I really could done a Top 40 and left a lot out.
Here, is a Top Ten of the worst moments. If there was to be a Number 11, it would be the fact that most, if not all, could have been so easily avoided.
I’m not expecting us to win the European Cup, but at least have a go. We played 4 games and didn’t score a goal.
I know that we progressed a round, but even that was a lowlight, scraping through a penalty shoot-out against a team from the Faroe Islands.
Before anyone plays the “No easy games at this level” card, the two other seeded teams won their first legs 7-0 and 8-0.
2. HOME RECORD, SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER
In the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons combined, Linfield lost 3 games at home. By the first weekend of October 2012, we had lost 3 home games.
Already playing catch-up after 5 points from 4 games when we lost to Crusaders, jockeying for position when we lost to Cliftonville, there was no margin for error after the defeat to Ballinamallard.
Linfield conceded 8 goals at home during the whole of 2011-2012. By October this season, it was 7.
To emphasise the importance of home records, Cliftonville dropped 5 points this season (17-1-1) with one to play and Crusaders dropped 8 points (14-4-0) with one to play (I wrote this before the Crusaders v Cliftonville game on Monday 22nd April)
Linfield dropped 20 points (10-4-4) with the game against Crusaders on Saturday 27th April to come. compared with 10 (5 of which came after the title was won) last season.
You can see the foundations on which the two North Belfast clubs have built their success on this season.
3. DROPPED POINTS IN OCTOBER
Bad defending late in games turned a win into a draw at Dungannon, and a draw into a defeat at Coleraine.
A combined three points stupidly thrown away.
4. CLIFTONVILLE AWAY – NOVEMBER
4 wins in a row, 4 clean sheets in a row and off the back off a 6-0 win at Ballymena, we kicked off at Solitude in November 9 points behind Cliftonville.
A win here, the gap is 6 points, and Linfield now have momentum. A must win game, no doubt David Jeffrey will have his side fired up.
Wrong, we didn’t perform, conceded two bad goals (because backing off Liam Boyce on the edge of the penalty are and giving him a clear shot on goal is a good idea) and the game looked over.
Attacking our fans in the second-half, and with an epic team talk from Jeffrey, no doubt we’ll have a go at them to try and retrieve the game.
Wrong, a comedy own goal and a red card later, the game was up.
And Jeffrey’s excuse? The players felt intimidated by the crowd. Pathetic, on so many levels.
Possibly the day the title went to Solitude, definitely the day it wasn’t coming to Windsor Park.
5. DRAWS V GLENAVON (NOVEMBER) AND DISTILLERY (DECEMBER)
After the Cliftonville debacle, the fixture list was kind to us by giving us games against the sides 10th and 12th.
An opportunity to get some points on the board and build some winning momentum.
Wrong, not only were both games draws, they were lucky draws. A speculative long range shot denied Glenavon, while Distillery were foiled by us taking advantage of them reorganising after they had a player sent-off
6. CRUSADERS (IRISH CUP)
We had them on the ropes twice, at 2-1 against an outfield player in nets in the original tie, then at 1-0 up at Seaview.
Not only did we surrender the advantage in both games, we went out limply at Seaview, with Crusaders being shamefully comfortable at 2-1 up.
7. SETANTA CUP
Joint biggest Setanta Cup defeat, biggest aggregate defeat, not won a knock-out tie since 2007, not won outside Northern Ireland since 2007, pub league defending in both games, comedy penalty miss, and sanctimonious pantwetting in the media from politicians.
Another season where the Setanta Cup campaign has been nothing short of a disaster.
8. DEFENSIVE RECORD
From the 6-0 win over Ballymena in November to the 1-0 defeat to Ballinamallard in April, Linfield played 29 games and kept 4 clean sheets.
There lies a massive problem which was not addressed. There was 12 games from the Ballymena game until the Transfer Window opened (That includes the Cliftonville game on New Year’s Day, as any pre January signings wouldn’t have been eligible to play in that game) in January.
We went into the season short on defensive options, and having lost Albert Watson in January, we were even more short, yet no signings were made, not even a short-term loan signing.
Now stats can say one thing, but just look at the goals were conceded :
The two goals which gave Cliftonville a win at Windsor Park in September, reckless tackles that cost us points at Solitude and The Oval late in both games, the goals conceded in the two Sky games, the three goals conceded against Cliftonville in November, the goals conceded against Shamrock Rovers, especially the stupid free-kick for the first goal in Tallaght, Distillery’s goals in the two 1-1 draws ……. there’s a recurring theme here.
9. CONTINUED DECLINE OF WEBSITE
Not wanting to have a go at people, but really, the club’s official website is a complete shambles.
The layout, is bad enough, but the main gripe, is the complete lack of editorial control as to what goes on it. The club needs to create an editorial policy regarding the website, as some of the stories appearing on it, are frankly, ludicrous.
Compare our site to that of Cliftonville, Glentoran and Coleraine, you will see how bad our is in comparison.
There are some stories which are only going to be a news in brief in the programme. They don’t deserve a headline on the official site. If they must be online, a Tweet will suffice.
Some of the articles are either Cut and Paste, or just the bare minimum posted.
For the Rangers game announcement, the story was lifted off Rangers website. It came complete with information on how Rangers fans can get tickets. There was no information on how Linfield fans can get tickets.
In the build-up to Ballinamallard away in March, a pub in Fermanagh sent a Press Release via e-mail, which was Cut and Pasted. We effectively gave them a free advertisement.
Somebody e-mailed the club to try and sell a signed shirt. That is for Ebay or Gumtree, not the official Linfield website.
Every bit of Supporters News doesn’t need a headline. In fact, it should be digested into a twice weekly round-up, either Mon/Thu or Tue/Fri.
And then, there was “Buster Cherry”
There needs to be some sort of editorial control. If there is no news, there is no news. We don’t need to have a set amount of new stories every day.
The sad thing is, chancers chance the Linfield website for free ads as they know they will get lucky. They wouldn’t try their luck with another Irish League club website.
10. HARLEM SHAKE
You know when you watch a news story which has the line ” ….. has done their own version of Gangnam Style/Harlem Shake” ……. don’t you automatically think, what a bunch of cunts?
I thought Linfield were better than that. I thought wrong.