I've caught up with a lot of this thread now, and I'll read the rest tomorrow. But there's something I want to say, before calling it a day, and I don't really want to say it. But, going with the players we have at the moment, I honestly think our best way to any sort of success is through up and at em, get stuck in, long ball, kick and rush, or whatever football you call it. Nobody wants to hear that, but, unless other players are brought in, I reckon it's probably our best hope of stringing some results together next season.
I'm not thinking Stoke/Wimbledon exactly with Carroll being used as a battering ram, but if we carry that slow ponderous football into next season, it'll probably be worse than this one. When we're shifting the ball quickly, moving into space and being open for the ball, we don't look too bad. In fact, I think we played some really good football at times this season. But teams have sussed us. I've moaned about it for months, we are so predictable we could write the script to most games before a ball is kicked... 20 minutes or so of good football - teams hold us out - frustration sets in on and off the pitch - the whole stadium starts getting anxious - the defence falls deeper - a huge hole opens up between midfield and attack - the ball is aimlessly lumped forward hoping something will develop. Even Hodge Podge knew how to turn us over.
I know I must seem to be cancelling out me own argument, but I don't mean we should play lump it long Wimbledonball. I'm thinking more of Rafa's high tempo pressing game. I know I shouldn't bring the man up in here. It's not some veiled attack on Kenny or a mournful whinge for Rafa. I'm just trying to explain meself as simply as possible, and the type of football I mean is the sort of quick attacking direct football that walloped Man U in their own backyard. I know Carroll hasn't got the speed or instant accelaration that Torres had at that time, but he's not the slow carthorse we've seen all season. In fact, I think he's deceptively quick. He's also showing decent touch at the moment. If he can carry that into next season, I think we could get a lot of joy out of some direct pacey football.
Of course it all comes down to who leaves, who Kenny brings in and how much pocket money he's given. But just talking about who and what we've got at this moment, I think that high-tempo/pressing game, defending high and getting the ball forward as fast and as often as possible, is our best hope of not going through all this over and over again next season.