Hello all, sorry about my absence this weekend, I was in the technology-free zone of West Texas. They haven't even got the telegram out there yet. At any rate, not much happened while I was gone but I'll tell you about it anyway.
I suppose the biggest bit of news is that Fabrice Muamba has extended his contract by four years. This is an interesting development as it indicates that he thinks that he'll start getting some play. In the two seasons that he's been at Bolton, he's only made 74 appearances. I never much rated him, but he did put in some solid performances at the end of last season, and has gotten an England U21 call up. Perhaps I should consider revising my opinions on him. Stand by for further updates.
Speaking of Muamba, he did start in Bolton's 2-0 preseason win over Osasuna on Friday. While my father keeps reminding me that you can't tell anything from the preseason, I must say I'm quite encouraged. It sounds like we've been playing some good football, and while the Misfiring Swede (credit where it's due) has been missing chances the way only he can, he's also scored 3. I don't want jinx anything, but there has been an awful lot of talk about a top half finish, and it's definitely not out of the question. I'm thinking we'll finish more around 12th, but I can see it higher than that.
In other encouraging news, Gary Cahill has been called up to the senior England squad that's facing Hungary. I've talked about it before, but I truly believe Cahill is international class. He is certainly on par with, if not better than, Michael Dawson, who did get to go to South Africa. Some of Cahill's other competition, Wes Brown has retired from international football (it's the cool thing to do now), which is good from Gary's (I refuse to call him "Gaz") point of view. Unfortunately he did suffer a bit of a niggle against Osasuna, but reportedly it is just a niggle. Fingers crossed.
So this last paragraph is more in the genre of fun facts than news, but here are some things I learned/was reminded of by my Bolton history book this weekend. Bolton played their first game in the Football League (of which we are founding members, lest we forget) on September 8, which is my birthday. It was, typically, a 6-3 loss to Derby County at home in which we blew a 3-0 lead. Things haven't changed a bit in the 122 years since. Quite a bit later, club legend Nat Lofthouse's first real game was a similar disaster in which he conceded 7 goals in the role of emergency goal keeper at age 11. He then was drafted into the Bolton School team, and in his debut for them he scored 7 goals.
Right that's all for now, I'll hopefully be back tomorrow if my dodgy internet situation allows. I will undoubtedly be on Twitter, since I can update from my phone, so give me a follow.
P.S. Less than a week to go til kickoff against Fulham! I'm so excited!