we all know that this season has been one of the best seasons in our history, and all that was missing was a maybe trip to wembley and a double over our local rivals. but all this expectation is being put on the players for next season like talks of europe again, but blues fans need to realise what we have achieved this season was something the club had planned would happen in about two years time.
we'd all love for this season to happen again, but maybe with the couple of added bonus' this time like the ones i mentioned earlier. but realistically, next season will all be about 'second season syndrome' and our target will be mid table safety and maybe a good cup run or two. anything else would be a bonus.
since the unbeaten run, our 'invincibles' have had a lot of pressure put on them, and now we are seeing the price of success - our players are tiring. in the summer we will need to strengthen. the club needs to be built up from the bottom to the top, and the first step is buying and selling players in the summer.
we need to sort out the goalkeeping situation, which at the moment we won't know anything about until the summer, but the most likely options seem to be either: a) kidnap joe hart or b) look for a new keeper. sadly, the latter is the most likely option. the next thing alex needs to look at is the strike force; our main problem this season has been scoring goals - but he is definitly onto the case of that one already and hopefully we will get a good few strikers in.
that leads onto people creating goals; we need to strengthen that area aswell - our wingers just aren't fast enough so counter attacking is slower than some teams, manchester city for example who have players like adam johnson and shaun wright-phillips that can counter attack with so much pace they leave their defenders for dead. we may need to look at the defence aswell and bring in some 'players for the future,' but that is right down at the bottom of the list.
with our new board we should have a successful summer of new players coming in and players leaving the club that have had their time here. with the money we have at hand we should be able to get a mixture of good, talented players and maybe some younger or more robust players from the championship, because we've seen that it has worked with roger johnson and scott dann making the step up brilliantly, so it shows it can most definitly be done.
moving onto the real subject i wanted to talk about, the next thing the club needs to do - and they are doing it already it has to be said - is to tell the fans the plans and targets for next season. because some fans (the more fickle ones, i must point out) are expecting more of the same that we've seen this season, and a push for europe. this season has been more like a one off - none of us expected it to happen, we never believed we'd go on an amazing unbeaten run, or be this good at home - but we have done. and we might have done it a bit too quickly. once we've built on what we have, i believe the season after next we can start that push, but if we start it now, with a lot of new players coming in, it probably won't work, and the fickle fans will walk away from the club (again) because they are expecting too much.
my message to those fans is this: do not expect next season to go as well as this one has, because you'll probably be let down. i'm not saying this group of players can't reproduce the heroics they've produced this season, i'm just saying that the likelyhood of that happening isn't very large, and we need to prepare for a harder season next time around, because it will be. we were fortunate enough this season to have, and no disrespect, at least five teams that we were better than.. which has turned into eleven teams as the season went on!
next season i'm sure will be a good one, and we have enough in us to stay up again. but a push for europe is too soon in my opinion. we need to set realistic targets to be a successful club, and setting ones too high too soon will spell disaster - the fans will turn against the players, the players won't perform, etc. - think 05/06 when we all expected us to stay up again like we had the seasons before. we just expected it. like liverpool expected to finish fourth this season - rafa even told them they would get fourth, and what has happened now? fans angry, against the manager etc. all because even the club's own targets were not realistic, let alone the fans'.
i'm not saying the team won't try to do the best they can, you've seen the fighting spirit each and every one of them has shown throughout the season - i'm meerly saying you need to lower your own expectations of the players, they are no super heros.
so my message; don't set targets yourself. let the club set the targets and let them do the talking on the pitch. we're moving in the right direction, but don't try and make it move too quickly. so yes, to coin a phrase; good things come to those who wait. and seeing as we've waited all our lives for some success, it wouldn't hurt to wait for a little while longer, would it?