Saturday, August 19, 2006

Season Preview

Football's back, like it ever really went away, and I'm excited. Coleman seems to have hacked back the squad quite severely this summer whilst bringing in some quality signings. It really does look like we have 2 players for every position, with the only area for concern being the right wing. "The Steed Issue" is obviously hampering our chances of signing a decent replacement as it seems until we've sold Steed we won't be able to buy someone new. It's all got a bit messy but we have another 2 weeks until the window closes so no need to panic quite yet. Jimmy Bullard is the real Steed replacement and we'll need him to provide the creativity in the centre of the park that will pretty much decide how well we do. I expect Diop and Brown to be doing the donkey work behind Bullard, with Boa pushing on the left. The right sides gonna be the problem - in a 4-5-1 I suspect Collins John will be asked to play the wide role, but in a 4-4-2 maybe Brown will get the job. Neither ideal, but I'd rather we spent our money wisely and got a genuine right winger than buy cheaply to fill the gap.
We've finally signed our first proper left-back (ignoring Bridgey's loan spell) since Rufus departed, and I think Franck Q will be a great player for us. Looks like Ian Pearce and Phillipe Christanval will start in the centre, but Boca, Zat and Zak will all be pushing for a starting role. If we had the money an intelligent and experience CB would be a welcome addition, but I think we can improve of last years shockers thanks to a resurgent Pearce and a fit again Christanval. Liams probably in front of Volzy for right back, but we're lucky to have two great players in this position and either can do a job for us.

Up front I think we'll be looking at McBride on his own for the trip to Old Trafford, but hope we'll revert to 4-4-2 when at home and that CJ will get a decent run in the side. Heider Helgusson is likely to be a regular substitute, and Bjorn Runstrom looks an exciting prospect, so hope to see something of him as well.

Sneaky feeling we can nick a point at OT, and if all goes well we can get a top 10 finish, and if my prayers are answered a Cup Final appearance. Bring it on!

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