In his final piece, foreign correspondent Joe, banished to Scotland a decade ago for crimes both as heinous and confusing as could be, writes in with his player ratings from the pre-season friendly between Arbroath and Bolton Wanderers:
Mark Howard – 5
Not a lot for him to do, but gave away a daft penalty
Mark Little – 6
Got forward well to overlap the midfield diamond, but less convincing defensively – skinned on a couple of occasions by a semi-professional.
Harry Brockbank – 7
Relatively assured performance – looks a bit lightweight for a centre-half, but I imagine in a year or two he'll bulk up a bit and turn out a good player
Dorian Dervite – 5
I was in favour of Doreen being given a new contract, and thought he finished the season well. Caught out of position in the build-up to the penalty though, and otherwise a bit shaky. Maybe needs to play alongside a leader such as Wheater, rather than being expected to organise an inexperienced defence.
Cole Lonsdale – 6
Didn't have much defending to do, but always available on the overlap as Chris Taylor cut inside onto his favoured right foot, and got a couple of decent crosses in.
Jack Earing – 8
Confident performance at the base of the midfield diamond. Really impressed me to be honest – got stuck in, comfortable on the ball, and always looking to make the right sort of passes
Jeff King – 7
Put in a good shift, looked like he wanted to threaten down the right on a number of occasions. Seemed a bit out of place in a more narrow role, however – seems more of an out-and-out winger to me.
Chris Taylor – 5
A bit rubbish really. Predictably cut inside onto his right foot every time – occasionally remembering to look behind him for the overlapping Lonsdale, otherwise running into traffic in central midfield. I'm struggling to see the point - with Morais, Buckley and potentially Ameobi in the squad, where does he fit in? Certainly not on the left, as he seems pathologically incapable of using his left foot.
Adam Le Fondre – 7
Seems a bit of a waste to play our most natural goalscorer in a more withdrawn role, but he made a good fist of it. Showed his ability on the ball with a good first touch and played some clever passes. In a way, though, playing a bit deeper allowed him to cleverly break through into the box at the right time to draw the foul for our penalty. Converted the spot kick confidently.
Connor Hall - 9
An impressive performance. Looked a threat throughout with his pace and strength, and his ability to hold the ball up. Made some clever runs to get in behind their defence, and also to open up space for Le Fondre. Did really well in the build-up to the second goal – a shame it went down as an own goal, as it was all about him really: his run, his strength, and an unselfish attempt to tee up his strike partner for a goal.
Haris Tabakovic – 3
I can't imagine Gary Madine will have lost much sleep worrying about his place in the team if this is the standard of competition we can come up with. To be fair he was playing in quite an inexperienced team that was a bit disjointed at times, but really struggled to keep up with the game, and with the pace of those around him. Reminded me of Old Greg Rasiak, but maybe even slower.
Subs – I can't be arsed to go through all of their performances, as the entire outfield team changed on about 60minutes, but here are some highlights:
Ben Alnwick – 4
Replaced Howard at half time. Didn't impress – looked shaky, flapped at a few crosses, but did pull off a decent save.
Stephen Darby – 7
Solid. Looked an upgrade on Little to me.
Jem Karacan – 8
Full of energy, looked to be organising the rest of the midfield and moved the ball around well. Looks an upgrade on Spearing.
Josh Vela – 7 (10 really)
Lively, showed a few good touches and flashes of ability.
Gary Madine – 6
An upgrade on our trialist, but still the same old Washing Machine. Showed a good understanding with the rest of the team – linked play well, showed good movement. Hesitant in front of goal, missed a good opportunity to head the ball in from a decent cross 6 yards out from goal, electing to jump in the air, chest the ball, and then made a mess of the finish with his feet. A shame, because the rest of his game was good.
Wheevers – 8
Both as solid as ever
Other subs: A Taylor, W Buckley, R White, D Pratz