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Thread: Expectations

  1. #1

    Expectations

    Was just reading this article (https://www.football365.com/news/exp...nted-lose-them) how having expectations can ruin a season. And it made me think what are our expectations of this season, what would be considered a success and what would be considered a disappointment?

    Because I really have no idea what I expect of us at all.

    If life has taught me anything, other than never to drink in pubs which have no windows, it is to have no expectations about almost anything. For example, I’m just about to have a book published and have absolutely no expectations in terms of sales or how it will be received. It may sell three copies or 30.000, be laughed at or lauded. This isn’t a lack of ambition or commitment but I have just freed myself from the concept of expectation altogether, replacing it with the philosophy of ‘whatever happens, happens’.

    Expectation isn’t hope, nor is it ambition, nor is it a prediction. It is far more judgemental.

    If you take life as it comes and squeeze out whatever joy you can along the way, it tends to deliver far more satisfaction. It’s not so much about having low expectations, it’s more about having none at all. This is certainly the case in football.

    I think I developed this attitude to life by watching Middlesbrough FC as a young boy. It was foolish to expect Boro to win anything at any time, so you didn’t. It made you phlegmatic and philosophical as you saw them lost 3-0 at home to Orient on a smoggy January Tuesday night. But crucially, it meant on the rare occasions they had a good side, as was the case in 1973/74 which saw them top the second tier and lose just four times and, more incredible still, concede a mere eight goals in 21 home games, it felt like all my summers had come at once. That feeling was so special that even now I can recall the feeling of the weekly amazement as they racked up another win, at one point in April thrashing Sheffield Wednesday 8-0.

    Such joy was repeated when winning the League Cup in 2004 and getting to the final of the UEFA Cup two years later. These were achievements that felt extra special for their rarity across the decades, and for their total unexpectedness. Had I had any degree of expectation, it would have stolen away all the wonder.

    We will certainly hear the expression ‘they’ve not lived up to expectations’ this season, many times, be it towards a team or a player, but were those expectations founded in anything concrete? Or are they just made-up nonsense?

    If Spurs finish sixth I’m pretty sure it would be said about them at the end of the coming season. But what would that be based on, especially given that football is a game of fine margins and infinite variables? This idea that there is some sort of performance par that a club has to match is odd, at least without a long list of caveats which allow for key injuries, incorrect VAR decisions, freak goals, accidents and weather.

    What do fans of Frank Lampard’s Chelsea expect from this season? Maurizio Sarri was the subject of much ire because the style of play didn’t match fan expectations, despite being really rather successful. Had there been no expectations of him, everyone could have saved themselves a lot of angst and annoyance and chanting of f**k Sarri-ball and have appreciated him and the team more. It seemed that what had started out as expectations ended up being demands, demands that were not heeded by the manager. That’s just strange.

    Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer has been said to have exceeded expectations when he took over at Old Trafford, and ironically in doing so then elevated expectations, which were then dashed by a terrible run of form. So what do United fans expect now and how have they arrived at those expectations? Are they, like most of us, expecting the Norwegian to be led away quietly in the autumn with the club languishing mid-table, or do they expect to be near the top? Surely it’d be better to expect absolutely nothing at all.

    Sadly, as we all view top flight football entirely through a financial lens now, the amount of money spent seems the primary feeder of the expectation fire. The more lashed out, the more expectation. But given there have been so many examples of big money buys being a waste of cash and not delivering the results expected, you’d think we’d have learned not to create expectations on the back of signings. Also, players are hugely overpriced and fees are a poor indicator of if they are going to be any good for your team. You might be spending eight million on Andy Robertson or 25 million on Marko Arnautović, proving that the level of spending should not inevitably equate to increased expectations of success.

    How do you actually drum up expectations? Is it a deliberate willful act or does it just sort of happen via some sort of psychic osmosis without you even noticing? Is it by listening to pundits or other fans? Is it by studying form and assessing the quality of the squad? It seems to me that much of the popular press and media’s job is to inflate expectations, to pump them up in the sure knowledge that not matching up to a notional achievement level will create a good story. But football is a mercurial sport, famous for sooner or later making a fool out of people who claim to know anything about it.

    I spoke to someone who works in the game for my new book and he told me that managers get into a Catch 22 situation whereby if they talk down the club’s chances in order to suppress expectations and avoid hasty criticism, then fans will accuse them of lacking ambition, but if they talk the club’s chances up, they’re setting themselves up for a fall when results don’t match the rhetoric.

    “Fans often have expectations based on absolutely nothing, just because they want to have some hope of success, and then coaches get the sack because the owners have bought into those totally misplaced hopes and think the manager has failed to match them, when they were never realistic in the first place.”

    So if you have expectations of how good or bad your club will or won’t be in the coming season, never forget they are just a fiction you’ve personally invented. So don’t torture yourself, the club or the players with them, instead just turn up and see what happens. If they’re good they’re good, if they’re not, they’re not. Believe me, it’s a much more enjoyable way to live your football, and indeed your life in general. I urge you to try it but I have no expectation that you will!

  2. #2

    Re: Expectations

    The championship is especially hard to read, we could realistically be run away winners or in a relegation scrap.
    My expectations are that we should be top half .

  3. #3

    Re: Expectations

    I'll expect a play-off push at least.

  4. #4

    Re: Expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by Rjk View Post
    The championship is especially hard to read, we could realistically be run away winners or in a relegation scrap.
    My expectations are that we should be top half .
    Where would we have to finish for Warnock to lose his job? Outside the top 6? Outside the top half?

  5. #5

    Re: Expectations

    I want to see what our squad looks like when the window closes before I start thinking about expectation levels, but, as it's always easier to think about these things when it isn't my club involved, I'll say would expect a team with the same sort of profile as us over the past two seasons to finish in the top six.

  6. #6

    Re: Expectations

    I'll be disappointed if we don't at least make the playoffs.

  7. #7

    Re: Expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by Rjk View Post
    The championship is especially hard to read, we could realistically be run away winners or in a relegation scrap.
    My expectations are that we should be top half .
    The OP is pretty hard to read too.

    Don't think it's possible to have expectations in the championship. Hope for the playoffs at least but nothing expected.

  8. #8

    Re: Expectations

    I hope we are pushing for the play offs
    I expect us not to be in a relegation battle

    I want us to beat Bristol, Swansea and Leeds home and away

  9. #9

    Re: Expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by Croesy Blue View Post
    Where would we have to finish for Warnock to lose his job? Outside the top 6? Outside the top half?
    If we aren't challenging for top 6, he will go or at least he'll go at the end of the season. We'd have to be like 11th or 12th, unless for some reason the top 6 are miles ahead of the rest.

  10. #10

    Re: Expectations

    Top 2.My expectation is high but I think the expectation among the players and the manager is high too.

  11. #11

    Re: Expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro de la Rosa View Post
    If we aren't challenging for top 6, he will go or at least he'll go at the end of the season. We'd have to be like 11th or 12th, unless for some reason the top 6 are miles ahead of the rest.
    He wont have the excuse of "little ol Cardiff" or "Tight budget" excuse that hes enjoyed for much of his tenure here.

    This season is different to the other 2 Championship seasons hes managed us, expectation will be higher and rightly so.

    Weve spent a fortune on the squad by Championship standards.

    Anything less than play-offs will be a failure.

  12. #12

    Re: Expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by sneggyblubird View Post
    Top 2.My expectation is high but I think the expectation among the players and the manager is high too.
    Looking at our squad and what we have retained I would go along with this.

    I think we need a quality midfield addition and a forward if I'm being greedy.

  13. #13

    Re: Expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by sneggyblubird View Post
    Top 2.My expectation is high but I think the expectation among the players and the manager is high too.
    In the championship, unless your operating budget absolutely blows everyone else out of the water (i.e. Newcastle) then you shouldn't really be counting on a top 2 finish.

  14. #14

    Re: Expectations

    We must INTEND to win the championship as convincingly as Wolves did.

    Providing that we think ahead, keep our present players and add just one or two QUALITY replacements for those who've already gone, and DO NOT try and play some new style to entertain people rather than win games, we can certainly do this.

    Our strong defence at this level will be crucial and must be maintained at all costs - success starts with clean sheets.

    If we waste this opportunity it will be no ones fault except our own, and people here shouldn't set the bar so low.

    It wasn't very clever to have thrown away our premiership status by making stupid errors of judgement but we can't do anything about that now except learn from it and insist upon consistency and clinical efficiency .

    If we want to progress we must forget the long tradition of romantic hopes , dreams and fantasies ,( much as I enjoyed them and took part in it as much as anyone else), and tune into Reality FM!

    No more buggering about waiting for January signings, taking a chance that players with a history of failure might suddenly morph into Pele, or tolerating defensive errors from professional footballers who are being paid a lot of money to follow basic methods.

    My expectation therefore is that we can and must win this league outright and anything less is unacceptable.

  15. #15

    Re: Expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by J R Hartley View Post
    He wont have the excuse of "little ol Cardiff" or "Tight budget" excuse that hes enjoyed for much of his tenure here.

    This season is different to the other 2 Championship seasons hes managed us, expectation will be higher and rightly so.

    Weve spent a fortune on the squad by Championship standards.

    Anything less than play-offs will be a failure.
    Indeed but it's also good to have it that way. We should be serious contenders. Interesting team selection yesterday, have a pretty good idea of what his first choice XI is!

  16. #16

    Re: Expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by RonnieBird View Post
    My expectation therefore is that we can and must win this league outright and anything less is unacceptable.
    Too right, if we finish 2nd I will personally demand the club refuse promotion.

  17. #17

    Re: Expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro de la Rosa View Post
    Indeed but it's also good to have it that way. We should be serious contenders. Interesting team selection yesterday, have a pretty good idea of what his first choice XI is!
    I certainly dont want to hear him fawning over the opposition like he did last year, and he was also guilty of it the year we got promoted.

  18. #18

    Re: Expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro de la Rosa View Post
    Too right, if we finish 2nd I will personally demand the club refuse promotion.
    😂😂

  19. #19

    Re: Expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by J R Hartley View Post
    I certainly dont want to hear him fawning over the opposition like he did last year, and he was also guilty of it the year we got promoted.
    Yes but Reading are a really good side this year, as are Wigan so how can we compete with the likes of them?

  20. #20

    Re: Expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro de la Rosa View Post
    Yes but Reading are a really good side this year, as are Wigan so how can we compete with the likes of them?
    What about Charlton? Smashing club Charlton. Back where they belong. We should be lucky to grace the pitch with such a great club.

  21. #21

    Re: Expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by J R Hartley View Post
    He wont have the excuse of "little ol Cardiff" or "Tight budget" excuse that hes enjoyed for much of his tenure here.

    This season is different to the other 2 Championship seasons hes managed us, expectation will be higher and rightly so.

    Weve spent a fortune on the squad by Championship standards.

    Anything less than play-offs will be a failure.
    I think this is an appropriate position. He’s on record as saying this will be the best Championship said he’s ever had. His expectations should surely be top 2 with that as the backdrop

  22. #22

    Re: Expectations

    I expect us to be top four. Top six obviously wouldn't make much difference. Top two would be a bonus. Not making the playoffs would be a disappointment.

    Getting four points from the JBs is an absolute must.

  23. #23

    Re: Expectations

    It will be interesting to see what happens if we dont get off to a good start.

    Warnock has always had the fans on side throughout his time here, and hes earned that in fairness, but I dont think the good grace he received in losing matches last year will be replicated this year.

    Hes a savvy old so and so, been in the game a very long time and knows how to play the fans, the board and the media. I think he defintely uses the fans for his own gain in sending messages to Tan and the board, more subtly than Malky I may add, but if the tide starts to turn against him from the stands I wonder how Tan/Choo/Dalman will react.

    Hopefully we will get off to another flyer and there will be no decision to be made. It was the good start we made in 2017 that set the platform for promotion.

  24. #24

    Re: Expectations

    None of this “Play-off”, bollox for me !!!!!!

    CHAMPIONS, or else **** all

    ****ing hate Wembley

  25. #25

    Re: Expectations

    I'd like to think that we've got enough to challenge for top 2 again. The playoffs is a big enough safety net if we drop points.

    From what I can see squad harmony appears to be good and that's half of the battle.

  26. #26

    Re: Expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro de la Rosa View Post
    Too right, if we finish 2nd I will personally demand the club refuse promotion.


    Ah, but you see ,if you aim for second and something goes wrong, you may finish third or worse.
    Second is a failsafe and nothing more.
    What happens in the future is something which we can neither predict or control, but we must start with an intention in mind or we've lost before a ball has even been kicked.

  27. #27

    Re: Expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by RonnieBird View Post
    Ah, but you see ,if you aim for second and something goes wrong, you may finish third or worse.
    Second is a failsafe and nothing more.
    What happens in the future is something which we can neither predict or control, but we must start with an intention in mind or we've lost before a ball has even been kicked.
    That's not what you said though.

  28. #28

    Re: Expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro de la Rosa View Post
    That's not what you said though.
    Wales Bales would never admit he's wrong, so this is the perfect opportunity for Ronnie to hold his hands up and clear his name at the same time.

  29. #29

    Re: Expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by lardy View Post
    Wales Bales would never admit he's wrong, so this is the perfect opportunity for Ronnie to hold his hands up and clear his name at the same time.
    Neither would Roathy!

  30. #30

    Re: Expectations

    Too few replies to come to firm conclusions, but they're certainly suggestive of a higher degree of expectation from the home crowd than there has been at the ground for about five years.

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