Friday, 17 April 2009

What now?

One thing that can't be repudiated strongly enough is the claim that since we're out of the UEFA Cup, 'our season is basically over'. It's simply not true.

With six league games remaining we're just two points ahead of Stoke and four points clear of Portsmouth, Hull and Blackburn. Newcastle, in the relegation zone, are only eight points away.

Our remaining league games are: WBA (h), Everton (a), Blackburn (h), Manchester United (a), Spurs (a), Bolton (h). There are three likely wins there and three tough away trips. Let's say we follow the most probable path and take nine points - that would leave us on 47 points (eight points fewer than last season's final total). Based on recent season that would leave us in roughly twelfth position - safe, but very disappointing.

So if we want a respectable finish to the season - not necessarily seventh but certainly eighth or ninth - we need more than just another nine points. Even twelve more (three home wins + three points on the road) would leave us with 50, which tends to equate to tenth place. Realistically we need five or six points from our three away games - plus three home wins - if we want a final league position that isn't embarrassing.

Our season is far from over. But if we play like we think it is, Hughes' reign may well be before too long.


Wigan Blue said...

Don't know!

The players (and fans) showed a tremendous fighting spirit against Hamburg, which you'd like to think would be carried forward to the end of the season. On the other hand, the tactics employed were inane to the point of being ludicrous on a night when only goals mattered.

To play the same two defensive midfielders was bad enough, but to play Ireland so deep that he was almost out of the attacking picture altogether, was totally baffling.

And with ten minutes to go, and another goal needed even to take us to extra time, with Petrov, Sturridge and Evans on the bench - who would you bring on? Gelson Fernandes? Really? In a pigs ear!

Everyone's talking about the Elano substitution, but it made no difference - we'd already lost the tie by then.

So yes, I'd like to see us carry on where we left off. I'd also like Jim Cassell to pick the team and the strategy and tactics from now on.

JPB said...

I'm not sure I agree that 'only goals mattered'.

Had we conceded a second we would have needed five to go through.

And when Dunne got sent off Kompany went back to centre half - we moved to 4-1-3-1. Regardless of which attacking players we had on we did need one holding midfielder.

Wigan Blue said...

Had we conceded a second it would have been game over. To carry on as we were ensured it was game over anyway. It was too late to worry about playing it safe. The team went down fighting, but the manager didn't.