Season Expectations

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Minimum Expectation For The Season

Poll ended at Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:19 am

League Champions
2
7%
Automatic Promotion
7
26%
Playoffs
11
41%
Top Half Finish
6
22%
Avoid Relegation
1
4%
 
Total votes: 27

brommers95
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Season Expectations

Post by brommers95 » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:19 am

So with the squad pretty much set, only 5 days until the first competitive fixture of the season and 12 days until the first league game I thought now would be a good a time as any to gauge what people’s expectations are for this season. (Non-global pandemic abandonments permitting)

This league won’t be easy, with about 9 teams including ourselves who will have serious ambitions of automatic promotion:

Bradford
Tranmere
Port Vale
Cheltenham
Exeter
Mansfield
Forest Green
Salford

I love that Evatt is aiming for the top and won’t settle for anything less, however if we just show signs of improvement compared to the dross of recent seasons and make the playoffs, that’ll do for me.

There seems to be a genuine positivity around the club now thanks to Shazza, Evatt and a hatful of signings - we’re no doubt the big name in the league and are expected to do well. But these expectations appeared to have been somewhat dampened with the loss against Crewe. I know pre season is meaningless but it’s suddenly dawned on me that we have a team of complete strangers trying to play a highly technical, high intensity pressing game.

So my question to you is what is the minimum that you would be happy with when the final whistle against Crawley goes on the 8th May 2021?

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Re: Season Expectations

Post by GhostoftheBok » Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:41 am

Minimum expectation is that we avoid the drop whilst showing progress through the season. I'd add Colchester to your list of hopeful teams, if they can grab a striker. They were short a goal scorer and a quality centre half last season and they signed a very good defender for this level in Tommy Smith. If they beat us at their place early doors they will think they have a shot.

The simple truth we have yet to learn is that the badge doesn't win games. Regardless of whether we are the big fish in a small pond, we had a nothing squad before IE arrived and he's brought in a couple of highly regarded League Two players and then a dozen oddballs - we're all hoping they're a good mix, but there's no reason to believe this'll be easy.

I'm genuinely hopeful, but I think we all need to recognise that doing anything other than stabilising the club this season is a massive ask. I worry that if everything doesn't go well immediately the fans will turn because we're a "big club" and "should walk the league" but it's all bollocks. We've fallen this far for good reasons and we have to earn everything all over again. We've got a squad mostly made up of players other league clubs didn't want and we need to give IE loads of time to make a team of them and imprint his style.

Evatt has had one job in football and he's never really had it rough. He's clearly a decent coach and has a good philosophy, but we don't actually know how good he is. If we are to do anything meaningful this season he needs to be very, very good.

TLDR version: Minimum avoid the drop. Happy with play off challenge. Hope for winning the league and playing like Bayern every game.

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Re: Season Expectations

Post by LeverEnd » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:18 pm

I've gone playoffs, mainly because of our strike force. I'm not getting too excited by Evatt, but he seems positive so I will be too. 😁
...

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Re: Season Expectations

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:35 pm

Answered a similar question a couple of months ago, and it's interesting to look back:
Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:08 pm
Prufrock wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:26 pm
What do we think is a realistic target?

I agree with those who say they'd be happy if we continue to exist in a year, but that we're paying 6 figure compo for a new manager suggests the owners aren't worried about going bust, and surviving as a club can't be a sporting target.

It may need to be quickly re-evaluated but even under embargo and wage cap I still think we'll be a big pull at this level. Top 6 for me seems where we should be setting our sights.
Harry Genshaw wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:44 pm
I'd hope good football and top half. Play offs in the 2nd season
BWFC to-do list, chronologically:
• Good quotes combining pride and intent (good football, hard work)
• A genuinely threatening signing (eg Eoin Doyle)
• Plenty of intriguing signings
• Sensible comms from club re things like tickets (if there are any)
• A good kit, not that f**king mess we had this season
• Pre-season games display footballing intent
• Keep calm if it doesn't start well
• Team knits together, 10 games unbeaten, top half, playoffs in reach
• Strengthen in January. A big Cup game shows intent?
• Keep run going, get in playoffs?
While I was excited by the potential of the signings, I was never signed up to the hubristic HMS Piss The League brigade on social media. That is, however, the risk engendered when a manager comes in with high ambitions and states them baldly as well as boldly.

Playing such an attacking and high-risk game means there will be hiccups, if not the occasional coughing fit; but I will, I admit, be disappointed if we don't finish above the dotted play-off line. That's not to say I'll pack my bags and leave - if we play good stuff and have a late surge toward that line, it'll breed optimism. We need that, but we might need a bit of patience too; with the rotation we'll need this season, it's not just teaching 11 players but 20-odd – and a few thousand fans, among whom will be a few bellowing STOP FANNYING ABOUT AND GET IT FORWARD, whether it's at their screens or expectorating all over the bloke in front of them.

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Re: Season Expectations

Post by Bertie Wooster » Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:20 pm

LeverEnd wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:18 pm
I've gone playoffs, mainly because of our strike force. I'm not getting too excited by Evatt, but he seems positive so I will be too. 😁
This is a good point LE, we only have Doyle & Delfouneso (who whilst a good player) is not an out & out Striker. We need 2 more forwards ASAP IMO, as if Doyle gets injured we have absolutely nothing up front.

I'm very surprised that with less than 2 weeks until the league season starts, Evatt has not brought in another goal scorer by now - we have no options up front (from the bench) if we go behind or need to change things up front.

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Re: Season Expectations

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:49 pm

Interesting - I read LE's point as being our strikeforce will lift us up into the playoffs, rather than hold us back from automatic...

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Re: Season Expectations

Post by Bertie Wooster » Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:01 pm

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:49 pm
Interesting - I read LE's point as being our strikeforce will lift us up into the playoffs, rather than hold us back from automatic...
Perhaps you are correct DSB, however personally I happen to think that it is an area that we need to strengthen ASAP.

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Re: Season Expectations

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:14 pm

Bertie Wooster wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:01 pm
Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:49 pm
Interesting - I read LE's point as being our strikeforce will lift us up into the playoffs, rather than hold us back from automatic...
Perhaps you are correct DSB, however personally I happen to think that it is an area that we need to strengthen ASAP.
I wholeheartedly agree - it's probably our strongest area for first choices and undoubtedly our weakest for depth. So he's right that even if we're prone to occasional defensive calamity we should be alright as long as they stay fit, but you're right that if they don't we're in trouble. God knows what's happening with this Bright Amoateng lad who we seem to have been chasing for longer than Micky Veloso, and other than that it's just Mo Faal, who Evatt may or may not fancy at all. I'm working on the assumption that for our 'depth' we might loan from bigger clubs, who are yet to decide who to let out. There certainly seems to have been a dearth of attacking trialists.

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Re: Season Expectations

Post by Worthy4England » Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:57 pm

Playoffs for me. Bit tentative.

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Re: Season Expectations

Post by GhostoftheBok » Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:07 pm

Yes to all the above regarding strikers. I also think we need different options, rather than just more forwards, if possible.

We could use a battering ram of a centre forward if there's one about. We have three attacking players in Doyle, Sarcevic and Deflouneso who want to exploit space rather than make it. Evatt's style of play should make space for them in plenty of games, but in games where the opposition play very compact (which could be a lot of our home games) we will probably need the option to get in amongst and bully them.

A big lad might only score a handful, but the opposition having to mob up to deal with him would be worth important goals to us in tight games. A decent target man could be worth 10 points or more to us.

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Re: Season Expectations

Post by Branagan » Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:01 pm

100 points, 100 goals. Nothing less. :wink:

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Re: Season Expectations

Post by LeverEnd » Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:23 pm

Bertie Wooster wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:01 pm
Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:49 pm
Interesting - I read LE's point as being our strikeforce will lift us up into the playoffs, rather than hold us back from automatic...
Perhaps you are correct DSB, however personally I happen to think that it is an area that we need to strengthen ASAP.
Yes that is what I meant DSB and I was assuming we'll strengthen further with Amoateng or someone similarly young and promising. I was also thinking of Crawford, although he isn't a striker.
Clearly we do need to strengthen like you say Bertie, and it would be worrying if we didn't.
...

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Re: Season Expectations

Post by GhostoftheBok » Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:39 pm

LeverEnd wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:23 pm
I was also thinking of Crawford, although he isn't a striker.
Yeah, the loss of Politic means we need cover in that role now. Sarcevic can play there, but he's never been a consistent goal threat from open play. Another way I'll be judging IE is whether he develops the young lads like Darcy and Brockbank. It's a real shame Politic won't be part of that this season and we need someone in who can do a job. Crawford has injury issues and he's just as likely to miss half the season as he is to tear up the league.

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Re: Season Expectations

Post by Prufrock » Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:03 am

Interesting (well I thought so) that in one of those training videos Evatt described our formation as 5-2-3.

They're obviously only starting positions but Crawford or whoever is playing that role seems to be seen as part of a front three. Add in that Doyle seems very much a width of the penalty box player and it will be interesting to see how that works. There doesn't seem to be a lot of width beyond the wingbacks.
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Re: Season Expectations

Post by GhostoftheBok » Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:39 am

Prufrock wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:03 am
Interesting (well I thought so) that in one of those training videos Evatt described our formation as 5-2-3.

They're obviously only starting positions but Crawford or whoever is playing that role seems to be seen as part of a front three. Add in that Doyle seems very much a width of the penalty box player and it will be interesting to see how that works. There doesn't seem to be a lot of width beyond the wingbacks.
From watching the match videos online the Barrow wing backs played high up the pitch with chalk on their boots. They used Josh Kay (a winger) as left wing back and he was often their most involved attacking player. Both wing backs had licence to roam and hunt for space when the ball went to the opposite wing. It's a very dynamic system when it's working, but they were able to keep possession to make it work.

Quigley is the attacking focal point, Angus runs the channels and Rooney plays free as an attacker/creator around the big man. There's a lot of interchange in the midfield and movement to open up space.

It's a proper footballing system, but it takes brains and drilling to play properly. I'll be shocked if it comes quickly to us.

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Re: Season Expectations

Post by GhostoftheBok » Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:06 am

This is an interesting watch for anyone with a spare couple of hours (warning, it's not a "good" game, it's just interesting):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpJUeUO5Phk

Kay at right wing back and Lewis Hardcastle (a Bolton lad) doing the leg work ahead of Rooney for a lot of the game, with Rooney free to go wherever he likes as you'd assume Sarcevic will. There are a few full matches knocking about. It also lets you see White play a game.

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Re: Season Expectations

Post by officer_dibble » Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:20 pm

For me the squad still looks light - I would prefer a more experienced keeper in (assuming Gilkes is a coach) and we definitely need another forward who could do some damage from the bench. A big lad who could create some nuisance in the box in case plan A isn’t working. Another experienced defender / defensive mid as well.

Having said that I’ll be disappointed with anything other than top 6. There is the added risk of Covid and our crowd potential being taken away from us for an indefinite amount of time - but we really are a big draw at this level and quite rightly should be aiming to get promotion.

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Re: Season Expectations

Post by BWFC_Insane » Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:46 pm

Promotion - you can say billy big bollocks and all that but if we're not aiming to be promoted from league two - what's the point? That said its Evatt's aim and I think he's straightforward enough to know that will be the expectation and know what that means. It may prove not possible as the season takes shape - but if we're happy with not being promoted - then we're in the wrong sport! I'd be patient with IE though regardless - his manner makes it easy to forget he's a novice - he is very calm, deliberate and assured but many are until they hit the buffers. I'd say he has a good 2 or 3 seasons regardless here to implement something. We've chopped and changed a lot and he should be given time (barring a disaster where it looked like we might plummet out of the league).

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Re: Season Expectations

Post by irie Cee Bee » Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:37 pm

Top 6 is my expectation. Promotion through Playoffs a possibility but not likely given that the squad looks light to me. Needs more depth than it has now for me to predict outright promotion.

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Re: Season Expectations

Post by The_Gun » Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:05 am

I think playoffs would be my minimum expectation, as even given the realistic possibility that it will take the new squad time to gel and learn the intricacies of IE’s system, I would hope that come the second half of the season we should be a better side than most in this division.

I don’t know whether this has been mentioned elsewhere, but the bookies have priced us as quite strong favourites to win the league (best priced 5/1). The traders pricing these markets up are clearly working with less complete data than usual, but they generally do know their onions, so have obviously been impressed with what’s been going on at the UniBol. Whatever our more tempered internal expectations are, there can’t be any doubt that we’re going to be the biggest scalp for all our opponents this season.

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