Just when you thought you’d already read my season preview article... BAM. I’m back at it again like an injury to Mark ‘I’m Made Of Glass’ Davies.
The last preview article I did was focussed on the wider football world. This one, however, is about the reason we all come to this site: Bolton Wanderers.
I’m not entirely thrilled with the Whites at the moment, so here’s what I’m expecting over the next nine months...
What are your thoughts on Bolton’s summer activity?
One big ‘hmmmm’, if I’m honest. It’s easy to blame the transfer embargo for us not bringing players in, but I thought there’d be a lot more leaving. The likes of Dorian Derive (fucking shitbag), Darren Pratley and Mark Davies stink of defeat and have been at the club for far too long. I can understand Pratley staying because he’s club captain, but Mark Davies, a player who demanded £28,000 per week from Sheffield Wednesday back in January, needs to find himself a new club. It’s not just these three who we need to get rid of, mind; there are plenty of others too. I was hoping to see a real upheaval of the squad by Phil Parkinson but that just hasn’t happened. I guess finances haven’t allowed it, so he’s got to work with what he’s got. A bit grim, if you ask me.
HOWEVER. Despite my moaning, I’m pretty pleased with the players Parky’s brought in. Mark Beevers is a cracking signing with bags of experience at this level. Chris Taylor gives us a bit more width than we’ve had in recent years and I’m hoping the addition of Jamie Proctor up top will provide us with a proper target man; something we haven’t had since Kevin Davies was released. For the record, I’m also delighted we’ve re-signed David ‘Crimson Chin’ Wheater. I love that guy.
Is Phil Parkinson the man to arrest Bolton’s decline?
He’s a good manager that knows the league well. If we can keep hold of him for long enough (don’t forget he was the 5th longest serving manager in England before he crossed the Pennines) I think we’ll do well. We need to get back into the Championship ASAP, mainly for financial reasons.
What else do you think we need before the season starts?
A proven goalscorer, at least two wide players and a creative central midfielder. Zach Clough is good but he’s inexperienced and I’m still unsure as to why people worship the ground he walks on - he’s not that good and he certainly didn’t do much last season when the chips were down. We need someone to play off Proctor who knows how to play at this level and understands that he’s going to get kicked week in, week out. We haven’t had quality wide players for a long time so that’d be nice to see - maybe a couple of younger lads on loan from the Premier League or Championship? Who knows. I’d say we need a creative midfielder because, other than Mark Davies (who’s made it clear he doesn't want to be at the club in the past) we don’t have anyone. Max Clayton, arguably, but I’m not sure he’s ready to cut the mustard just yet.
How do you see the season going?
I think we’ll be refreshed by a few more positive results than usual, but I don’t expect anything major. We need to rebuild both on and off the pitch, and that takes time. Southampton did the same a while ago and look at them now - flying.
Who will be our top goal scorer and why?
I’d like to say Zach Clough but based on what we saw last season I think he could very easily get found out at this level. I’d love him to prove me wrong though, so let’s say Clough or Proctor for now.
Who will be our best player and why?
David Wheater. Lots of people don’t rate him for some reason but he’s got great experience, loves the club and will be an asset to us. Closely followed by Ben Amos who, in theory, should have a great season with Wheats and Mark Beevers in front of him.
Who will be our worst player and why?
Dorian Dervite. If you think any different then you’re a massive dickhead.
Who will be booked the most?
Absolutely Jay Spearing. League One will be ideal for him and we all know he loves a tackle.
Who will get sent off the most?
Josh Vela. Like the aforementioned Spearing, he loves a tackle, but he’s not from Liverpool so he can’t make it look innocent.
How many injuries will we have throughout the season?
Fucking loads, and it’ll seem like thousands because we’ve still got a tiny squad.
Will Phil Parkinson still be our manager come the end of the season?
Unless he shags Ken Anderson’s missus, yes.
Will we still have Zach Clough come the end of the season?
Absolutely. We value him too highly, plus he’s on a long-term contract so the buy out will be massive and full of weird little clauses. The only way I can see someone signing him is if we get promoted.
Which old, semi-legendary player will we sign in Winter?
Where will we finish and why?
6th by sheer fluke. Lose in the play-off semis. Cry.