Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have bothered with today’s game, but today wasn’t normal circumstances, as David Jeffrey took charge of Linfield for the last time, after 17 years and 4 months.
We might have had differences of opinion regard tactics, team selection and transfers through the years, but his service and success he’s brought to the club as a player and in this spell as manager, he deserved the courtesy of me going to his last game. Plus, i’d already bought a ticket two weeks ago, so I had to go.
With the title gone on Tuesday, today was all about signing off with a win.
It started off as end of season stuff. before Linfield came into it, making the most of their left sided players in the first-half, with all of the good play coming down that side. A goal came inside the first ten minutes when a cross from the left was scuffed in by Mark McAllister.
Soon afterwards, Glenavon equalised. I couldn’t fully see their goal due to latecomers standing in my road trying to decide where to sit.
Within minutes, Linfield were back in front when a cross (from the left) was finished by Ross Clarke, getting a long overdue start.
Clarke was fantastic today, running at Glenavon’s defence, putting fear into them, setting up chances and making things happen. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of him next season.
Linfield played some good stuff at times. Pity it didn’t happen in the four weeks previous. Peter Thompson, in his first start for a while, fired home from close range after a Mark McAllister shot was saved by Glenavon’s keeper to give Linfield a 3-1 half-time lead.
Glenavon’s league form has dipped since their Irish Cup Semi-Final win, and it was no surprise that Linfield started the second-half strong, going close through an Aaron Burns header.
Peter Thompson soon made it 4-1 before a lovely passing move saw Aaron Burns make it 5-1, the last goal under David Jeffrey.
Late on, Glenavon made it 5-2 on 83 minutes. Part of me thought it was going to end 5-5 like the West Brom v Man United game last season.
Within minutes of the final whistle, it was confirmed that the new manager will be Warren Feeney, effective from Thursday.
Interesting appointment. I wasn’t part of the recruitment process, so i’ll trust the judgement of those who were.
Already, there are those mocking his pedigree as Assistant Manager at Salisbury City, who have just finished in the highest league position in their history.
He knows the club and it’s history, and is young enough to be a long-term appointment (success permitting)
Interesting times with a new manager, and a stadium set to be redeveloped. Football is changing and Linfield are changing. It’ll be an interesting era, hopefully, a successful era.
One of Feeney’s opponents next season will be Institute, promoted to the top flight today after a 4 year absence. I’ve never been there, so will be looking forward to attending that game.
My football watching for the season isn’t over, as I got an Irish Cup Final ticket when in Lurgan today.
Linfield wise, the season is over, but it’s just over two months until the UEFA Cup starts. It looks like Linfield will be a seeded team, so hopefully, that will result in a winnable tie. A wee trip to North Wales would be nice.
Now is the time to do a Pre-Season Wishlist – Stranraer, Dundela, PSNI, Ards or Bangor, all away.
Can’t wait to start doing this all again in July.