Monsieur Salut writes: in public comments and – seen by me – private ones, Niall Quinn has been eloquent and even moving about the end of a dream he was such a magnificent part of creating for and onwards from the 2006-2007 season, having of course been a wonderful player for us, too. Our resident Wrinkly, Peter Lynn, had held out some sort of hope to the bitter end. He accepted the inevitable after the tame defeat at Boro and saw his worst fears finally confirmed on Saturday … this is the updated and closing edition of his once-optimistic peering into the future. The crystal ball lied to him … you can see a full version, which laso includes some updates on the original, of how he once (wishfully) saw it at this link
Prediction was Apr 29 Bournemouth (h) Lose. We have the jitters, with safety in sight, Bournemouth are by now already safe. Changed, as necessity called, to Apr 29 Bournemouth (h)Win.
Well, now I can hear the Fat Lady singing. To the tune of Don’t cry for me Argentina, I can hear “Don’t cry for me David Moyes, The truth is……..”
You can fill in your own lyrics. If I did so now the article wouldn’t get past Monsieur Salut’s vetting. I am hurting, even though we have been looking like relegation fodder all season.
When I began this series in Januar, I genuinely believed we could escape again but that was based upon having three missing players (Cattermole, Anichebe and Kirchhoff) back, rediscovering the fighting spirit of the past four escapes and having our relegation rivals not exceed our own results.
Thus those three assumptions not fulfilled in their entirety has cost us our survival although I think there is another factor that I will come to.
Firstly, the missing players. Cattermole did make it back but later than hoped. The lift he then gave the team was a reminder of what we had been denied during his absence. I do hope we can keep him.
Anichebe also returned from injury, only to be injured again v West Brom and so has had limited impact. Even when he has played, I believe he has been largely played out of position, on the wing. Played up front, in the middle, would have allowed his hold up play and aerial strength to benefit Defoe, as we saw at times yesterday.
Kirchhoff, whose ability to win the ball and then hold on to it were key to last season’s great escape, we have not had at all.
While all teams have injuries, this season has seen ours eclipse those affecting all other Premier League teams.
Secondly, the fighting spirit. I don’t think generally we have lacked fight. There are players, Janazai being one, who simply don’t have it in their make-up. As a team, however, we have fought. What we have lacked is the confidence which winning gives you.
Thirdly, our relegation rivals. They, with the exception of Crystal Palace, have done the decent thing and stayed with us. If we had secured the points I predicted, we would still be in with a chance.
Now to the factor which I believe has taken us down, and almost did for us in the past four seasons. It is the overall quality of our players. Nobody, me included, likes to admit it because these men are our heroes but the reality cannot be denied.
Who, of our players, would be wanted by any other Premier League club? (We shall find out the reality soon anyway). I would suggest only Defoe, and then only possibly, because of his age, and Pickford. [I think most bottom-half clubs would snap him up, even if he doesn’t start games automatically, and don’t forget that Kone will go and bring in useful funds, though perhaps useful only in the sense of reducing our massive debt – Ed]
It is the same factor that has cost us with the incredible number of injuries. We have not had the requisite quality in the replacements.
If I am correct, whose fault is this? I will give my opinion at the end of the season.
As to Saturday’s game, I originally forecast the correct result, which gives me no pleasure, even though the circumstances were changed – and it was harsh. Our players gave everything they could and the crowd stayed and supported until the late Bournemouth goal was scored.
Bring on Hull…………….
Wrinkly Pete 30/4/17