A fortnight to go until the season starts with the once-mighty Bolton Wanderers heading to the West Midlands to face recently relegated West Bromwich Albion.
West Brom have strengthened sensibly, if slowly, bringing in just three players - Jonathan Bond on a free from Reading, former Wanderer Kyle Bartley from Swansea City and Sam Johnstone from Manchester United, spending approximately £10.5m in the process
Comparatively, Wanderers have brought in seven players, spending precisely naff all in terms of fees. As of the this going to print, we haven’t signed a player for a fee since Filip Twardzik arrived just a mere 181 weeks, 1267 days, 1,824,480 minutes and 109,468,800 seconds ago. It’s been a long time.
When the season ended, we released a ton of players. Players we have yet to replace:
Mark Howard - goalkeeper. Granted, it appears that we are on the cusp of signing a young giant named Sam Walker, but that’s as back-up only.
Dorian Dervite - Replaced with Pawel Olkowski
Filipe Morais - Replaced by Wildschut
Karl Henry - I consider Jason Lowe his replacement.
Jem Karacan - Replaced by Oztumer
Gary Madine - Replaced with Donaldson
Aaron Wilbraham, der der der der der
So, by my estimation, we have sold/released 14 players, bringing in 5/6 players instead.
I fully understand (and support) the intention of upgrading that which we already have. Jesus Christ there have been enough summers passed without the glorious news of Darren Pratley’s release being announced.
However, being just a fortnight from the opening of what is shaping up to be a HUGELY competitive Championship season, Wanderers have half, or maybe three-quarters of a squad. At best. We all recall Phil Parkinson’s wise words about wanting quality over quantity, but has this been heeded by the decision makers at the club?
Nobody could have foreseen Charlie Wyke’s injury, but with him seemingly being number one target for the Whites, why hasn’t he been snapped up already?
We know/hope that the Madine money (still the greatest deal in football history) went straight it the pockets of club creditors, but if popular rumour is to believed the fee for Mr Wyke, he of 40 goals over the last two seasons, is a mere £750,000. I for one cannot believe that Ken Anderson would undo all the good work carried out to date for what appears to be the measly sum of three-quarters-of-a-mill.
With the chairman publicly throwing Ben Amos under the biggest of buses, what excuses can remain now that we have cut our cloth even further?
I think Wanderers fans deserve to know the reality of our situation. I think Ken’s statements about us putting in a ‘six figure bid’ either need to be explained or need to bear fruit. Wanderers are staring down the barrel of a football-shaped gun and it’s starting to look like another season of hopeless struggle ahead.
Looking forward, we have a fortnight also until the transfer window closes. From my perspective I have everything crossed that Ken can pull this one out of the bag, but by Christ, he’s leaving it late.