It is that time of year again, when all football fans begin to get excited about what the upcoming season could hold for them and their team.
At the time of writing this, we have captured a few signings. Adrian, Rat, Whitehead and Carroll, I personally don't know much at all about Rat but I do know he is a left back and I'm certain signing him is to help us just in case McCartney has a long spell on the sidelines again, although I would like to see young Dan Potts feature a bit more regularly, but Allardyce may believe he isn't quite ready for a full season in the starting line up, which I can completely understand why. Adrian is a goalkeeper, who did have a bit of a nightmare start last season, but he gradually improved and then became one of the more successful goalkeepers in La Liga so he must be lined up as a potential replacement for Jussi in the future, although I would fully believe Jussi will be our main goalkeeper this season still, this does make me think that Stephen Henderson will soon be on his way out of the side. Regarding Whitehead, I do not know anything of this player, but I understand he is one for the future. Then the biggest signing for us thus far being that man Andy Carroll, capturing him on a permanent deal is a fantastic move in my opinion, yes we may have had to pay quite a bit, but lets be honest, Liverpool weren't going to want to lose out too much on the £30+ million they signed him for from Newcastle, the reason I feel this deal is brilliant for us is because he suits the formation and tactics that Allardyce uses. He is a perfect lone striker who is guaranteed to win the majority of his aerial battles, he isn't afraid to chase the ball down, he can hold up the ball before slotting another player through and on top of that he can also score, I have a lot of faith Carroll will be very successful for us and is a good purchase.
On top of all of this we have seen youngster Rob Hall leave to go to Bolton, if the rumours are to be believed then he has left because he wanted first team football, so he rejected a new contract, I honestly think had he stayed he would have featured in and around the first team, but he would not yet have been a starter in a mid-table side, while at a team in the Championship, he could well be a regular starter for them, I am gutted to see him go, but there was nothing Allardyce could have seriously done to make him stay and can completely see why Hall would want to feature more regularly and play more, so good luck to him. Talking about our youth players, I am hoping Potts and Spence will be involved a little more in defence, as I feel they both have the potential to be our future full backs, maybe if for once we could have a nice cup run, they would be regular starters in that side. I wouldn't be surprised now if we begin to see Ravel Morrison, a lot of fans have been crying out to see him feature, but I do think he needed that loan spell at Birmingham where he could feature more and Allardyce could analyse how he plays and where he looks most dangerous, so I feel this season will be his start to first team football. We also have the likes of Elliot Lee, Blair Turgott and possibly George Moncur who I feel might get a few opportunities to impress but overall I would expect all 3 of these players to head out on loan again, possibly to the Championship, to see how well they do.
Then we get to the rumour mill. 3 players keep cropping up at the moment, Wilfred Bony, Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku. I honestly am not sure about all of these players joining, Bony is because he's transfer fee looks set to be over £10 million which I feel could be a high risk for a player who is unproven in the Premier League. The other 2 players I feel could both be great, as they are proven in the Premier League, but there are certain factors which make me feel they wouldn't join, this is all to do with the way we line up, we use a lone striker, Lukaku isn't going to want to go on loan to a club where he will be a bench warmer and possibly get 15 - 20 minutes a game when Carroll is tired, he will want to be the main striker, especially in a world cup year where he will be vying to get himself into the Belgium side. Demba Ba is the only one who I feel is possible, but I can't see this happening either, as he will either be backup to Carroll or played out wide, we saw how he stopped scoring for Newcastle as soon as they signed Cisse and started playing Ba out wide, then at the start of last season they decided to swap Ba and Cisse around and Ba started scoring for fun again, then he moved to Chelsea where he probably feels he didn't feature as much as he should have.
At the moment I feel we could do with a couple more signings, I would like to see us get a right winger especially, I feel this is the position where we are weakest with Ricardo Vaz Te, just not being up to it in my opinion, last season he sometimes looked lazy, almost scared to take his player on and I just don't think that can help us in a season where we are looking to get higher than before and hope to maybe see us in 8th or 9th. We shall have to wait and see, but that is something I really hope to see us manage.
The side is currently out on a pre-season tour and based on the pictures the players look happy to be back and it would be nice to see us grab a few wins in pre-season and take that into the start of the season, also our new home kit has been launched and I must say it's a lot better than recent years, but I feel that is what happens when your kit manufacturer goes from Macron to Adidas, I must say I am eager to see how our new away kit will look too.
Come On You Irons