Sunday, June 28, 2015

Some thoughts on last season

I have taken a long time in summing up last season and we aren't that far from the start of pre-season now. One of the reasons for this is that it was so disappointing.

With Villa it was another season of battling relegation, although the sacking of Lambert and replacing him with Sherwood helped to galvanise the team, it was still a disappointing season. At least Sean finally saw a league win when we saw them beat West Ham in May through a Tom Cleverley goal. What could have been the real highlight of the season ended in disappointment when Villa lost 4-0 to Arsenal in the FA cup final. We had already seen how powerful Arsenal could be at the start of the season when we saw them destroy Benfica 5-1 at the Emirates.

The real highlight of the season was going to Dortmund and visiting not just the stadium, but also the museum. It was an amazing weekend and an amazing stadium to visit. Unfortunately, BVB went down 1-0 to Hannover, which was basically the story of our season. BVB like the English teams we follow had to settle with a season of disappointment and under performing.

The least said the better about Ely City, a mass exodus of players at the end of the season led to expectations being very low from the start. Ely started off brightly enough and were just unable to get the points on the board. By mid-September thought they had completely fallen apart and went through the winter getting ripped a new one by every team that came. This wasn't helped by some arrogant, but not that good players who seemed to think they were too good, but were in fact quite the opposite. Towards the end of the season they rallied a bit though and despite a relegation that was a bit of a humiliation I'm quite looking forward to next season.

One of the teams the Robins will be playing next season are Downham Town. They were a bit of a find on the local scene. They're a bit more communicative on social media than the other local clubs, pretty friendly up there and on the couple of occasions we have been up there served up some real entertainment and plenty of goals. In a way they have replaced Thetford as the team to go to when Ely are away and there isn't time to get to a bigger club, as again Thetford played at home the same weeks as Ely. We only made it up there once this season and that was for a game against Ely. They've more or less continued where they left off and after promotion a couple of seasons ago do just enough to not be dragged into the relegation battle.

A team that I had higher expectations for was Peterborough United. They started off brilliantly and then fades even more spectacularly. Replacing Darren Ferguson at the helm with Dave Robertson did the trick initially, but it was always going to be too much of an ask to reach the playoffs. After years of bashing in the goals, Posh need to get back to scoring ways. They have been creating plenty of chances, but putting them away has been a different story. At least it was enjoyable though to get back to going to Posh games frequently.

King's Lynn are the other of the local teams that we frequent, we went there a couple of times last season and they were good enough days out and the Lynn players and faithful showed a lot of fight, sometimes a bit too literally! They also missed out on the play offs though and have been moved from the Northern Premier to the Southern Premier. It will be interesting to see how they get on. Their style of play won't suit the teams in their new league so they should pick up points that way. On the other hand the southern League tends to be stronger, so they will have some harder games there.

Anyway, not long now until the pre-season starts, probably with Soham United v Ely City on July 11th. Sean's team, Crusaders are now affiliated with Ely City and have a friendly in the morning against their junior team, so it might be a full on day in Soham.

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