Trust you are all doing well. Firstly, a big thank you to everyone associated with the fancast for keeping this running during the lockdown.
I won’t talk about what happened on the pitch on Saturday. I’m certain all aspects of the game would have been covered.
What bothered me was the reaction from fans. It was almost as if people were waiting for an opportunity to have a go at Frank Lampard. It didn’t take much for the gloves come off and the knives to come out.
I have three points to make in this regard
1. What were our expectations before the start of the season? I would have been happy with 6th or 7th. I would have been content if Lampard avoided relegation. A lot of people underestimate how well Lampard has done to integrate so many young players in a span of 2 months. Sportspersons rely on ‘muscle memory’ to react fast. That’s why they can trap the ball looking elsewhere. The split-second decisions aren’t decisions; they are involuntary movements. Now putting a young player in an environment he is not accustomed to, like a stadium with 40,000 fans, he will be more conscious and circumspect. It will be understandable if the reactions are slower. Imagine the goading and motivating Frank would have done to make these kids feel home. And in case anyone forgets, these kids are the reason why we are where we are.
2. There is an argument that if the players are unmotivated, it’s the manager’s fault. Anyone who propagates this theory hasn’t managed a team in his life. I used to say the same thing; when I was in college. These are professionals. They are being paid huge sums to do their job. Motivation should come from within. As should discipline, but considering a lot learn their trade from unstructured set-ups, wavering is understandable though not acceptable.
3. I read that need better assistant coaches. Jody is not up to the task.
I didn’t know fans had so much insight on what happens in the training ground. The kind of conclusions that are drawn based on pure conjecture is mind boggling. It’s one thing to generate a hypothesis or a theory and a completely different thing to announce ‘we need a defensive assistant coach’. The subtext reads ‘Frank cannot coach defending’. The most damning thing I heard Frank say post-match was that players were told what to do but they did not do that. They were given tactical notes. Maybe they are too dense, maybe they are not up to it or maybe they don’t feel like it. Either way a personnel turnover in the defensive set up cannot come fast enough for me. We desperately need a leader in the centre of the final third.
My apologies for the longish rant.
Thankfully good old Brendan dropped points and the 4th place is back in our hands.
Keep the faith
And the blue flag flying high