Southend United 2010-2011 Season Review Part Two

Around the turn of the year results, and crucially home form, started improving. No-one really knew why. Could it be that the enforced break due to the weather meant the players were fresher? Could it be Widdrington’s departure? Could this rag-bag team of misfits finally be clicking into place? Sturrock asked the home fans for more noise and more atmosphere, and he got it. He turned French-Tunisian centre-back Bilel Moshni into a makeshift striker, who repaid his manager by scoring 4 goals in 3 games and was the subject of a late transfer deadline day approach by Blackpool ( £250k was offered and turned down – not bad for someone who was playing non- League in Paris in July ). He took Youth Team centre-back Kane Ferdinand and turned him into a first team holding midfielder, who is now currently being tracked by Ipswich Town. There was a confidence flowing through the side and away performances were equally matched by much-improved home performances as high flyers such as Wycombe were brushed aside. We beat Barnet at home to put us a point off the play-offs. Many Southend fans had to lie down in a darkened room just to try to take it all in.

Sadly the lack of a proper pre-season caught up with a few key players, with injuries taking their toll, so Sturrock was forced to blood a few more Youth players, literally throwing them in at the deep end. Some took to League football like a fish to water, whereas others were rabbits caught in oncoming headlights. Our play-off hopes slowly started to disappear as Sturrock revealed he had approached an impressive 43 potential loanees, with 28 going elsewhere and the rest staying at their parent clubs. However as the season reached it’s climax more and more players recovered from injuries to boost the threadbare squad and we comfortably yo-yo’d between 14th and 11th position, eventually finishing 13th. Striker Barry Corr notched 21goals for the campaign, his personal best tally ever, and considering he was always carrying at least two injuries every week something of an achievement. Experienced defender Chris Barker picked up the POTY award, not bad for someone who arrived in August after being told by Peter Reid he wasn’t good enough for Plymouth. Flying winger Ryan Hall made the step up from non-League and, after recovering from some personal problems, scored 9 goals and generated countless assists.

So yes we didn’t win the League, or get into the Play-Offs, but look back at my previous column – 5 players, 4 weeks, no money. That is some task and it was given to Paul Sturrock, a man that I recently met and doffed my cap to ( after kissing his feet first). I may be alone in thinking this, but in my eyes he is a genius. There are probably Southampton, Sheffield Wednesday and Swindon fans who disgaree with me but, I wager, not many.

He has layed down the foundations for season 2011-2012 and with a few additions I strongly believe we, Southend United FC, will be contenders for the crown. And no, I haven’t been drinking.

 

Lee Morgan

@LeeM_007



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