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Southend United v Wrexham – Vanarama National League – RootsHall Stadium – Saturday 3pm – Preview
Monday, August 30 – Wealdstone 0-0 Southend United – Well, this is awkward, especially off the back of last week’s positive scripture…
Four points from a possible nine – One goal in three matches – Uncreative – Unimaginative – Performances, distinctly, at best, average. Oh, but we have kept two clean sheets. I guess it all depends if your glass is half full or half-empty?
While frustrated Blues fans made their way out of the Grosvenor Vale Stadium, the social media backlash got into full swing. I think in several cases the penny has now dropped. It made quite depressing reading, but then again there hasn’t been too many occasions during the past three years when it hasn’t.
3,100 Southend supporters parted with hard-earned cash for season cards, displaying loyalty beyond the call of duty bearing in mind what they have been put through. Admittedly, in most cases the effort is evident. However, once again the fans are being served up second-rate football from a group clearly nowhere near good enough to challenge in the top half of the Vanarama National League table.
Blues were largely unconvincing against King’s Lynn and Wealdstone, two sides expected to struggle. Meanwhile, Stockport rocked up with a £150,000 striker, while we… Well, we didn’t!
Phil Brown insisted that the Blues deserved a share of the spoils against Stockport. What we deserved is irrelevant. The fact is we got nothing. Zilch – Zero – Nought!
Please, please please, no more excuses. Just answer honestly why are we – a so-called big club at this level – unable to attract or produce enough decent footballers capable of doing the job efficiently?
Saying that – fast forward to Monday. In fairness, it was refreshing to hear Brown lambast his side after they clung on grimly at Wealdstone. Sure, goalkeeper Steve Arnold is excused for saving his teammates from further embarrassment.
Brown is watching the same match as the fans. They were angry – he was angry. I realise he is still shaping the squad the way he wants it, but as I’ve said before, far too much debris from the past is still on the Roots Hall payroll. I’ve no doubt the list of potential signings in Brown’s little black book has diminished sizably, after all, Southend are hardly an eyecatching alternative these days!
I called for a clean sweep and still believe there are a few who need to be moved on and perhaps one or two new arrivals that it is becoming rapidly apparent need nurturing or nudging (to put it mildly). But ask yourself, with the evidence provided during the opening three matches, have Southend begun to halt the decline or is there still some way to fall?
To season this article with a pinch of positivity, personally, I don’t see Southend falling any further, for this season at least, although I remain concerned over the size and quality at Brown’s disposal. If Stockport highlighted a difference in pulling power and ambition, this Saturday’s opponents, Wrexham, might well ram those commodities further into the immediate vision of Blues fans.
The Welshman, albeit backed by their ‘Hollywood’ consortium, has recruited no less than eleven new faces. The club has been to the bottom of the bottle. The new owners recognised that enough is enough – failure is not an option – Manger, Phil Parkinson (remember him?) has been backed – recruitment has been impressive.
Frontman, Paul Mullins arrived having fired Cambridge United to the League Two title and is already amongst the goals. Meanwhile, midfielder James Jones for an undisclosed fee on a three-year contract from Lincoln City, and defender Bryce Hosannah on a two-year deal from Leeds United. Players are buying into the project and are prepared to sacrifice the prospect of EFL football to be a part of it.
How would you compare that to Southend United? Can you see Southend United, in its current guise, replicating that ambition? As I mentioned earlier, more than 3,000 Blues fans have dug deep. Yes, it is their team, it’s what they do. But they too have hopes and aspirations to see a successful Southend United again. I hold my breath as to whether our hierarchy hold hose same objectives for our ailing but ultimately very dear football club!
Jeevesie’s prediction: Southend United 0-2 Wrexham