Thoughts and issues regarding the past and present of a great football club by "The Chronicler".

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Let's Not Forget That Defeat Can Be Turned Into Something Better

Perhaps it's all a blessing in disguise. No promotion, of course, but I think the club now has the big opportunity to re-assess what it's about, confirm what's good and reject the bad.

We must not forget, for example, that a massive attempt has been made to turn the old club around since Dr. Xia's arrival. Clearly, attitudes in the dressing room were far from ideal, and the Doc's first managerial appointment didn't seem to have an idea on how to deal with it. Hence the arrival of Bruce with a lot of experience and achievement at this level, though a trifle fixed in his ways. But, no matter how we might criticise his approach, I believe that it was mainly down to pressure from above as the Doc wanted promotion as of this day. We came close, and - it could be argued - that we lost it, not that Fulham won it. Lost it because we had our fair share of chances but our attempts were weak and out of sorts.

And before Fulham scored, if Snodgrass had been more aware he would have made better attempts at putting Albert through. Three times, not just once. And, sad to say, Snodgrass was profligate throughout the match apart from one free kick that was nicely fed to Jack. Snodgrass is a wholehearted trier, but of late his actual achievements on the pitch seem to have been lacking to my eyes.

And now - surely - we will have seen the last of Snodgrass, Johnstone, Grabban and Onomah. And Hogan, I'd hope. I'm not deterred by those departures as I feel that Jack Steer can do the job in goal and, as for the outfield players, surely we will now see more of the younger men. Even if we lose Hutton then I think we have a good supply at full-back, and with Davis and Green already well tried, we have (Albert and Kodjia still being here I'd hope) a good supply in the striker and wing departments. We should still have Hourihane, though I'm not mightily convinced by him, but - with the addition of Jack (who will surely stay) - other midfield places should start to be made available to the young ones.

The main concern just now must be with the centre back spots. Will Chester and Terry stay? I'd hope at least Chester will.

Frustrating though it might be that we're not now back in the top-flight, I feel as though it will be third time lucky this coming season. I believe that Bruce and all did everything they could, but it was just not achievable: the time seems not to have been ripe. That is all: in my opinion the current situation is a measure of how the character of the club had slipped before the Doc took over. The last missing chinks can now be plugged in.

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