It’s that time of year again, folks. Once again another football season is right around the corner and as we do every year, all the writers here at LOV are going to try and predict how the season will go for Bolton.
Next up is Lee:
The only player that we’ve signed this summer who I was actively pining for was midfield playmaker Josh Sheehan, who was mightily impressive for Newport County when they obliterated us at the UniBol in a one-sided encounter in September. This was when our team resembled the rag-tag bunch who’d been hastily assembled in the Summer but his display had my ears pricked. So I’m delighted Evatt saw that we were missing a player of his ilk to help with breaking down low block defences more easily.
His eye for a long range shot, metronome like qualities and his line-breaking passing ability, allied with excellent technique mean I’m really excited to see what the once capped Welsh international can bring to us, in what is actually the area of the side that is most stacked with good options.
At this stage there’s many a fan who think we should be supplementing our striking options before the end of the window but at present it is hard to look beyond 33 year-old Eoin Doyle getting the majority of the chances that the team create.
It may be that the Irishman is phased out of the side by the end of the campaign, with him approaching veteran status by then but as things stand a 10-15 goal season from the Ginger Pele would be most welcome, as long as he supported by decent hauls from the likes of Antoni Sarcevic and Dapo Afolayan too.
He may struggle to find as much space in the box as he did at times in League Two but with others threats in the side for the opposition to worry about, the opposite could happen.
Game you’re looking forward to most
Saturday! I don’t think there’ll be a feeling quite like walking up those steps to my first game in over 600 days at my second home! Wigan will be tasty in mid-October and Morecambe on Boxing Day promises to be fun, as Boxing Day is just such a great football day in general but Saturday’s game is the one for me!
Opposing player you’d love
Tempted to go for the same answer I gave to this question last pre-season in Adam Phillips who’s just rejoined Morecambe on loan again. But this time I’m going for Scott Twine. I’m an absolute sucker for a long range merchant. We’ve never really had someone in my memory except Per Frandsen, Kevin Nolan at times and more recently maybe Sammy Ameobi who is so proficient at long range howitzers.
Boy does this lad hit it. And it stays hit. Swerve, dip, swazz. Whatever you want to call it, he has it. Look up his YouTube compilation from last season, his breakthrough one in league football. Get ready Joel Dixon on Saturday, you’re in for a test!
Key player this season
I think that the likelihood is the quality of our midfield will have a bigger bearing on our ultimate success this season, as noticeably more sides play ‘the right way’ as we step up a level. Therefore it has to be Josh Sheehan again for me in dictating our tempo, with his passing range and mobility becoming a huge determining factor in our results.
Predict the first six games
MK Dons (H) 2-2
AFC Wimbledon (A) 1-1
Lincoln City 1-0 loss (A)
Oxford United (H) 1-1
Cambridge United (A) 1-0 win
Burton Albion (H) 2-0
One defeat in our opening six with nine points on the board would give us a nice springboard for the season!
Final league position
I’m going for a nice, stable 11th placed finish that offers hope of improvement that we will be ready to battle amongst the main pack the following season. I think we are a couple of genuine quality signings away from challenging the bigger spenders in this division, such as Ipswich and Sunderland.
Any other business prediction
Spurs to be relegated if Harry Kane leaves!