TBV News & Announcements

The Turning Point In Our Season?! | TBV Bulletin January 2020

posted 7 Feb 2020, 12:19 by Dan McEvoy   [ updated 17 Feb 2020, 06:11 ]

Following on from the success of last season's bulletins, a member of TBV will be continuing to publish their thoughts and comments from previous games, and previewing games ahead of us. These bulletin's are to be published once a month, and the day/date these bulletins are posted will vary from month to month. As always, please be aware that this bulletin may contain some controversial views, and are the views of those involved with TBV, and may not necessarily reflect the views of the club. 

We would like to start this month's bulletin off with a quick apology, as in the December edition, we promised that this month's edition of the bulletin would feature a large section dedicated to some of our greatest moments over the past decade. Unfortunately, we will be delaying this feature until February's bulletin, as we have a few bigger, and much more serious talking points to give our thoughts on this month. If you still wish to contribute to the above feature, please refer to last month's bulletin, which you can read here.

But before we begin this bulletin, everyone involved with TBV would like to extend our thoughts to the family and friends of Chris Barker, who sadly passed away just a couple of days into the New Year. Chris Barker was a top bloke both on the pitch, and off it too, constantly interacting with fans, taking time out of his day to make someone else's day, and on top of all of this, he was a top player, and a fantastic role model and captain for the club. When us fans utter the phrase "play for the name on the front of the shirt and we'll forever remember the name on the back", it isn't just a saying. I think we speak on behalf of all Southend fans when we say we will forever remember Chris Barker as a fantastic role model for the club, and a truly phenomenal gent and player. The tribute to him before the Tranmere game to remember him was impeccable and very emotional for a lot of people to watch, and that tells me that he truly was respected by everyone in attendance. We send our condolences to everyone close to Chris, including his family and friends. 

Rest In Peace Chris Barker - 1980-2020

January Sales...

Well, it's not all been bad news... we've started off our January with a huge positive and picked up a grand total of 5 points, losing only once and winning our 2nd game of the season! For those who missed it, Accrington away is always a great away day, and the players didn't disappoint us, with Southend walking away with a well deserved and a hard fought for 3 points. The fans were fantastic, and the players rightly deserved the response they got from the fans. Unfortunately, we weren't able to keep up our winning start to the new decade at Doncaster, falling to a 3-1 defeat, however I see a good number of positives on the pitch from our most recent games, and hopefully performances will continue to improve over the next few weeks, despite our off-field troubles.

Where oh where do we begin with the transfer window then... so, it's been a busy few weeks at Roots Hall when it comes down to the transfer market... unfortunately, the only movement we've seen in this transfer window has been players going out of the club, moving on to pastures new. So, very quickly before we get onto the main talking point of this transfer window, let me give you my personal opinions on these moves;

Ethan Hamilton and Nathan Ndukwu - Whilst they may individually be good players, unfortunately, they just didn't fit into the side, for whatever reason, and to terminate their loan deals was absolutely 100% the right decision.

Simon Cox - In my opinion, and as sad as it is to see someone depart from the club having been here for many years, it was ultimately the right decision. Coxy was a fantastic striker for us, and provided us with many, many memories over his time at the club, but with him being in the latter stage of his career, and with the offer of a move to the Australian league, I think you can totally understand why he wanted to move on.

Tom Hopper - One of the players who, since returning from injury, has given us 100% every single game, and has made a huge difference for us, so to see him depart for Lincoln City was absolutely gutting. Having said that, if Hopper did indeed have a relegation release clause in his contract, accepting 150k for him over the risk of losing him at the end of the season is definitely the right decision, sadly. 

Rob Kiernan - Once described to us by a certain former manager as our "wow" signing of that season's transfer market, Kiernan has been desperately unlucky at Southend, being riddled with injuries. For me, I feel like it's the right decision to let him go, it certainly helps reduce our wage budget, but it does create a big defender shortage problem (more on that in a minute).

Nathan Bishop - A player who has came through our youth team, and began the transition to the first team, he certainly has a big future ahead of him if he continues to work on his game. When it comes to his move, it's hard to argue against it... when a club like Manchester United show interest and belief in your abilities, who can blame him for jumping at the opportunity to join them?! All the best to him, and I hope to see him making a name for himself in the future.

With all the players who have departed from us this transfer window, I wish them all the best of luck in their new ventures, apart from when they play Southend, of course!

Now, with the departures out of the way, let's talk about the lack of movement on the other side of the transfer window... 

With all of the players who have moved on during this transfer window, the club had to be looking at replacing these players, and unfortunately, the club haven't done so. In fact, our own chairman has released a statement to the fans via the Echo, to tell us that he doesn't foresee us making any signings in the January window at all, and praises Sol for his "initiative" to place his faith into the youth. Now, I have a number of problems with this statement personally, firstly stating that we wanted to bring in 5-6 players on a permanent, and then turning round a couple of weeks later saying it was "notoriously difficult to attract the right players" quite frankly, isn't good enough. There is such a thing as bringing in players on a 6 month contract, or on loan deals... and if you're worried about "not attracting the right players", give them incentives to do well and make them work for a contract. I would rather sign 6-7 hard-working "standard level" players working for a future deal, than 1-2 big, established big player signings, because in my opinion, that is where we have gone wrong in the past. On the subject of where things have gone wrong with player signings in the past, personally speaking, I think Spencer Prior summed it up for us all on Twitter; the club desperately needs a CEO or a Technical Director - someone to deal with the player situation and ensure what happened in the past, doesn't happen to us again. With Ron desperately working with the council (apparently) to figure out plans for our future stadium, appointing someone to oversee the day to day running of the club would make a lot of sense.

**EDIT** Since writing this section of the bulletin, it has been noted that we are in lengthly talks with 2 ex Macclesfield players who have only recently been released from their contract, both of which have been on Sol's radar for a while, according to Ron. This is obviously good news, however could it be seen as too little too late? The players released include a midfielder, and two defenders, the two positions we are currently struggling with. This will come as a welcome boost if we are able to agree a contract with them, and as free agents as of before the close of the transfer window, it will mean they are able to complete their transfers to us outside the transfer window. It was also noted that former Southend goalkeeper, Ted Smith, is still training with the squad, and could also be an option, should we wish to take it.

Southend United vs Lincoln

So, with the transfer window slamming shut on Friday evening, just 6 senior pros (players who have a good few years of professional experience) available, and a whole load of youngsters (including players without too much first team experience) readying themselves for the step up to the first team, we headed into Saturday's game not really knowing just what to expect. Whilst this situation was far from ideal, a huge positive coming out of all of this, is that the club are continuing to bring players through the youth system, which is only testament to the fantastic work Ricky Duncan and his team are doing with the youth academy. We saw a fantastic performance from youngster Harry Phillips on Tuesday night in Doncaster, with a goal to cap it all off, and it's fantastic to see players like himself continue to progress and impress both the fans and management, even when results aren't going our way. For me, it's fantastic to see that the youth system will get a huge chance to shine, albeit in very difficult circumstances, and I really hope it works out well for them. I do worry that we are throwing our youngsters straight into the deep end, but I believe that with the senior pros we have at the club, combined with the management team, they have the right support around them to step up, and be able to cope with the pressures.

Having said that, I thought that the youngsters that stepped up on Saturday were absolutely fantastic, with Tom Clifford impressing me, and many others in a big way. For a youngster to step up to play in the first team, and to play with so much composure and class, under huge amounts of pressure, is very impressive. I thought everyone really stepped up on Saturday, and, in reflection, the best team won at full time, and it was well deserved. Huge shout to Elvis Bwomono, who has been, by far, our most consistent player in recent weeks... if ever there was a player to fully deserve the glory of a 96th minute winner, it was Elvis. Seeing his passion celebrating the goal, and at full time is only testament to his character and how much he cares about the club he plays for. He walked off that pitch and went home with a beaming smile on his face, and he fully deserved to have one, because he was immense on Saturday, and long may it continue!

Final Thoughts

As fans, I get that it can get frustrating at times, but let's all remember how good moments like Sunderland felt... where the odds were stacked against us, and we came back fighting with everything we had got. But moments like celebrating survival last season is moments that make it all worthwhile in the long run, and, should the impossible become reality again this season, I can promise you that being there every step of the way, experiencing all of the highs and lows, makes these moments even more memorable for fans. On the flip side of things, should we end up going down, at least we cannot turn round, as fans, and say "we gave it our best shot". This is a team that I am sure many of us have followed now for years upon years, and to see us in such a dire situation breaks my heart... but this season is not over yet. It's not over until the final game of the season. Our next game is Blackpool away, and I would urge any fans who are considering whether or not to have a day out in Blackpool next Saturday to watch Southend, to book onto a coach, and join us in supporting the team. 

It could potentially be a tough couple of weeks/months for us, but as long as we continue to put in good performances like the ones against Lincoln, I'm sure we will continue to give ourselves every possible opportunity to claw our way out of this mess. The youth have a chance to shine, the players seem to be playing for each other again, and the passion seems to be back again amongst the group. Our season has got off to a horrific start, but we are only half way through the season, and anything can still happen. This bunch of players deserve an opportunity for the fans to get behind them, and I think, as fans, we all need to give them as much support as physically possible. We can't change our situation, but we can do our absolute best to adapt to it, and try to make it work; it's far from ideal, but no-one said things would come easy to us. For me, we can either go out with a whimper, showing no fight or passion to win our remaining fixtures... or we can bust our arses trying to avoid the drop, and gain the respect of the fans in the process... I think I know what I'd prefer out of that.

Up The Blues!

The Blue Voice

Southend's Nightmare Before Christmas... | TBV Bulletin December 2019

posted 1 Jan 2020, 02:28 by Dan McEvoy   [ updated 1 Jan 2020, 02:29 ]

Following on from the success of last season's bulletins, a member of TBV will be continuing to publish their thoughts and comments from previous games, and previewing games ahead of us. These bulletin's are to be published once a month, and the day/date these bulletins are posted will vary from month to month. As always, please be aware that this bulletin may contain some controversial views, and are the views of those involved with TBV, and may not necessarily reflect the views of the club. 

A Southend Christmas Story...

Tis the season to be jolly... and whilst performances have somewhat been more positive over December, there's still not been a whole lot to be jolly about. I was hoping to open this bulletin with some positivity and a little play on words for popular Christmas film "Miracle on 34th Street", but unfortunately the two fixtures closest to Christmas weren't as kind to us, and annoyingly, these two games were our biggest chances in this half of the season to get 3 points, and on both occasions, we could've done just this. But before we speak about Bolton and MK Dons, let's start at the beginning of December, and Burton away...

Burton Albion (A)
For me, Burton was another huge opportunity to get 3 points... and it was all going swimmingly well for a long time, with Southend leading 1-0 and up against 10 men following O'Toole's sending off. However, the game was very much a tale of 2 different halves, and the difference in the two halves was staggering, and when Burton got their equaliser, heads dropped, and the game turned on its head, with Burton getting a few really threatening chances. We held out for the draw and a precious point, but whilst there were positives, you'd be foolish if you didn't feel a little gutted that we didn't fight back and claw all 3 points. Unfortunately, a huge down point goes to the unfortunate injury to Nathan Ralph, who dislocated his shoulder near the end of the game, which is a real shame as I thought he was superb for the most part of the game. We hope that he recovers from this injury as soon as possible, as he was just beginning to find some good form.

Bristol Rovers (A)
It was seemingly a month for playing all the "B" teams in the league away from home, with a tough test at Bristol Rovers up next. Coming into the game off the back of a positive display at Burton, I think a good few fans were feeling optimistic about the game ahead, but I don't think anyone expected us to be going into half time 2-0 up! But, much like Burton, it was a game of 2 very different halves, and the 2nd half got off to a horrific start, conceding a penalty in the first 5-10 mins of the half kicking off. For me, the moment we conceded the penalty, and it was converted, heads dropped, and it allowed Rovers to get back into the game in a big way. The equaliser quickly followed, closely followed by a cracking strike for Bristol Rovers to take the lead. It took going 3-2 down to get some form of motivation together to try and claw something back in the game. The 4th goal went in, and many fans had unfortunately gave up by this point, and for those in attendance, they were astounded, and speechless at just what had just happened. As fans, we knew this was going to be a tough fixture, as Bristol Rovers are no pushovers, but the difference in both halves was absolutely staggering, and quite frankly, worrying.

Rotherham (H)
Rotherham - After 2 games on the road, it was back to Roots Hall for the final home game before Christmas, and we faced another tough challenge in Rotherham. It was a game where we saw the return of Harry Lennon (we'll get to that in a bit), and whilst we started relatively positively, on the half hour mark a bit of a scuffle in our own penalty box led to an unfortunate own goal by Rob Kiernan, putting Rotherham ahead. However, as opposed to the two games before it, the team kept their heads up, kept fighting, and we ended the half going in only 1-0 down. The 2nd half began a lot brighter, with Southend winning a penalty within the first 4 mins of the half kicking off - amazingly, it was our first penalty of the season. Demetriou was the man tasked with taking the penalty, and he confidently converted the penalty and bringing us level. Just a few short minutes later, a well timed through ball from Bwomono reached an on-running Mantom, who slotted the ball into the bottom right hand side of the goal, giving us the lead for the first time at home in the league since our game vs Doncaster in October. Unfortunately, that lead only lasted 8 minutes, as some poor defending and goalkeeping led to a goal from none other than ex Shrimper, Freddy Ladapo, bringing Rotherham level on the 60th minute mark. Despite our best efforts, we weren't able to find a winner, but at the end of the day, a draw was a very good result for us, against a very tough Rotherham side. There were more positives than negatives, and I think fans were strangely optimistic for our hopes against Bolton the next weekend.......

Bolton (A)
Ahh, Bolton. The only team that is in this situation with us right now, and the only reason why Southend aren't ending the decade at the bottom of the League One table. The game got off to a flyer, as Lennon rose highest from a corner to nod home a superb Mantom corner, to give us the lead just 10 minutes into the game. But elation turned to devastation just a few minutes later, as Lennon went down injured, with what was later confirmed to be a broken leg, being replaced by the returning John White. From this point onwards, it seemed that the game turned on its head, and on the 36th minute, Bolton drew level, and just 10 minutes later, following a bit of controversy with the referee waving away his officials' flag and some poor defending from Southend, Bolton took the lead, just before the half time whistle. The 2nd half kicked off, and Southend were really pushing for an equaliser for the opening 15 mins. However, on the 64th minute, disaster struck, as what can only be described as a moment of incredibly careless play led to Bolton's Daryl Murphy running straight through on goal, to convert the easiest chance I think anyone will ever get... at least, this is what I assumed happened, as after the slip, I sunk below my seat, to the ground, and couldn't bare to watch what happened next. We continued to try and claw our way back into the game again, with Dieng converting a header from a McLaughlin free kick, but unfortunately, it wasn't enough. The result was tough to take for most fans, few fans inconsolable at the full time whistle... me personally, I found it very difficult to vocalise how I felt about the result. The only words I could find to summarise what I watched was "we are the victims of our own demise" - the 3 goals we conceded, especially the 3rd goal, was incredibly avoidable. What we were hoping was going to become our Christmas Miracle, turned out to be our Nightmare before Christmas. 

MK (H)
Christmas has been and gone, and now we move onto Boxing Day, and our only opportunity to pick up a "six pointer" this season, with MK being the only team we have defeated this season before the game (1-0 away win back in September). Things got off to a tough start, with MK taking the lead within 15 mins, but Southend quickly earned their way back into the game, with Southend being awarded a penalty on the half hour mark. Once again, Demetriou was the man tasked with the job of converting from 12 yards, and a cooly slotted penalty brought us deservedly level. Going into half time, we were looking much improved from our previous game against Bolton, but defensively there were still some huge worries from us. These worries continued into the 2nd half, and just after the half hour mark we found ourselves in trouble again, with some ropey defending leading to a forced attempted off the line clearance by Bwomono. Whether the ball crossed the line or not was a debate in the stands for most home fans, but the assistant referee gave it as a goal, and we were behind once again. Thankfully, MK's lead lasted mere minutes, as a great cross in from Mantom reached the head of Rob Kiernan, who headed home emphatically to bring us level once again. From this point in the game onwards, it was really Southend's game to lose - we weren't short of chances, however our lack of clinical finishing in and around the box affected us, meaning we ended up at full time with just a draw for our efforts.

Final Thoughts
In summary, December has actually been probably our best performing month of the season so far; 2 losses in 5 games (Bristol Rovers and Bolton) which, when you look at it, is a pretty depressing statistic, and tells the story of our season so far. As we mentioned earlier on in, we saw the somewhat controversial return of Harry Lennon, following his 5 week spell training with the U23's following controversy following the Dover game. Before the game, he released an apology on the official site to the fans, however, as expected, his reception for his first game back was predictably toxic. For me, I felt angry when I heard the news that he was back in contention again, but when I took a step back and looked at it again, I thought it may have been a stroke of genius from Sol. Knowing that the fans were still annoyed at him, I think Sol may have used that to motivate Lennon to show them what he can do, and the result of that was one of the best performances I've seen from him in a Southend shirt. He was a noticeable difference against Rotherham, and after he went off injured vs Bolton, the game did seem to change. I wouldn't say he has fully won the fans over yet, but I would say he has made a good start at doing just that. Unfortunately, the injury he suffered at Bolton will likely mean that he will miss the rest of the season, which is a real shame for him.

Looking towards the January transfer window, I think it is fairly safe to say that most of our signings in the transfer window will be made up of loan deals, with maybe a couple of permanent deals thrown in there for good measure. I think we are in need of 2 CB's, a LB (potentially on loan), a winger and a CM, at the very least. Sol has got a huge task on his hands this January getting new faces in the door, and hopefully by the time we are typing the next bulletin, we will know how successful Sol was with doing just that. Also, as we approach the end of the year, we also prepare to enter a brand new decade. It's been an event filled decade, and our January bulletin will be dedicated to going through some of our favourite moments from the past decade. With this in mind, we are asking all Southend fans to tweet us their favourite moments of the past decade, for inclusion in our first bulletin for 2020. Please tweet @OfficialTBV with your suggestions for favourite moments of the past decade, and we will talk about them in the next bulletin. 

Hopefully we will have some more positive stories to write about in 2020, but for now, we prepare ourselves for a tough fixture on New Years Day away against Wimbledon. Hopefully 2020 will hold better fortunes for Southend, and on behalf of everyone involved with The Blue Voice, from those on the drum, to those who turn up religiously week in and week out to vocally back the team even through their toughest times, we want to wish all Southend United fans a very happy and successful 2020.

Up The Blues!

The Blue Voice

Worst Ever EFL Start In History?! | TBV Bulletin November 2019

posted 2 Dec 2019, 17:30 by Dan McEvoy

Following on from the success of last season's bulletins, a member of TBV will be continuing to publish their thoughts and comments from previous games, and previewing games ahead of us. These bulletin's are to be published once a month, and the day/date these bulletins are posted will vary from month to month. As always, please be aware that this bulletin in particular may contain some controversial views, and are the views of those involved with TBV, and may not necessarily reflect the views of the club. 

Utterly Disgraceful...

"Well this will be a bit of a novelty for Southend, they've gone over half an hour without conceding a goal...". Not my words, the words of BT Sports Commentators during our performance against Dover. No, seriously, that was their exact words, I am not making that up, that is genuinely what they said. It's desperately sad to be known by national media as the team that can't stop conceding goals, but right now, that is exactly who we are. BT Sports and their pundits for the match were absolutely spot on with their comments about Southend, and judging from the reactions of the fans who made the trip to the Crabble Athletic Ground, I think their assessment of our performance was pretty accurate. It is the first game that I have fully seen every single person in the crowd, myself included, turn on the players and voice their disgust at the players. Our fans have been incredibly loyal, even in defeat, and it wasn't very long ago that I wrote about how our fans were singing "Southend Till I Die" with pride, after losing 7-1 with 9 men on the field. We saw some improvement against Ipswich, where I thought we put up some kind of fight, and Sunderland where we managed to keep them out for most of the game, only losing 1-0... but the hard work seen in previous weeks was undone against Portsmouth, where we lost 4-1. Moving out of that game, we moved onto Dover in the FA Cup on Sunday, and that is what we will be focusing on mostly for today's bulletin.

They think it's all Dover...

Where on earth do I begin with the game against Dover?! I think firstly, I should say that personally speaking, and after watching the game back, the game itself wasn't particularly poor, Dover really gave Southend a game, but for me, my frustrations surround the lack of chance creating, sloppy passing, and general complacency that surrounds the team. I've now watched the game twice; once on the day at the ground, and watching it back on TV during the week whilst writing this bulletin, and the amount of sloppy passes and complacency that was on display was beyond concerning. Even at the end of the game, the players seemed to be happy shaking hands and clapping the away support... it seemed, from a supporter's perspective, that the team didn't care about losing. The only player I will give some credit to after the game, was Elvis Bwomono, who looked visibly gutted in comparison to the rest of the team. He was the only guy who looked like he cared about the result, and was probably the only player to get any kind of credit from the away fans in attendance.

For me, it looked like a lot of the players out there maybe underestimated Dover as opponents, which for any game, let alone a cup game, is always a dangerous thing to do. Our lack of chances created is hugely concerning for me, and the lack of any kind of form is alarming to put it lightly. We have been, in a way, very lucky to get this little mini break in our season, with our next game coming on the 3rd of December away at Burton. It's clear that Sol has got a huge job on his hands, but it's great to see that he is relishing in the opportunity he has here at Southend, and is determined to work "double hard" to get our form back to where it needs to be. As he said on BT Sports before the game, he needs to get the players gelling together as a team, and believing that they can win football games. It is encouraging to see that the team and the squad kind of redeemed themselves in a way with a win against Wimbledon in the Leasing Trophy, but there is still a very long way to go. Unfortunately, not all of the players got the chance to redeem themselves in this game...

Harry Lennon's Controversy

So, as most Southend fans will know by now, it was reported on Twitter and in the Echo that our central defender, Harry Lennon, went out drinking with Dover players, in full Southend United tracksuit, just hours after Southend crashed out out of the FA Cup courtesy of Dover. To say the backlash from this has been toxic from the fans is probably an understatement, and those involved with TBV were very united on what they thought about Lennon's actions. For me, to go drinking with opposing players, dressed in full club tracksuit, just hours after being loudly booed off by the supporters of the club he plays for, is incredibly disrespectful, and, frankly is a slap in the face to all his teammates too. Sol's response to this to banish Harry to training with the U23's was 100% the right decision, and I think all Southend fans are in agreement with his reaction. 

The backlash to this forced Lennon to delete his Twitter account, and it has got to the point now where I feel like if Lennon played for our club again, he would be greeted with an incredibly toxic reaction from our fans. Obviously, TBV don't want to encourage a toxic atmosphere at games, but I feel that the combination of Lennon's actions, and poor results, will mean that Lennon will have a very tough time getting the fans back on his side again after this incident, if he even gets the opportunity to do so. 

I did note that there were a few anti Lennon chants on Saturday vs Oxford, despite him not being involved in the team, which, whilst totally understandable, it just wasn't needed in my opinion. I guess with the team at least 2-0 down at that point, some fans decided to target Lennon as a source of their frustration, which is understandable. But for me, my frustrations lay squarely on the players on the pitch, as they are the ones that are accountable for the performances we are seeing, not Lennon.

I can only hope that this incident, as well as the mini break we've had during November's fixtures has woken up a few players who may not of been "pulling their weight" within the team, but unfortunately it's too early to tell whether or not we will see an improvement in the future.

We Go Again...

We originally planned for this bulletin to be released before Oxford, but we decided to hold off for a week and see if there was any positives we could add in... sadly, there were no positives at all, and our worries and concerns from Dover carried over to this game too. So rather than dwelling on a horrible result against a side who hadn't beaten us in the league at home beforehand since 2003, we are choosing to move on from this game and result, and move towards our game vs Burton on Tuesday.

Should any of the players be reading this bulletin, our message to you is pretty simple; regardless of what you might think, the fans STILL have your backs. We care about our club, some of us more than others, and what you hear in the stands, in one way or another, is our passion for our team to succeed. Every single person who pulls on the colours of Southend United, and represents our club has our undivided support in the stands. When you, as a player, disrespect that either by turning on the fans, or doing irresponsible things like mentioned above, you see reactions like the ones you saw following the Dover game, or the pure frustrations and anger following our defeat to Oxford. You saw the feeling of pure joy and jubilation of survival in this league at the end of last season, that feeling was indescribable as a fan. It was a tough end to last season; we were slowly sleepwalking into a relegation battle, something no-one wanted to see, and survival on the final day of the season, was a huge relief for fans. Whilst we are currently 22nd in the league, and, at present, deep in a relegation battle, the season is NOT over yet. It's only the end of November, and we have a LOT of time to fix this, but an immediate response is required. 

We are a passionate fanbase, who, if anything, are guilty of caring too much about our club. A lot of people willingly give up their spare time and money to follow you around the country week in, and week out, and it's now up to YOU, both as individuals, and as a TEAM, to repay these fans' faith. How can you do that? Simple, play with passion, with pride, with grit and determination... show us you care about winning. The time for talking about improvements are OVER... the time to show up and FIGHT is NOW, and that starts on Tuesday.

We face tough opposition on Tuesday with Burton sitting in 14th. This will not be a "walk in the park", it will be a hard game, and we need to work hard to get a result... but it IS possible if you fight together, as a team. The travelling fans will continue to back you - repay their faith and show them just what it means to play for Southend United.

Final Thoughts

After a particularly negative bulletin this week, I felt I would end on a bit of a positive, and a thank you. For those of you who were at Dover or Oxford, you will have noticed that, for the first time ever, we were using a brand new drum, which has been kindly put together by the wonderful Southend supporters involved with Blues On Tour.

For those who are unaware of who Blues on Tour are, they are an official supporters group who organise coach travel around the country supporting Southend United (formerly known as TravelZone/ZoneTravel). Now, following Southend at the moment in time seems like a huge task, considering our form and our results... but with Blues on Tour, supporting Southend away is made a lot easier when surrounded by great people, and making good memories of away days, in most cases in spite of the results. Those heavily involved with TBV are regulars on the Blues on Tour coaches, and we highly recommend their services - we have made great memories all over the country as a group, thanks to the hard work of Wino and his crew. We encourage those who may not have travelled with them before, to join us for an away trip in the near future - you never know when our luck and fortunes will turn around!

The addition of a new bass drum is something we've been looking into for a long time, so when the opportunity arose, we were 100% on board with it. Whilst the new drum is slightly smaller, it is taller, and certainly packs a punch, with a notable difference being made at both the games the drum's been present at (Dover away & Oxford at home). The best thing about the new drum is that we now have the capacity to utilise the drum at away grounds with terraces (subject, as always, to away club's permission).

The arrival of a 2nd drum will mean we can switch drums where necessary, so a huge thank you to Tezza, Wino, and all of those at Blues on Tour for their ongoing kind support of TBV - we will find a way to repay your support! For those of you who want to join us and Blues on Tour on an away trip soon, check out the link below.

Blues on tour Website: www.bluesontour.co.uk

Finally, a huge thank you to those who continue to support the team, both home and away; your support for our club is absolutely unbelievable. With only 5 points on the board, and only 1 win this season, we totally understand why people are put off of supporting the team at the moment. It's not easy to watch us at the moment, but the results WILL improve with time. We have only 3 away games left this year, Burton on the 3rd December, Bristol Rovers on the 9th, and Bolton on the 21st, so my message to the fans is simple. Come and support us, join the fans on a little mini Christmas party tour of the country with Southend, and let's try and have a great day out regardless of the football... who knows, we may witness a Christmas Miracle! 

Let's continue to get behind the team, and show everyone how passionate we are about OUR club. 

Up The Blues!

The Blue Voice

SOS - Save Our Sol's | TBV Bulletin October 2019

posted 26 Oct 2019, 02:30 by Dan McEvoy   [ updated 26 Oct 2019, 02:48 ]

Following on from the success of last season's bulletins, a member of TBV will be continuing to publish their thoughts and comments from previous games, and previewing games ahead of us. These bulletin's are to be published once a month, and the day/date these bulletins are posted will vary from month to month. As always, please remember that all of the views and opinions included in this bulletin are the opinions of individuals involved with TBV, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the club.

Our Season So Far...

When we decided back in pre season to continue making these bulletins, I don't think any of us realised just how bad our start to the season was going to be. We had aimed previously to make the bulletin's a weekly edition, however with the team playing as badly as we were, it was very hard to make the bulletin an entertaining read with the performances at the time, so sadly this was not possible. We agreed a while back that once a new manager was announced, we would return with a bulletin, and going forwards, we will be aiming to release a bulletin on a monthly basis, and we may choose to shift the focus towards a different topic through different weeks.

To say the past 2 1/2 months have been challenging for Southend United, really is understatement of the year. If you have been at every single game this season, fair play to you as you've really seen us go through some incredibly rough performances. Our only win of the season comes away from home, against MK Dons in a very well earned 1-0 win, with draws against Fleetwood at home, and Tranmere away bringing us up to an incredibly poor 5 points in total. To add to this, Kevin Bond, our manager at the beginning of the season, was relinquished of his job in early September, with the vacant managerial position not being filled until this week, with the appointment of ex England legend, Sol Campbell. Why we have waited for nearly 7 weeks to fulfil a position that, realistically should've been filled within the first couple of weeks is totally beyond me, and personally speaking I think the talk of who has and hasn't been linked with us and the uncertainty of when the new manager would be appointed has affected the players performances in a weird way. I am not in any way suggesting that this has been the "Sol" (sorry couldn't resist) reason for our poor performances, but I do feel that it has played a big role in our lacklustre performances as of late. 

I think it has to be said that Sol Campbell has one hell of a job on his hands now to turn this around, and turn this group of players into a team that works for each other, because right now, I get the vibe that there is very little, if any team spirit at the club. The team need to go and do some team bonding, anything really to get them interacting and feeling like they can work for each other, because right now, as a fan, I don't feel like the players want to play for each other. Sol and his management team has a huge task on his hands, but I have every faith in him as a character, to turn around our fortunes this season, and guide us to safety in League One. Tuesday's game vs Doncaster was one of the lowest points I've ever witnessed as a Southend supporter. I won't mention the score, nor the game any further than this, as I'm sure supporters really don't want to hear it anymore than they need to, but Doncaster's win completes the hat trick of teams who have come to Roots Hall this season without an away win, and came away with all 3 points. We can blame whoever we want, officials, lack of permanent manager (until 7pm that evening), the fact of the matter is, the players and the team wasn't good enough, end of. 

There was one huge positive from the game on Tuesday, and that was the incredible support from the fans in the West Stand, especially in and around W block. As the game grew nearer its end, whilst some chose to leave, many others choose to step up and make some noise for the players, and show pride in the club that they support... on the darkest day and the worst home result in its history. To those fans, I step up and applaud you all for showing your passion for the club - it's not about applauding the players for their appalling performance, it was about showing pride for the club that they supported, and I am personally incredibly proud of the fans who chose to get behind the team through a horrendous performance. In my opinion, in a situation where we, as fans, recognise that we aren't going to win the game, there are 3 choices we can make; stand up, leave the game, and go home... sit there and moan about how poorly we are playing until the final whistle... or stand there, continuing to sing and have pride in supporting your club, even in defeat... 

As a certain Bill Shankly would say; "if you can't stick with the team and support them at their absolute worst, you don't deserve to support them when they're at their best". Being a football fan is a rollercoaster of emotions, especially following a lower league side like Southend... you are bound to get moments like this. Remember the play-offs where we were beaten 5-1 away from home? Did we, as fans, stop singing and go home or sit there and moan about how bad we were? No... our fans stayed there until the end, and sang their f***ing hearts out, not because the players were playing well, but because the fans had pride in their club, and if we, as fans can't at least show some passion and pride for our team despite the result, then I don't know what you want from us. The shining light from Tuesday night's game was the passion of the fans, even in heavy defeat - and we can hold our heads up high for that. It's incredibly easy to get on the player's backs when you're not playing well, but to support players at their lowest is another level of support. 

In honesty, and without trying to sound biased here at all, the players really truly don't know just how good they have it with fans like Southend's, and I would call upon ALL of the players selected in the team (starting 11 and bench) to repay the fans' loyalty on Saturday, by putting in performance of the season against Ipswich Town. I think I speak on behalf of every single fan who sang until the very end and showed pride for their team, that you owe this to the fans - we still believe in you, and much like the end of last season, we will continue to back you until the final kick on the final day of the season. 

Finally, a message to ALL Southend fans attending Saturday's game against Ipswich; get behind the team, despite whatever the score might be. We, as fans, need to stick together through times like this, and help push the team on, and hopefully inspire a moment of magic on the pitch. Negativity doesn't help anyone, these players need all the encouragement they can get, whether it be from the stands, or from the management team in the dugout. We all know just how dire the times are at Southend right now, players included, but it's a new era, and anything can happen on Saturday. As fans, we turn up every week and sing our hearts out because we have pride in supporting our club, regardless of how the football is on the pitch... the objective doesn't change.

Let's get behind the team on Saturday, and show everyone how passionate we are about OUR club. 

Up The Blues!

The Blue Voice

New Season... Same Mission | TBV Bulletin 2019/20

posted 3 Aug 2019, 03:46 by Dan McEvoy   [ updated 3 Aug 2019, 03:49 ]

Following on from the success of last season's bulletins, a member of TBV will be continuing to publish their thoughts and comments from previous games, and previewing games ahead of us. These bulletin's are to be published once a fortnight, and the date these bulletins are posted will vary from week to week. As always, please remember that all of the views and opinions included in this bulletin are the opinions of individuals involved with TBV, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the club.  

Welcome Back!

It's been a very long 2 1/2 months without football, so for it to be finally back again is fantastic, and we begin our campaign with a trip to play Coventry in Birmingham. As many will by now know, Coventry are unable to use their home ground of the Ricoh Arena this season due to an ongoing issue with ownership, meaning that they are forced to share grounds with Birmingham this season, meaning Southend will be making the 292 mile round journey to Birmingham's home ground, see the Shrimpers play their opening game against Coventry... in a way, both sides will be starting their seasons away from home!

Whilst we have been quiet over the summer, it doesn't mean we aren't active. We are continuing to work on ways to improve our support even further this season, following a very, very strong end to last season atmospherically. As you may/may not know, TBV regularly attend Supporter Group Liaison meetings, where we meet with representatives from each of Southend's supporter groups including All At Sea, ShrimperZone, Blues on Tour, Shrimpers Trust, and many, many more. We all meet with a representative at the club and the Police Liaison Officer for SUFC, to discuss issues surrounding the club. The notes from our most recent meeting can be found on ShrimperZone, the link to which will be available below. We got some fantastic comments with regards to the atmosphere vs Sunderland, something I was very proud of our fans for achieving... some commented that they believed it seriously played a part in Humphrys goal, and I'd love to think it did. At the end of the day, everyone did their jobs on that day, the team put in shift of the season, and the fans got behind each and every one of them, and I'm proud of that. Apart from us losing 3-4 flags (yes, they are still missing!), there were loads of positives to take out of that game. We have also been working hard on improving our support for the season ahead, more details on this coming very soon!

Our New (un)Sponsor...

So... the new kits were finally revealed to us near the end of July, and it got a very, very mixed reaction on Twitter. I don't mind the away shirt as much, but the home shirt, for me, is incredibly bland. Some would say that it's lack of sponsor on the front makes it look bland and more like a training top, which I can totally understand (that was my initial reaction as well!). So, why is there no sponsor on the front of our shirt?!

Well, our new shirt sponsors, PaddyPower, have made it their mission this season to instead of plastering their name across dozens of football shirts, to instead "un-sponsor" our shirts. The aim of their campaign, which was kicked off with a great publicity stunt pulled by Huddersfield, is to #SaveOurShirts from sponsorships and give them back to the fans, so to speak. Shirts are, at the end of the day a walking advertising ploy, and I can totally get behind their campaign to not plaster company names across shirts. Last season, we decided to raise awareness for Prostate Cancer, a charity who will have paid likely next to nothing to be on the front of our shirt, and moving away from them to be (un)sponsored by PaddyPower doesn't mean we will be discontinuing our links with them, it just means we now have a sponsor on the front of our shirt, and a source of income from a front of shirt sponsor for the first time since Insure and Go. 

So I've taken some time to work out whether or not I'm happy with the shirts, and in honesty, I still cannot decide whether I am or not. What I can say though is wow... some of the comments I've seen on ShrimperZone and on Twitter (especially on Twitter) have been incredibly poor from our fans. Yes, I understand that the shirts are poor, they seem very basic and plain, but everyone acting like it's the end of the world, when in reality, it's just a football kit without a sponsor on it, an initiative that I fully support. For the sake of the club and it's finances, we needed a sponsor, and PaddyPower's sponsorship this season is very unique, so to be one of the first clubs to be a part of their unique campaign is beneficial to us in many ways. I am not trying to make excuses for the design of the shirt, but comments such as "we should've kept Prostate Cancer on the front of our shirts" and "PaddyPower kicked a charity off the front of our shirt for a marketing ploy" are totally ridiculous and incredibly unneeded. A little home truth for our fans, but our shirt is essentially a basic Nike template, with the logo of either a charity or our chairman's company slapped on the front, and I feel that if there was some kind of sponsor on the front of the shirts, many people sadly wouldn't be as annoyed. Would keeping Prostate Cancer on the front of our shirts get money into the club or make the kits look anything more than just a basic Nike template kit? Nope. PP's initiative has received criticism from our fans (somehow!), to the point where a few fans have continued to tweet their annoyance at them even days after the kit was revealed, and in honesty, I think it's unfair. Their initiative is something I can 100% get behind, but the kit itself lets it down heavily, and that is down to the suppliers, and NOT PaddyPower or the club. The club are limited to what they can put on the front, however saying that, I would've loved to have seen some kind of unique design on the front of our kit. I rate the inclusion of '1906' on the back, but I feel the shirt needed just a little more than just that. If there is a way to put a sponsorship on the front of a shirt, then surely there's a way of putting some kind of design on the front of the shirt? Overall, I feel a little underwhelmed with the kits, especially with the home kit, but I guess it'll no doubt end up grow on me as the season goes on!

Pre season and new arrivals

So, with pre-season now complete, and some new signings on board, our team is ready to go. Whilst it's seemed like a long and quiet summer, Bond and his team been working very hard behind the scenes to not only get our team in shape for this season, but also to get some new players on board for the season. Whilst I haven't been able to attend any of our pre-season games due to work commitments, I've been speaking with those who went to watch the team, and they were very impressed. A couple of stand out players from our only game at Roots Hall was Mark Milligan and Joe Shaughnessy, two very impressive signings for this level of football. Overall, I'm looking forward to seeing the new guys in action today, hopefully we can kick things off with a positive result! One small negative from the pre season games however, is about alleged racial abuse towards one of our players (I say alleged as I wasn't present at the time of the incident, and I don't want to comment too much on the incident in question". Whilst we aren't 100% sure on why this happened, or who was responsible, we would like to say this... TBV absolutely does NOT condone the use of racial abuse or any kind of abuse towards any of our own players. Racism has no place in football, and abuse of our own players as well is especially disappointing. I get that watching us in the stands can get frustrating, but resorting to racism is NEVER the answer. I've been known to get a bit frustrated myself in the stands, but I've never felt myself resorting to name calling - if you wouldn't say it to a footballer's face, don't say it in the stands.

Final Words

Finally, I thought I'd end with talking about a few things that fellow fans have launched over the summer. Firstly, if you haven't done so already, go and check out The Custard Splat Podcasts if you fancy passing some more time en route to today's game. They launched a few pilot episodes of the podcast at the back end of last season, and they are back once again this season. If you're looking to find something to pass the time en route to today's game, check them out on Twitter (@CustardSplatPod). Also new-ish for this season is Blues On Tour - Southend Away. Blues on Tour is a rebrand of TravelZone, who have been running coaches to away games for over 10 years, so it's fair to say they have a fairly large experience in away travel. They have just launched their brand new website (www.bluesontour.co.uk) and a brand new twitter page (@Blues_On_Tour), so be sure to check it out if you're ever looking for away coach travel to watch The Blues.

And finally, this season is looking promising, and with the signings we've made, hopefully we're looking at a much more exciting season! If you're on the way up to Birmingham today, safe journey to all supporters, here's to 3 points!

Up The Blues!

The Blue Voice

WE ARE STAYING UP! | TBV Bulletin 09

posted 10 May 2019, 10:56 by Dan McEvoy   [ updated 10 May 2019, 11:21 ]

From now until the end of the season, each week a member of TBV will be posting their thoughts and comments from the games in the previous weeks, and previewing the week's games ahead for our team. This week's bulletin is the final one of the 2018/19 season, and as well as inevitably talking about our great escape, we will be talking about some important events happening in the close season, and our plans going forwards into the 2019/20 season. As always, please remember that all of the views and opinions included in this bulletin are the opinions of individuals involved with TBV, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the club. 

The Greatest Escape?!

Last week, I didn't even know what to post in this bulletin... this week, I don't even know where to begin with writing this post. If it was up to me, I'd of repeated "we are staying up" over and over again until the page was filled up, but as that wouldn't be as entertaining to read, I thought I'd talk about our emotions leading up to, during, and after the match. 

I will be the very first to admit that after Rochdale away, I think I was 90% sure that we had screwed up our chance of survival; heck, even at Walsall away when we conceded a last minute penalty I thought we were all but down, but there was this little part of me inside that said "we've still got a chance", and as long as we kept supporting the lads in the stands, we still stand a chance of survival. The week leading up to Sunderland, we were nervous, and for some, the nerves didn't even hit home until we stepped out the door on Saturday afternoon, and started to head down to Roots Hall. I think that was the most nervous I've ever felt in the build up to a game in my life. TBV worked incredibly hard in the lead up, alongside the club who we have to thank for their incredible support over this time, and this meant that on Saturday, TBV walked into the ground with roughly 160 streamers, 2000 balloons, 5 massive blue and white flags, a drum and one very important mission; to get behind the team from the first minute until the end of the game. What followed, is possibly the best and most emotional 90 minutes of football I think I'll ever witness at Roots Hall, and one of the best atmospheres in my time of supporting this club. 

The Sunderland fans were unsurprisingly out in numbers, filling pretty much the entirety of the North Bank of Roots Hall... but that did not intimidate the Southend fans, as we kept singing until the final whistle went at the end. With news filtering in elsewhere of results, it was clear to everyone what we needed to do.... and up stepped John White, who in our biggest game of the season, attempted a bicycle kick, connected with it, and scored a vital, vital goal. Cue mass celebration in the home ends, just before half time. People started to believe, and the noise levels were amplified even more, and even conceding a soft penalty for the equaliser didn't seem to quieten the crowd down, in fact it made them even louder. The noise amplified, and kept growing and growing, until up steps Humphrys complete with his batman-esque mask, to slot the ball into the back of the net and send the Roots Hall crowd wild once again. Whilst Humphrys scored the winning goal and is undoubtedly hero of the season, it should also be noted that John White played the final 10 minutes of the game with a broken wrist - with no subs left to make, instead of walking off and leaving us with just 10 men, he got bandaged up by our physio, and played on. That level of commitment really epitomises Southend's "never give up" attitude, and I have to applaud John for playing on in this circumstance - how he managed it, I will never know! 

There was one moment on Saturday that I don't think I'll ever forget, and that was when the West stand sang "stand up if you love Southend", and the entirety of the home ends, East, West, and South, all stood up in unison, and belted out the song. I'm not ashamed to admit that it brought a tear to my eye - TBV's aims from the day that they were founded was to bring back the Roots Hall Roar, and on Saturday I think we not only did that, but we set the bar even higher than it ever was before. The celebrations for both goals will forever be remembered by Southend fans, and the release of emotion as the full time whistle went was, quite honestly, a moment I will never forget. We are staying up, and I'm proud of not only the players and the team for their endurance, but also to the fans who kept singing and believing in the team from the first minute, until the last. This one was for you guys.

A small note of commiserations to those who were relegated at our expense; Plymouth, Scunthorpe and Walsall - we do hope you bounce back as soon as possible, and the same goes to Bradford too, who's fate was unfortunately sealed well in advance of Saturday's game. It's never nice to see a team relegated, but unfortunately that's how football goes sometimes. Even with 6-8 games left to go, there were 12 teams in a relegation scrap... that's how close it was down the bottom. We all talk about how Barnsley moved from rock bottom at Christmas to top 6 with a run of good form, but on the flip side, a poor run of form like Southend's can easily see you being dragged unwillingly into a deep, deep relegation battle. With a 5-6 games to go before the end of the season, I wouldn't of considered Plymouth to be the most likely to be relegated, but with a poor run of form, they sadly found themselves down there with us. 

As someone who has been in attendance at all 46 league games this season (plus cup games too), this season has been the longest, and hardest season I can remember as a Southend fan, but the sheer release of emotion on Saturday made it all worthwhile. Would I want to have another season fighting against relegation like this again next year? Absolutely not, please don't put our hearts through that again Southend, I don't think I could take another season's worth of that!!!

Flags, Balloons, and Streamers

As mentioned earlier, on Saturday we brought with us 2000 balloons, in excess of 160 streamers, and 5 flags. Now, all of these items do come at a cost to TBV and the fans who are heavily involved with it themselves, so do understand why we cannot do this every single week. However, for both the Wycombe game and the Sunderland game, we were very kindly backed by the club for this, and we would like to place on record just how incredibly grateful we are to the club for everything they do for us as fans. However, as we reach the close season, we reach the stage where we start to look into where the funds will come from next season for more displays like this. Everything we do comes at a cost to us as fans, and this is the part of the year where we begin to look into fundraising ideas for next season. TBV will be at MTBD again this year, and we will be doing yet another bus stop bingo, where you can contribute to get your hands on some signed goodies, whilst also supporting TBV at the same time. Over the close season, you will likely see some changes to the TBV website, and we would really like to hear your thoughts on what you would like to see. So if you have any ideas on what you want on the website, please let us know and we will take everything into consideration. 

And finally, a small side note, and a little moan from myself and the rest of the TBV lads is that we brought 5 large flags into the ground on Saturday, and only 1 of them was returned to us at the end of the game. We will be speaking with the club next week to see if they have been handed in at all, but if you do, by chance, have one of the flags at home... please message us asap as we will need them back as soon as possible - our plans in the off season were to look into getting these personalised for TBV, so we do need these back as soon as possible. If we are unable to locate them, then we may have to purchase more flags, which obviously comes at a cost to us, as supporters. We obviously don't want that to be the solution, so we do kindly ask that if you know any information with regards to the flags, please can you get in touch with us either via Twitter or Facebook. 

Season's Over... Now What?!

So, now the dust is finally beginning to settle, and the season is now over, what's next for TBV? Well, whilst our heart rates return to normal after the drama of the final game of the season, and our drummer's hand's heal from all the hundred's of blisters he's had to deal with over the past season, we turn our focus to the close season and begin to turn our attention and thinking to how we can build on what was a very strong atmosphere in our final 2 home games. But, before we do that, there are 2 more matches left at Roots Hall to play in May, each match raising money for different charities.

Firstly, on the 17th May 2019, the Essex Charity Cup returns to Roots Hall for its 4th instalment, and this year the event is even bigger than ever before. Featuring some of the lads involved with TBV and with special guests from the squad likely to be in attendance, Rydog FC take on United FC as they raise money for 2 very worthy charities in MIND and Samaritans. The game kicks off at 6:20pm, and tickets are only £5 for adults, £3 for under 16's, and £2 for 11's and under. As well as the match itself, there will be a raffle and an auction in the lead up to the event and on the night too, including match worn shirts from various players including Sam Hart, and SUFC's newest hero, Stephen Humphrys. To get involved with the auction, please contact Rylee on either Facebook or Twitter (@rylee_doe). A big thank you goes to Rylee for organising this, we cannot wait to be there, and we urge as many fans to come down and support the lads as they raise money for charity.

And finally, we couldn't possibly talk about charity matches at Roots Hall without talking about one of the most highly anticipated charity matches of 2019, in the newly founded Sid Broomfield Trophy. Southend United legend Adam Barrett has teamed up with Southend United's leading news reporter, Chris Phillips, as they reignite the Essex Derby once again, as both Southend and Colchester's 2006 League One Promotion Winning Squads reunite at Roots Hall to battle it out for the chance to win the "Sid Broomfield Trophy". All proceeds go to Havens Hospice, and on top of that, some huge Roots Hall legends will be returning once more for one more match on the hallowed turf of Roots Hall. The match takes place on Monday 20th May, and kicks off at 7:30pm, with tickets available for £5 for adults, and £1 for concessions.

Tickets for both charity matches are now available, with the Sid Broomfield tickets available in advance. Both matches will have tickets available on the day, and it would be fantastic if we could get as many Shrimpers down to Roots Hall to watch and support these events. Some of those involved with TBV will be there (although we'll be enjoying the close season and a break from singing and dancing!), and we would urge all Shrimpers to show their support for two fantastic events too.

Special Thanks...

With this being our final bulletin of the 2018/19 season, we couldn't let this moment go without providing a few messages of thanks to certain groups and individuals who have helped not only us, but all Southend supporters over the past few months. A special thanks goes to the club, who continue to back and all its supporter groups, who continue to back TBV over the years, even when we were on a poor run of form. A thank you to SUFC's Police Liaison Officer, Keith, who has worked tirelessly this season to engage with the fans, and ensure our safety at all times. Similarly, a huge thank you not only for this season, but for the () years that he's been at Roots Hall goes to Dave Jobson, who retired from his role as Head of Security this season after the Sunderland game - your support of TBV over the years has been superb, and we would like to thank you for everything you've done. And finally, a huge thank you to both ZoneTravel and Shrimpers Trust for providing coach travel this season for the fans - we've certainly enjoyed our time on the ZoneTravel coaches this season, despite the results! If you're looking at travelling to a few away games next season, check out both ZoneTravel and the Shrimpers Trust for more information on coach travel... we highly recommend their travel services!

Final Thoughts from TBV

When we decided to create this bulletin about 2 1/2 months ago, we created it with two goals in mind; to provide insight from TBV with regards to what goes into making an atmosphere on a match day, and to hopefully provide the supporters with a bit of belief and positivity in the midst of some very poor results and performances. We feel like we've accomplished both of these goals, and we we've loved every second of writing these bulletins. We are planning to bring them back next season on a less frequent basis (once every 2 weeks or so), so we pose the question to you guys; If we were to continue doing these into next season, what would you like to see more of in the bulletins? Let us know on Social Media, and we will look into it for next season!

Whilst this is the final bulletin of the season, we will be posting a charity match special next week on Wednesday, so keep your eyes peeled for that! But for the final time this season, from everyone involved with TBV, thanks for sticking with the team and helping us to create memorable atmospheres in the final few games of the season, thanks for supporting TBV this season, and enjoy the close season, knowing that next season, we'll be in League One once again...

We are Southend United... the club that does not know, when it is beaten. 


The Blue Voice

It's All Down To This... | TBV Bulletin 08

posted 3 May 2019, 06:40 by Dan McEvoy

From now until the end of the season, each week a member of TBV will be posting their thoughts and comments from the games in the previous weeks, and previewing the week's games ahead for our team. This week's bulletin is the penultimate one of the 2018/19, and it reviews a fantastic atmosphere at our final away game, as well as previewing the biggest, most decisive game in recent memory. As always, please remember that all of the views and opinions included in this bulletin are the opinions of individuals involved with TBV, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the club. 

First of all, please forgive me for this week's bulletin being considerably shorter than usual, but with so much on the line on Saturday, we didn't want to dwell too much on the past, and wanted to get straight to the point this week.

Last Saturday was bitterly, bitterly disappointing, to the point where I nearly didn't write the bulletin this week, but after some reflection, there are some positives to take. The support from the 1,100+ supporters who travelled to Rochdale on Saturday was vocal and passionate as ever, results elsewhere went somewhat our way, meaning that most crucially, survival is STILL in our hands. Frustratingly, a result at Rochdale would've almost certainly left us almost virtually safe from relegation, however the team unfortunately couldn't get the job done. Whether it be a lack of effort on the pitch, wrong tactics/selection, or any other situation, it was simply inexcusable to have so little opportunities to get a shot away - 100% of shots that aren't taken, don't go in, and that was evident on Saturday against Rochdale.

But, that bitter disappointment that we, the fans and the players experienced on Saturday at Rochdale now needs to be refocused, and turned into motivation to right our wrongs. There is 90 minutes of our season left, and going into Saturday's game against Sunderland we still have EVERYTHING to play for. A win will see us survive, a draw will only see us survive if results around us go our way, a loss will see us relegated. This game is ridiculously important for us, and every single person in that ground, players, staff, and most importantly, the fans need to be on their top game for 90 mins. 

As fans, we need to be doing everything we can in the stands to get behind the team, and TBV will once again, be pulling out all the stops to get behind the team on Saturday. Please join us in backing them until the bitter end, there is so much on the line. The atmosphere vs Burton was electric, and the players responded in incredible fashion with a very hard fought, well earned victory, and on Saturday, we need a similar atmosphere once again. Final push, we need a positive result to stand any chance of survival, it's still in our hands and a win will see us survive. Let's show the team just how much we support them, and be the 12th man that we know we can be - the players need us more than ever before. 

Should any of the players be reading this bulletin, know that we are all behind you. It all comes down to this game; win, and we stay up... lose, and everything that you fought for over the past 45 league games, especially over the last few weeks, goes down the drain and to waste. This is arguably the toughest game of the season to date, but with grit, passion, and desire, anything is possible. The fans believe in you, and will continue to back you until that full time whistle goes. Roots Hall will be sold out on Saturday, and every single fan in that stadium will be behind you for the entirety, win, draw, or lose. Do yourselves, the club and the fans proud on Saturday, embrace the passion from the fans in the stands and do whatever it takes to get the win and secure our status in League One - this is the final time I'll say it this season, but arguably it's never meant more to us as supporters; get out there and make yourselves f***ing heroes.

We are Southend... UNITED.


The Blue Voice

The Great Escape? | TBV Bulletin 07

posted 26 Apr 2019, 13:21 by Dan McEvoy

From now until the end of the season, each week a member of TBV will be posting their thoughts and comments from the games in the previous weeks, and previewing the week's games ahead for our team. This week's Bulletin reviews Easter's fixtures, the change in form and atmosphere, and talks about our final away game of the season. As always, please remember that all of the views and opinions included in this bulletin are the opinions of individuals involved with TBV, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the club. 

The Drama over Easter Weekend...

What a rollercoaster of emotions Easter weekend was for Southend fans... we went from bitter, bitter disappointment at Walsall at not sealing the win (with some dodgy officiating thrown in there for good measure!), to hosting Burton at home just a few days later and playing out of our skins, and getting a very well earned win and a vital 3 points. Personally speaking, as a fan who was in attendance at Walsall, I was absolutely stunned at how we haven't won the game well before the "controversial" penalty. For me, that day, I feared the worst for the first time this season - I couldn't see how a team could go from such bitter disappointment and pick themselves up again and go again just a few days later. Unbelievably enough though, we went again on Monday, and we looked like a totally different side against a strong Burton side, much to the pleasant surprise of many fans. The crowd was as loud as we could possibly be, and the team looked like their minds were set on getting all 3 points for the entirety of the 90 mins. Finally, we go 1-0 up, the first time we had scored at Roots Hall since January.... you can imagine the roar that went up as that goal went in. Into the 2nd half, and we go 2-0 up, and the crowd gets even louder. We were playing some fantastic, confident football, and we didn't look like a side that was battling relegation. We did go to 2-1 at one point, but a superb header from substitute Dieng furthered the lead again a short while afterwards. As things turned out, we needed that goal, as Burton scored their 2nd quite late on in the game to pull it back to 3-2. The crowd, getting louder and louder as the minutes ticked down, and as the final whistle finally went, you could see just how much it meant to each and every single player out there, and the crowd too.

The players really, really deserved that win, and I cannot fault any of them whatsoever. You could tell that this winless streak had been just as frustrating for them, as well as the supporters, and Monday's game was a HUGE confidence booster for every single one of them. You made us proud of you out there, and the crowd responded to it in the stands with quite possibly the best atmosphere I've seen at Roots Hall in quite some time, and on that subject, a special shout-out goes to all the fans in attendance on Easter Monday; as we said on Twitter, we'd love to take all the credit for the atmosphere, but simply, without everyone else joining in and encouraging the team, the atmosphere wouldn't of been half as good as it was against Burton.

The Final Away Game of the Season...

What we need to focus on now, is carrying forward that atmosphere into our final 2 games, starting with our final away match against Rochdale on Saturday. It only seemed like last week that we were saying that we had 8 games left, so to be on our final away game of the season already, is quite scary in a way. It all comes down to this weekend's game; if we win, that's us three points safer... if we lose... our fate is in the hands of other teams around us. In my opinion, it shouldn't be left down to the final game of the season to stay up, we need to make sure we all but secure safety on Saturday at Rochdale. Going to Rochdale off the back of a huge win on Monday should give us the confidence to go there and continue that momentum, and Southend fans will be supporting in their hundreds and hundreds. Thanks to the club once again, for offering additional coach travel, meaning that more fans can attend; the total number of coaches travelling to Rochdale now is believed to be (at the time of writing!) 9 from the club, plus additional coaches from ZoneTravel and the Shrimpers Trust. Ticket sales are also believed to be over 1000+ at the time of writing this bulletin, and this number is likely going to increase by the time the game kicks off.

With so many fans in attendance, there really is no excuse to not get behind the team. The team needs our support once again, 3 points is absolutely crucial on Saturday, and the fans can play a huge part in this once again. The noise coming from all areas of Roots Hall on Saturday was incredible, and we need to replicate this kind of atmosphere on Saturday against Rochdale. We have 2 games left, and a win on Saturday is absolutely vital for safety. With over 1000+ fans turning up in their droves, some in fancy dress in traditional "end of season" fashion, others going purely to get behind the team, hopefully we can help provide the team with that added boost, and help give them that extra little push onto victory. Whether you be in fancy dress or not on Saturday, your voices are needed - it's time to get behind the team more than ever before. Let's give the team a party atmosphere on Saturday, and fingers crossed, they'll give us something to party about on the pitch!

We are Southend... UNITED.


Everyone involved with TBV

An open message to the players... | TBV Bulletin 06

posted 18 Apr 2019, 16:50 by Dan McEvoy   [ updated 23 Apr 2019, 05:10 ]

From now until the end of the season, each Thursday a member of TBV will be posting their thoughts and comments from the games in the previous weeks, and previewing the week's games ahead for our team. This week's Bulletin is an Easter Weekend special, and we'll be reviewing our thoughts following Saturday's disappointment, discuss the atmosphere at home games, and talk about the games over Easter Weekend. As always, please remember that all of the views and opinions included in this bulletin are the opinions of individuals involved with TBV, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the club. 

Reviewing Saturday's Game

I'd be a liar if I said that the result on Saturday didn't hurt... I think every single fan walked out of the stadium on Saturday with the exact same thought in their heads; we're in deep, deep, deep trouble. It's incredibly difficult to be positive about a game like that one, I've asked many of our fans around us if they could recall any positives in the game, and sadly every single person I've spoken to cannot name a single positive about the game, so please forgive me here as our thoughts and comments on the game this week are going to potentially sound a little harsher than usual...

As a squad, on Saturday we showed an incredible lack of fight about us, our players didn't look up to the challenge, and as soon as the first goal went in (a goal that we definitely should, and could defend a lot better), every single player's head dropped, and that, for me, is unacceptable for us this late on in the season, in the situation that we are in right now. It's times like this that we need characters to step up and take charge of the team, shake a few players and get them playing again. 

A few people have pointed me in the direction of Twitter where a number of fans have suggested that the squad have accepted their fate, and as harsh as that might sound, it's worryingly accurate for our current situation. To me, as a fan, it seems like no-one cares in the squad, and we look like we've accepted relegation, and that, for me, is truly heartbreaking. At full time on Saturday, I sat there, next to the drum, speechless and motionless - not out of spite for the team or how we've played, but because I genuinely didn't know what to do or say after a performance like that. Fans are entitled to voice their opinions, especially after a complete s**t show like that, and personally speaking, I cannot blame them for wanting to voice their disgust at, arguably, our worst performance this season. 

On the subject of our fans, and I do have to say that the fans in and around TBV on Saturday were incredible from way before kick off, until the final whistle of the game, despite the performance. They were vocal, supportive, desperately trying to get behind the team at every single available opportunity, but unfortunately there is only so much that the fans can do, the rest is up to the players.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank the club and the fans who helped chip in to cover the costs of the balloons and streamers at Saturday's game - it's important that we keep fighting together, rather than against each other, and TBV are very lucky to have a good working relationship with the club and it's supporter groups when it comes to this. This won't be the end of the balloons and streamers at games, we are hoping to bring them back sporadically, especially for big games where we desperately need an atmosphere. I would also like to take this opportunity to remind fans that items like streamers, balloons, and flags all come at a cost to those involved with TBV; the reason they've not been about for so long is because we didn't have the funding to do so. So, if you would like to contribute to TBV and help us to make this happen more often, please click on the link down below and donate to us - all funds donated will go directly back into improving the match day experience and helping us to support the team even more at games in the future.

Donate and Support TBV

A message to the team, from the fans

I think that's enough about Saturday's game, and personally speaking, I want to put it out of my head as quickly as possible, and move on. For this week's bulletin, I tweeted out that I wanted to mix things up a little bit, and give more fans a voice in the bulletins, especially with 2 very important games coming up this weekend... I asked the fans on Twitter for some messages of support on Twitter, and I was inundated with messages of support from fans of all ages, even a couple of players too. Below are just a few of the best ones I could find - please bear in mind the content below is from the fans, and some harsh and strong language may be present.

"Win both games you useless t***s"
    ~ @bradcooper71696

"I've spent £270 on Southend in travel and match tickets since I last saw us win a game... Please don't make me pass £300"
    ~ @rylee_doe

"Play for the fans, they give everything for you, it's time to stand up and show them the respect they deserve."
    ~ @southendandy

"Play without fear"                "Fight for the shirt"
    ~ @BluesMike61                ~ @denverc99

"INVITE - If your not on the team sheet, then sit with us and support your team mates"
    ~ @TZTravelZone

"The situation we are in right now is heartbreaking, but now's the time to step up and save our season. These 4 games are going to be the biggest in your careers... and the fans continue to believe in you, until the very end... repay their faith. The fight's not lost yet... keep battling..."
    ~ @DanMcSUFC

"Fight until the end, we have the players. We get one win, the confidence will be sky high... come on boys, I know we can do this!"
    ~ @harrybr89737483

"Your selfish egos have all but downed the club we love... man up, you are in a honoured position in life doing something only some of us could dream of. Give 100% effort, stop being losers, and be heroes."
    ~ @SUFC_Evans

"Score more than them"
    ~@ luke2006_Nick

"A Point Was Not Enough..." - TBV Bulletin 05

posted 11 Apr 2019, 05:55 by Dan McEvoy   [ updated 12 Apr 2019, 07:38 ]

From now until the end of the season, each Thursday a member of TBV will be posting their thoughts and comments from the games in the previous weeks, and previewing the week's games ahead for our team. This week, TBV regulars Dan and Brad talk about the game at Fleetwood, and preview the game weeks ahead of us. Please remember that all of the views and opinions included in this bulletin are the opinions of individuals involved with TBV, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the club.

Last weekend saw myself, and just over 200 Shrimpers make the long trip to a very sunny Fleetwood to watch Kevin Bond's first game in charge of the team. It only took 30 minutes for Southend to make the SkyFall on Fleetwood, as Cox picked up a loose header, playing it to Kightly, who's cross was poked home by Harry Bunn, giving the Shrimpers a deserved 1-0 lead heading into half time. The team were showing fight, grit, and determination throughout the game, including the 2nd half... and that was tested even more so when Fleetwood scored their equaliser just before the hour mark. However, Southend kept fighting to regain the advantage, and on the 80th minute, up stepped Luke Hyam with an unstoppable strike straight into the roof of the Accrington nets, putting Southend 2-1 up, and sparking wild jubilation from the loyal 200 Shrimpers in the away stands. Football is a funny old game tho, and Fleetwood were awarded a penalty which could've been considered as soft or avoidable, and they converted the penalty to level the score up to 2-2 just 4 minutes after Hyam's goal. 6 minutes of injury time weren't enough for either team to grab a winner, meaning that the Shrimpers took a vital point back to Essex with them in their bid for League One survival. 

Now, whilst we fell short on Saturday, I'm sure those that were in attendance can all agree that there are a number of positives that we can take from the game. For starters, a point is a point, and as it stands right now, every single point counts at this stage of the season. Secondly, the fight that we have been lacking for a good few weeks now seemed to be ever present at Fleetwood, and it was superb to see the team fight with passion and pride - the celebrations for the 2nd goal (pictured below) are just further proof of just that, and hopefully the celebrations following Hyam's 'Thunderball' strike will have a 'domino' affect on the team. The team seem to have rediscovered their confidence and look determined to give us 'Everything or Nothing' over the last 5 games. Overall, it was a very positive performance, one I'm certain we can build upon on Saturday against Wycombe. 

On the subject of Saturday's game against Wycombe, it's going to be another relegation clash... with 5 games to go and considering that all games in hand have now been played for teams around us, a win is an absolute must if we are to escape the drop zone. Seeing the passion and the belief on the players' and the fans' faces on Saturday at Fleetwood is all I need to see to know that there is still some fight left in us at this late, late stage of the season, and a win on Saturday will be huge for our survival hopes for this season. Wycombe are in the same situation that we are in, and we need to capitalise on that and ensure that we bring home the 3 points; anything less than 3 points would be a poor result. Bond has assigned us, the fans, with the mission of getting an atmosphere going on Saturday, and showing the lads that we still believe in them. As ever, TBV will be doing all that we can to get behind the team on Saturday, and we plea with all fans, whether you be sitting near us, or in a totally different part of the stadium, to join us in supporting the team for the full 90 minutes on Saturday in, what is now, the biggest game of our season.

Onwards and upwards. 5 games left..... We are Southend... UNITED.


Everyone involved with TBV

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