We can go up next season. This is why I think so.

Where fellow sufferers gather to share the pain, longing and unrequited transfer requests that make being a Wanderer what it is...

Moderator: Zulus Thousand of em

Post Reply
GhostoftheBok
Dedicated
Dedicated
Posts: 1438
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:51 pm

We can go up next season. This is why I think so.

Post by GhostoftheBok » Sun May 30, 2021 10:54 pm

When Ian Evatt wakes up each morning he will get out of bed believing he can get Bolton Wanderers promoted to the Championship next season. He’s right about that. Now that’s not to say Bolton will stroll through League One, it’s not even to say we will go up; but Evatt has every right to be confident. Last year Wanderers fans expected, in some cases even demanded, promotion – but those expectations were not entirely reasonable. Evatt inherited one of the toughest jobs in English football, with the club under transfer embargo and possessing almost no first team players. Despite having one hand tied behind his back and no existing framework for support at the club, Evatt managed to turn a disastrous start into one of the most impressive runs Bolton fans have ever seen. A run which culminated in the club taking the last automatic promotion spot on the final day of the season by demolishing Crawley Town.

Going into the 21/22 Wanderers will be in a much stronger position than they began the 20/21 campaign. The leadership at the club have managed to create a support network around Evatt that allows him to access the necessary tools to do his job. Scouting and recruitment have been radically improved and stability has replaced chaos. The club has an identity, on and off the pitch – it’s a product which can be sold to sponsors, fans and prospective new players alike. The manager has been able to retain the core of what arguably became the best side in League Two by the end of the season and can now build on a solid platform rather than have to hastily patch up a sinking ship. Players at Bolton no longer have to cope with baying supporters, negative press and financial worries before they have even kicked a ball. The lads can now go into training with a smile on their faces, count on the backing of supporters and focus on their game.

League One has always been a strange place. A division where failed bosses try to rebuild shattered careers and untested managerial aspirants are found wanting. Fractured and misfiring Championship castaways face off against financial minnows who must rely on their coaching teams to knock the rough edges off potential diamonds, only to be forced to sell them just as they start to shine. Evatt will lead his renewed Wanderers into a league where most sides have to overcome considerable upheaval before finding their feet and in which the best run sides are often lesser names who struggle to attract top talent. For a good manager, with a settled core of players and a big name club to sell, it will look like a good hunting ground. Throw into that mix that the gaffer will be under less pressure this season, with a solid midtable finish probably being acceptable to a fanbase with whom he now enjoys a strong relationship, and it only looks better.

Ultimately, Bolton’s season will live and die by what can be done in the transfer market. The recruitment team will need to be ambitious, pushing the envelope on the kind of player a newly promoted League One club can attract – as well as persuading players to sign for a club that will not be offering the biggest wages in the division. What we can be fairly certain of is that quality will tell. Though a player can always flop, it has been a long time since a player arriving at Bolton would lack for excuses if he didn’t cut it. Gone are the days when a player could bemoan the club culture, or the ability of manager to give him a platform for success, over a pint in Fanny’s. Players who comes in in the summer will only have themselves to blame if they don’t achieve what they want.

So how likely are Bolton to attract the kind of player that can drag you out of League One? By the looks of things, they have a better chance than most. The stadium, facilities, brand of football and name recognition are all at the top end of what the league has to offer. Finances will be tight, but the club showed in January that they have the insight and contacts to get the players they need through the door. Media reports, as well as talk within the game, project the idea that Bolton Wanderers are a club on their way back up and doing it playing an exciting, vibrant brand of football. Legend matters in football, players like to buy into a narrative and see themselves as being part of something special – Evatt is happy to be the salesman the club need. Whilst Bolton’s financial muscle won’t be what it once was, league rules will mean that the difference between the highest offers and Wanderers' pitch will likely be in the hundreds, rather than the thousands of pounds per week – a difference that can be overcome if a player buys into what we are selling.

If the club can identify and attract the kind of player we need (which I believe they can), then we have a shot. We know the coaching staff can produce the goods, we know Evatt has more ability than most coaches at this level and we know that the attitude and work rate of this group of players is where it needs to be to win football matches. If we can match teams at this level for quality, I will back Wanderers to be better drilled, better prepared and better motivated in enough games for us to have an exciting last 10 games of the season. It should be fun.
Last edited by GhostoftheBok on Mon May 31, 2021 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
sonicthewhite
Hopeful
Hopeful
Posts: 196
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:55 pm
Location: Telford

Re: We can go up next season. This is why I think so.

Post by sonicthewhite » Mon May 31, 2021 1:19 am

Well written piece Ghost, hits the nail firmly on the head!
Age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill!

User avatar
Dave Sutton's barnet
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 20366
Joined: Sun May 14, 2006 4:00 pm
Location: Hanging on in quiet desperation
Contact:

Re: We can go up next season. This is why I think so.

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Mon May 31, 2021 9:32 am

Fascinating piece on what could be a fascinating season.

LeverEnd
Legend
Legend
Posts: 9034
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:18 pm
Location: Dirty Leeds

Re: We can go up next season. This is why I think so.

Post by LeverEnd » Mon May 31, 2021 9:38 am

GhostoftheBok wrote:
Sun May 30, 2021 10:54 pm
When Ian Evatt wakes up each morning he will get out of bed believing he can get Bolton Wanderers promoted to the Championship next season. He’s right about that. Now that’s not to say Bolton will stroll through League One, it’s not even to say we will go up; but Evatt has every right to be confident. Last year Wanderers fans expected, in some cases even demanded, promotion – but those expectations were not entirely reasonable. Evatt inherited one of the toughest jobs in English football, with the club under transfer embargo and possessing almost no first team players. Despite having one hand tied behind his back and no existing framework for support at the club, Evatt managed to turn a disastrous start into one of the most impressive runs Bolton fans have ever seen. A run which culminated in the club taking the last automatic promotion spot on the final day of the season by demolishing Crawley Town.

Going into the 21/22 Wanderers will be in a much stronger position than they began the 20/21 campaign. The leadership at the club have managed to create a support network around Evatt that allows him to access the necessary tools to do his job. Scouting and recruitment have been radically improved and stability has replaced chaos. The club has an identity, on and off the pitch – it’s a product which can be sold to sponsors, fans and prospective new players alike. The manager has been able to retain the core of what arguably became the best side in League Two by the end of the season and can now build on a solid platform rather than have to hastily patch up a sinking ship. Players at Bolton no longer have to cope with baying supporters, negative press and financial worries before they have even kicked a ball. The lads can now go into training with a smile on their faces, count on the backing of supporters and focus on their game.

League One has always been a strange place. A division where failed bosses try to rebuild shattered careers and untested managerial aspirants are found wanting. Fractured and misfiring Championship castaways face off against financial minnows who must rely on their coaching teams to knock the rough edges off potential diamonds, only to be forced to sell them just as they start to shine. Evatt will lead his renewed Wanderers into a league where most sides have to overcome considerable upheaval before finding their feet and in which the best run sides are often lesser names who struggle to attract top talent. For a good manager, with a settled core of players and a big name club to sell, it will look like a good hunting ground. Throw into that mix that the gaffer will be under less pressure this season, with a solid midtable finish probably being acceptable to a fanbase with whom he now enjoys a strong relationship, and it only looks better.

Ultimately, Bolton’s season will live and die by what can be done in the transfer market. The recruitment team will need to be ambitious, pushing the envelope on the kind of player a newly promoted League One club can attract – as well as persuading players to sign for a club that will not be offering the biggest wages in the division. What we can be fairly certain of is that quality will tell. Though a player can always flop, it has been a long time since a player arriving at Bolton would lack for excuses if he didn’t cut it. Gone are the days when a player could bemoan the club culture, or the ability of manager to give him a platform for success, over a pint in Fanny’s. Players who comes in in the summer will only have themselves to blame if they don’t achieve what they want.

So how likely are Bolton to attract the kind of player that can drag you out of League One? By the looks of things, they have a better chance than most. The stadium, facilities, brand of football and name recognition are all at the top end of what the league has to offer. Finances will be tight, but the club showed in January that they have the insight and contacts to get the players they need through the door. Media reports, as well as talk within the game, project the idea that Bolton Wanderers are a club on their way back up and doing it playing an exciting, vibrant brand of football. Legend matters in football, players like to buy into a narrative and see themselves as being part of something special – Evatt is happy to be the salesman the club need. Whilst Bolton’s financial muscle won’t be what it once was, league rules will mean that the difference between the highest offers and Wanderers' pitch will likely be in the hundreds, rather than the thousands of pounds per week – a difference that can be overcome if a player buys into what we are selling.

If the club can identify and attract the kind of player we need (which I believe they can), then we have a shot. We know the coaching staff can produce the goods, we know Evatt has more ability than most coaches at this level and we know that the attitude and work rate of this group of players is where it needs to be to win football matches. If we can match teams at this level for quality, I will back Wanderers to be better drilled, better prepared and better motivated in enough games for us to have an exciting last 10 games of the season. It should be fun.
Good read, you do get teams going straight through with a fair wind. Nice to just look forward to football too.
...

Mar
Dedicated
Dedicated
Posts: 1806
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2004 12:23 pm
Location: Bolton

Re: We can go up next season. This is why I think so.

Post by Mar » Mon May 31, 2021 4:00 pm

Nice read and very positive. I'd like to hear the arguments to the contrary and I think that would help show just how good a job the board and the team have been doing because for all the positivity here, it seems like behind the scenes and on the footballing side, the foundations have been set for a strong push for a few years to come.

GhostoftheBok
Dedicated
Dedicated
Posts: 1438
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:51 pm

Re: We can go up next season. This is why I think so.

Post by GhostoftheBok » Mon May 31, 2021 8:54 pm

Mar wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 4:00 pm
Nice read and very positive. I'd like to hear the arguments to the contrary and I think that would help show just how good a job the board and the team have been doing because for all the positivity here, it seems like behind the scenes and on the footballing side, the foundations have been set for a strong push for a few years to come.
There are certainly issues and if you were so inclined you could write a much less positive appraisal, which is always the case in football. I think the biggest issue is the fact that the spine of our team contains key players who are rapidly aging out, with some already well past their peak. Gilks, Baptiste, Lee and Doyle have been vital for us in our promotion run - but Lee is the youngest and he will be 33 at the start of next season. Our transfer strategy will have to account for that and it'll take a huge effort to address in short order. When your top scorer, best midfielder, defensive leader and goalkeeper are all over the hill you may have serious issues over the course of a season.

officer_dibble
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 10416
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Leeds

Re: We can go up next season. This is why I think so.

Post by officer_dibble » Tue Jun 01, 2021 11:19 am

It is great to read something so positive that has been well thought out.

I think the key is we are doing this from league one - the championship is a bonkers league and to go into it and compete and not just be fodder for your parachute payment clubs we need a good springboard. The strength of this league is great in that respect - we will need to be a good side to do well.

I’ll be plenty happy with a mid table finish - I think we will find out a lot about our players by Christmas so wouldn’t rule out changes in January. That worked out ok this year!

Worthy4England
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 25334
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 6:45 pm

Re: We can go up next season. This is why I think so.

Post by Worthy4England » Tue Jun 01, 2021 12:46 pm

officer_dibble wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 11:19 am
It is great to read something so positive that has been well thought out.

I think the key is we are doing this from league one - the championship is a bonkers league and to go into it and compete and not just be fodder for your parachute payment clubs we need a good springboard. The strength of this league is great in that respect - we will need to be a good side to do well.

I’ll be plenty happy with a mid table finish - I think we will find out a lot about our players by Christmas so wouldn’t rule out changes in January. That worked out ok this year!
That last bit, we got 4 regular starters in and around January. John, Dapo, MJ and Lee only Maddison really flopped and we didn't see the GK. I haven't worked out whether it was more research or luck, but 4/5 that made such a noticeable impact, is a pretty good return.

Mar
Dedicated
Dedicated
Posts: 1806
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2004 12:23 pm
Location: Bolton

Re: We can go up next season. This is why I think so.

Post by Mar » Tue Jun 01, 2021 12:52 pm

GhostoftheBok wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 8:54 pm
Mar wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 4:00 pm
Nice read and very positive. I'd like to hear the arguments to the contrary and I think that would help show just how good a job the board and the team have been doing because for all the positivity here, it seems like behind the scenes and on the footballing side, the foundations have been set for a strong push for a few years to come.
There are certainly issues and if you were so inclined you could write a much less positive appraisal, which is always the case in football. I think the biggest issue is the fact that the spine of our team contains key players who are rapidly aging out, with some already well past their peak. Gilks, Baptiste, Lee and Doyle have been vital for us in our promotion run - but Lee is the youngest and he will be 33 at the start of next season. Our transfer strategy will have to account for that and it'll take a huge effort to address in short order. When your top scorer, best midfielder, defensive leader and goalkeeper are all over the hill you may have serious issues over the course of a season.
I don't know whether this is you holding back on the critique of the current squad or whether this is a fair assessment. Either way i'm inclined to agree. There are so many positives and the negatives are relatively few, which pretty much makes my point that even with the criticisms laid out, we are in a really good position going forward.

It'll be interesting to see who we can bring in that will improve the squad. I'm sure given how well we did in the second half of the season that certain players who would've been indecisive around signing for us may have had their heads turned in our favour. Recruitment is key in this transfer window, especially if we're going for a promotion push.

BWFC_Insane
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 28234
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 4:07 pm

Re: We can go up next season. This is why I think so.

Post by BWFC_Insane » Tue Jun 01, 2021 4:11 pm

Worthy4England wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 12:46 pm
officer_dibble wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 11:19 am
It is great to read something so positive that has been well thought out.

I think the key is we are doing this from league one - the championship is a bonkers league and to go into it and compete and not just be fodder for your parachute payment clubs we need a good springboard. The strength of this league is great in that respect - we will need to be a good side to do well.

I’ll be plenty happy with a mid table finish - I think we will find out a lot about our players by Christmas so wouldn’t rule out changes in January. That worked out ok this year!
That last bit, we got 4 regular starters in and around January. John, Dapo, MJ and Lee only Maddison really flopped and we didn't see the GK. I haven't worked out whether it was more research or luck, but 4/5 that made such a noticeable impact, is a pretty good return.
If we can do the same now in this window I think we will have a very good go at it. But a big if.

TonyDomingos
Passionate
Passionate
Posts: 2337
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:27 pm
Location: Sarf East London

Re: We can go up next season. This is why I think so.

Post by TonyDomingos » Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:13 pm

officer_dibble wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 11:19 am
I’ll be plenty happy with a mid table finish - I think we will find out a lot about our players by Christmas so wouldn’t rule out changes in January. That worked out ok this year!

Mid-table, on the beach for the last few games, will do me just fine. When was the last time we had one of those?!
Às armas, às armas!
Sobre a terra, sobre o mar,
Às armas, às armas!
Pela Pátria lutar!
Contra os canhões marchar, marchar!

Prufrock
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 21107
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:51 pm

Re: We can go up next season. This is why I think so.

Post by Prufrock » Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:29 pm

Well we've had two years in a row before this one the beach for the last few games of the season :D . Midtable is trickier.
In a world that has decided
That it's going to lose its mind
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind.

TonyDomingos
Passionate
Passionate
Posts: 2337
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:27 pm
Location: Sarf East London

Re: We can go up next season. This is why I think so.

Post by TonyDomingos » Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:33 pm

Prufrock wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:29 pm
Well we've had two years in a row before this one the beach for the last few games of the season :D . Midtable is trickier.

:D
Às armas, às armas!
Sobre a terra, sobre o mar,
Às armas, às armas!
Pela Pátria lutar!
Contra os canhões marchar, marchar!

GhostoftheBok
Dedicated
Dedicated
Posts: 1438
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:51 pm

Re: We can go up next season. This is why I think so.

Post by GhostoftheBok » Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:38 pm

Mar wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 12:52 pm
I don't know whether this is you holding back on the critique of the current squad or whether this is a fair assessment. Either way i'm inclined to agree. There are so many positives and the negatives are relatively few, which pretty much makes my point that even with the criticisms laid out, we are in a really good position going forward.

It'll be interesting to see who we can bring in that will improve the squad. I'm sure given how well we did in the second half of the season that certain players who would've been indecisive around signing for us may have had their heads turned in our favour. Recruitment is key in this transfer window, especially if we're going for a promotion push.
Second part first. If we hadn't had a really strong January window we'd currently be listening to people calling for Evatt's head as we scraped along at the lower end of mid table. I think it's the single most effective transfer window I've seen as a Wanderers fan. It would have been even better, but Maddison's issue were not really foreseeable and I don't think anyone is to blame for that transfer not working. The guy was man enough to admit he was struggling and get help. A healthy Maddison would have been superb business. That tells me that the new team knows how to get it done.

Regarding the first part, there are clearly areas where we can be exploited by other teams. We are awful on set pieces, at both ends of the pitch. We can be turned around by real pace. We struggle to break down teams who utilise a low block. Our press is sketchy in too many games. Our end product is poor. We lack the pace to punish teams who play a high line against us and press well. Ultimately, we are a League Two team and every team at that level has a myriad of issues - it's why teams are down there and why players are not getting offers higher up the pyramid.

So, like I say, there are loads of things we could pick apart as to why we could have a hard season; but then I could pick apart other sides in the division too. What matters is what we can fix and how we can improve the squad. These are solvable problems at League One level. There are dozens of free agents who would improve us and lots who would fix specific issues with our game. It's whether we can attract enough of them.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: sonicthewhite and 41 guests