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Expectations for the Season

By Leigh Hardie :  05/12/2009 :  Comments (11) :
Moyes has come out and said that the season has been a disappointment and he is not looking at a Euro spot now this season. I imagine few of us would disagree – there has been little craft, consistency or ambition so far.

There are many doom prophets who claim we are heading for a relegation scrap, but in my opinion, it’s still a little early to be stating that at this point. Yes, we are two places above the bottom spots at the moment, but there is absolutely no reason why we can’t pull ourselves to safety over the coming month or so. This is a feasible expectation.

Therefore, I would like to make a ‘realistic’ assessment of where we are at this point in the season and what we can hope for by the end for the season. I am not talking about long-term plans, ground moves, new managers, investment or Champions League ambitions, just the here and now.

I also feel that the fans who respond to our predicament by throwing out ‘Nil satis nisi optimum’ at every opportunity, stating that we should not be accepting mediocrity, are employing a fairly pointless bit of latin and missing the real hub of the matter. Fans of all clubs across the country want ‘nothing but the best’.

I would imagine that fans of all clubs, except those of United and Chelsea, would claim that their club is underachieving at present and is due some greatness. History and past silverware do not give you any rights to success in the future. Notts County have a great history; Notts Forest have an impressive silverware cabinet – say no more. Yes, I remember Kendall’s team of the mid-eighties too, but sadly that was another era and top flight football was another game entirely.

Anyway, to come to the point of the article – what can we realistically expect to get out of this season?

I would like to see us with a strong top half finish. By ‘strong’, I mean 8th. We are certainly not guaranteed this by any stretch, but I think we can hope for it at least.

I would also like to throw in decent cup run in either the FA Cup or the Europa league. By decent, I mean the semi-finals. Realistically, there will be far better teams than us in the final run-in to both trophies who probably make the finals, but there’s no reason not to give it a good go, particularly since the Premier League won’t give us anything this year.

To achieve this, I would hope we get two or three key players back from injury and for these players to start having an influence on our team morale and style of play — namely Arteta, Jags and Neville (hey, the Yak wouldn’t be bad either). Again, we are not guaranteed this, but we can hope for this.

I would also hope that Pienaar stays fit and motivated. We could perhaps hope for a loan signing in January too that has a positive influence on the team and results over the final third of the season.

I am not saying in all this that we should be living ‘in hope’. Perhaps a better way of saying it would be that these are some realistic expectations for the 2009-10 season.

Next season is another matter, of course. Top two finish and Champions League glory beckons! Nil satis and all that ;)

Reader Comments

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Michael Upton
1   Posted 05/12/2009 at 17:08:20

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I really don’t want to launch into classic TW negativity but at the moment I’m not looking much past getting our next win, expectation-wise.

Win another game (let’s not forget we’ve only got 4 out of 14 in the league this season), then another, then another and then we can start talking about expectations.

But with potential Neill and Hibbo at CB tomorrow, it’s gonna be a tough ask for the revival to start any time soon.

Having said that, please let’s get going soon or it could be an even more depressing winter.

String some wins together though, and I think top half is possible. Just need to remember how to score. And defend.
Martin Mason
2   Posted 05/12/2009 at 18:35:04

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I’d say our aim is not a specific place but that we gradually improve such that at the end of the season we are getting points consistently and with improved visual performances. Survival is important though and we could easily get into a season long relegation fight.

I watched Pompey vs Bolton today and it was infinitely better than Everton’s game there. There were players that were sold by clubs who would have benefited Everton especially Finnan who looks very comfortable at RB. Eagles too with a bit of work by Moyes to up his work rate and use a simpler game. the Pompey CB was also very good (Hreidarsen?). He defends and attacks well and has a lot of "character".
Dennis Stevens
3   Posted 05/12/2009 at 20:21:58

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All we can hope is that a gradual increase in the number of players available will lead to improved performances & results - if so we may finish in a comfortable mid-table spot & possibly enjoy a decent Cup run if the second half of the season is a good as the first half has been poor.

By the way, I’ve heard of Notts. County & Nottingham Forest - but Notts. Forest??
Steve Carter
4   Posted 05/12/2009 at 21:35:20

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We are in deep shit, two points from the drop zone, with Spurs at home (with all our terrific form there) and Chelsea away next to come. To answer you question, Leigh, on present indications, the best we can hope for is that the likes of Burnley and Hull keep going from bad to worse and we escape relegation. The bookies usually take my money, so I’ll take solace in the fact that their odds on us going down are 14s+ at the moment.
Gavin Ramejkis
5   Posted 05/12/2009 at 22:12:46

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Unprepared, unambitious and unattractive, you get out of football what you put in. The season so far has been a huge disappointment for us saps who have season tickets or those who regularly pay to go and watch the Blues. The injuries have hit home hard but the knowledge that we were without our best defender, most creative midfielder and most potent striker before the season started was never addressed.

In the cold light of day, this season is fucked, the team need to win points and stay up... anything else is a bonus and not expecting anything opther than a lower-half-of-the-table finish and sweet FA in any cup competition as we simply don’t have the players there to do it.

Stewart Littler
6   Posted 06/12/2009 at 06:06:24

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It needed mentioning didn’t it Gavin, but you got it in and out asap hey fella. "The injuries have hit home hard" — hard, fucking hard??!! We have 12 senior first team players out tomorrow unless a few come through last minute. And it has been like this all season.

Now I agree with you to some extent that we were underprepared for the season, have played shit for most of the season (which is inexcusable no matter who is wearing the shirt). But "the knowledge that we were without our best defender, most creative midfielder and most potent striker before the season started was never addressed" is a little OTT — we bought TWO players who play centre half, and one midfield player, as well as extending the loan of a striker who was brought in to cover the Yak in the first place.

I agree with Martin in that we need to win games and worry about the big picture if and when it’s time to worry, which isn’t yet. To say the season is fucked ignores so many factors, it’s like saying it’s gonna be a shit day just cos it’s pouring down at 6am.

Richard Dodd
7   Posted 06/12/2009 at 10:36:56

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Almost before a ball was kicked this season, I posted that REALISTICALLY the best we could expect was an Eighth place finish. My ’Eight would be Great’ piece met with universal scorn as it became submerged in all the NSNO verbage and accusations of lack of ambition, missed opportunity ad nauseam.

Of course, like all of us, I hoped for more. But almost alone on here I am a realist. I accept that Moyes is under-resourced, that BB has no money to throw at him, that there really aren’t any sheiks or ogliarchs waiting to snap up his shares. And this being so, I settle for eighth. It’s still achievable and I remain convinced that soon we shall see another great revival. Davey’s rather good at those!

Gavin Ramejkis
8   Posted 07/12/2009 at 18:04:29

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Stewart, did it miss you we got those players thanks to selling a centre half? Did it pass you that two of them weren’t eligible for the Uefa games we had? Genius or common fucking sense? Jo as cover for Yakubu - yeah if Jo EVER scores 20 or more in a season in the EPL I’ll come on here and hold my hand up, again are you joking?

Ignoring the blatantly obvious as I mentioned fucked the season, it’s deja vu to last season’s start but with nowhere near the fight we got then to claw our way out of it.

Doddy, ask Scott how much Black Bill wants for his shares as I’ve yet to hear from that blue rinsed toe rag live on any forum whatsoever admit the club is for sale. If he sold for a handsome profit of £1m per year he has owned the club that’s just £30m even double his money is just £40m thats £2m poer year profit not having spent a fucking penny on the club beyond the shares he won’t give up. Ask Scott what the mythical investment terms are - as you think you’d do the PR department out of a job, do the job on Scott and let us all know what Black Bill really wants or what Phil Green wants back for his loan.
Jamie Rowland
9   Posted 08/12/2009 at 11:40:47

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We’ll finish 12th. But I’m not looking at that too much (because, in part, its fucking depressing). Another yo-yo season that resembles the 1990’s.

Whilst Kenwright holds the reins and Moyes picks the team, we’ll never finish higher than 5th. Never ever.

Kenwright has no balls to stop Moyes signing yet another versatile right back. Moyes can’t identify a decent midfielder unless he’s been recommended by Sir Alex.

Dont get me wrong here — I’m grateful that Moyes has stabilised an other wise sinking ship, but he has, in my opinion, done everything he can.

Guus Hiddink (was that sound of you laughing) thrives on lost causes... and we are one of those lost causes. So for those who ask shout ’fuck off dickhead, who would you replace him with’ - similar to the fan that I nearly throttled on Sunday, I would answer ’Guus Hiddink’.

I’m happy with the end result on Sunday but its only masked, for many an Evertonian, the fact that we are shit and play some horrendously negative football.
Jamie Morgan
10   Posted 08/12/2009 at 14:24:42

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Richard Dodd, I agree completely.

I said to all who would listen that 8th would be a good season based on Spurs, Villa and City spending big. And right now when I look at the table I still think its achievable.

Everyone is beating each other and a couple of back to back wins helps massively.
Gerard Quinn
11   Posted 10/12/2009 at 16:50:04

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We’ll finish on 58 points and that will take us to seventh or eighth. Come on You Blues.

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