We dust ourselves down and go again, but changes are needed
19 May 2019 03:10 pm, by YorkshireSquare
Last weeks loss against Derby in the play-off semi-final obviously wasn’t what we had hoped for but we dust ourselves down and have to put the huge disappointment of this season behind us - we certainly don't need a hangover season next year.
Despite the disappointment huge strides have been made and it is vital that the club learns the lessons and we become stronger. The first priority for the club is keeping Bielsa, or if we don't then appointing a successor in the same mould and doing it quickly. Corberan stepping up would be a good choice just to continue the way we play without much disruption and much like when O'Leary took over from George Graham, he knew what we had in the youth setup coming through. The hope has to be that Bielsa stays though.
We need to shift players we don't want and if some big names are to be sold get it done quickly so replacements can come in and get used to the methods and style of play. We need to quickly work out where we need to improve the squad and get the players in. Dan James is hugely unlikely so who else was on the list? We have had too many square pegs in round holes and we need to get players in that can play the Bielsa system properly. For all Roofe and Bamford are good players can either of them be a 30 goal a season striker? With the amount of chances we create we need someone who can be.
We need more goals from midfield, even the contributions from Roberts, Klich and Phillips weren’t enough. The only midfielder that chipped in with goals continually was Pablo Hernandez but has been somewhat in recent games with his passing deserting him. There has been a lack of goals from set pieces. How many goals did we score from corners? How many from free kicks? The penalty taking was dire too. The club needs to do a lot of work on set pieces because it certainly was an area we were lacking in this season. If look at England in the World Cup last summer it shows how important set pieces are.
Defensively and we are still inconsistent. Cooper has had a better season but there are still too many errors in his game. Jansson, brilliant at time bus plays as an individual too often. He could be sold this summer to structure the rebuilding. Berardi will always give his all but will always have moments leading to red cards - admittedly if the referee had given him the free kick when fouled three times in the 30 seconds before his second card he wouldn't have seen red tonight but he still has the red mist moments. We need to get the understanding sorted because we have conceded too many goals like the first one tonight and that is down to bad communication.
So the club needs to be brutal this summer. Bielsa has already admitted that the players have given everything this season so it is unlikely they can make the same leaps forward next season. Some players will have reached their peak and if that isn't good enough then they need to be replaced. What do we have in the youth side, yes they have done well but is beating Coventry and Birmingham really an indicator that they are good enough to be first team players?
There is optimism for next season - we turn the page now from this season, heart-breaking though it was - the defeat last week just summed up what has been our problem all season - the failure to kill teams off by scoring when we are on top as we miss far too many chances and soft goals conceded, We now have the summer to get this sorted and if we do then we can win the title next season.
We are certainly in a much healthier situation this summer than in the majority of summers in recent years. In years gone past we probably only had 1 or 2 players that we thought were any good. If you take a team like Derby as an example, assuming they don't get promoted, then what team will they have for next season if their loan players return to their parent clubs? We could sell Jansson and Phillips and I still Bielsa would make us stronger, as long as the board reinvests the money. We lose our loan players and would we even notice they had gone?
The season is over the club needs to be working 24/7 on rectifying mistakes and making us stronger, let’s hope the sightings of Orta and Bielsa in discussions at the Sky Lounge this week indicate this is already underway.