Saturday, 31 July 2021
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It's nearly that time again and I've laid my bet for the new season at the bookies. I'm really uncertain hows things will pan out this season. i've seen only the one game at the Reds so its hard to judge. The Bookies are rarely far wide of the mark and the odds on promotion this year are way shorter than last year. I got 33-1 for the title last year and this year its around 16-1. That seems strange as I don't think this years squad is as strong as last years and the lack of any real experience is a worry. There's a lot of promise in the younger players but there seems to be a lack of a leader on the pitch for me. I think we will struggle upfront, losing Zanzala whilst not disastrous will still be a miss and we look a bit lightweight up front. I was surprised Toure was offered a contract and maybe playing him down the middle may be more fruitful. Defensively I think we have 2 very good full backs in Tanner and Armer, Hayden is still improving and Feeney looks good if he can stay injury free. I'm relatively happy with the midfield so I think we need to strengthen up front and wide. Hopefully a couple of good loanees will come in to bolster the squad. So not as confident as last year so far... but some good loanees may just bolster things going forward. I've had a cheeky £10 at 11/2 on a top 3 finish.... here's hoping..
1 month ago
Vile and abusive to my family, little over the line there.
But you are very polite in all aspects. I will just stick my head back in the sand.

When was he vile and abusive to your family?
I'm not even going to guess what we'll do cos I'll be 100% wrong
I'm not even going to guess what we'll do cos I'll be 100% wrong

So tip us for the drop :p
1 month ago
Good summary from Bumble, its early days to be in depression or wildly optimistic, I think we are a bit light but I'm guessing this next week or two there will be a couple of loanees arriving similar to Kayode last year. The average age of the team is a worry but it doesn't seem to bother Beech. I was a bit surprised last season when we signed Furman thinking he would be the old head to hold things together then not getting a start. But we don't see the players training so he may have been clart. So I think we are gambling a lot more this season on the younger players, that will be fine until we hit a string of injuries and get a few bad results... thats when you need an old head to step in.... but like all gambles only time and the first 10 games will tell us if Beech has made the right calls... either way it'll be good to be back watching live football again... even watching the friendly at the reds was a welcome return to live footy..
I'm not even going to guess what we'll do cos I'll be 100% wrong

So tip us for the drop :p

knowing my luck that will exactly what will happen
1 month ago
Just to bring a bit of balance to this debate... I think our starting 11 plus 2 or 3 subs are very decent players. I just worry that if we pick up 5 or 6 injuries/suspensions we just haven't got the depth to cover and still compete. We are 3 or 4 players down on last season & I worry that a couple of the players seem quite fragile.

With good luck and a settled team we can be really really competitive.
1 month ago
Goalkeeper: weaker than last season. Norman seems to pick up niggles. Still surprised we let farman go.

Defence: 12 months ago armer tanner hayden hadn’t played a full season of league football. 12 months on they’re proven L2 players with big potential to play higher. We’re much stronger & more experienced than 12 months ago. Plus experience playing as a unit.

Midfield:similar to defence 12 months ago mellish & Riley were shadows of the players they are today. Thrown in guy we’ve a strong pairing with Dickinson, charters. Bell. Dixon to support. Much stronger plus great continuity & cohesion.

Up front: last season too few goals from too few. Clough adds class, free kicks and creativity. Abrahams to me only has to score 4-5 goals to be on par with Patrick, I suspect he’s a much better player. Mampala? who knows what to expect, promising so far though and he should be hungry to succeed. Allesandra a year older in the legs but never really a player reliant on speed. Is toure a better player than 12 months Ago? I think so. For me we’re much stronger up front than last year.

Squad: we could do with a couple more experienced additions which we’ll hopefully see as players drop salary expectations. I’m kinda surprised we didn’t see a few more signings similar to tanner, Riley, armer. Maybe mampala fits this type.

Experience: from beech to Skelton to the squad we’re much more experienced as a collective. Tanner armer. Hayden. Mellish. Riley are key players and the spine of the team and arguably all much much better experienced players to 12 months ago.

From reading this thread I’m kinda surprised as to memories of 12 months ago? Inexperienced squad thrown together quickly with an unsurprisingly poor start to the league campaign. Continuity & team cohesiveness are huge pluses as we enter this campaign.

Overall, to me, we’re much stronger and far more settled a squad. If clough abrahams, manpala, allesandra can score goals I think we’ll be top 3. I’ve just a fear we’re entering the season with 2 inexperienced keepers.
1 month ago
That's a decent summary Labla, but the thing that worries me is there has been very little to address the patent deficiencies from last season.
No great flair, no target man if we are playing hoofball again, too reliant on Guy and Hayden. The players brought in (possibly with the exception of Clough, who could be great, or could be what he has been for the last few seasons) just seem to be like for like from last seasons players.
Beech must be very set on his style of play.
1 month ago
Squad depth could bite us on the arse with too many inexperienced players as back-up. Let's hope they can hit the ground running when given a chance.
1 month ago
20/21 squad v 21/22 squad

Goalkeeper, Farman initially was a nightmare when he came in, he couldn't handle crosses and was generally seen as a liability, then he finished off strongly. Norman was seen as the number one choice prior to injury last season and we seem to have a good backup in Jensen. 21/22 better than 20/21.

Defence, Tanner and Armer have a season's experience behind them and will be all the better for it this season. Hayden got better as the season went on and McDonald looks sharper this time round. Anderton and Hunt won't be missed and are bettered by Feeney and Whelan. Bennett when good was good, but certainly went off his game prior to injury. An experienced CB would boost the squad. 21/22 better than 20/21.

Midfield, Riley, Guy and Mellish all look good in pre-season so no change there. We've only lost Furman but he never had the chance to show us anything we are going to miss. Dickenson has showed more pre season than he had the chance to last year, plus the young lads all look promising. 21/22 better than 20/21.

Forwards, we've lost Zanzala, Koyode, Scott, Reilly, Patrick plus various loanees. Zanzala might be the biggest loss but Mampala and Abrahams both look hungry to prove their previous employers wrong and could prove to be improvements. Clough looks like he could be our best signing in a long time. Maybe still space for that elusive 20 goal a season No9 but everyone else is also looking. So a seasoned one who can hold up play when needed would help to boost us. 21/22 better than 20/21.

So in my glass half full opinion, we have an improved squad over last years. A top 3 finish will be difficult, but the play offs are certainly achievable.
1 month ago
I pretty much agree with Labla's and 09siders very good summation of the squad, I've a feeling 1-2 loanees may come in shortly and just maybe Holdsworth is playing hardball with some potential signings, waiting to see who blinks first when they haven't got their contracts sewn up for the coming season...
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