Well, I think that’s that officially over, if it wasn’t already at kick-off. The worst thing about it? We went down without a fight.
Kicking-off three points behind Cliftonville, there was hope. Cliftonville had a tougher run-in and faced away games at grounds they drew at earlier this season.
If you watched the game, you wouldn’t have thought Linfield were chasing the title. It was slow and lethargic with no urgency.
Any time Linfield went forward, the attacks lacked urgency, allowing Glentoran to regroup and position themselves to make it hard for Linfield to break them down. It really was training ground stuff for Glentoran.
The most glaring observation is the lack of spatial awareness in the team. Players running into trouble, rushed passes under no pressure, conceding corners and throw-ins that could be avoided.
No team has a divine right to win every match, but if you do the basics, you have a better chance.
This was the sort of game where the first goal would be crucial. If Linfield got it, it would be a comfortable enough win. If Glentoran got it, it would be a long afternoon.
Half-time arrived and it was 0-0 at both Windsor Park and Shamrock Park.
In an age where news travels fast, in a situation where two teams are playing simultaneously, it is essential to go in front first.
Hopefully, we would be seeing a better performance in the second-half. The half began with a substitution, Ross Clarke on for Aaron Burns. Not too unhappy about that, i’d been hoping to see more of Ross Clarke this season.
Not everything Clarke did came off, but at least he was trying to make things happen.
In the absence of Niall Quinn, Burns should have been starting at left-back.
I’m not a massive fan of making 2/3 changes to accommodate 1 player, but moving Sean Ward to left-back is exactly that. If that is to happen, why not have a player who can play that position?
Just short of the hour, a goal came, but it was for Glentoran. A Linfield attack didn’t come off, and a long ball upfield saw Danny McKee run through on goal. Everybody knew a Glentoran goal was seconds away. It was too easy.
Every Linfield attack that broke down was too easy for Glentoran. They weren’t being forced to make last ditch tackles. They were just able to outmuscle their opponents. Unforgivable.
Like against Cliftonville last month, there was nobody taking the game by the scruff of the neck to try and change it.
Glentoran fans rubbing it in, and nobody hurt enough to try and change it.
After the Cliftonville defeat, if Cliftonville were to win the league, it should have been because they won their last four games. They only needed three wins. We basically handed it to them.
Only one game left for Linfield this season, away to Glenavon. I got a ticket last week, so i’m stuck.
While there, i’ll try and get a ticket for the Irish Cup Final. It would be a novelty to go without actually caring about the result.
The night before, is the provisional date for the 2nd leg of the Promotion/Relegation Play-Off.
If the game actually happens (Depends on the final table in The Championship) and the tie is alive after the 1st leg, i’d be tempted to go to the game at
Clande Bangor Fuels Arena, just to see how it works after redevelopment.
Unless something dramatic happens, that will be my football watching for the season.
Talking of redevelopment, Windsor Park is getting redeveloped. Today, was the last Linfield game in the South Stand as we know it.
I’ve already seen it remarked on social media that it was appropriate that Linfield should give people something to moan about on it’s last ever game.
There were some in the stand today who probably attended the first ever game in the stand in 1929.
I forgot to post a link to it at the time, but there was a blog worth reading in August 2013 about Windsor Park, written about Glentoran’s last visit there, earlier this season.
The title, Chasing Archie, refers to Archibald Leitch, an architect who designed a lot of the UK’s most iconic football stadiums, as well as Dalymount Park and Lansdowne Road in Dublin.
My own Chasing Archie Score is : Been To For A Match (9) Been To (4) Been Past In A Train (1) Been Past In A Bus (1) Been To For A Concert (1)
So, time for a pre-season wishlist. Playing in the UEFA Cup makes arranging weekend friendlies hard, but my wishlist is : Dundela, PSNI, Ards or Bangor, Stranraer, Brantwood – all away, mainly to visit grounds I haven’t been to, or been to for a while.