I blame myself.
League form to date has been, as you’ve seen, patchy, at best. However, as our time in the Champions League comes to an end, we start to get a few more points on the board. Is it too little, too late?
January starts well, with a 2-1 win at home to Stade Malherbe Caen. Savic and Sandro grabbing a goal either side of one from Caen.
A 1-0 defeat at OGC Nice is followed by a couple of wins against Stade Rennais FC (2-1, Simeone, Febas) and AS Saint-Etienne (2-1, Simeone, Romeiro).
February sees a return of our early season form, with a draw, 2 defeats and 2 wins. Those two wins come at the end of the month, against AS Monaco (2-0, Savic, Lemos) and Havre Athletic Club (1-0, Winking) and heralds the return of last season’s title challenging form.
Those two games are the start of an 11-match unbeaten run – with only two draws along the way. 32 points from a possible 36. An astonishing run of games, and yet…
We’re nowhere near challenging for the league. We finish the campaign on 71 points – 10 points fewer than last season. Worse still, league winners PSG have upped the ante, and finished on 89 points. Worst still, AS Monaco, OM, and OGC Nice finish on 88, 86, and 79 respectively, pushing us into 5th place and a Europa League spot.
We have regressed! There will be no Champions League next year!
I said at the start that I blame myself and, mainly, that’s because I didn’t bulk up the squad enough for a decent run in all competitions. The team were knackered throughout the season. Honestly, I’m not sure how we managed that final run, but it was probably due to the fact that I had started trusting my second-string and not running the first 11 into the ground.
So, it’s a disappointing end to season 10. However, there is some good news…