Ob-la-di, ob-la-da…

Brian Jeeves
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Southend United v Chesterfield – Vanarama National League – Roots Hall Stadium – Saturday (3pm) – Preview

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on…

It’s a time of ‘oh, so close’s, at the moment.

So close to the takeover – So close to lifting what seems like a lifetime transfer embargo – So close to knowing who the incoming members of the consortium are. In the meantime, life goes on. However, in the face of Saturday’s Vanarama National League clash with leaders Chesterfield, one or two are perhaps hoping that life was put on hold!

Without a doubt, facing the in-form Spireites with a full compliment would have been difficult enough, but with injuries and international call-ups, Kevin Maher will be hard-pushed to fill the bench. Nevertheless, I don’t doubt the starting eleven (if we have that many) will give it everything they’ve got, and the Roots Hall faithful will give them every encouragement.

Of course, a few Blues followers have been left bemused that the game has not been postponed, particularly with Mauro Vilhete, Noor Husin and Daniel Kanu representing their respective countries. But at the end of the day, the National League don’t owe us anything. There is no ruling in place, similar to that deployed by the EFL, rescheduling the fixture.

As I mentioned, there have been some angry responses from sections of the support. However, suggesting that the National League have some sort of vendetta against us simply isn’t true. Sure, they docked us ten points for a breach of their rules and will not oversee a postponement of Saturday’s game, because it doesn’t state in their rules that they should. It is my understanding that the league have otherwise been supportive of the club during a particularly dark period in our history. We could have been long gone by now. It’s worth remembering that.

Whatever happens on the pitch this coming Saturday, it isn’t going to shape our season, or our future. We are where we are until the takeover is complete. We also are where we are for a reason. We all know why and who. Let’s never forget that!

In other news, and it’s good news; Maher was named the Vanarama National League Manager of the Month for October after an completing unbeaten month.

Certainly not the actions of a League that ‘hates’ us. A worthy award for a man, who no doubt will share the accolade with his staff and players. In the great scheme of things, these honours might seem somewhat insignificant. Not a bit of it! I view Kevin’s success as evidence that Southend United are living, breathing and ready to fight the next battle.

Unfortunately, the next battle proved to be a disappointing 2-0 defeat at in-form Altrincham. Justin Amaluzor and Justin Donawa scored the all-important goals for Alty. “We probably didn’t reach the heights we have done over this run, but you’ve got to grind results out so it’s disappointing not to get anything from the game,” Maher said.

“Defensively we were a little bit open for me at times and a little bit too easy to play through and that was the case for the first goal.

“You can see we’re short and we need one or two bodies to help because the likes of Cav and Harry Taylor are big losses. That’s why you need a squad so you can cope with the injuries and suspensions.”

Meanwhile, Gus Scott-Morriss added: “I think we huffed and puffed but probably didn’t show enough quality to get the win. 

“Saying that, I think whoever took the first chance was probably going to win the game. Unfortunately, they took theirs and we didn’t. Sometimes it’s that simple.”

Just shy of 500 Blues fans made the trip to the North-West. I doff my cap in their direction. The support is further proof that the club is alive and kicking. Hopefully, the coming weeks will provide us with what we deserve. A stable football club at the heart of the community which is competitive and diverse both on and off the pitch. I remain cautiously optimistic.

Looking ahead, Chesterfield comes to Roots Hall sitting on top of the league with fifteen wins from their eighteen games to date. 

They were convincing winners over second-placed Barnet last time out and can call upon the likes of Will Grigg, Armando Dobra and Joe Quigley for goals and creativity.

Chesterfield Football Club is on the crest of a wave at the moment but they’ve certainly been through the mill in recent years. I for one, won’t forget the camaraderie displayed by their supporters towards their Southend counterparts back in October 2021, when protests towards Mr Martin’s tenure cranked up. 

Some thought that day was the beginning of the end for Southend United and although the outcome of Saturday’s match might be something similar, there appears to be a light shining brightly at the end of the tunnel suggesting otherwise.

Bring ya’ boots – Up the Shrimpers – Jeevesie

Jeevesie’s prediction: Southend United 0-3 Chesterfield 

Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk