OK so Flynn has gone and football is full of ‘what ifs’ but I like many others were really excited when he first arrived. He turned the ship around after Taylor/Dutton and on paper he made some decent signings. Sadly though injury robbed us of his strongest 11 for long periods of the season and of course we all know what happened in January. Had the gods of fortune shined on us more favourably we could have had a very different year :
Riley getting injured pre season was a massive loss. He is clearly a very good player at this level and if we had him available at the same time as Bennett we would have had a pair of formidable wing backs
Earrings injury again was another big loss, he offers something different and as a consequence forced us into the continued use of ‘Comsella’ and the associated lack of creativity
Mcentee. Again through pure bad luck injury robbed us of a very good defender that as part of a back 3 with Daniels and Monthe is more than good enough for L2. instead we had to make do with White who was being carried for large parts of the season as opposed to being an asset.
Wilkinson not coming back as the same player. Whether this is down to attitude or physical issues I could not say for certain but a fit CW for the whole season would have given us more goals
DJ ! If we had got the deal across the line I genuinely think we would have seen different recruitment and the squad would have been strengthened elsewhere as opposed to panic buying ‘the Matts’.
The FA Cup … A bit of a leap but I think Leicester were there for the taking that day and having DJ in the side could have been enough to get us a result. The knock on being more money in the tin and better recruitment in Jan. Not to mention the feel good factor of making it even further in the cup.
Whilst I agree things went south for Flynn, the amount of draws and for large parts of the season a positive goal difference showed we were not a million miles away. I also stand by the fact that if what I would consider to be our strongest side, which would include Riley, Mcentee, Bennett and DJ was available for the majority of the season we would have had a very different year.
Yes Flynn’s recruitment was a bit scatter gun and towards the end he seemed to be void of new idea’s but I think both he and the fans were robbed of what could have been. Between the Mansfield chairman, Cambridge’s injury crisis, our own treatment room troubles and some genuinely bad luck 2022/23 can be filed under ‘what could have been’.
We hadn’t had to rebuild almost the entire squad in the summer. Again.
Our two best players hadn’t been on half season loans.
We had 2/3 youth players coming through & in genuine contention to start.
We had a decent fitness trainer, attacking coach.
We had new blood in the boardroom who had football knowledge experience.
We signed players early in the window & had a decent pre season.
We instilled a football philosophy in our club.
DJ had got injured a few weeks in, we’d have been in real trouble.
I like your post, as that’s football, but bottom line is IF we’d had Riley, Bennett, DJ, Wilkinson all season then Flynn would have a stood a chance of getting us into the playoffs; but he/we knew three of those would not be available all season.
As soon as we lost to Leicester the season was over, confidence in the squad plummeted & Flynn had no idea how to approach the team without its best players.
Whatever happens this off season, our success can’t be at the behest of parent clubs or the physio room, we need to plan accordingly.
0 top 10 finishes in 7 seasons
3 top 10 finishes in 16 seasons (since Dicky Dosh)
What IF we changed our approach
Not sure what evidence we have for Riley being a very good player at this level. If he were, he would stand out in our squad, but based on his appearances to date, he is no better than the rest.
Earing was having a poor season before his injury, only selected to start 5 league matches, 6 sub appearances, no goals, no assists.
McEntee has been tried at full back and centre half without success so far. He is now in midfield with mixed results.
All in all, I would say that we have had more good luck than bad luck this season. There was a spell at the end of last year when we were winning matches without playing well. We could easily be a lot closer to relegation than we are.
Bit harsh, he was asked to play full back due to us having no other options and did a decent job. His CB appearances have been decent as well, I’d go as far in that he has been unlucky to be the one to be sacrificed due to the inability of Flynn to get things set up correctly from the start of the game. His move into a defensive midfield role against Salford was heralded as a sign that Sadler could adapt formation during the game due to it stopping us getting a foothold in the game.
Flynn must be our unluckiest manager ever, since so many of our players lost form and got worse the longer they played for him.
McEntee was not successful at full back or centre half, but he is still young. As for midfield, I have seen a lot of praise for him there, but would have preferred to see a specialist midfielder, RAM, given more time.
McEntee is very young for a centre half. I think we have a good player given time and a manager that trusts him. A full pre season is vital for him.
Will be a centre half long term I think. Done ok in midfield but hopefully we sign someone in the summer for that position
I agree about the disciplinary record. I do not recall too many of the goals conceded being down to him, though and he always seems keen to get forward and play the ball to feet when he can. As I said, not our best player but by no means the worst and certainly not worse by a “country mile”.