I'm always surprised by people immediately reaching for the 'overpaid, DGAF' cards whenever we turn in a frustrating display or middling result.
I honestly feel that, of all the many criticisms we *can* level at our footballing shortfalls and dour playing styles over the past 18-24 months, a lack of visible effort/desire really hasn't been one of the problems for 98% of the time.
Even when we were clearly struggling for group fitness in the late CC era, players were going out and pranging themselves badly every week, absolutely on their 'arrises by 80min. And they've always looked pretty crushed to me whenever they knew they'd fallen short, too.
Not saying that's worthy of any particular priase - it should of course be standard - but to hear some folks on PoG etc, you'd think a majority of the players were absolutely phoning it it week in, week out. Never been the case IMO.
Easy to assume it's all about the paycheque when you see them raking it in the way they do, but I've never once really felt their hearts weren't in it, even when things were clearly badly awry behind the scenes.
Either way, feels great to be entering into a new era of group positivity. Give it time, a bit more patience and a couple of canny transfer windows for loanees/outgoings etc, and I'm feeling confident the results will start to follow.