I hate draws on derby day. It’s that numbing middling feeling. It’s not the despair of defeat, or the ecstacy of victory, nowhere in the middle. We didn’t lose, but we didn’t win.
No doubt the headline writers are feeling the same. The ‘JEFFREY SAFE’ and ‘JEFFREY A GONER’ headlines scrapped for um……?
Credit where it’s due for the second-half performance tonight, but, it should never have got to that situation.
Performances like that are a basic expectation, not a response to a backs against the wall situation.
Whatever he said at half-time, he should say it again at 2.55pm on Saturday, and every other Saturday (and a few midweeks) from now until May.
However, it doesn’t, and should not gloss over the ineptitude of the first-half perfomance. Outfought, outplayed and second to every ball. What made it worse was the fact that nobody seemed bothered about it.
A Glentoran player started ripping the piss whilst waiting to take a corner, doing fancy flicks and keepie-ups, and nobody seemed wound up about it.
The home crowed cheered and ole’d a succession of passes, and not one player felt wound up about to take the game by the scruff of the neck, just like in other recent matches, most notably against Cliftonville.
In park football, if the opposition ripped the piss like that, the opposition wouldn’t stand for that, they’d get stuck in and do something about it. The reaction from Linfield players – nothing.
Sadly, there were people hiding off the pitch as well, as David Jeffrey, was nowhere to be seen, slouched in his dugout, resigned to it all.
That’s what makes the second-half performance all the more frustrating, that it takes something like a shocking first-half display to inspire action which should be there from the start.
No doubt the inevitable quotes in the build-up to the visit of Newry will be of using The Oval game as a springboard and a stepping stone to lift the title.
It should be remembered, that we should be ready to go from the start, not stumbling along before realising the severity of the situation half-way through, very much like tonight’s performance.
I’ve already made my opinions on David Jeffrey’s position before. I think a parting of the ways is inevitable, and when it does happen i’ll be glad, because it’s the right decision.
But, i’ll also be sad about it, because it’s the right decision. There’s no doubt that history will be kind to David Jeffrey. The primary concern for Linfield is not what historians will write in 20/30/40 years time, but who will grab the trophy winning headlines in May.
Sadly, I can’t see Linfield winning the league under David Jeffrey this season. Saying that, I will be more than happy to be proved wrong in May. I don’t buy into this “Hope we lose to get rid of him” lark, so it’s a Chicken/Egg situation.
If he does, he’ll get credit from me where it’s due, just like I mentioned about how vast improvement in the second-half performance, just like when he deservedly won the manager of the month award for October.
But credit has to be earnt, and not a given on past glories.
Managers live and die by their signings. All managers make good signings and bad signings.
The trick, is to make more good singings than bad signings, and make sure the successes are more spectacular than the failures.
Sadly, the last eighteen months have been the reverse.
The second-half performance no doubt got a lot of people out of jail. There are only so many times you can get away with it.
There’s two ways the season can go. The positive aspects of tonight can be used as a springboard to rectofy and unbelievably still retrievable situation, or it can be another false dawn in a season of false dawns.
Over to you Mr Jeffrey.