We are 22 matches into the Premier League season (the Watford TFI results are not in as of writing) and there still a lot of unknowns surrounding us as a club. Is Steve McClaren the right man for the long term? Will Aleksandar Mitrović be a success? And will Rolando Aarons ever stay fit longer than two weeks?
It’s been a disappointing start to the season, but there have definitely been positives and if we look at this coaching set up as a long term strategy, we could accept a relegation fight this season for future successes. Although that is a huge if, given that McClaren hasn’t delivered stability since his days at Middlesbrough.
How have we fared?
We have been a lot worse than last season in the league, when we had 27 points at this stage, compared to the 21 we have now. We were safely positioned in mid table last season, while we are in the relegation zone currently. Although we are only six points behind last year’s tally, there are a lot fewer teams down the bottom of the table. At this time last year, six points separated 12th to 20th, compared to this year, when the gap is much larger, meaning that realistically only six teams are in the relegation battle.
In the cups, we have once again disappointed, despite the club stating that we would be targeting the competitions for success. A really disappointing defeat in the Capital One Cup to Sheffield Wednesday should have been avoided had we played a stronger side, while we had a narrow defeat to Watford in the FA Cup, which leaves the club extending their run without a trophy. Steve McClaren said that we will be better in the cups under him, and although it’s early days, the first impressions are not great.