Let me get this clear before I begin this article analysing where things have gone wrong recently by saying how well we have done in the last two seasons.
The performance of the team under the guidance of David Moyes has exceeded all expectations.
The fact I’ve just booked to see the club play in Seville is something I really appreciate.
David Moyes has done a great job for us and whilst things have gone a little bit stale of late, the bigger picture indicates we still have a lot to play for.
The main problem we have at the moment is the form of a number of key players, most notably, last year’s Hammer of the Year and our only recognised forward.
Soucek looks a shadow of the man he was last year. This could be put down to the sheer number of games he has played in the last few years and also a possible change of responsibility tactically.
Whatever the case is, we have missed his goals from midfield for sure.
Antonio’s situation hasn’t been helped by his choice to represent his country and fly halfway round the world every few months, to play additional games on top of his already busy schedule.
It is important to also consider that, touch wood, he hasn’t had a period of time out yet compared to previous seasons so he is likely to be fatigued.
The obviously clear other catalyst for the drop in form was the lack of recruitment in January and especially a forward which has been the problem for over a year now.
There is no alternative, no plan B. By default regardless of his physical and mental state, Antonio has to play.
The player himself has even stated he needs competition and a chance to sit out certain games.
The side effect of this is that because we have no plan B, it is very easy for the opposition to set up against us because our team and tactics are extremely predictable, because they have to be – we have no other choice.
Moyes seems unwilling to trust youngsters as well which further limits the capacity for change and sadly I believe this has ultimately curtailed our season.
Let’s be very clear though, a goal for Antonio soon could make this all change very quickly.
At the time of writing this, we still have a good chance in two cup competitions and the league is still very competitive for European spots.
I really hope when we get to the end of the season, we have achieved something because this is the closest I can remember it in over 30 years of having a season ticket.
Yes we have got to cup finals and semis before but to be firing at this stage in three competitions is unheard of.
Whilst a top half finish would still be a decent season, it would be a massive disappointment on the potential this season had.
One thing that does continue to go from strength to strength is our patreon service and the events we offer.
On the pre-match event front we have had Carlton Cole and Marlon Harewood in recent weeks and should have a couple of other big names for coming games.
Our patreon has weekly podcasts with Martin Allen and Jimmy Walker, plus other guests which in recent weeks have included: Don Hutchison, Tony Gale, Guy Demel, Lou Macari and David Speedie.
This and so much more for £5 a month – no fan should miss it.