This is a good, detailed post, and you make a lot of fair points. I was perhaps careless with my words re a creative midfielder - what I meant was that that's the only area I think needs urgent attention, not that there isn't room for improvement elsewhere in the setup.
The loan players situation, in particular is something that needs looked at, I agree. We do have more than I would like.
Although, that said, it got us Dom Thomas, who I think has been a very good signing. I know he had a slump, but I think the Turner situation may have had a lot to do with that. We've certainly seen in recent weeks how good he can be, and I think there's good reason to hope he'll continue like that. I certainly wouldn't write him off yet.
It's also possible I suppose, that we'll secure one or two of the loan players on a permanent basis, we'll just need to see there. I'd probably opt for Murray and maybe Mayo over the others (I don't think Henderson is realistic, I think Celtic will want to hang onto him).
You're right though, that we need to keep/resume the young players coming through. I'm not sure if there's anyone likely/ready to make the step up, but hopefully.
I don't agree about the keeper - I think OFW is absolutely fine. He makes the odd mistake, but no keeper at our level isn't going to do that. I also think there's a couple of times he's copped blame for goals which IMO werent his fault (yesterday for example - to me that's a great reaction save, followed by poor marking. Not a spill as some seemed to see it).
Whittaker - yeah, he does tire a bit, which is a shame because he's generally very good while he has the energy. Maybe we just need to see him as someone who we will only get 60-70 minutes out of, and work around that. At the moment, I think his presence is worth it. It does mean having a proper replacement though, you're right.
And so, to Crawford. I can absolutely see why a lot of people have had enough, but I'm of the (possibly old-fashioned) view that you shouldn't sack a person, in any job, as long as they are getting the job done.
And, regardless of how it's happened, Crawford has got the job done IMO. We've finished in a higher position every season he's been in charge. We made the playoffs, and competed well in the games we had. It may not have been pretty, it may have had some awful moments along the way, and it may have seen our worst away form that I can remember. But the job got done.
For me, he gets another shot at continuing to build on that. He may succeed, he may not, but I would rather we let him have his shot than just dump yet another manager, pay off yet more contracts, and start all over again for the umpteenth time.
Our goal next season should be a realistic run at the title, just as this season it was to make the playoffs. Assuming he's still in charge come July, I'll judge him on that.