So it`s come to that time again, pre-season is all but over and fans of clubs in the football league are gearing up for the start of what they hope to be an exciting season. This Saturday is the day fans have been looking forward to for weeks on end, a chance to finally see how their team will feature next season.
Many of us Tangerines will have been started off very pessimistic about the new season. The lack of additions to our limited squad was worrying. This was up until very recently, where the arrival of two proven and reputable strikers caused our previously dwindling attacking line look far more adequate for championship football.
However even a struggling mathematician can realise that in comparison with the amount of players that have headed for the exit door at Bloomfield Road this summer, the number of players we`ve brought in so far simply isn`t enough.
Yes, some of the players we allowed to move on never truly provided the competition for places we desired. Even so, losing the extensive amount of players we did and only bringing in four new faces can only cause panic in the head of Paul Ince?
n top of that we also lost some valuable players. Alex Baptiste, Stephen Crainey, Ludovic Sylvestre and what looks to be Gary-Taylor Fletcher all chose to seek pastures new and leave the club they featured for in the top flight.
Throw right back Neal Eardley into that equation and we`ve got ourselves a problem. Karl Oyston has still failed to bring an experienced, recognised right back into the club, meaning defensive midfielder Chris Basham will have to fill that gap in defence if we haven`t added anyone by Saturday.
Looking past our first 11 there are also signs of worry. For a great deal of positions we have youngsters and inexperienced players backing up our first teamers. Just look at the left back position, Bob Harris is more than capable of playing the majority of games next year but who have we got besides that?
A lot of you will think I`m mad when I bring up the wing positions as a point of weakness in our squad. But with Phillips injured and Ince likely to miss at least a few games next season, bringing in at least one new winger has to be a priority for Oyston.
A centre back, midfielders and possibly another striker would also be excellent additions to the squad if we want to be fighting at the right end of the table next year. Add all of these to what we`ve got, and undoubtedly the squad for next season will be immensely competitive in the league and cup competitions.
Recently linked transfer targets Matt Mills, Keith Andrews and Stephen Hunt would certainly be fantastic signings if Karl was able to bring them in. Ince will need to persuade Oyston to get these and other deals done before the window closes so he can manage a complete and challenging squad this upcoming season.