect thats the level we should stay at.

The problem is that some people have unrealistic expectations and now expect us to be able to survive at Championship level with half the resources of most of the other clubs there.

Using Colchester as an indicator is misguiding to say the least, if they spend the next 5 seasons challenging for the play-offs or the premiership then yes we could aspire to the same, but one decent season isnt a demonstration of what a club with under 10,000 attendances should be guaranteed. Just look at the clubs over the last few years who have been relegated, pretty much every club that size drops after a few seasons at most.

As to next season we certainly do need to be aiming for promotion again but wont be finding it easy to bounce back and if anyone has expectations of being in the top 4 all season I reckon there will be even more disappointment.

We are not exactly a large league one club If we assume we could get average attendances of 7,500 next season that would only put us 9th in attendances. (If we do find ourselves challenging from promotion for the start we could see 8,500 I guess)

Spot on post FBM, we have no right to expect to be here and its hardly a shock we didnt do well, even if still disappointing.
 

Richard_Cadette

The Realist
Joined
May 11, 2005
Messages
1,613
Location
Eastwood, Leigh-on-Sea
No we arent a league two club, in fairness with our level of support we are a league one club, just because we got to the Championship doesnt mean we should expect thats the level we should stay at.

The problem is that some people have unrealistic expectations and now expect us to be able to survive at Championship level with half the resources of most of the other clubs there.

Using Colchester as an indicator is misguiding to say the least, if they spend the next 5 seasons challenging for the play-offs or the premiership then yes we could aspire to the same, but one decent season isnt a demonstration of what a club with under 10,000 attendances should be guaranteed. Just look at the clubs over the last few years who have been relegated, pretty much every club that size drops after a few seasons at most.

As to next season we certainly do need to be aiming for promotion again but wont be finding it easy to bounce back and if anyone has expectations of being in the top 4 all season I reckon there will be even more disappointment.

We are not exactly a large league one club If we assume we could get average attendances of 7,500 next season that would only put us 9th in attendances. (If we do find ourselves challenging from promotion for the start we could see 8,500 I guess)

Spot on post FBM, we have no right to expect to be here and its hardly a shock we didnt do well, even if still disappointing.

Thats my whole point though JM, why should we not expect to stay there?

No other club has the devine right to be there above us, yes of course, recently relegated clubs from the Premiership have huge budgets and are more likely than others to succeed, but that isnt always the case - in recent times Sheffield Wednesday, Man City and Leeds United have all struggled through bad management of both the team and the finances.

We seem to be a well run machine and pretty efficient, we have spent transfer fees of nearly a million pound this season, probably a lot more than all League One clubs have, or could afford, and so therefore, of course expectation will be that we should be able to stay at this level.

Colchester and Wigan are both prime examples of what can be achieved, and on top of that, you can count the likes of Burnley as well, OK, a club with a lot of history, but currently have less money than us and an average crowd in a comparable range.

You say people are being unrealistic about us being able to stay and compete at this level, but I dont think people are. We have shown on a number of occasions this season we are more than capable of competing at this level, and with a tad more extra quality, we would all now be basking in mid table security, or obscurity, and looking forward to our summer holidays. Had the money we spent been spent on better players, which of course was possible, then we may not be where we are, and so it is highly realistic to think we could have stayed at this level.

You are right, we will find it difficult to attain success next season, it can be very difficult for any club that gets relegated (although if League Two is anything to go by this season, perhaps not - the top 4 all came down!!) and I dont think anyone is under any illusions that it will be a stroll, but that does not mean we should not be expecting our club to challenge. The management and players are going to have to oversome that hurdle if they want to succeed and handle the pressure that comes with it.
 

fbm

Blue tinted optimist⭐
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
9,114
Location
Cloud cuckoo land
Thats my whole point though JM, why should we not expect to stay there?

If we had consolidated in League One for several years and then had progressed (as did Colchester) then we could expect to stay in the Championship.

Going through the leagues as we did, with Flahavan, Wilson, Hunt, Prior, Barrett, Gower, Maher, Eastwood, Bradbury and Lawson survivors from League 2 (where some of those were not perceived to be good enough), we could in my opinion only hope to stay in the CCC and then consolidate from there. A lot depended on the signings we made - and I think we were all gobsmacked when Ricketts signed.

Unfortunately that didn't work out and attracting players to the club became a major problem. Even the one we did manage to get on loan got injured (Sam).

RC, Whilst I can accept everything that you say, I am afraid there are people on here who have and will call for Tilson to go. And my point is that I cannot see why ANYONE in any profession at all should be a victim of their own success.

Rustylee, you have completely missed the point. I am not defending Tilson. I am saying that mistakes have been made and he has built up enough credit in the previous 2 years for us to accept that without hounding him out and calling him clueless. He will learn from them, and then we have an even better manager in situ that can take us even further.

If he doesn't learn from them, then that is when we should be critical.

Otherwise the alternative is that the bloke will go and we will then get the chance to replace him with an experienced manager who has a proven track record at lower league clubs who can get us out of this obviously unholy mess that we are apparently in.

Ian Atkins anyone?
 
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Thor

Schoolboy
Joined
Mar 28, 2007
Messages
93
Some very good analysis and reasoning, the question begs how good can Tilson be, there sure is room for improvement that’s for sure and I’m pretty sure most fans want to see him succeed. The balls in his court. Roll on next season.
 

silentshrimper

Director
Joined
Jul 24, 2005
Messages
2,421
To many long posts here lads :p

Great post fbm, I actualy read that one :p

Although I do mostly blame Tilson for what has happened, I am not to fussed that we are getting relegated, afterall hes got us here and its only the second time we have been relegated from this league!
I like how you compared him to a young player, spot on but sometimes with the management game its harder to get away with poor performences, but yes he has not become a bad manager, he will learn to do things better.

All we need now is a couple of decent strikers!
 

sufcintheprem

This is a modified caption
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
10,185
Location
Putney
A large distinction on here is between those with the volatility of opinion that single-season apparaisal will get and those who rate performance over a longer time span who, frankly, would have needed a real stinker of a season to have had their opinion of Tilson lowered.

I have to admit that I'm a part of the latter and with the way we have managed the club this season, I think we should be comfortable next season. A season of midtable in League One, IMO, wouldn't be such a bad thing for a long term perspective but would be a disappointment from a single-season perspective.
 

Jam_Man

Life President
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Messages
25,545
Location
Southend
Thats my whole point though JM, why should we not expect to stay there?
.

Im going for a nice short reply as between us we could fill a novel :)

The reason we cant expect to stay there is resources. Yes we have spent a million, but other clubs in the division spend that on one player, not six. We would have to be constantly punching above our weight to survive.

Colchester cant be used as an example, they have had one season at this level, lets see how they do the next couple of seasons.

Whilst we cant have expectations to be at Championship level we can of course hope to stay here, and hope to get back again. Thats a big difference though and when people get angry and blaming everyone under the sun they need to realise that.

When the new ground is built that will change things a little and hopefully lift the club.
 
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