Welcome back, if you missed my midseason update catch it here – https://dgear86.wordpress.com/2019/11/23/bolton-wanderers-2019-part-one-the-gifts-of-darcy-and-holding/
Since then we have completed the season here’s a brief update:
A busy month saw us return with 16 out of a possible 24 points saw us fly up the table. Out of the EFL Trophy on penalties but it was a good run.
10 points from 12 puts us just outside the playoff spots ahead of the run in!
April & May
Lincoln are our bogey team, 5 points from possible 12 in April saw us head into the final day with an outside chance of playoffs if results went our way.
We missed out on playoffs by a point! I’m not too upset we missed out on playoffs it’s been a great season considering the -12 point deduction at the start. The loss of the loan players gave our youngsters a chance to step up and they did.
Ali Crawford was top scorer and creator from Centre Midfield
He was in brilliant form and we extended his contract by 3 years he will be important going forward and we managed to ensure he had no increase in wages
Rock Solid Defence
27 clean sheets from 44 games is a big reason for our success this season. A lot of the games were close sometimes just one goal in it so a solid defence was the foundation of my tactic.
Emmanuel at right back was brilliant playing 43 of 44 games missing just one game all season.
Overall it’s been a great season as we got better and better as the season went on.
The board were happy we are one year ahead of schedule. I was worried this would cause them to bring forward the promotion expectation
They seem happy to wait to season 3 (2021/22) for promotion. Which is good as we need another year. I will aim for the playoffs this season coming but a lot will depend on the progress our youngsters take.
It’s good to see the board taking action to cut costs considering our finances are still poor.
Over £6m paid off the debt in the first year we are still looking at another 6 seasons before its clear.
O’Grady retired and the above 3 left at the end of their contracts. This saved £13k pw on wages.
We bought in just two players.
Samuel joins from Blackburn at the end of his contract and he will be our new number 9. Murphy and Brown both finished with 5 goals last season I’m hoping Samuel can fire us into the playoffs. Hes £1.7k pw cheaper than Murphy and 12 years younger.
Garbutt joins as our new Left Midfielder. He’s a massive upgrade on Buckley and our two youngster’s aren’t quite ready at 17 so 27 year old Garbutt gives us short term cover while they develop.
Line up for this season
Changes from the start of last season:
Boon has made Left Back his own, and because of that I was happy to let Chicksen and Bunney leave at the end of their deals.
Brockbank stepped up to partner Hobbs when Wright left in January and now this season Zouma will will be given the chance to replace Hobbs who is in the last year of his contract.
We didn’t even really miss Verlinden when he left in January, Politic stepped up and has made Right Midfield his.
Jack Hobbs aside the whole bench is now youngsters waiting for their chance. Eddie Brown who is probably the star of the bunch played 36 games in total last season as Murphy was out injured a lot scoring 5 goals. He’s been linked to a range of lower premier league clubs so he could be next to leave.
A great first season at Bolton, We sorted things out on and off the pitch and things are in place for us to take the next step. Playoffs is the aim this season. We bought in two players who will strengthen our starting XI this season whilst keeping the wage structure under control. The development of the youth players will still be a major focus we have the EFL Trophy in which I will use the youth players to give them maximum games and rest the starting players for the playoff push.
Thanks again for reading