Dear Roker Report,
It’s about an hour after our season ended, and any dream of returning to Wembley is finally over.
On the night, I thought Luton had that bit extra fight, and denied us space –who can deny them their shot at making the promised land.
Injuries finally caught up with us, and it proved to be one game too far for our patched-up team of youngsters. But the overall feeling is of pride at how far we have come and how much the lads have improved since finally getting out of League One.
There’s so many highs to look back on:
- amazing team goals at Reading
- stunning strikes from Roberts, Diallo and Clarke
- amazing stops from Patterson (pens too)
- Fulham and Preston away
- making the playoffs
- a bouncing Stadium of Light for Luton first leg.
The fact we have got Championship minutes into so many young legs will only serve us well going forward.
I do think we may lose the likes of Clarke, Stewart and Patterson for good money, but I have full faith in our recruitment team and look forward to seeing what we can add in the close season.
I’m gutted the season has finished. I really didn’t want it to end. But by the time the fixtures come out these young lads will be back stronger, more experienced, and I’m sure we will all be ready to go again.
Ha’way the lads
Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for the email Ken. I think it’s been a great season – it’s been one of the most enjoyable I can remember, and everyone at the club deserves huge credit. Some players may depart but if they do others will arrive (although I’m not sure many will want to leave - just listen to the Jack Clarke interview on the club podcast, he’s finally found somewhere he ‘belongs’ – he’s not the only one, and I think players will reluctant to give that up) and I think Speakman, Harvey and the recruitment team deserve an awful lot of credit. Despite last night, there are so many positives and I already cannot wait for the summer activity to kick in.
Dear Roker Report,
Immensely proud of the lads for their efforts against 12-man teams all season. God forbid the EFL could find an official who could spot the difference between pulling a shirt and kicking the ball on a Saturday and a Tuesday.
That was a throwback to League One and an excellent example of why we need to get out of this woeful league that can only afford VAR for the play-off final. A small town club of “honest” (cue: can’t tackle or play) pros, playing donkey ball, on a 7 a-side pitch with a rugby union ref. Mowbray (and the club) need to start calling these clubs out and holding refs to account because it happens every game outside the premier league.
Hoping the smoggies give them a good smashing, as the last thing the world wants to see is these chumps ruining the Premier League as the world’s foremost entertainment export.
No one wants to see “Marvellous” Nakamba or the reprobate Lockyer kicking KDB or Marcus Rashford next season just for fun – have either of these malcoordinated oafs ever made a clean tackle or are they just too “honest” to do so? What the Premier League is really short of right now is a “hard working pro” like Ryan Shawcross to break Aaron Ramsey’s leg in a 0-0 draw on a Tuesday night in November. Sign these boys up.
I think the rest of us would rather keep them down here where they belong, there’s plenty of sacrificial lambs in this league for them to slaughter instead.
Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for the email Sean, but I completely disagree with the majority of what you have written there! Luton are deservedly in the playoff positions, as they were last season, and are a very effective team. They deserved to go through last night, and while the referee in my view got two major calls wrong that would have affected the game (the handball that should have been a penalty and Morris’s ‘tackle’ on Dan Neil that should have been a red) I think Luton would point to Amad’s penalty in the league game and Gelhardt’s elbow on Saturday to demonstrate it wasn’t one sided. I do agree with you about the standard of refereeing overall, which is poor, but it’s the same for every team. In terms of style of play, there’s no right or wrong way to play football, and Luton do what they do very well. Good luck to them. I’d actually like to see them go up – what a turnaround from being out of the league system entirely only a few seasons ago.