Writer: Stuart Smith
Date:Sunday April 27 2008
Some may say I'm jumping the gun, but I fear that is it as far as our season goes.
Sure, we COULD still make the play offs, but having been in Palace's position twice, I honestly can't see them stuffing up against Burnley.
So where does that leave us? Is this a season that should be considered a total failure?
Not quite as easy a question as it seems.
With a stated goal of automatic promotion, we've fallen well short. By that measure, rellying on Burnley to do us a favour to scrape into the play offs is a failing for sure.
Ans one that will have some calling for a new manager.
But you dont have to scrape too far under the surface of where it went wrong to see that it could have all been quite different.
The pre season injury to Matty Jarvis, the post Christmas exit of Michael Kightly. The eighteen month search for a genuinely qualified goalscorer that now seems to have ended with SEB, looking good for the seasons top scorer, four months into his Wolves career.
Defensive shuffles caused by injuries, lack of consistent experienced leadership at the back, the list of reasons could go on and on, and it probably will.
All of those have combined to leave us one solitary win away from a shot at the play off's, and probably 11 points off an automatic promotion spot.
None of which leaves me wishing for wholesale change in the close season.
Will we start next season in a stronger position than this one? Definitely.
Will we have a bettter chance of promotion? Possibly.
Will we be worse off? Absolutely not.
When the final whistle blows on this seasons campaign, I won't be looking to point a finger of blame. I won't be calling for heads to roll, and I won't be cursing the Baggies.
I'll be looking forward to seeing the damage Kightly, Keogh, SEB and Jarvis can do given a full season to run at the oppostion.
The rest I'll leave Mick to worry about.
Date:Sunday April 27 2008
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