Surprisingly, almost a fifth (18%) of voters thought that 'Pool will go on to finish in the top 9 this coming season! Obviously living on blind optimism, or in possession of a crystal ball? If the latter, get in touch and let me know next week's lottery numbers and the winner of the next Grand National please!!
A quarter of voters thought that Simon Grayson and his merry men will build upon last season's surprise success and finish somewhere around mid-table in 10th-14th. The only way this will be possible would be for Larry to employ smart tactics in the transfer market once again and pick up a couple of gems before the deadline in August and during the January transfer window. The current squad is quite a way off finishing mid-table but then again, look at Colchester last season, I guess anything is possible!
Those of you who thought that the current team could just about stay up and finish in the bottom half, or even escape by the scruff of their necks in 19th place, topped the vote with 44%. This would be the bracket that I would put the current team in, finishing somewhere around 17th or 18th .
The general consensus is that 'Pool will struggle this season. Is it due to a lack of "quality" signings, the absence of one Wes Hoolahan or are the teams we'll be facing too high quality for the 'Pool to cope with week in, week out? Only the voters will know, but the only thing that has me worried is the former, a lack of quality coming in.
Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Michael Flynn and Stephen Crainey all looked steady against Premiership opposition against Wigan, however the likes of John Hills could be a worry during the season, as is a lack of quality back-up for the centre-back spot, goalkeeper, striker and more notably the left wing berth. If Wes does indeed sign, then we still need one more quality winger in my honest opinion, with John Hills providing cover for left back.
I'm a firm believer of having 2 players capable of playing in each position, without having to cover another position too. For example, Shaun Barker and Danny Coid at right back and Stephen Crainey and John Hills left back. Follow this trend and we need another centre back - with only Gorkss providing cover should we need it (ignoring Barker, he is first choice RB!), as Phil Doughty has no experience with regular first team football and is of course coming back from a long lay-off.
Employing this tactic in the transfer market, we currently have;
2 goalkeepers (+1 reserve), 2 right backs, 2 left backs, 3 centre backs, 2 right wingers, 0 left wingers, 5 central midfielders and 4 strikers.
Therefore, left wing is a priority, in my opinion, surely? Wes needs to sign, and a good quality back-up. Add to that another centre back and we should have strength in depth like never before!
Either way, the squad that Simon has assembled at the club, in my opinion, is good enough to scrape survival (that is if Wes signs!) and I'm willing to stick my neck out and say we will do so by at least 7 points.
It's going to be an interesting season, of that there is no doubt. The most important thing we can do, is enjoy it and be there every step of the way for the players and management banging the drum here there and everywhere!
Our next poll asks simply;
Wolves is £27 a ticket:
Expensive, but I'll live with it.
Shocking, I won't be going!