In the first of a new series ahead of Bolton Wanderers 2014/15 season, we have taken it upon ourselves to have a look at each player, and what they can bring to the table ahead of the opening game.
We’ll start with our current number one, the ginger Hungarian frame that is Adam Bogdan who I think is in line to have a massive season in the White shirt. After receiving interest from elsewhere, we had to make teams aware that we wanted to keep Adam as our number one by applying a £2m price tag on the keeper.
Let’s talk about last season, one which had ups and down for Adam as he found himself established as a number one, before making some clinical errors and struggling with injury made sure he spent some time on the bench ahead of coming back into the team and thriving. Bolton, as a team where poor at the start of last season and the goals we conceded meant the defence and more so the goalkeeper take some heavy critics – with a large number of the Wanderers faithful asking the Lonergan question. Those questions were answered and in the mid-season, partly down to some poor performance but mainly down to an injury we had a new ‘number one’. We experienced three-five weeks of Andy Lonergan, someone who we’ll cover later, and it didn't feel safe.
We then looked back at Adam Bogdan – who for the first time since coming into the team had fought for his place back and seemed to show a certain determination that I hadn't seen before. It almost felt like the confidence of winning his place (rather than it being handed to him when Jussi left) had an outstanding impact on his game. As we approached the crunch end of relegation threatened season the big Hungarian stepped up, putting in back to back performances of quality, being better in the air, making clever judgement calls.
As pre-season has started, we are yet to see Bogdan make a pre-season squad and I for one hope that is down to protecting him rather than preparing for sale.
As we look to the new season I feel, as stated before, that this is going to be a massive season for Bogdan and he has the potential to become a very good keeper. If he continues working on controlling his box and making the right decisions in certain situations then he’ll add to his impressive abilities in shot stopping and safety work. The main reason I feel this season will be better than the last is down to the signings we've made in the transfer window, Mr Freedman has made the back four his priority and our goalkeeper can now have the confidence that he’s not going to be let down by the men in front of him.