We've now been in the LL for three and a half years and we've had a fair few sobering and dispiriting moments - the 7-4 loss to Selkirk (lol), the numerous pumpings of village teams, the abject displays in every single big meaningful game we've played - but yesterday, imo, really was the worst game in our LL 'journey' so far. To lose a game after being 2-0 up is inexcusable, the fact it was against 10 men deplorable but to lose against 9 men, I don't think there's a word that even comes close to describing it. Fair play to Spartans however, i'd do anything to have a shire team that showed as much desire and bottle as they did.
The season is now over and we need to plan right now for next season. The two factors in play are investment and Derek Ure. This season has been an utter disaster from the start. If we wanted any chance of going up we had to appoint an experienced manager, we didn't do that and that imo is why we're where we are. Ures two biggest flaws have been his squad building and his tactics. The squad assembled makes no tactical sense and therefore his tactics make no sense. The decision to not sign a proper backup keeper is laughable, we havent kept a clean sheet since September and you could be critical of a lot of Barclays contributions to those goals but he has no one to challenge or replace him. We have 4 strikers who literally all do the same thing, we don't have a goal threat - we just have hold up players. Its like going back in time to watch Paul Quinn and Kevin Turner again. Our build up play is slow and it allows teams to get settled banks of 4/5 created and we lack the penetration to cut it open, as highlighted clearly yesterday. There was a case for Ure to go after EK, then again after Broxburn, and again after Kelty and again yesterday. His saving grace is his stature. Ure and Rodgers are two of the loyalist Shire players in the modern era and it would be a pity if this was how it was to end but lets be honest if this was any other manager there would be serious calls for them to be sacked.
So, do we have a future under Ure? The answer is yes but only in a certain situation. The Board need to make a decision now about next year, if there is going to be another investment for next year then Ure needs to go and be replaced by an experienced manager who can then have 6 months to evaluate the situation and plan for next year. However if there is no investment next year then Ure should stay. Radical as it seems, in January i'd sell every single player we can and try to generate as much funds as possible for next year. We still have a solid core of LL class players that if structured could have a shot next year depending on circumstances. Ure has an unmatched passion for the club and if he develops tactically then would make a very good manager. At this point in time, I don't think he gets respect of the players - i don't think they care enough. Rumours have been coming out that some find the level 'too easy', ironic considering how shite some have been this season!
For the record, I haven't enjoyed this season one bit. We've been poor in every game i've seen - even the ones we've won. The footballs slow and boring and i feel no connection to the players. Bobby Barr is categorically one of the worst shire signings i can recall, I'm shocked we payed money for Mark Millar and Tapping looks a shadow of the player he was a few seasons ago.
A truly depressing situation, can't wait till the Lowland League Cup!