I don’t want to talk about the five.
When you play a good side in an open game there’s always the possibility you’ll take some punishment.
That’s not to forgive the comical defending – Kilman slicing the ball into the path of Xhaka for the second and Sa letting the fifth slip under his body being the most egregious examples – but it’s our repugnant, ineffective attacking that continues to infuriate.
Once again we’ve finished the season averaging less than a goal a game and failed to score in 38% of our matches.
It’s bad enough losing half of your games (today was defeat 19) but all those blanks have made it a slog from start to finish with little to cheer between all those ground out narrow victories.
I’m grateful for the results Julen Lopetegui has delivered but the style of play hasn’t improved since his arrival and I struggle to see what they’re working on during those frequently photographed sessions down at Compton Park.
We have no set piece routines, no patterns of play through the midfield and, on the rare occasions the ball makes it to the penalty area, no bodies in the box.
Plenty will say the coach is working with a bloated and busted group of players and maybe they’re right, but my instinct is they should still be producing greater output.
Whoever is sat in the dugout come August, I just pray to the footballing gods that they’ve found a way to end the three year drought.
If it’s Lopetegui, then great. He’s earned the right to properly rebuild the team and show what he’s about next time.
But if he exits, I won’t be as forlorn as others. It can be tough to find a capable pair of hands, but with Potter and Rodgers both on the open market and proven architects of teams that play attractive, attacking football, there are avenues to explore.
We’ve spent the last three weeks getting misty eyed over players that are past their best or no longer want to be here. Good luck to them wherever they end up.
I’m looking forward to the clear out and have every confidence we can come back better with a motivated group all pulling in the same direction.
Work hard and work fast. Best of luck Jeff.