Last season ended in the most dramatic fashion we will see for a very long time. As great as that day was, I believe I speak for everyone here at LOV when I say, I hope that doesn’t happen again. My heart can’t take it. Have we done enough though to improve our position this season or will we slip back into League One?
Here are my 2018/19 predictions for the Wanderers:
What else do you think we need before the season starts?
With Josh Magennis, Jack Hobbs in and potentially Antonee Robinson on the horizon, we have extra options at the back and up front. Parky has already said he wants another striker, seemingly either Wyke or Garner so what does that leave in my eyes? We definitely need a keeper with Turner playing at Stalybridge this season and young Aspinall our only other choice to compete with Alnwick for the shirt. We also need another CB, unless you count Wilson for that position, however I see him as another Defensive Midfield option with Lowe. Speaking of the midfield another CM wouldn’t go amiss either. Another box-to-box midfielder similar to Vela or creator like Oztumer would highly bolster the midfield, depending which direction you think would be more beneficial to aid our campaign.
First Six Games
4th August: West Bromwich Albion 3-1 Bolton Wanderers
11th August: Bolton Wanderers 1-0 Bristol City
18th August: Reading 1-1 Bolton Wanderers
22nd August: Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Birmingham City
25th August: Bolton Wanderers 1-0 Sheffield United
1st September: Preston North End 1-0 Bolton Wanderers
10 points at the start of the season? I know I sound mad considering the state of our club but other than West Brom and Preston, I don’t really see any of our opening lineup being threats to the play-offs and above. Wanderers have been known to start the Championship season slowly though but I’ll have some optimism and say parky breaks that spell of dismal openings.
Final League Position
19th. We will struggle against some of the stronger opponents as well as a couple of the weaker ones but that’s just Bolton being Bolton. The signings have been improvements and despite currently lacking a bit of depth, that will improve over August as well. We may dance with the drop at points this season but overall, I think we’ll finish stronger this season. Just staying up again will still be good enough for me though.
If Parky gets that 2nd striker he wants, then I can see Hall going out on loan. That rules him out if it happens. However, Joe Pritchard looks a good find coming to us from Tottenham’s academy. He’s been quietly impressive in midfield during pre-season and a couple strong showings for the U23’s and in cup games could see him make the first team.
Signing of the Season
Yanic Wildschut and Erhun Oztumer understandably look like the marquee signings for Wanderers at the moment being the flair players and I have every hope that they’ll do well and be hits with the fans. However, I believe Jason Lowe will be our best signing of the summer. Hear me out.
I haven’t rated Jason Lowe in the past playing for Blackburn and I was underwhelmed by his signing in June. However, during pre-season, he’s looked calm on the ball, been clever with his possession and keeps things steady in midfield with some decent tackles and passes. He looks to have eliminated a lot of the mistakes from his game that drew the ire of Blackburn fans for years. If he keeps this level of performance up this season, he could be a force in the middle of the park. Plus, we Bolton fans love a sh*thouse. It’ll only take a few Henry-esque tackles for us to like him.
If it’s not Adam Le Fondre, I’ll be shocked. I’m certain he’ll get more game time this season to better his tally this campaign.
Supersub of the Season
For some reason, Parkinson seems to rate Ameobi over Noone but he’s the manager so he must see something I’m not. Regardless, Noone will be our supersub, even though I believe he should start. He’s looked to have stepped up his game from last season.
Will Phil Parkinson be still be our manager come the end of the season?
He’d better be. I thinks he’s been a phenomenal appointment and will only improve us if we let him have time. He won’t walk and if any other clubs want to appoint him, would you kindly bugger off. He’s ours and long may it continue.
Which old, semi-legendary player will we signed in Winter?
He’s a legend in some circles but I digress. I would love Karl Henry back, if nothing more than to just lend him experience to the squad and occasionally make some lovely tackles like the absolute b*****d he is. If his Twitter is anything to go off, I think he’d like to come back too. Make it happen.