Skip to content

The Only Way Isn’t Essex

Did you know that tomorrow at Southend is our third last away game of the season? There’s a joke or sarcastic comment to be made in there, but I can’t quite think of one…

Anyway, it’s Roots Hall tomorrow. For those with longer memories, it was the site of one of the (only) decent performances from last season, and needless to say, it would be a seriously welcome boost to repeat that.

Of course, we still managed not to build on that very performance, and if I’m being honest I’m not expecting much from tomorrow. Either from the game itself, or other results going our way.

Or in other words, don’t be surprised by tomorrow evening if the gap between us and the drop zone is but a mere three points.

That will be a bridge that we’ll cross when we come to it, needless to say. Equally, it could go right tomorrow and we find ourselves in a very healthy position that should – I repeat, should – see us in the JPT again next season.

I guess most of this pessimism comes because of the realisation our forward line is crap. I did pick up on a comment make by NA after the Brizzle Rovers game (and I hope that game doesn’t turn out to be a missed opportunity), that pissed me off a bit:

“The season hasn’t gone as we hoped. We’d like to have been further up [the table]. Our little confidence lapse in front of goal this last three to four months has probably cost us the 12-14 points that would have [put us] in the play-offs.

I nabbed the quote off WDSA, and I kept their underlined word in. Just to make a point. Of course, our “little” confidence lapse up from could be down to the painful negativity of NA’s tactics, but that would involve him admitting he got it wrong.

Actually, that accusation might be a little bit harsh, as NA admitted that strikers have to put themselves about a bit more. Obviously he finally found the notes in his UEFA coaching course notes about scoring goals…

Which is why I find Jack Midson’s comments this morning interesting. It read like an open challenge to our boss, from a player that has nothing to lose any more if you assume he’s unlikely to be here in the summer.

It’s an area we’re struggling badly in, for reasons we’ve dissected a lot, and regardless of what you think of him – he is our best striker at the club right now.

Barring a few changes of hearts, he’s more likely looking to put himself in the shop window. It’s come to the stage where it will be more of a surprise if he a) gets offered a new deal, and b) signs it.

And if we do see him in opposition colours next season, there will be more than a few fans who will back him…

At least we’re only a month or so away from finally getting the obvious issues between player and boss sorted one way or t’other. Before then, we need goals from somebody – anybody – from tomorrow.

See, we are just this one painfully hard-to-obtain victory away from pretty-much-almost-certain safety. That we’ve only had four wins in 2014 (from 19 games…) should tell you why it’s so arduous to get.

Our big saving grace at the moment is that the teams we need to lose are also finding points hard to come by. It’s a risky approach to take, granted, but that’s the hand we’ve dealt ourselves this season.

While we did play well against Brizzle Rovers, they have been seriously crap away from home, and Southend tomorrow will be a harder proposition. A point won’t be the worst thing in the world to get, and if Burton can do us a favour too we’ll be in a better position than we are right now.

Because points are all that matter now – not performances.

True, we’ve also lost just twice since we went to Newport in late February, but we relied on ninetysomething minute strikes in three of them. Without them we would be in a pant-soiling situation right now.

Anyway, there are plenty of noises coming out about needing to score goals and all that, and for once it would be nice to actually back it up with action. Not to mention giving us a relaxing Easter.

After all, we’ve only had eight months to start walking the walk…

Finally, we’re playing the Met Police in the LSC final, so feel free to dust down your anti-copper jokes. The final is at Imber Court, so you can also dust down your paranoid theories about bias and home advantage.

It’s also a good time to seek revenge on the OB after they beat us in the LSC final in 2010. Back then, we were coming off a horrible end of season run in our first Conference campaign, and it was the final swansong of many players.

I daren’t suggest that history could repeat itself, but given that only players who played in previous rounds can be selected, maybe Charlie Sheringham could finally make himself useful…