My eternal, mortal enemy, the ever pessimistic and often infuriating, Benjamin Moore, has actually done me a solid, as he attended our most recent pre-season friendly against Port Vale and has kindly written up five things on the game for me.
So, take it away Ben:
1) Gary Madine, Goal Machine
I have to admit, at first I was very, very sceptical about the signing of Gary Madine, but already he seems to be proving me wrong massively. He is an absolute handful, it might only be preseason but I can see Madine being our key man next season, obviously, that's if he can stay fit, because let's face it, no one else can manage that. When Madine played at the Macron last season with Blackpool, he caused some massive problems for our defenders - but even I could probably cause problems for some of that shite we had to witness last year - so I didn't think much of it, watching him yesterday was a joy. Having to play up front with Liam Feeney must be difficult for anyone, but he managed it, he bullied the Port Vale defenders and finished off two goals beautifully. I think we might have found a player who could be vital for us in the coming season.
2) Neil Lennon
It might only have been a preseason friendly, but Neil Lennon did not let any of his players off with any mistakes. He was constantly up out of his seat screaming at his players during the game, at one particular point early on in the first half he absolutely bollocked Josh Vela: the ball was out of play and Vela seemingly turned his back to Lennon, and he did not like that one bit. I personally think this is great, our manager takes every game the same and has the same manner and wants the same intensity out of his players whenever they are out on that pitch. If only he could realise that one or two in particular shouldn't be allowed near his team.
3) Liam Feeney isn't a striker... or a winger... or anything really
(Dan: I just bloody knew he wouldn't be able to resist.)
Ever since Liam Feeney came in on loan under the dark reign of Dougie Freedman, I have had the same opinion of the guy: he's absolute shite. I've made the bold statement a few times in saying that he is quite easily the worst player I have ever seen wear a Bolton Wanderers shirt in my entire life so far, and Tuesday night's performance at Port Vale just epitomised that. He was horrendous, slow, weak, and didn't look like he had any interest in the game what so ever. He played upfront for large parts of the game and it was really a case of feeling sorry for Gary Madine, awful. I know he isn't a striker 'by trade' but he could at least try and put in 100% for the side, pre-season or not. I lost count how many times the guy got caught offside, the amount of times his corners fell into the keepers hands, his crosses the same, he even managed to twat the ball into row Z a few times. People can say whatever they like about him, but how he gets into that team week in week out and plays as horrendously as that, just upsets me. Admittedly, it wasn't just Feeney that played terribly, but he was by leaps and bounds the worst.
(Dan: Benjamin Moore does not necessarily represent the views of the rest of LoVS.)
4) Stephen Dobbie
I think that Stephen - or Scott, as Lennon often refers to him as - Dobbie will be an excellent addition for the coming season. He only played 30 minutes in the game on Tuesday, but he reminded me ever so much of Eidur Gudjohnsen in the way that he plays: hes's very quick with his feet and can pick passes out that I don't think anybody else in the squad could, his movement on and off the ball is brilliant and, if he stays fit, I believe that he will be excellent for us. For me, he changed the game in our favour when he replaced Mark Davies, playing a bit further forward than Sparky was, in what looked to be more of a front three of Madine, Feeney and Dobbie. We started to get hold of the game a little bit more, because Port Vale were by far the better team in the opening hour or so.
5) We really are not very good at all
I'm not going to lie, I am very worried about this season. I just don't think we are good enough at all. It's all well and good saying that pre season results don't matter, which they don't, but the performances that we have been putting in sound less than convincing, and I could see why on Tuesday night. We were slow in midfield, the defence struggled to cope, especially down the right hand side with Wilson and Dervite, excluding Derik, Madine and Amos from this, it was a really poor performance and it really worries me that a team like Port Vale, who we should be beating convincingly, should have won the game. Personally I think we are in big trouble this season, let's hope I'm wrong on this.
(Dan: Lets hope indeed!)
Starting XI: Amos 7; Wilson 5, Dervite 5, Derik 8, Moxey 6; Danns 4, Vela 6; Davies 6, Trotter 5; Madine 9, Feeney 3.
Substitues: Holding 6, Taylor 6, Twardzik 4, Woolery 6, Dobbie 8, Spearing 5, Medo 5.
That was the ever optimistic Ben with his five things from the game, and if you want to hear more of his often very depressing ramblings, then follow him on Twitter on the atrocious handle: @BenMoore_070797.