I have decided this morning to look at how far we have come this season and where we might be looking at going to.
One of the main things about considering the season so far seems to be dependent on your viewpoint. A ridiculously straightforward thing to say but it’s true. There are the ones who seem constantly down on the club. They are the ones who think we will be mid table at best, that without a killer striker we can’t possibly finish high up, despite the evidence of past seasons where clubs have done perfectly well without one main goal scorer. I mean let’s be clear, do you really want reliance on one main goal scorer? That’s incredibly dangerous to be reliant on that player remaining injury free. Had Murray been injured for Palace for a long long period last season then who else would have scored? I feel it’s incredibly myopic to think you have to have that one goal scorer rather than the team sharing the goal scoring duties.
There are those who are incredibly optimistic. These same ones think Billy can do no wrong. They kind of take an opposite view to the dismal view crowd. They think we’re on the cusp of a 20 game unbeaten run, that the strikers will find their form and that will ride the crest of a Garibaldi coloured wave all the way to the Promised Land that is the Premiership.
Both are legit views. Both though are incredibly simplistic.
We are in 4th place. Let’s not make any illusion here, that’s exactly the kind of position we would want and expect to be. QPR for their budget and players will be expected to run off. I’ve always thought we will be looking at a best of the rest deal. We have a decent sized squad with cover in most positions, save for maybe someone to cover for Chalobah in the deep lying role. Up front we have options to rotate and try things even if people decide who do have aren’t good enough.
Considering that in early June, some of the more tightly sprung of our clubs fans were reacting angrily. We hadn’t signed anyone, the kit was released, we had no sponsor etc. What we have bought in have been quality additions in the guises of Hobbs, Abdoun, Lichaj etc. We have extremely capable cover in the likes of Jara and Paterson. Overall we are better than we were last season. We have enough depth to completely ignore and keep in the reserves players like Miller, and Gillett. That wasn’t an option last season.
So things are way better than they were. The only reason everyone seems down on everything is the constant barrage of negative press from a media angry that we have decided to ignore them. Otherwise then surely we’d be all signing from the rooftops about how great this is all going. I mentioned it before after the Bournemouth game, but Colin fray had said it. If we had held on against Bournemouth, the whole mindset and reaction would have been different. Yes people would have moaned about missing chances, but not the level of frustration I have seen spill out onto social media. The suggestions that this could cost us promotion, and don’t get me wrong I do see that a possibility, but to write off a season in October because your strikers failed in a game is a little bit premature to say the least.
If you had offered me that in late October we’d be 4th, having beat Derby and the result of that was them sacking their manager and employing McClaren I’d thought that Carlsberg were doing Football Seasons. The only reason for the frustrations is that you’ve seen what might have been in a few places. A goal here or there and we could be even higher up. And that’s football. What might have been, it’s what drags us back time and time again. The season’s aims are still possible folks. It’s on.