So the new season is nearly upon us. Despite being terrible at predicting football here is my view. All I will say is rely on this at your own risk…
Your thoughts on Bolton’s summer activity:
Solid. Mark Beevers seems a great addition with plenty of experience at this level. Mark Howard in goal means that Ben Amos will finally have competition which is fantastic. Chris Taylor adds some much needed presence out wide. Hopefully Jamie Proctor can deliver, being a player Parkinson is clearly keen on having taken him to Bradford is a plus.
Is Phil Parkinson the man to arrest Bolton’s decline?:
Who knows, I though Neil Lennon was that man. Of all the people linked with the job he was probably one of the most qualified to take on a club like Bolton. Let’s hope he can be!
What else do you think we need before the season starts?:
A goal scorer, a playmaker and maybe a bit of extra defensive depth to keep Dorian Dervite as far away from the first team as possible. I don’t see us getting any of it though unless Bill Gates buys the club.
How do you see the season going?
Anything from very well to very badly.
If Bolton Wanderers finished literally anywhere in the league next season I would not be surprised at all. This team on paper could well be good enough to push for a return to the Championship in one season. But then again I said that in the wake of our relegation from the Premier League.
After last season though the scars may remain and this team may once again struggle. Back to back relegations would also equally be no surprise to me.
Who will be our top goal scorer and why?
If Clough can stay fit and sees out the season at Bolton then likely him because seriously who else would it be? If not then someone like Madine or Procter most likely, ergh.
Who will be our best player and why?
Mark Beevers due to his experience and I’m led to believe class at this level of the game. Hopefully he can help sure up a suspect defence.
Who will be our worst player and why?
Darren Pratley. Do I need to justify myself? No. Good.
Who will be booked the most?
Darren Pratley with those stupid pointless tackles he likes doing. Hopefully he will get plenty of suspension in the process.
Who will get sent off the most?
If he plays then hopefully Dervite so that he then can’t play for a few games.
How many injuries will we have throughout the season?
All of them. At the very least I’m expecting Max Clayton, Clough, Mark Davies and David Wheater to spend time in the treatment room. Bolton’s injury curse surely must end at some point but there are still suspect players in the squad.
Will Phil Parkinson still be our manager come the end of the season?
Let’s hope so or else something will have gone horribly wrong. Right now we could really do with a manager who hangs around for a few years to offer the stability the club is crying out for.
Will we still have Zach Clough come the end of the season?
If he rediscovers his form and stays fit then probably not, although that would likely depend on the financial situation and what kind of bid we may receive. Otherwise yes.
Which old, semi-legendary player will we sign in Winter?
Wayne Rooney looking for a new challenge having fallen below Marcus Rashford, Zlatan and Martial at Manchester United. You heard it here first people.
Where will we finish and why?
Anywhere between 1st and 24th because I honestly have absolutely no idea.
League One Winners:
Not going to lie had to look up who is in League One for this. I’m going to say MK Dons who I assume still have much of the team which got them out of this division behind the imperious Bristol City.
Surely its Sheffield United’s time to escape the evil clutches of League One.
I’m going to say that Charlton will secure an automatic return to the Championship via the playoffs. Why you ask, who knows.
Three relegated teams:
Bristol Rovers hopefully as they are pointless and after two successive promotions it’s a big ask to stay up. Northampton without Wilder who got them into League One may well be out of their depth. Bradford who robbed of super Phil Parkinson will struggle.
Three teams who'll gain promotion to League One:
Hopefully Exeter City will so that local football for me becomes slightly less bad, though I highly doubt it, they are very bad.
Portsmouth will be hoping to finally start moving up the footballing pyramid and I expect them too. I also expect Plymouth Argyle who missed out in the playoffs last season and Doncaster who dropped into League Two last season to do well.
I cannot see past Newcastle United at this point, another simple Championship campaign is likely for them.
Norwich City will probably have a good season. I could see them returning to the top flight at the first time of asking.
Three relegated teams:
Rotherham may well struggle again, third time unlucky maybe? Having come up via the playoffs Barnsley will be at risk too. Then I think Blackburn Rovers are in trouble, especially now that Saint Coyle is in charge. Another team I could see being at risk is Fulham, especially if they lose McCormack.
Championship Top Goal Scorer:
I assume Norwich being back in the second tier means that Cameron Jerome is there so him. Normally a cut above in the Championship.
Moussa Sissoko if he stays at Newcastle United and plays anything like he did for France in the Euros final.
Bristol City, I think that the time may well be right for Bristol’s only relevant football team to make another push for promotion and few would see it coming. Lee Johnson is confident, overly so expecting Europa League in five years, but I would be surprised if they were not in the top flight within that time.
Premier League Winners:
Last season it was a team who had previously stayed up after a late run and had to replace their manager not long before the start of the season. So does that mean this time it is going to be Sunderland?
Probably not and calling who out of the big teams will win it this season is hard but I think at this point I will say Manchester United, though I fully expect to be proved wrong.
2nd, 3rd, 4th:
2nd – Chelsea, who in Conte should have a manager capable of turning them around, should return to the Champions League.
3rd – I think Spurs will finish in the top four again, and yes with Arsenal in fourth that does mean that Saint Tottenhams day will not occur this year. Arsenal fans will be distraught.
4th – The world may be an ever changing place but Arsenal qualifying for the Champions League is the one constant, I do though expect them to fall back down to their natural habitat of fourth.
This leaves out Manchester City who I’m not convinced have the players capable of passing well enough for Pep. As much as I would like to see Leicester City do it again I just cannot see it with the extra load of Champions League football on their plate.
Three relegated teams:
West Brom have enjoyed a fair spell in the top flight and I could see that finally coming to an end soon. Hull City having lost Bruce so soon before the season starts have to be considered to be in trouble. Finally for some reason I think Swansea City might struggle to extend their top flight stay.
Top goal scorer:
Harry Kane. I expect him to put a difficult Euros behind him and pick up where he left off last season. Sergio Aguero is the only player I see up there too unless Romelu Lukaku re-joins Chelsea that is.
Dimitri Payet. If he avoids injury unlike last season I expect him to light up the league. He will probably be eclipsed by a star at a big team in the media but he has shown his class and his impact on the West Ham team is incredible.
New signing who will flop:
If it happens then Paul Pogba. Not as good as the price would suggest based on a lacklustre Euros.
New signing who will succeed:
Slightly from left field but I think Joe Allen will prove his worth after moving to Stoke City.
I think Burnley may cause a few surprises and will come back stronger than they were when they were last in the Prem.
Champions League Winner:
Leicester City. I refuse to believe it will not happen, the fairy tale must go on.
Barcelona, having had 80% of possession but failed to break down the mighty Foxes defence.
Your own bonus prediction:
At least 99% of the predictions in this article will not come true.