Run out of puff, steam, bottled it or even choking are the sort of words I’m reading today. Some people are being very critical whilst others seem far to relaxed, I’m also hearing and seeing things like “it’s now time for the lads to step up” whilst others are saying “we’d have happily taken 3rd spot and an Europa League Quarter Final at the start of the season” and yes, in one way or another there’s truth in all of that, but fact remains season isn’t over yet. We could still do achieve both or even fail in both, either way both those phrases me sod all to me, because I am hearing them week after week, year after year. Me being me always try’s looking for a reason, I know some of you say “why waste your time and energy- what will be will be” again also very true, yet I can’t seem to shake these question that I ask myself.
*Why do we hit a wall about this time of the season?
*Would a different manager have better results?
* And would a stronger squad allow us to finish off the season rather than collapse?
Truth is there isn’t one correct answer, simply because people will always see things differently. As I’ve said in previous articles I’m not that fan that can just say “don’t worry it’s all good” nor that fan “that calls for a manager to be sacked or Boo our own players” but what I will do is talk about our problems, become very vocal, but least of all say “don’t worry”
As I get older I hope I see things with a bit more logic than when I was younger? Some would laugh at that, yet I’m very aware whether I agree or not people will have a view, so I’m sitting here in the bath trying to work out “what” is the one thing that we’d surely agree on? And that has to be that these end of season jitters have got to stop.
It’s happened to Martin Jol Harry and very possibly AVB, so again surely we must all agree if the same thing keeps happening but to different managers at the same time of year then it “Can’t” be the manager? Yes they’ll make mistakes but I’ll allow that, yes players will have off days but i’LL also allow that BUT what I can’t allow it to get to this time of year season in season out and then fold. So what’s the answer? I’ve looked back over last 5 seasons and there is a common theme standing out in glowing neon letters 20ft high..
“Our squad is too small AND too weak”
The only time we reached the CL we had a bench of players that COULD come on a do something, not always, but a player that was capable of 1 or 2 bits of ability. Look at that bench, likes of Dawson, Jenas, Kaboul, crouch Defoe or Pav, Bentley, Palacios, Huddlestone etc etc. Granted, not all top, top players but at that time five years younger and capable of coming on a taking part.
Now, no disrespect to the lads on the bench last night, nor the people that started ahead of suspensions, or rotation but the fact remains the 1s still here are older, or prospects or frankly just not top five club players.
So the squad players who were squad players back then if they’ve not made it as a first team regular now then maybe they just won’t, after all they are older now.
I’m not gonna start giving out names after all they pull on our shirt, but regardless of who performed up to three quarter’s of the season last year they are the same players that are going through this again? And to me every last 1 of them looks shattered? Surely if our squad players are either not good enough to start even when the others are dead on their feet then surely this has to be the reason we fold. Our 1st teamer’s are not getting a rest regardless of Europa League or domestic League. We went out of both home cups first attempt yet they still play week in week out, people will say drop the EL but not me, I remember 1984 and I want to win this, I also remember last year when we all moaned at Harry when he went weak, yet we “Still” collapsed….
It’s so obvious to me that our squad is far too small and far to weak meaning the lads have to play nearly every week and when this time of year comes round they’re shot to bits.
So we need a bigger squad, or better replacements it really is that simple..
AVB though still young has a lot to learn, yet he’s learning on the job with either a team of lads that are beaten or just simply lost form, yet he must have something – as bad as Milan, Fulham, and last night was – the boys no longer give up, despite very average performances we are 3rd, and though looking hard we are still in Europe. I will be gutted if the Chelsea ******** win this and we don’t!
But when all said and done our strikers a scoring, our left and right backs are having a bad season, our midfield is either injured or out of form and the general atmosphere at the Lane is terrible..so we must be over achieving because it just wouldn’t make any sense to view it any other way.
Yet Mr Levy,
Give AVB the tools in the summer and all “could” very look good, yet don’t and I’m afraid it would be another collapse this time next year!
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