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Wanderers Ways. Neil Thompson 1961-2021

Challengers next season?


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We finished on 81 points this season and with the progression shown by us in the past 3 seasons under Evatt there's no reason why we can't be up there in the automatics. Can't see any team that will run away with it like Plymouth/Ipswich and even Wednesday did this season with all getting 96+ points. Iron out performances like FGR (a), Cheltenham (a), Oxford (h) etc. and the slump we always have in October/November, we should be well up there, providing we strengthen in the window. Obviously all easier said then done but i think we'll defo be challenging next season

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1 hour ago, gonzo said:

We finished 5th and were generally shite for large portions of last season.

Just wait till Evatt ball kicks in fully this season :)

 

And we don’t beat the good teams or the bad teams.

Makes you wonder how we got any points at all.

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1 hour ago, gonzo said:

We finished 5th and were generally shite for large portions of last season.

Just wait till Evatt ball kicks in fully this season :)

 

 

10 minutes ago, Traf said:

And we don’t beat the good teams or the bad teams.

Makes you wonder how we got any points at all.

& we had a disastrous January transfer window !!

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7 hours ago, mattbwfc19 said:

We finished on 81 points this season and with the progression shown by us in the past 3 seasons under Evatt there's no reason why we can't be up there in the automatics. Can't see any team that will run away with it like Plymouth/Ipswich and even Wednesday did this season with all getting 96+ points. Iron out performances like FGR (a), Cheltenham (a), Oxford (h) etc. and the slump we always have in October/November, we should be well up there, providing we strengthen in the window. Obviously all easier said then done but i think we'll defo be challenging next season

That could be a factor in how many challengers there are.  I agree its hard to see a stand out team, but this time last year loads on here were (correctly) predicting big seasons for 2 of those.  The knock on effect, if the top 2 only get say 85 points, is more points for everyone else (mathematical genius alert), so the top 10 should be closer together. 

As we only got 3 points from our 6 games against the top 3, I'm hoping we'll benefit from the lack of dominant teams, if we just get an average return from those games we can only improve surely. 

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The issue we have at the moment is we have a team full of average/ slightly above average League 1 players, who've been elevated in league position by two players, both of which could walk into any team outside the Premier League. Trafford alone probably won us 15 points last season, with stuff a normal goal keeper at this level wouldn't have saved. 

To get automatically promoted you have to have in your XI 2/4 players who are inarguably the best players in the league but the rest have to be in the top 5 of their respective positions...they aren't, and while some are close others are miles away.

The core thing we need next season is someone in midfield with muscles but who can also pass, Evatt has tried to do something like this by using Santos but it's too slow. We need need the strength to grip a game by the neck and dominate it, from start to finish. Even when we were winning 3/4 nil we've never looked like that this season.

Unpopular opinion time, I'm not sure Ian Evatt has the strength of character to do whats needed (i hope he does). That would be to gut almost the entire team, sell and loan out as many as possible keep the rest for rotation/and injury cover. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Zog1 said:

The issue we have at the moment is we have a team full of average/ slightly above average League 1 players, who've been elevated in league position by two players, both of which could walk into any team outside the Premier League. Trafford alone probably won us 15 points last season, with stuff a normal goal keeper at this level wouldn't have saved. 

To get automatically promoted you have to have in your XI 2/4 players who are inarguably the best players in the league but the rest have to be in the top 5 of their respective positions...they aren't, and while some are close others are miles away.

 

 

This is massively underrating some of our players. Even our shittest players would be the stars of 'average' teams at this level - Vic probably would've been POTY at Burton, Randell did win that award at Exeter (albeit they were near the top of L2 at the time).

Jones, Johnstone, Santos, Toal, Morley, Dempsey and Dion are plenty good enough to get automatically promoted. We just need to fill in the gaps and score some goals.

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6 hours ago, Tombwfc said:

 

This is massively underrating some of our players. Even our shittest players would be the stars of 'average' teams at this level - Vic probably would've been POTY at Burton, Randell did win that award at Exeter (albeit they were near the top of L2 at the time).

Jones, Johnstone, Santos, Toal, Morley, Dempsey and Dion are plenty good enough to get automatically promoted. We just need to fill in the gaps and score some goals.

Good post.

And I think when potential new signings see the level of player we have and are pursuing it will be another indicator of ambition and progression, making us more desirable than our competitors.

Another plus in the column for us being top contenders next year. 

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Expectations should be automatics this season, they have to be based on finishing 5th last year, general upwards trend, board/Evatt ambition, fresh investment, make up of the league etc.

Whether it’s a failure if we don’t achieve it is more subjective but we have to be one of the teams that expects to be battling for automatic promotion.

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On 30/05/2023 at 12:48, desperado said:

And this hypothetical argument about whether a player would choose Bolton or Barnsley, really?? If the same deal is on the table for a player this summer, is he going to choose a club that’s on the up, ambitious to get back to where we belong having been away for so long, a club that is presently is playing in front of top level crowds in a top class stadium, a club steeped in history, with a manager who is young, ambitious, progressive, known for playing an attractive brand and who is committed to the longer term project … or Barnsley?

Barnsley were 1 second and a penalty shootout away from being promoted on Monday. You can hardly accuse them of lacking ambition.

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6 minutes ago, Cheese said:

Barnsley were 1 second and a penalty shootout away from being promoted on Monday. You can hardly accuse them of lacking ambition.

The “ambition” aspect is debatable, I don’t deny Barnsley are ambitious and that we are both after the same prize and currently there’s not much to chose between us. 

But I think cumulatively when you take on board my other points, we are a more attractive proposition. 

There’s talk of Duff potentially not being at Barnsley long. Evatt has very much talked about his short/medium term ambitions with us. 

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12 hours ago, Zog1 said:

 

Unpopular opinion time, I'm not sure Ian Evatt has the strength of character to do whats needed (i hope he does). That would be to gut almost the entire team, sell and loan out as many as possible keep the rest for rotation/and injury cover. 

 

 

Not saying you are right, not saying you are wrong.

How is this funded ?

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56 minutes ago, ZiggyStardust said:

Not saying you are right, not saying you are wrong.

How is this funded ?

There's talks of 3mil for Santos, and maybe some interest in one or two others. Say we can get 4/5 mil for a handful of players (in total) plus whatever budget we have maybe a 1/2 mil, you're talking about a decent amount.

Many of the players i'm talking about would be either be out of favour, in their last year of contract or out of contract and there's currently loads of good players in that list. Wages would be our biggest sticking point.

If we keep getting players from League 1 and 2, we'll stay in those Leagues, it's as simple as that. Almost every player that could make the step up has already been or will be poached by Preston, Burnley etc who have massive scouting and analytics departments. This idea we'll find a team of talented jimmy nobodies hidden from the rest of the leagues is delusional.

 

Edited by Zog1
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On 31/05/2023 at 21:52, Zog1 said:

The issue we have at the moment is we have a team full of average/ slightly above average League 1 players, who've been elevated in league position by two players, both of which could walk into any team outside the Premier League. Trafford alone probably won us 15 points last season, with stuff a normal goal keeper at this level wouldn't have saved. 

To get automatically promoted you have to have in your XI 2/4 players who are inarguably the best players in the league but the rest have to be in the top 5 of their respective positions...they aren't, and while some are close others are miles away.

The core thing we need next season is someone in midfield with muscles but who can also pass, Evatt has tried to do something like this by using Santos but it's too slow. We need need the strength to grip a game by the neck and dominate it, from start to finish. Even when we were winning 3/4 nil we've never looked like that this season.

Unpopular opinion time, I'm not sure Ian Evatt has the strength of character to do whats needed (i hope he does). That would be to gut almost the entire team, sell and loan out as many as possible keep the rest for rotation/and injury cover. 

 

 

 

21 hours ago, Zog1 said:

There's talks of 3mil for Santos, and maybe some interest in one or two others. Say we can get 4/5 mil for a handful of players (in total) plus whatever budget we have maybe a 1/2 mil, you're talking about a decent amount.

Many of the players i'm talking about would be either be out of favour, in their last year of contract or out of contract and there's currently loads of good players in that list. Wages would be our biggest sticking point.

If we keep getting players from League 1 and 2, we'll stay in those Leagues, it's as simple as that. Almost every player that could make the step up has already been or will be poached by Preston, Burnley etc who have massive scouting and analytics departments. This idea we'll find a team of talented jimmy nobodies hidden from the rest of the leagues is delusional.

 

So let me get this right. We get rid of our most established, consistent, young players and replace them with gambles who are out of favour at other clubs in order to become a challenger for promotion next season? 

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On 01/06/2023 at 11:03, Zog1 said:

There's talks of 3mil for Santos, and maybe some interest in one or two others. Say we can get 4/5 mil for a handful of players (in total) plus whatever budget we have maybe a 1/2 mil, you're talking about a decent amount.

Many of the players i'm talking about would be either be out of favour, in their last year of contract or out of contract and there's currently loads of good players in that list. Wages would be our biggest sticking point.

If we keep getting players from League 1 and 2, we'll stay in those Leagues, it's as simple as that. Almost every player that could make the step up has already been or will be poached by Preston, Burnley etc who have massive scouting and analytics departments. This idea we'll find a team of talented jimmy nobodies hidden from the rest of the leagues is delusional.

 

But its not delusional to get rid of our Div 1/2 cloggers, and replace them with established championship players for a total of £1/2m ?

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6 hours ago, captainmed said:

Top 3 - Barnsley/Blackpool/Portsmouth.

Aye, I don't trust Pompey. Only a handful of points off playoffs last year but drew 19. Start converting a few of them, and with good fan numbers, they could be a worry.

Said it before, but much as I'll love going back to Orient for old times sake, having it later in the first half of the season - when they've lost this year's momentum - would be good.

Looked at their site. 4k STs sold in their renewal phase but also they have an incentive scheme for the ticket to get used. So there are rewards for the number of times a bum hits a seat (even, of course, if it's not the actual ST holder). Pretty meagre e.g. you get an exclusive scarf for 20 uses and a % off next year if it's used for every game. But interesting they are trying to maximise actual attendance.

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35 minutes ago, ZiggyStardust said:

But its not delusional to get rid of our Div 1/2 cloggers, and replace them with established championship players for a total of £1/2m ?

The reason why almost every team that gets relegated to League 1, gets promoted back to the Championship almost immediately is because players who are poor or below average in the Championship are equivalent top League 1 players. If we want to get automatically promoted as the management claim we need to be the best team in the league, you can't be the best team in the league with players who are just good in that league, they must be the best.

These are not "established championship players" (both out of contract) the prime targets would be someone like Sam Byram from Norwich City, he hasn't played a ton of games in the last few years and maybe looking for something regular. Joe Lumley is another example an average Championship goalkeeper, if there isn't anyone in the championship looking for a new goalkeeper maybe he'd consider us. These are not unattainable targets and are light years in some cases better than we currently have, our only issue would be wages, i accept this could be an issue.

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The new EFL deal with SKY is a huge uplift in income but equally an even bigger incentive to be in the Championship as the money rift is likely to widen even further. Slightly concerned it will incentivise clubs like ours to overspend now in the hope of jam tomorrow.

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If we agree Blackpool, Reading, Wigan and the promoted clubs won't go up automatically, that leaves 16 other clubs to finish above.  Last season we were above 15 of them.   So if we finish below 2nd, is that a backward step?

The challenge is arguably just to maintain last season's levels and then only Blackpool & Reading can realistically stop us going up automatically.

And if the likes of Derby and Pompey improve, then we have to also.

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Playing the IE way you need to be bloody good to consistently win at this level.

He simply must be more flexible depending on both the opposition, the conditions & the way the game is going.

Automatic promotion will only be achieved by having better players than we currently have.

Definite exceptions being Santos &  Charles. Dempsey & Morley are good enough but lack consistency. You could also maybe get away with Johnston, Taol & maybe Jones? 

With exception of Charles though there are very few goals in there. 

Obviously we are massively weakened without Traf & Bradley. 

Pre-season is massive - some proper quality signings are needed who must hit the ground running.

That costs money & good recruitment is essential. The Jan signings really concerned me…….

I’m not saying we won’t finish top 2 but it definitely won’t be as easy as some think.

 

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6 hours ago, captainmed said:

Playing the IE way you need to be bloody good to consistently win at this level.

He simply must be more flexible depending on both the opposition, the conditions & the way the game is going.

Automatic promotion will only be achieved by having better players than we currently have.

Definite exceptions being Santos &  Charles. Dempsey & Morley are good enough but lack consistency. You could also maybe get away with Johnston, Taol & maybe Jones? 

With exception of Charles though there are very few goals in there. 

Obviously we are massively weakened without Traf & Bradley. 

Pre-season is massive - some proper quality signings are needed who must hit the ground running.

That costs money & good recruitment is essential. The Jan signings really concerned me…….

I’m not saying we won’t finish top 2 but it definitely won’t be as easy as some think.

 

We are only massively weakened if we don't sign adequate replacements though?  We can judge if those positions are weaker in August.  I'm holding out hope we strengthen in the keeper department (eg kicking and physicality), but that's easier said that done.  Bradley will be virtually impossible to replace like for like, but it opens up a place for a different type of player, eg a Sadlier type that likes having a long range shot.  

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