We’ve all made it to the 20th episode of this meandering, misfiring, and not exactly menacing attempt to replicate what Sir Alex Ferguson did at Man United, with Bolton Wanderers.
As a recap, this is how we compare to the great man.
The closest we’ve had is an FA Cup final defeat to Queens Park Rangers.
We were so close. To having every goal being scored with a 7 in the minutes. 5 of the 6 had a 7. It’s the little things. Paul Scholes grabs a treble but we don’t hang on.
Cruising after an hour, we very nearly managed not to pick up the three points. Stewart Butters get’s his first league goal for the club.
This is what can happen when you score an early goal and keep the pressure on the opponents. In the end it was very calm and collected. A first senior goal for DMC Graham Babb – it’s only taken him 50 games.
Izzy Rankin is our Jamie Vardy. A goal scoring machine. But maybe he’s seen slightly better days, but still capable of doing something. A first hattrick in a while, away at 2nd placed Leeds United. 92 goals in a Bolton shirt.
An absolute battering of Coventry. How we only scored 2 is a mystery. It’s a big win as they were in 2nd and we were 5th. We move into 2nd, a mere 10 points behind QPR.
Playing against ten men for 82 minutes. There was only ever one outcome wasn’t there.
Arghh!!! Middlesbrough offered nothing for an hour and nearly snatch all 3 points off us. This type of performance just annoys the hell out of me and the fan base.
Rog Hitoto is probably in his final season for the club. Now 35, all eyes on his regen when the time comes. His 28th goal in 241 games from Centre Mid changed the narrative from frustration (we had 1 chalked off) to bon homie and 3 more points.
2-0 is a very dangerous lead for us. Alan Shearer scores and then is immediately taken off. It’s amazing how often the game does that. We hang on for the points. We sit 2nd but QPR aren’t taking the foot off the gas at all.
Every now and then we put in a performance that just makes me pur with pleasure (!!!). Oakwell, you’ve just witnessed perfection.
How many times does Paul Scholes snatch a late goal at Old Trafford… oh wait… he’s ours.. ironically it’s a point that does us few favours. But still. QPR win and they are the Champions.
Exeter are 20th. We gift them everything in the opening third of the match. They’ve only scored 21 goals and this is their 18th point of the season. Mercifully we still sit 2nd.
Massive Lancashire Derby. Outside of the first and last 10 minutes we were an absolute embarresment. Somehow we nearly got something out of it.
Top 7 is secured so we have achieved our highest position, I have no idea how the European slots are decided so we need to finish as high as we can.
Our record in “crunch” matches is fairly poor, and in the first half Arsenal are by far the better team, but second half is a different story. All 3 of our strikers get on the score sheet.
We get 3rd. Another £9.5m makes the bank manager happy. It won’t make a difference to our reputation so a flurry of signings wont happen. We are making progress, but we do have a deadline coming up.
There are still 22 seasons (66 more episodes if I get to the end of this). We’ve got to win 13 Premier League titles in that time. So it is still possible. We are very slowly inching our way to a better side.
In Goal, Nicky Spink is still the golden glove – 146 matches for the club, he’s 22.
The defence needs some fresh blood. Enrico Lemme came in and did okay, but I am convinced there is better out there. Spencer Hewlett (a former Schoolboy) has had 3 seasons of first team football and hasn’t really hit any sort of form. Bobby Hollman has ousted him from the side. Slaven Bilic is out of contract and wont get a new work permit, he was vital for getting out of Division One.
In the Midfield, led by former Schoolboy, Kurt Russell and aided by Roger Hitoto, we had a firm base, and the attacking midfielders contributed well – especially Osorio and Pedersen. Finn Petersen did okay in spells, but the Prem is probably beyond his ability. Seth O’Neil is a new signing so ignore that average rating.
Up front, if you’ve read enough episodes you know who I’ve got. Ayorinde is annoyingly injury prone – 14 from 28. When fit he played. Scholes and Rankin both contributed well as well. Beyond them is a host of Schoolboys that haven’t really developed yet – Dobson, Rimmer and Butters.
Ideally I would like a big signing in Defence, Midfield and Attack. Not asking for much then.
Let’s see what happens…