” Disappointed, Frustrated and Exasperated. ”
That’s the best way I can describe how I will remember the 2014/15 season in years to come.
Disappointed because at the start of the season few if any of us would have believed that we would struggle to make any real impact on the Championship, that despite having one of the largest and most expensive squads in the division, but one thing we have come to understand over the last few seasons is spending money means nothing if you spend it unwisely, and in my opinion that’s exactly what we did last summer.
We will never know if OGS would have achieved more that we ultimately managed, but one thing we do know is that he wanted each and every player in the squad he had assembled, however he decided not to hang around once VT decided that the squad had to be dramatically cut only a few weeks after spending £m’s on 2 new players (Manga & Morrison) late in the summer transfer window.
Despite nearly £30m being received in transfer fees, £23m on it’s way in the form of PL parachute payments and over 16,000 season tickets holders VT decided the time was right to introduce austerity at the Cardiff City Stadium.
In my opinion that decision derailed our season and with VT deciding to appoint “His Own Man” to replace OGS few would have been surprised that he chose a man with zero experience at Championship level. But it appears the only qualification required for the role of manager at Cardiff City was the ability to say “Yes Vincent”.
On his appointment RS said that our squad was “To Big” and immediately set about cutting the squad in half by isolating approaching 20 players, cutting them adrift and making them train with the academy players. Was this his decision or was he following orders? Whatever the answer to that question I believe it had a massively negative affect on the squad and that resulted in us taking only 5 of the 27 points on offer through December and January. That period ended any hope of a promotion push.
In his first 18 games in charge we lost 9 of those games but at the end of that period a decision was taken by someone to send Le Fondre on loan to Bolton, a player who had played almost every minute since RS took over. To this day I cannot understand why that happened but I have no doubt that RS was instructed to offload him and he replied “Yes Vincent”.
As strange as that decision was it was later on to be completely overshadowed by the “Business” decisions to send our top goalscorer and one of our most experienced defenders out on loan. RS said shortly after his appointment that VT has said to him that he was “Looking for value for money from transfer dealings”. So despite £23m in PL parachute payments the new era of austerity meant that money was more important than maintaining the playing squad, UNBELIEVEABLE.
Well I think VT has received a clear message from the fanbase about the quality of his “Business decisions” and his “Value for Money” transfer policy with the loss of approx 12,000 season ticket holders.
At the end of January we were in real danger of being dragged into a relegation battle but thankfully in February the club appointed a Head Coach with the experience and pedigree so lacking in RS. When I say experience I mean of coaching players at PL and Championship level and I have no doubt that Paul Trollope made a huge contribution to changing the course of our season, indeed in our final 18 games of the season we only lost 4 games, winning 7 and giving us our best run of results of the season.
We had become difficult to beat and that was what was badly needed but the football on offer was boring, uninspiring and plain insipid. It needed to be done to maintain our Championship status but it did little to lift spirits and the feelings of disappointment, frustration and exasperation just, in my case, intensified and I don’t believe I’m alone in feeling that way.
After the season ended on Saturday it confirmed we were a “Top Half” team and as the League table shows exactly where we deserved to be and ALL the statistical evidence supports that. But the season is now over and we can look forward to a summer break from the mediocrity that has been on offer from the team during the last season.
There were positives during the season, returning to “Blue” being the biggest, but we also had a decent end to the season and surely last Saturday was our best “Team” performance of the season and offers hope of better things to come next season.
I have no doubt that 10 or more of our better players will leave during the summer to be replaced by “Everyday Special Value” players selected by RS to meet the demands of VT
But when Season Tickets went on sale I got mine straight away because despite the disappointing season I have seen far worse and by August hope will spring eternal within me that next season will be better and that’s the problem we get sucked into and as fans we don’t like disappointments.
I’m not sure who said “Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy – the bankruptcy of the soul that expends too much in hope and expectations. So for the other 4,000 hardy souls who have purchased a season ticket for next season my advice would be to have the following strategy – Why expect anything, if you don’t expect anything, you don’t get disappointed.
I just wish I had used that strategy this season.