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Blue tinted optimist
Oct 28, 2003
Cloud cuckoo land
Because - correct me if I'm wrong - it feels as though we have been relegated. In fact, with a few minutes to go on Saturday, a chap on my right was trying to encourage the team to show some urgency and get the winner, but by that time they were slowing the game down. He then, despairingly, announced something like "I can't believe it - we're gonna go down."

Now that probably meant just in that game. Or it could have meant go down from 3rd to 4th. But the point is that it was what everyone was feeling. It feels like a relegation.

Now part of this dread is due to the fact that Southend have NEVER in their history failed to be promoted when they have been in a position to do so. It hasn't happened often, but when we have entered the last 4 games needing x points to go up, we've always done it. We said this was a trendbucking season - well, there's another one, and probably the biggest one of all.

But the main part is that we have never been in the playoffs before either (another trend broken) and so we don't know what's coming.

Over the weekend I have spoken to several mates who support other teams and they have said there is nothing like it. To go up via the playoffs is much more satisfying than normal promotion (both financially and emotionally) but to lose in the play off final is heartbreaking.

But surely, is this not is what it is all about?

Our chance, our day of glory, the last day dramas that we normally see happening to other teams... this time it's us. Orient fans are revelling in it. A friend who is a seaso at Birdbrain road said that there were bigger cheers when the Grimsby and Bury scores were being updated than when Orient scored! They love it but lets not kid ourselves - we'd do the same too if it was them.

We know the team's shortcomings. There are a few players (both keepers, Maher and Gower) that the fans seem split on but otherwise we all know what we are and are not capable of. I doubt there is a fan who thinks that we DON'T need to strengthen the flanks and in particular the left back position. As good as Che has been this season he is not a specialist.

And as for going to Cardiff if we get there... well, many would probably say not again because they couldn't face another final defeat. We also can't see where a win is going to come from at the moment. But remember that IF we get there - a massive IF in my opinion - we will have beaten Northampton over 2 legs and the fever will be back. We'll be there. Maybe not 20,000, but a good 15,000 plus (especially if we get Macclesfield).

Either way, this season has provided many highs and a few massive downs. But we're still hanging in there. The roller coaster has not finished yet and we are coming to the grand finale with the safety bar having come loose. Hold tight and pray.