If you would have thought, twelve months ago, that Bolton Wanderers would be where we are today then you would be right to get your head tested.
Yet, halfway through the season we sit near the top end of the table thanks to the fantastic job Phil Parkinson (and by extension the new board) has done.
Now in the January transfer market we have recently been rumored to be re-signing Adam Le Fondre. I believe he could be the difference to just missing out to actually gaining promotion and here is why.
If you are to look at the top sides in each respected league, most teams have an out and out goal getter (Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Manchester United, Sergio Aguero at Manchester City and even Billy Sharp at Sheffield United) all good for mainly one reason - putting the ball in the back of the net.
Now as much hard work and effort that Gary Madine puts in for us, he’s not a natural goal scorer. He will hold up play, bring others in to the game and will occasionally win us free kicks in the right part of the pitch. But when we need someone to steal that poachers goal we don’t really have anyone to do this.
Over the years, we have mainly played with a big man up front, but this was really when the club was always fighting against the bigger teams, or fighting to stay in whichever league we happened to be in at the time.
Now, we are in a position where we apply the pressure to the other teams, to try and dictate the play and the missing piece has been someone to put the ball in to the back of the net. Granted, this can sometimes lead to us losing the odd game by a goal here and there despite dominating, but more often than not it works in our favour.
With the creative players like James Henry, Zach Clough, Josh Vela and Max Clayton all who can play the support role, and with Gary Madine as an option alongside him they could just be the right kind of players to give ALF the correct service for him to fire us up to promotion.
If you want to keep the first eleven as it is and there has been an argument for this given our success, ALF also represents the chance of something different, so if we find ourselves chasing a game we have another body to throw upfront to desperately try and get a goal. Sounds good, doesn't it?
Let me know in the comment section below.