End of Season Review
So another season ends, and it’s the end of the road too for (so far) three of our coaching staff. Clearly something was going wrong at the bookends of the season, and Herr Hasenhüttl does seem to be an exception in not having a respected second-in-command (you wouldn’t recognise Craig Fleming if you met him in a pitch invasion) to help him: a clean break amongst the coaches is sensible. Ralph still holds sway in the dressing room, but the propensity for heads to drop whenever in a game a goal is conceded is not a good sign. He has, though, lost the support of a number of fans, over and beyond the smoke-bomb wielding lunatic fringe… meanwhile the management hierarchy has been rewarded for its admirable loyalty in the last few years, but the views of a new owner may yet prove critical.
Amongst the players, it’s goodbye to Armando Broja and, if rumours are to be believed, Forster and Redmond. That means top of the shopping list has to be a goalkeeper: astonishingly McCarthy remained first choice until his injury (and despite the cock-ups at Norwich) but where would we have been without Forster’s presence in 2022? Certainly with a defeat rather than a win at home to Arsenal which would have led to a squeaky bum finish, while Man of the Match stats show other points were probably gained off FF’s back as well. Here they all are:
James Ward-Prowse, Fraser Forster (6)
Oriel Romeu, Mohammed Salisu (5)
Nathan Redmond, Kyle Walker-Peters (4)
Jack Stephens, Jan Bednarek, Tino Livramento, Armando Broja, Romain Perraud, Stuart Armstrong (2)
Mohamed Elyounoussi, Ché Adams (1)
Surprise figure is Salisu’s five, but I don’t think any were undeserved: when he’s good, he’s very good, but he’s often made rudimentary mistakes. Plenty there for a new coach to work with. COYR.