London Saints

End of Season Review

A belated review of a season to forget – particularly late as it had all ended effectively at the Fulham game, back on May 15th. Sports Republic responded with a statement thanking managers (several of them!), players, staff and fans for their efforts. Well, I’m inclined to agree with opposition followers that our support is f***ing s*** (anyone at Nottingham recently would have noticed the marked contrast with St. Mary’s) but something went seriously wrong with the other parties for an established team with far from the lowest budget in the league to finish rock bottom, and eleven points adrift of safety. Nathan Redmond’s comments, quoted in the Echo and partly based on conversations with JW-P, seem very pertinent – it was obvious that all was not right very early on. I pick on poor summer recruitment as the first and biggest back room mistake – I suspect the only move Ralph Hassenhüttl really wanted was to bring in Ċaleta-Car, and that because he had so little experience left in his defensive unit. There was a case for Ralph going last close season, but hindsight shows that ditching him after 14 games (and 12 of our 21 points) was disastrous. So too was appointing Nathan Jones instead – but neither were statistically our worst manager, nor did they lose to Grimsby Town either. Rubén Sellés has suggested that he’d have rather had something better than those made available to him after the January window – wouldn’t we all, but managers don’t do much of the dealing anymore, so that’s another back room cock up, rather than Jones’s naivety showing. A lot now depends on our experts getting the new managerial appointment and subsequent transfer market action right. At least they don’t seem to be the same people, but I’m reminded of jokey posters that used to be seen on office walls, detailing the history of projects, starting with blind optimism through to total failure and an end game consisting of ‘victimisation of the innocent and promotion of the guilty.’ We shall see, but ultimately success or failure will depend on who has the deepest pockets: Sports Republic, King Power, Delia Smith, whatever loony tunes are in charge at the likes of Watford & Leeds, etc., etc. Sorry Sports Republic, but the criticism isn’t quite over yet – what about the bonkers idea of selecting a predominantly white home kit and persisting with a band playing our battle hymn as a funeral march pre-match? 

I don’t have the stats to analyse the man of the match awards under our social media arrangements, but it looks as though the opportunity to vote via Twitter has been popular. I’m reliably informed that Lavia came out on top (no surprise there) with six, followed by a crowd on four: Adams, Ward-Prowse and Alcaraz, who only made 21 appearances. Also featured seem to have been a pigeon and what can only be described as an inflatable turd that made a brief appearance in the visitors’ end at Brighton – that sort of season. 

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