End of the football season review thread

With the season all but done now, how’s your team done - expectations for next season?

I think the fact that Villa finishing 11th feels a minor disappointment shows how far we’ve come. The start of the season was absolutely magical and even though Europe was never likely, the fact we could dream of it slightly was a great feeling. The Co-Vid outbreak really took the wind out of the sails, and the second half of the season has been inconsistent at best, not least helped by Grealish missing three months. Think it’s oddly a positive though that we can look at how many points we’ve lost from winning positions - at least we’re competing unlike previously where we would be turned over constantly.

Next season, I think a top half finish would again be a positive, even if it’s not a European place. The team needs to ensure this season wasn’t a fluke but luckily it looks like we’ve got a good spine and I can’t see any first team players going. Rumours of quite a large transfer budget being in place for summer, but I’d rather we focused more on getting good solid back up players - having the likes of Neil Taylor, Ahmed Elmohamady, Nakamba, Wesley as the first choice reserves isn’t particularly inspiring. I think that’s what we’d go for - Smith is quite reluctant to break up the team (as seen by Sanson starting a handful of games before getting injured) so I don’t think he’d want to disrupt it by buying players for big money and trying to shoe horn them in.

Positives of the season - easy to point to Martinez and Grealish as always, but the entire back 4 looks comfortable and composed, and they’ll only get better.
Negatives - Ross Barkley. Woeful

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Need Promotion to prevent total financial implosion
Promotion would result in a Derby level showing in the prem
At least when we don’t go up we can clear out the premadonnas and can get tickets to take kids to watch us lose 0-1 to Stevenage #dare2dream
Also if we did go up to the prem again but just use the money to buy crap players, pay wages and execs without sorting out training ground, buying the ground and taking more of a Norwich approach etc then I am done.

do you reckon Grealish will stay?

been a really weird season for Bradford and my level of engagement has been strongly correlated with how well we’ve been playing

can’t help but feel shit about how it’s ended now and overall a miserable season but the middle run was really fun, first time i’d felt good about watching us in the last 4 years. main positive was the surprisingly heavy backing from the board in January after years of v little, and the hope that there’ll be more in the summer

I think so. He only signed a 5 year deal in the summer and I know contracts mean little but he does genuinely love the club. Think next season will be crucial though. If we show signs of contending for Europe and making a real go at trophies, I think he will stay because he’d love to captain the team to glory but if we struggle or it seems we’ve hit a midtable mediocrity, wouldn’t be surprised if he looks to a bigger team

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Genuinely can’t believe Newcastle haven’t been relegated. We have been utterly shocking for the vast majority of the past two seasons and heavily relied on individual brilliance (Dubravka, Wilson and ASM, mainly) to bail us out.

Ever since the Brighton thumping there’s been something of a team identity - for the first time under Bruce - and I’m not sure what has driven it, but I hope it sticks around. A lot of rumblings that Graeme Jones had a lot to do with it but idk.

Willock has been immense and I really really hope we sign him. Alongside someone competent at RB - Murphy has done pretty well (all things considered) as a RWB but it’s not his natural position, and he gets found out against better teams. Need some sort of back up to Wilson too as he’s so injury prone. Imagine we’ll go in for lovely Jetro Willems which would be wonderful.

Lot of people we need to shift too: Carroll, Gayle, Saivet, Atsu. People like Hendrick, Fraser and Lewis have been pretty disappointing, but it’s not likely any of those will go.

I think we’ll sell Fabian Schar - he could do fairly well in a possession-based team that play with a back 3 so might get an alright fee for him. Don’t think we’ll get much bunce for anyone else though, unless someone comes in for ASM of course :frowning:

  • Overall happy with team performance
  • Overall unhappy with team performance

0 voters

Top of the league in November, now have the potential to finish ninth if we don’t beat Leciester. Best player either leaving or staying but unhappy about it. Eric Dier still regularly starts.

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Well, the Bald Fraud had done it
The antibants had won it
With Parsefone moaning all the while
The Wembley Lasagne made us smile
While Van Dijk laid unconscious on the bar-room tile

We’re talkin’ oilball
From Ibrox to the San Siro
Talkin’ oilball
Mahrez and Cancelo
Jack Grealish’s grotesquely swollen thighs
Timo Werner and the sadness in his eyes
We’re talking Smith-Rowe,
Tuchel and the VAR

We’re talkin’ oilball
From MLS to A-League
Talkin’ oilball
Mourinho and the Colleague
Edinson Cavani’s embalmed jaw
Agnelli and his run-in with the law
We’re talking Smith-Rowe,
Tuchel and the VAR

21 Likes

Oxford are still in the League One play-offs (just) but need to overcome a 3-0 deficit away at Blackpool to do it. We will not do it.

Despite that, I have loved this season. It’s had its ups and downs:
Downs:

  • an extremely slow start that saw us in the relegation zone in December
  • poor results against the top 6
  • bad luck with injuries
  • lost against Swindon

Ups:

  • We snuck into the play-offs in the most thrilling way possible, and got in ahead of Pompey which puts the cherry on the cake
  • Brilliantly fun brand of football when it works, we are one of the highest-scoring teams in the league and have ripped apart a number of teams at will playing stuff way above L1 level.
  • Emergence of some really key players who we own (rather than loan), including Jack Stephens, Rob Atkinson, Elliot Moore and Sam Long.
  • Swindon were relegated

I’ve felt more strongly connected to the club than I have in a while- obviously it’s sucked not to have fans in but is has put us all in the same boat and brought the club and fans closer together. Karl Robinson is brilliant at managing that too - he really gets the club, gets the fans, talks well and at least appears to care more deeply than it just being a regular management job for him. We’ve also made a big statement of intent in the transfer market buying Marcus MacGuane, and signing key young players on longer contracts.

Next season we need to strengthen in a couple of key areas, but more importantly we need to improve tactically. We play brilliant football when teams let us, but when teams press us high and stop us playing from the back through our midfield we don’t have a plan b and we get picked off, which is why we have such a poor record against the top teams. They have the personnel and tactical nous to stop us playing. I love Karl Robinson as a manager but he leads by emotion and passion, and he needs someone around him with tactical smarts to help build more flexibility into the way we play, so that when teams stop us playing one game we can switch to another. If we do that then I strongly believe we have a great chance of promotion next season, which would be an amazing achievement.

Let’s wait for St Totteringham’s Day before responding

4 Likes

I’d agree with this review, would’ve been interesting to see what finish could’ve been achieved without covid outbreak in the team and the Grealish injury.

On the squad side wonder if Guilbert will have a future as the back up at RB with Elmohamady out of contract. Think including Nakamba in that list of players is harsh, is a good squad player and think one of the mistakes Smith made in the second half of the season was not playing him more to have a balanced midfield rather than picking the most talented.

Other positives are the return of goals and general work rate from Watkins, makes such a difference having a striker and been a struggle to fill that position for a long time. The continued improvement of Konsa is great as well. Obviously the 7-2 win as well.

For negatives Barkley is worth mentioning again, was painful to watch him play since the injury and in the last few weeks has been a waste bringing him on when youth players could’ve got experience given push for Europe was over. Also only a slight negative but the reluctance to change the midfield/formation at times was a slight frustration, but that has potentially been impacted by squad depth with injuries in the second half of the season.

Well

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At the start of the season I thought we had an outside chance of CL qualification, lol.

In terms of signings, Gabriel has been decent, but cancelled out by turfing Saliba out on loan whilst watching his inferior partner at Saint Etienne, Fofana, be one of Leicester’s best players. Partey isn’t a £50m player even in non covid times, and Willian has been an utter disaster. I have absolutely no faith that Edu and Arteta are gonna do any better this summer, given how they’ve made all our scouts redundant and totally neglected the stats company re bought under Wenger.

Results have been worse than they’ve ever been in my lifetime, and even when we have won it’s normally been a total snoozefest. Literally any other club in our position would have sacked Arteta and Edu without a moment’s thought, but unfortunately we’re run by absolute cunts. Things will continue to get worse next season.

Literally the only positives are Saka and Smith Rowe. I don’t think we’ll keep hold of Saka beyond next season.

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You were born after 1995?

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I’m going to wait until Sunday to post my thoughts in full, but I think it is fair to say that this table of the last 23 games doesn’t really align with the general mood of Arsenal fans?

image

I think and hope Gabriel can turn into a great player, but after a really promising start he was pretty bad in a lot of games.

Our record when Elneny played instead of Ceballos was excellent, and Elneny has the highest pass completion rate of any midfielder in the division.

I’m wary of being a first- world problems, big club dickhead, there are obviously clubs going through a lot worse, but it all looks pretty bleak at white hart lane at the moment

Have to wait for the new manager appointment really but everything seems like 1 step forward, then 20 years back to the 90s

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First season back in League One and always said that I’d be happy with 20th or up. We finished 18th despite a truly awful final month or two. Just staying in the division is fine and there’s plenty to build on next season. Ryan Lowe is set to stay long-term and seems to have a brilliant relationship with the owner/board.
Need to either cash in on Luke Jephcott this summer or figure out how he can get his form back playing alongside 2 other strikers/adapt to suit him a bit better (although Niall Ennis looks proper good). We’ve been really inconsistent and absolute shit at the back but if we sign 3 or 4 decent, experienced defenders then no reason why we shouldn’t be up around the play offs next time.

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It’s totally arbitrary though. You can get a table of the last ten or fifteen games and we’ll be about sixth.

The real quiz

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yeah the Covid really stopped the momentum. Then around that time there were a couple of games we should have won but let slip (Burnley, West Ham), could have been a lot different.

Guilbert’s an odd one, I’ve heard him and Smith had a falling out which wouldn’t surprise me as he was completely cast aside (same with Engels actually) and I’m not sure Guilbert would want to be RB. I do like Nakamba but I get the same feeling with him as I do with Hourihane - think their effort is immense and they give it all but they just aren’t the standard if we want to push on. Maybe Trezeguet too but he’s my cult hero so can’t stick him in there! Dougy Luiz has been a bit disappointing too, he has fizzled out a bit. Was interesting to see him come on more attacking yesterday. Traore is one of the oddest players I’ve seen too, capable of absolute magic and looks a world beater then he’ll forget how to pass

Smith is stubborn - he needs to be more proactive with subs too. Isn’t enough to bring on Ramsey at 76, Davis at 82 and now Wesley at 85 seems to be the way.