It seems to me that we’re very much a side in transition. The mainstays over recent times such as Britton and Rangel are very sadly reaching the end of their careers and we’ve lost the likes of Michu, Bony, DeGuzman, Chico, Hernandez, Vorm, Davies (probably others), all of whom have been very important for us to some extent or another.
He’s come in and he’s basically got a rebuilding job on his hands. Siggy has been a great signing, as have Fabianski and Montero and I think Fernandez will be excellent given time. Got high hopes for Naughton too.
He clearly wanted a full back or two in the summer and probably a defensive midfielder but it didn’t happen for whatever reason. RB is addressed now and hopefully the other positions will be soon.
As well as the turnover in players, I do feel that he’s contending with a change in the expectations from the fanbase and beyond. We’ve gone from happy to be here (“Premier League and we’re having a laugh”) to scrutinising the side even in victory.
Whatever you say about discipline this season I do feel we have been unlucky. Some decisions have been downright wrong whilst others have been a bit unlucky/harsh – like the two today. Those same incidents would have been treated differently on different days with different refs but for some reason the luck has gone against us and continues to do so.
This has meant that we’ve barely managed to put together any kind of run of games where everyone has been available which hasn’t helped.
We’re also clearly at a cross roads in the board room with some looking to cash in/move the club forward (however they want to dress it up) and we’re looking at the big steps of buying a stadium and increasing the capacity. Oh and our training and youth facilities need sorting out too as according to Garry, we’re behind with that too.
All this boils down to us needing to sign premier league quality players of the right age who can fit into our team but possibly with one hand tied behind our backs due to the allocation of funds. Making life even harder is the increase in expectation.
I think that the real proof of Monk will come next season. Most probably felt we’d struggle this season and maybe we still will but IMO the team that starts next season will be pretty much Monk’s. Other than one or two players there’ll be very little hangover from previous managers which hasn’t been the case for the last 10 or so years. Ash, Ki, one of the wingers (maybe) and IMO that’ll be it. Quite a change in a relatively short space of time.
I’m disappointed by today. As for Monk, I do have some concerns but I do think it’s a much harder job than a lot of people credit it.