Well, we’re only one league game and one cup game down and the natives are already becoming restless.
A goalless draw with everybody’s favourite footballing franchise and a defeat to Bolton in the cup is far from the most disastrous start to a season imaginable. And Uncle Graham tells us that he’s not presided over a more promising pre-season since his Wolves days.
Problem is a significant – and growing – number among the fanbase remain unconvinced.
It’s been another fairly underwhelming summer on the recruitment front, one which Turner describes as ‘the most frustrating he’s ever known’ in terms of dealing with players agents.
Once again, we look short of options up front and those we have fit the ‘potential’ rather than ‘proven’ category.
You have to wonder whether Turner’s sudden conversion to seeing Tom Bradshaw as a first XI starter is more down to the fact he has no other choice to turn to.
Sure Tom had a fairly bright pre-season and looks to have bulked up a bit, but far from looking ‘a totally different player’ as GT claimed at the recent Q&A, he cut a familiarly frustrated figure against the Dons.
Turner’s obviously trying to keep the squad small in the hope of keeping the quality high. But an eve of the season injury to new defender Dave Winfield and the news John Marsden broke his foot against Wanderers already suggest he may have tempted fate a little too sorely.
On Thursday it was announced that we have signed U-21 Ireland striker Graham Burke from Villa on a four month loan. We can but hope that this lad turns out to be more of a Tom Eaves than a Sam Winnall.
On the subject of Eaves, Turner also revealed that ‘a Championship player our fans would all be familiar with’ turned down a similar loan move much to his surprise. Hmmm, wonder who that could’ve been, eh?
Irritating for us, no doubt, but also slightly worrying that a player who spent three months here at the back of last season seemingly doesn’t want to return.
This is starting to shape up to be a really depressing piece – especially for this early in the season – so I’ll lightly skip over the replica shirt debacle and the confusion over the ‘hot-seats’ for the Bolton cup game and try to round off with a few positives.
Aaron Wildig looks like he’s come on as a player and this could be the season he repays GT’s faith in him. Hopefully he can pull the strings in centre-mid this season, alongside Luke Summerfield who continues to look one of our best players.
Tamika Mkandawire has been installed as captain and should bring experience and composure to the backline.
James Tavernier looks a very tidy loan signing at right back, albeit on a one-month loan at present; Parry is showing signs that he could make more of an impact this season and we still have Chris Weale between the sticks.
Our chances this season are going to depend on gelling loan players into the team a lot more successfully than we did last season. We can’t afford another succession of Proctors, Helans and Bennetts.
The gaffer thinks loan players will ‘go with the flow’ and the positive attitude and professionalism of the current squad should mean players bed in quickly.
If he’s wrong it I expect the next fans’ Q&A will be a lot more heated an affair than the rather tame, genteel session we witnessed last week.
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