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When are most Shrimperzones going to wake up and smell the coffee

Somerset Ex-TTB

Members
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
4,290
Location
Yeovil
Before I start this is not an anti Tilly thread, nor a sack the manager / board rant either. What I want to do is to open a discussion regarding the current state of the club and the direction it is going in.

I have been supporting the club since 1986, so I am not one of the new fan's that is spoilt by success, and I am not just writing this due to last night or our recent poor run of results.

I remember a time when John Main was in charge, and someone came out of the club with a comment of "eight through the gate".

This was the magical attendance figure required for the club to break even in those days. Everybody laughed and said we would never get that many, as attendances were probably only 4500 on a good day.

Then we were a small club, with attendances around the average for a mid-table / top half League two club, and probably under achieving a little, but a flirt with the play-offs in League 2 would probably have been acceptable.

Then along came Tilly, Ron Martin etc. and they performed miracles, and within five years changed the size and stature of the club, overtaking around 25 clubs and rising up the football league ladder, and everything was rosy.

Our attendance have been over that 8000 mark for the past 4 years, and are currently the 50th highest in the country. That means there are also 41 clubs with in theory less resources than us.

A lot of people on this forum are still stuck in the John Main days, and likewise a lot of people want Tilly to be sacked every time we conceed a goal.

I am getting sick and tired of the debate between the two sets of fans on the board, like a epic battle between good and evil, with anyone who dares say something bad about the club and the team immediately get shot down in flames by the we are still a small little League two club brigade.

I do not think that we have a divine right to be successful, and we all know that football goes in cycles. We have had a good spell, and are probably at the start of a poor one, the trick is to make the good ones a lot longer than the bad. After a spell of success it does take a while to adjust and to accept defeat in a better manner than many show on here, or at the ground when abusing players.

Probably the only thing that people on this forum can agree on is that the defence does not work. Barrett and Clarke are not an ideal partnership, and have not been for 2 and a half seasons. Yet it was a decison by the clubs management to not purchase a commanding central defender in the summer.

How many other clubs in the football league, and probably even the top of the non league pyramid, only have 4 defenders in a squad by choice?

Francis, Clarke, Barrett and Sankofa..........thats it.

One of those is an untried youngster, and we have one other youngster coming through in Herd.

OK, so one defender on loan is OK, but that still leaves us short, as 6 is no where near enough when 2 of them are youngsters.

We all know that midfield is also a problem, and its the same one as the defence. Too few players, by the choice of the management at the start of the season.

Betsy, Moussa, McCorrmack and Grant............

Again this is a choice of the management of the club, and I know that we lost Bailey and Gower, but neither of those were unexpected.

We have had a sucession of loan players in midfield, some successful, some not, yet none of this has helped the balance of the side.

Yet all these decisions have been made by the management. Why oh why have we only done short term loans, and not season long ones?

Now I dont advocate sacking Tilly at all, however I am concerned by these decisions regarding the team that have been taken in the past year.

Either what players we have a being paid far too much, or we are really really really short of cash.

I just want to raise the point, why a lot of people on here seem to have their head stuck in the sand regarding the club at the moment, but I guess I am going to get some bad rep for criticising our beloved management team.

We all know that this season is as good as over, and we are more likely to end up in a relegation battle than a push for the play-offs, but hey thats football.

Its the reasons behind everything that I am concerned about.
 

OldBlueLady

Junior Blues Coordinator⭐
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
47,925
Location
Benfleet
Why would anyone give you "bad" rep for a perfectly well thought out and reasoned post? The beauty of a forum such as this is the opportunity for debate with people who are either of a similar opinion or completely opposite opinion as yourself, and as long as everyone refrains from descending into abusing someone as a result of a difference of opinion then we should all get along.

I think Ron Martin is dragging our little club into a bright and shiny future, but unfortunately the getting there is going to be a painful process, not helped at all by the current state of affairs in the economy. The advancement of the Centre of Excellence, and excellent youth set up; the successes of the Education support section; the fact we are the only club in the country with the ability to be able to offer tickets via your mobile phone - these are all examples of just how far the club has come, and an indication of where it is heading.

The fact that we are struggling on the field at the moment is, as you rightly say, just one of those cyclical things that come along every now and then. As the wheel turns, we will start to rise again and hopefully that will start happening in January when Tilly is able to get out there into the transfer market. By all accounts, losing Foran and Clarke will take out two of our highest wage earners giving us a bit of leeway. Tilly gets more things right in the transfer market than he gets wrong, and I'm sure he'll have a good idea of who he wants, and who he might take as a reasonable alternative.

I don't think it's a case of people having their heads in the sand, just that we're maybe a bit more philosophical about it and less inclined to go off the deep end.
 

Staines Shrimper

Active member
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
596
Excellent post!

however i do disagree with one point:

We all know that this season is as good as over, and we are more likely to end up in a relegation battle than a push for the play-offs, but hey thats football.

I do believe that Ron has learnt from his mistakes in keeping the purse strings closed this summer, and realized we do have to spend money, as there's no point having a Championship stadium, without a championship club. Hopefully in jan we will spend, not necessarily spend big. But spend wisely. If we can put a good run of results together we know how quickly you can shoot up this division, and a play off push may be on the cards. However, if I'm not right and Ron hasn't learnt his lesson, then we could very well be shooting down the other end...
 

GBJ

The Font of all Knowledge from Russia⭐
Staff member
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
12,199
Location
Grays
i believe the club have become obsessed with the so called new stadium and in the process neglected on pitch problems.

clarke and bazza are both on decent deals so even if the club wanted to replace either or both players the cost would be expensive.

the above 2 at this level are good enough without question yet when the ball is coming at them for 80 minutes because the midfield offer little protection the 2 lads look ordinary.

for my money the team currently lack quality and require 3 or 4 new faces to steady the ship.
 

Andyhsufc

Director
Joined
Jun 28, 2007
Messages
2,463
Very good post which raises a number of interesting points. Im a stanch Tilson backer but I wouldnt dream of neg-repping you as your points of view are backed up by good points as oppose to just slagging them for no real reason.

I suppose the main point of your article is concerning money and tbh, it is for precisely that reason that I believe that it may not have been Tilly's choice to have 4 first team defenders on the books or a team full of short term loanee's. From what I can see, there are a number of drains on the clubs finances which are stopping us from being able to spend money which we desperately need to invest in the team -

* New Stadium
* Players that are on Championship wages (some are still on excess of £2500 p/w i believe)
* That our two best players (Gower and Bailey) left for a combined total of 400k. Their true value in my book is closer to 1m and because of the small sum we got for them, we havent been able to go out and buy adequate replacements.
* Our relegation from the Championship and the associated issues (i.e. lower season ticket sales etc)

Looking at these issues, there are a number of potential ways that we could free funds to buy players -

* Abandon the new stadium - According to Ron, our club couldnt survive at this level wiithout the new stadium so that seems unlikely.
* Sell our "Championsip wage earners" such as Clarke, Francis, Foran and Adam Barrett (i'm guessing are our highest earners) - A high risk strategy as we would have to accept below market prices for Clarke and Foran and Barrett and Francis would fetch little imo. We would then have to go out and buy replacements for a similar price which would be near on impossible.
* Borrow money - High risk strategy as should we fall into financial problems, the last thing we need is more debt.

Therefore in my opinion, I think the approach that Tilson and Martin are taking i.e. wheeling and dealing on small money and hoping for the best (which has worked pretty well over the last few years) is the only approach that we can realistically take at the moment!
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
35,960
Location
London
Yet all these decisions have been made by the management. Why oh why have we only done short term loans, and not season long ones?

You can only sign players on long term loans during the transfer window. Because players on long term loans can't be recalled (except during a transfer window), parent clubs are often less keen on long term loans.
 

Hawkwell Blue

Manager
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
1,877
Would love to join in this thread but have no idea what the title means. Is it some sort of reality show title? What coffee? I only drink tea.

Too much American TV methinks.
 

Mick

Life President
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
10,098
The advancement of the Centre of Excellence, and excellent youth set up; the successes of the Education support section; the fact we are the only club in the country with the ability to be able to offer tickets via your mobile phone - these are all examples of just how far the club has come, and an indication of where it is heading.

This mobile phone thing is, in my opinion, just a gimmick. It would be 100 times better to allow people booking on-line to actually select a seat of their choice. I reserve judgement on the efficacy of the youth set up until either we make a significant profit on a youngster or two or their is a serious presence of home grown players turning out for the first team. Certainly this year's crop of youth players doesn't look as good as last year's. And last year's lot aren't exactly pulling up trees.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
9,445
Location
Westcliff
i believe the club have become obsessed with the so called new stadium and in the process neglected on pitch problems.
QUOTE]

i actually think your right. getting the new stadium is clearly rons main interest and you can't blame him. he's a business man after all but deep down i think we all know that the football side of things have been slightly neglected, e.g loan after loan.
 

Sandbach Shrimper

Life President⭐
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
5,966
Location
East Cheshire
Very good post. I was worried that we didn't make enough permanent signings in the summer and that's beginning to surface now. There's no competition in defence, as will be exposed by Barrett and Harding's suspensions, and we just don't have a settled team with these revolving loan signings. Give Tilson January to make some changes.
 

Kris

Director⭐
Joined
Jun 30, 2004
Messages
3,542
Location
Stratford
This mobile phone thing is, in my opinion, just a gimmick. It would be 100 times better to allow people booking on-line to actually select a seat of their choice.

Definitely agree with this. I used to use Seatbooker regularly and can't understand why it was discontinued. After the service disappeared I found myself struggling to buy tickets in my preferred South Upper during the back end of the League 1 title-winning season, and being restricted to the West Stand, which mostly has a crap view.

Admittedly, I would have struggled to get a decent seat using Seatbooker during the Championship campaign anyway, which was the main reason I bought a season ticket, but I always liked the flexibility that the service offered and it's a shame it's never been adequately replaced.
 

Richard_Cadette

The Realist
Joined
May 11, 2005
Messages
1,613
Location
Eastwood, Leigh-on-Sea
Definitely agree with this. I used to use Seatbooker regularly and can't understand why it was discontinued. After the service disappeared I found myself struggling to buy tickets in my preferred South Upper during the back end of the League 1 title-winning season, and being restricted to the West Stand, which mostly has a crap view.

Admittedly, I would have struggled to get a decent seat using Seatbooker during the Championship campaign anyway, which was the main reason I bought a season ticket, but I always liked the flexibility that the service offered and it's a shame it's never been adequately replaced.

We're not the only club to stop using it I don't think - a friend of mine is a member at Tottenham, and when given the chance, buys tickets online, or he did, using seatbooker. Then they changed to a system like we use, and he stopped bothering with it.

I presume seat booker is still around? Maybe the cost implications were too great, but from experience, I know it used to be a decent piece of software/
 

Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
Things like this always remind me of the Stoke manager who, having sold Lee Dixon to Arsenal, went to his chairman for money only to be told that it had all been allocated to existing debts and ground repair projects.

"Just generate the money yourself," said the chairman. "You got Dixon for a pittance and sold him for a fortune. Why don't you just do that again?"

Sometimes it's difficult to remember that you can't just pull good players out of a hat. The special ones, the ones who can turn an average team into promotion contenders, are pretty elusive. Southend are coming down off a high after losing a number of special players over the last few years. Eastwood is the obvious example (3 goals in 59 games since leaving by the way), but Flavs, Bailey and Gower can't be discounted and I'm sure more regular and loyal fans than myself can weight in with a few others.

We've been a bit spoiled in recent years, as ESTB rightly points out, and we're returning to our natural level. Getting back will be very difficult and what happens next comes down to a very simple choice.

1, Put our faith in a man who has already proven himself and, let's be honest, could have done a Phil Parkinson and buggered off to Norwich/Ipswich/Coventry etc etc at any point.

2, Start afresh with a new man.

Rest assured that if we stuck an advert up now, the list of contenders would not be particularly impressive. We're talking ex-players out to prove themselves and jump into the Premier League or Alan Little-types, journeyman lower league shouters.

The funny thing is that, if an ex-Shrimper with years of playing experience, a rapport with the fans, two promotions, two cup finals, one play-off campaign and a victory over Man Utd turned up we'd trip over ourselves to give him the gig.
 

Irate Ian

Members
Joined
Dec 1, 2004
Messages
2,070
Burgling a few goals would do us all a power of good.

Spotlights would not then be so much be on defence,
if we were socring plenty at the other end.

Tilsons Modus Operandi as a manager, in all previous
seasons has been built first on solid defence. He will
know how to steady the ship.

But... our scoring record is not at all good ATM.

The sooner we can get our strikers firing on all
cylinders, the quicker confidence will be restored to
the rest of the team and our supporters.
 

Lord Football

Blues on Tour
Joined
Dec 18, 2004
Messages
3,505
Location
Sunny Southend on Sea
Leicester. We played some really nice, neat, tidy football. Kept possession well and created next to nothing. Huddersfield, same again. Our only chances coming from set pieces.

In my view the problem lays in midfield. Christophe and Sawyer were top drawer. Hopefully one is on his way back next week and we can only hope for the other. Macca is suffering for not having a regular partner. Betsy has struggled IMHO as has been a disappointment. The left flank is either Walker or a loan player. As a unit it fails to protect the defence by giving the ball away, failing to track back and the like. It also fails to give the forwards the support they need to "burgle" a few goals.

Yes, the defence is light and we will get caught out. Remember we have no Harding after MK Dons. So whilst the defence clearly needs boosting, so does the midfield.

Why are we hear. I think the club is sticking to a wage structure - may be that needs reviewing very quickly.

What is obvious is that we need three or four permanent bodies arriving in January who can play defender and midfielder.
 

palexander

Life President
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
7,541
Location
C*lchester
Whilst I agree that sacking Tilly is by far the answer, I dont think just blaming the money (or lack of) is right when saying Tilly's 'hands are tied'.

He had a chance to bring in a defender, but went out and got 3 young left sided midfielders?!?! I think that decision alone will mean we see very little return until Jan and could effectively end our season.

If he could get young players in from Premier League sides, then why not go for a right back - as Francis is awful at the moment and a centre back in case of injury/suspensions. Could have still got Stanislas too....
 

Uncle Leo

This cook is an anti-semite
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Messages
23,031
Location
NY Parks Dept
I've just woken up but am smelling tea as that's what the wife has just made me.

Now where's my bacon sarnie woman?
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
3,170
Location
Little Oakley
basically as i have posted elsewhere we need,

2 right backs
2 centre backs
2 centre mids (JCF and Sawyer)
a left winger and by this i mean a permanent signing
a right winger

out have to go
Francis
Foran
Furlong
all the loanees except harding
sankofa - cant even get the abysmal francis out of the team
Revell - great bloke loads of effort no end product, harrold mark 2
 
Last edited:

M@CC@ 16

First XI
Joined
Oct 11, 2007
Messages
314
Location
Portsmouth
Personally think we are doing it right in not spending big this year and putting more funds towards the stadium.
Too many bigger/better/more funded teams in this league this year ie. Leicester, Leeds, Millwall, MK and Peterborough. So there is no point risking our future financial status when really we might be better off using this season (second half) to start building a team for next season, letting Clarke go and getting a permanent back four that play 15/20 games together would be a huge help. Saying that looking at the teams coming down at the moment next season would be pretty hard but we would have a little advantage.

In terms of players we need to get rid of Furlong, probs on 1/2K pw, and is useless. Then mildenhall, literally the worst keeper in the league. Can't catch, can't talk, might aswell not be there. How many points other than the cup game which got no points anyway, has he saved us this year.. not one i can recall. Foran imo should be playing LM at the moment.

To come in, we need a new keeper, new CB, permanent LB. Sawyer permenant, HRK second half of season loan, n just to keep freedman fit.

We'll be find never gonna get reglegated this season, just need a bit of stability
 

Benfleet Blue

First XI
Joined
Jan 30, 2004
Messages
538
What is obvious is that we need three or four permanent bodies arriving in January who can play defender and midfielder.

Good point, but we had Lewis Hunt who could do just that and, quite truthfully, was a lot better than some we have now and ST failed to spot the gap he would leave.
 
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