Being a long time POSH fan under the Ferguson/MacAnthony regime, one tends to expect certain things. Recruitment will largely be done from the lower leagues, picking up the “young and hungry” players that are ready to jump up a league or two. The players will be on affordable wages. So there is always the threat of bigger clubs in higher leagues swooping in for our stars and putting them on big money. Our players will be given the freedom to play attacking football that leads to goals. The statistics for this season do not support the idea that the last is happening. However, there is a difference between being given freedom and using that freedom.
I have seen enough of the matches this season to see the fact that our poor form is a slim margin from being respectable placement in the table. The missing component is the final touch. The Dembele shot off the post from yesterday’s match exemplifies what our season has looked like. It is not a lack of talent. Our players have proven in long enough spurts that they can do the tasks required to break down their opponents. It seems to be a reluctance to accept the responsibility of the freedom. It is a phrase that probably sticks in the mind of many POSH fans’ minds. The commentator from the Old Trafford game saying that POSH “only know one way to play and that’s to go forward!” That is not true at the moment. Several times yesterday, I found myself yelling at cellphone as I watched the match. POSH players with the talent to be exciting attacking players turning and going away from goal when they had both time and space. It’s not very POSH.
In the past, I wrote a post on a very different topic that was titled “Freedom Is Responsibility” but I believe it to be true. Freedom comes with responsibility. In this instance, the players need to be responsible for their duty as POSH players to go forward with the intent to score goals (not flop easily). The process of discovery has begun. The question is being asked regularly, “who is willing to take the responsibility?” Surprisingly, it is mainly our young players who are throwing up their hands in earnest asking for the opportunity. The captain who is playing regularly also seems to relish the challenge. Whether it is money, comfort, fear, laziness, entitlement or any other number of possible factors that is keeping others from putting themselves “on the spot”, the club’s survival at this level hangs in the balance of their willingness to accept their responsibility. If only a select few take it, then we are sunk! My faith lies in Fergie’s ability to find enough players to join the fight.
Up the POSH!
PS – Congratulations to Charlie Lee on great career! Still one of my favorite POSH players of all time.