It’s that time of the year in which the writers make predictions that no one will ever hold them to account. To be honest it makes you realise just how pointless this all is.
Anyway, Up Next is Liam …
Not much to choose from this year as Ian Evatt and the Bolton transfer war room felt the team largely had enough to achieve what they were looking for this season. There’s nothing as tragic as naming a loan player as your best signing, as hopeful as I am for the returning James Trafford and Liverpool’s Connor Bradley who has filled a Marlon Fossey shaped hole at right back. So that leaves Jack Iredale who can add real quality to the Wanderers left side, particularly in possession.
There’s simply no way Jon Dadi Bodvarsson doesn’t bag at least 45 goals this season. It will be made-up Dixie Dean levels of goals.
Game I’m most looking forward to
It’s been a while since I looked forward to anything but if I have to say, it would probably be Derby County on Boxing Day. I appreciate that it is an obvious choice but hopefully there should be a decent crowd with both teams doing relatively well.
I’m personally glad to see the back of Wigan for a year.
Opposing Player I’d Love
I’m going to cop out of this question as there isn’t really anyone who springs to mind. I like Stockton but would I swap out any of our forwards for him? Probably not. We have great variety in the type of forward we can use and I’m pleased we chose to stick with the team we have and coach the improvements we need.
I will say I am looking forward to the return of Josh Sheehan, it will take time after an injury like that, but I think we are yet to see the best of him.
Kieran Lee at his fluid best puts us in the driving seat against any team in this division. I appreciate there are some other good midfielders and creative players at this level, but no one comes close to Lee in terms of his footballing brain and his ability to essentially connect all areas of the pitch together in delicate, fluid motions. He’s the only reason I renewed my season ticket, how he played at League Two I will never know.
I think the form of Dion Charles will be important to our chances but even if he does have a dip I have no cause to comment as you will always get 100% out of him so there will never be any complaints from me. Unless I’m pissed and forgotten I wrote this.
First Six Games
Ipswich (A) W 2-1
Wycombe (H) D 1-1
Port Vale (A) W 2-1
Morecambe (H) W 2-0
Sheffield Wednesday (H) W 3-1
Plymouth Argyle (A) L 2-0
Our achilles heel in previous seasons has, of course, been getting off to sluggish starts. I feel that with the settled squad we have maintained along with previous lessons learned, we won’t have the same issues. Given our form at the back end of the season, it is hard to make a case against the play-offs. I see us finishing 4th personally.
Any other business prediction?
This season’s achievements and failures will be completely forgotten as England will win the Qatar World Cup. They have the team, the system and now the big tournament experience to go all the way.