I wrote this elsewhere on March 8th :
A considered (long) rant.... Frank and commentators are right to point out our dreadful away form this season. However.... last season we couldn't strike a light at home. So - solving one or the other won't make everything alright. Basically the same players have shown an inability to perform *everywhere* the past two seasons.
The defence is dreadful. Truly cringe worthy. We used to concede at every set piece. Now we seem to concede from every piece of open play as well. So, again, it's not a 'one stop shop' to make things right. We're historically bad defensively in every phase. I look at Pickford and I know - despite the odd blooper like last night- he's a top class keeper. So he isn't the issue. It's the back four. Because..
I look at the midfield - Doucoure & Allan. They are good/very good players. Not stellar talents, but better than serviceable. I think Van De Beek looks like a very good acquisition. Gordon is a bit raw but shows enough to suggest he's going to be good enough. And, to be fair, they look balanced. I've never hidden my disbelief at the money we paid for Iwobi and nothing I've seen since has suggested I'm wrong. Terrible player. Delph needs to go - don't care how good he is or not, he's never fit. Davies is average. A squad player at best. Gomes shows flashes but simply isn't the player he was before the injury. So onto Dele Alli. What was the point of signing him if you're simply not going to play him? He looks, to me, to be the ideal candidate to play in behind a lone striker - bolstering the midfield, which needs all the help it can get. Yet he sits on the bench game after game. If he can't get in the team now... he never will. So why did we go and take him off Spurs? Something isn't right there.
Up front - I really like Richarlison. Definitely one of our bright lights. DCL looked like an unfit player last night but, hopefully, can stay injury free and contribute for the rest of the season. If Gray & Townsend were fit and could start, that might help. Rondon and Tosun - really? Ghazi was Benitez's last laugh at the club's expense.
I sat in a bar with Theodoros Kasparidis at the start of December, and we both said (with some conviction) that we absolutely had every chance of going down this season. We both felt that "too good to go down" stuff was complete nonsense - and it, painfully clearly, is. Our next two home games are Wolves and Newcastle - if we don't take at least three poins from those games, I believe we'll be relegated. And even if we took six - that might not be enough to keep us up.
But.... the big issue here is the complete and wanton mismanagemnt of the club at board level the past 9 years (since Moyes departed). New manager seemingly every season, absolutely horrendous player contracts (where they're paid way too much for too long and we can't ever shift them off the books), no coherent long term strategy for how we want to look *on the pitch*...infighting and disagreements.... a complete shambles. Even Newcastle (under Ashley) had a plan - to not spend any money at all. They were better at that than we were and, hey, look where we are now. We've spent a fortune on a piss poor squad and a new manager who has been given absolutely no chance to succeed, due to the appalling mismanagement of his time of arrival.
That new ground in 2025 isn't going to look so healthy for Moshiri, is it? Dark times ahead.
As silver tears they weave and lace,
Sad patterns upon her face,
She waits for you.
So low below a laser sun,
Through velvet fields she runs,
Reaching for you.