It’s certainly been an interesting summer and there have been plenty of comings and goings, but with just a few days to go before kick off, surprisingly it’s looking like we actually have enough players for the match day programme and a squad more than capable of improving on a 21st place finish. So with the optimism cup more than half empty, here are my 2018/2019 Wanderers predictions:
What else do you think we need before the season starts?
My main concern is a quality player in the middle of the park who can control things and put his foot in. Admittedly Jason Lowe may turn out to be that type of player but we need someone who kicks lumps out of the opposition and keeps us going forward. Added to that we need a centre back who has a bit of pace, like Prince Desir Gouano minus the 20 mistakes per game. I’m confident a new striker will come in this week then we need to add more depth to the squad as cover. A keeper and left back being the obvious ones. Oh and a new Lofty, caterer and Twitter feeder, (all by Saturday)
First six games
11th August: Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Bristol City
18th August: Reading 1-1 Bolton Wanderers
22nd August: Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Birmingham City
25th: Bolton Wanderers 0-2 Sheffield United
1st September: Preston North End 0-0 Bolton Wanderers
Can’t be any worse than our start last year
Final league position
I think we’ll progress and be pushing towards the top of the bottom half which I think is realistic in terms of our budget compared to others. 15th will be a big achievement, but I do think we’ll score more this time around. I’d be delighted if we were a couple of places above the dotted line.
I’m going to go for our new boy Josh Magennis. His relatively small price tag has lowered expectations somewhat and the pressure may be on another striker (hopefully another addition this week) which may benefit him. He certainly seems keen to get going and hungry to do well, so he may surprise us. Make or break season for Josh Vela too to see if he is capable at this level.
Signing of the Season
Pawel Olkowski for me. I think we’ve missed a right back that makes the position his own. I think, if fit, he will play every game and be solid up and down the flank. He’s got the quality and experience we’ve lacked and also bit of pace. If we can get Jedi on the other flank as well we’ll be unbeatable........
I’m going to say the striker that we haven’t signed yet. No idea who that will be but all indications lead us to believe it will be our biggest cash signing yet. Probably Joe Garner, possibly Charlie Wyke but more likely the fat Ronaldo. Whoever it is, he will be first choice and have more game time than the rest.
Supersub of the Season
Erhun Oztumer. Not sure if he will be a starter under PP and may play more at home or when we need to break a team down. Has the trickery to work some more magic when the opposition are tiring
Will Phil Parkinson still be our manager come the end of the season?
Yes, I think he’ll still be here at the end of the season but fear this may be his last for Bolton. I certainly would like him to stay but if we struggle again this year his contract will be up and it may be time to get someone else in. If we do well this year, he may move on to manage a club that has less distractions and a bigger transfer kitty than ourselves. I think he’s done a remarkable job under very difficult circumstances.
Which old, semi-legendary player will we sign in Winter?
Peter Crouch, and Parky will be in heaven.