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The English (Mainly Premier) League Thread


Stuart H

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Re: The English (Mainly Premier) League Thread

Gabriel Obertan

gabrielobertanespoir_171694.jpg

Who? Obertan was signed for Manchester United from French club Bordeaux for a mere 3m after failing to cement his place in the side due to persistent injuries and lack of form. He was the Golden ball winner in the prestigious Toulon Tournament. Before his injuries curtailed his playing time he was a regular for the French youths.

2009/2010 Season Obertan spent most of the first part of the season on the sidelines trying to fully recover from a troublesome back which had kept him from making the expected impact for Bordeaux. After he had fully recovered he was handed his premier league debut against Blackburn. Old Trafoord was curious and very expectant and he did not disappoint. With his 2nd touch of the ball he raced clear of a defender showcasing his electrifying his pace but a poor finish let him down. He then had another golden chance to open his duck but missed the target from close range. His best moment for United however came in the champions league against Wolfsborg in Germany. With the game tied at 1-1 Obertan took on and beat 3 defenders before squaring up the ball for Micheal owen to tap it in.

Pre-Season With Nani and valencia injured this was Obertan's chance to make his mark. In the 3 pre-season games so far he has been United's 2nd best player behind Berbatov. He also broke his goalscoring duck with a very well taken goal against Philadelphia drawing big praise for Sir Alex.

Role this season While he is not expected to start with Valencia and Nani finishing the season in very good form I fully expect Obertan to be a regular of the bench and ready to jump in in case either Nani or Valencia fade away or get tired. And with his pace and skill he should be a handful for any full back in the league.

Plays Like Thiery Henry

Strenghts Pace and Trickery

Weaknesses Finishing

LOL !! :o

My mum is faster down the wing.

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Re: The English (Mainly Premier) League Thread

Agree with you on his potential and most of your article.. just not the line up. Harry barely ever plays with one up front' date=' even though sometimes id like him too. It'll be hard to leave Palacios out of the squad as he has been so good. Im not saying Bale wont get a starting place but about the formation im really not sure. More signings would make it even harder to pick.. Harry will need to have a serious think. :P[/quote']

I followed it up with this:

It'll alternate, and Tottenham will play two strikers for a lot of the season possibly Kranjcar or Lennon will be axed if anyone but as long as Bale is at his best and on form.

Lennon missed the end of last season when Bale was in full flow so i think he could miss some of next season.

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Re: The English (Mainly Premier) League Thread

I followed it up with this:

Lennon missed the end of last season when Bale was in full flow so i think he could miss some of next season.

No he didnt. :confused: And barely got a game! Pfft. He came back from injury against United, subbed in. Subbed in next week and was back for the last two games of the season as a starter.

He was just coming back into fitness, and thats why Bentley made quite a few apps. When it got to the end of the season with Lennon being fit he started on the right and Bale was on the left and Bale was even sometimes pushed back to LB to accomodate for other players, Eg. Modric. In the last few games he was pushed back due to Lennons return and also Bentleys starts. In our most important game of the season both Lennon and Bale started..but i really dont think Bale will be pushing anyone out the squad.

To say he barley got a game although it may be true, in the way your saying it its not. As he returned from injury he made his way straight back into the squad, despite Bale's presence.

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Re: The English (Mainly Premier) League Thread

The French Connection

chamakh.jpg

I know, I know, he's Moroccan :P This piece is more about Arsene Wenger's success at buying cheap from France. Chamakh has Champions League pedigree and international experience yet was able to join on a free after his contract at Bordeaux expired. Therefore he's already value for money but when you look at Wenger's record at buying French things begin to look very promising.

96/97

Gilles Grimandi - £2.5m for 5 years service at the Gunners. Now works as a scout for them.

Emmanuel Petit - Another £2.5m buy, this time for a World Cup winner and a scorer in the final. Price doubled on sale.

Nicolas Anelka - £500k and sold on for £23m. Brilliant bit of business.

Patrick Vieira - OK, so he was bought from Milan but Wenger spotted him in their reserves and spent £3.5m for 9 years of top quality.

97/98

Christopher Wreh - Less impressive £300k acquisition but scored 3 very vital goals for the Gunners in their double winning season.

98/99

No-one of note from France.

99/00

Thierry Henry - Again, not strictly from France though Wenger worked with him in the Monaco youth system and he has to be one of the best signings in history at just £10.5m.

00/01

Sylvain Wiltord - Didn't live up to his £13m price tag but still won Arsenal the double against United and was a member of 'The Invincibles'.

Robert Pires - IMO the best signing on here. £6m for the best winger in the PL for several seasons from Marseille.

01/02

No-one of note from France.

02/03

Pascal Cygan - Not the best but £2m for a very adequate back-up isn't bad business.

03/04

Gael Clichy - £250k for one of the best LBs in the league.

04/05

Mathieu Flamini - Excellent buy for just £1m. Looked brilliant in his final season at Arsenal.

05/06

Emmanuel Adebayor - Very cheap signing for a nigh on 1 in 2 record at Arsenal and made the 07/08 team of the year.

Vassiriki Diaby - Just £2m. Inconsistent but can be great.

06/07

Alexandre Song - Cost £1m and is now a key figure in the Gunners' midfield.

07/08

Samir Nasri - Expensive but could turn out to be a relatively cheap replacement for Fabregas. Started to settle well last season.

Bakary Sagna - £6m for the best RB in the league.

08/09

No-one of note from France.

09/10

No-one of note from France.

So the pedigree is there but what can we expect from Chamakh? I think he'll play the lone CF role in a 433 with Van Persie and Arshavin either side. MaoaM may be able to give you a better idea. In the pre-season friendly reports he has been said to be very unselfish in front of goal. If he can get a bit more clinical then he'll prove an excellent pick-up. Only down side from the players above is that it may take him a while to settle in. Still expect him to be at least 91 at the end of the season and I think he could get up to 92/93 at Arsenal.

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Re: The English (Mainly Premier) League Thread

Yeah Wenger has been picking the same formations as last year in pre-season, 4-3-3.

Chamakh is a tough decision though. He has to start in the centre, which puts v.Persie out wide (This is bad, we want him in the box). The likely formation is

Song

Fabregas Diaby

V.Persie - Chamakh - Arshavin

Then theres no place for Nasri. (I dont see Wenger playing him alongside Fabregas, too many attackers)

Obviously its good that we have some competition, and could bring a class player off the bench in Nasri, But I feel that Chamakh could hinder v.Persies game. But we have to see at the Emirates cup how they all play together. I am really looking forward to it though.

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Re: The English (Mainly Premier) League Thread

Yeah Wenger has been picking the same formations as last year in pre-season' date=' 4-3-3.

Chamakh is a tough decision though. He has to start in the centre, which puts v.Persie out wide (This is bad, we want him in the box). The likely formation is

Song

Fabregas Diaby

V.Persie - Chamakh - Arshavin

Then theres no place for Nasri. (I dont see Wenger playing him alongside Fabregas, too many attackers)

Obviously its good that we have some competition, and could bring a class player off the bench in Nasri, But I feel that Chamakh could hinder v.Persies game. But we have to see at the Emirates cup how they all play together. I am really looking forward to it though.[/quote']

I wouldn't count Nasri out. He played DM a few times last year and did pretty well IMO. He could easily play beside Fabregas if he doesn't leave (fortunately doesn't look likely at the moment). Having RVP and Arshavin on the wings would leave a lot of room for Sagna and Clichy (or Gibbs?) to push forward as they prefer to play a bit more centrally. I think Arsenal could be dark horses next season if they keep their key players injury free. Bear in mind the youngsters are back with Wilshere knocking on the door and Ramsey back in October. It'll be very interesting with all the competition for 4th.

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Re: The English (Mainly Premier) League Thread

Stepping up to the Plate?

nedum_onuoha_1422943c.jpg

Another from my SMEL team and I apologise for that :o However, this season could be Nedum Onuoha's time to shine... away from Manchester City. You might think the guy has a pretty fine existence. Top A-levels, former England U21 captain and a record holder in junior athletics yet this bloke has to be one of the most underrated players around. Injuries have kept him out of much of the City first team action where, IMO, he'd easily nudge ahead of Richards.

However, with City splashing the cash this summer there may well not be space for him at Eastlands under the new squad restrictions. Whoever picks him up has a great player on their hands. He's fast, very fast. Ran an 11s 100m aged 14 beating current GBR sprinter Craig Pickering. As an aside he also still shares the junior national long jump record with a current international long jumper. He's also big. Built like a tank and knows how to use his weight well. So, he's bound to be bad on the ball right? Wrong. He gets forward very well (see opening game of the 07/08 season vs West Ham for a lovely assist and the Blackburn game last season for 2 excellent runs with 1 and a half goals ;)) and is also good in the air.

Currently rated only 87 (that's the same as the hopeless Javier Garrido) if he does move this summer to another top half team and stays fit he can be 88/89 by the end of the season. Stuart Pearce is also a big fan so he may get involved in the (hopefully new look) England set-up as well.

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Re: The English (Mainly Premier) League Thread

Sol Campbell - The Structure of Newcastle's Squad

Notts+County+v+Burton+Albion+-+Coca-Cola+League+Two.png

Newcastle United's third signing of the summer see's Sol Campbell join them on a free-transfer. They've signed Dan Gosling & James Perch, both very good young players but there not going to keep the club up there more so to add a bit of youth to the squad, they'll be key players in the future and will fit into the squad well but the signing of Sol Campbell will be much more crucial to them. He'll be superb for them at centre-back alongside Coloccini, he'll add a load of experience to the back line and Newcastle's back line is looking very strong now. There is now a question into where Steven Taylor will fit into the squad now that Campbell has joined the club and Coloccini is as strong as ever at centre-back. He's currently out with a shoulder injury, he picked it up in a friendly with Carlisle and he could miss the start of the season. But i don't think he'll get in the squad when he does return, he's been in controversy recentley off the field and he could see himself on the bench for a lot of the season. Personally this is how i feel Newcastle's defence will line-up for a lot of the season:

Harper

Simpson Campbell Coloccini J.Enrique

He would have done very well at Arsenal, and Arsenal were looking to bring him into the club. They made a real mistake in offering him a six month contract in January, had they wrapped him up for another season initially when signing him. Now Arsenal need to bring in another centre-back, with Johan Djourou at centre-back despite signing Koscienly. It was a good signing for the 6 months, but they really should have offered him a longer contract initially as Wenger wont be too happy to spend some more money on another centre-back.

Rating Prediction: 88 - 88

This is a real boost to Newcastle though and i really think with this signing they'll be so much more organised at the back. They certainly wont need to bring in anybody else in there back-line, although if they can get someone like Lee Camp or Kieran Westwood as a young goalkeeper to be the long term replacement and probably short term replacement of Steven Harper. But after all those years on the bench for Newcastle, they may well reward his dedication to the club and at the least give him another whole season at the club. They do have Forster & Krul, so they might just let them develop untill there Premiership quality. A quality centre-midfield might be a target and a goalscoring centre-forward will probably be one of Hughton's targets.

Possible Newcastle Targets

Young Goakeeper - Camp, Hennesey, Westwood

Quality Midfielder - Weiss, Cleverley, O'Hara, Bullard, Jenas

Goalscoring Forward - Benjani, Samaras

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Re: The English (Mainly Premier) League Thread

Javier Hernandez - The Next United Legend

Javier_Hernandez_manchester_united.jpeg

Manchester United aren't going to beable to bring in too many players this summer, but there's two players that they have managed to bring into the club so far in Chris Smalling & Javier Hernandez. For me, Smalling is being seen at United as a long time replacement for Rio Ferdinand, i personally don't think he's got the talent to be the next Rio Ferdinand but the other signing in Javier Hernandez is going to be a great player for Manchester United. There was Eric Cantona, there was Ruud Van Nistlerooy, there was Ryan Giggs, there was Cristiano Ronaldo, there was Wayne Rooney and now there's Javier Hernandez. For me he's got everything to be the next great thing to come out of Manchester United, he can score goals, he's shown that in the Mexican league as the top scorer of the Mexican top flight. He's got talent, he's got ability, he's young and he's got the potential to be someone who can guide Manchester United through there current struggle with rising debts. This season, i feel he can push for a lot of first team football and for me he'll be ahead of Michael Owen this season, and if all goes well he could push Dimitar Berbatov for a starting place in the United sqad, they'll play two up front and he'll be preferred above Welbeck & Macheda so as far as this season goes he could get a lot of first team football and hopefully some goals.

United Strike Force:

Berbatov Rooney

Subs: Hernandez > Owen > Welbeck > Macheda

Early Rating Prediction: 86 - 88

Future Potetial Rating: 94+

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Re: The English (Mainly Premier) League Thread

Fletcher & Doyle - Formidable Strike Force

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Wolves played some great stuff last season, and in my opinion rightfully they stayed up in the divison and in the end they stayed up quiet securely. A big factor to them staying up, was having a key player in a striker like Kevin Doyle who was superb last season and scored the goals which in the end kept Wolves up. Doyle was superb last season and in my opinion was one of the key performers of the Premier League, it's a task to score 10 goals a season at a club like Man. Utd or Chelsea but to do it at a club like Wolves with limited supply is a whole new task. Wolves are now looking to cement there place in the Premier League this season, and establish themselves as a Premier League club and with the work in the transfer market that Mick McCarthy has been doing i can see them staying in the Premier League for a decade or so, if McCarthy or someone simlar to McCarth is incharge of the club playing similar sort of football and making siilar sort of signings. Wolves main signing of the summer has been Stephen Fletcher, someone to partner Kevin Doyle upfront as he joins for £7,000,000 from Burnley. Last season at Burnley he was one of the few players capable of grabbing a goal for Burnley when it was needed, and now he's going to be playing with what is a much better team which will give him a lot more supply and i'm sure he'll do very well at Wolves. If Kevin Doyle can link up well with Stephen Fletcher and then can both come in with the goals then Wolves could have a great season and get 40 points comfortably and improve on last years total.

Steven Fletcher Goals Record:

2009/2010 - Burnley - 12 Goals

2008/2009 - Hibernian - 11 Goals

2007/2008 - Hibernian - 14 Goals

2006/2007 - Hibernian - 12 Goals

2005/2006 - Hibernian - 10 Goals

Kevin Doyle Goals Record:

2009/2010 - Wolves - 9 Goals

2008/2009 - Reading - 18 Goals

2007/2008 - Reading - 6 Goals

2006/2007 - Reading - 13 Goals

2005/2006 - Reading - 19 Goals

Steven Fletchers recent goal record is very consistant, and very good. Doyle can hit in a great season one year, and then a poor season another year in terms of goals but when he gets going the goals just keep on coming. I expect double figures for both of these quality strikers.

Kevin Doyle Season Prediction: 87 - 88

Steven Fletcher Season Prediction: 87 - 88

(Predictions for there rating this time next year rather then there prediction for the upcoming rating changes)

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Re: The English (Mainly Premier) League Thread

Charlie Adam - Blackpool's Shining Star

Charlie+Adam.jpeg

The major suprise in the Championship last season was the shock promotion of Blackpool via the play-offs to the Premiership against all odds. Blackpool got into the pla-offs by a sole point, ofcourse wrongly with Swansea being denied a penalty on the final day against Doncaster. That and a whole host of decisions went against Swansea, allowing Blackpool to take advantage thanks to Sousa and his terrible management loaning Stephen Dobbie to the rivals that tipped Swansea to a play-off place. From there a suprise but definatly deserved two-legged victory over Nottingham Forest to take them in the final over Cardiff, all was easy from there and Blackpool sailed to play-off victory. Now the fairytale migh just be over with a crash, or will the impossible happen will they stay in the divison, will they put up a fight. A squad of the quality of a lower championship side has a battle to fight, no signings in so far but there in advanced talks with John Stead which is promosing. But a John Stead or even a Gary Taylor-Fletcher wont keep them up, if they can stay up in the division it'll be down to one man, Charlie Adam. He's the man who's guided them to the promised land as probably the best midfieder in the Championship with Blackpool snapping up the biggest bargain in the history of the Championship. Now he's got his chance to shine at the very top in the Premiership, against Man. Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal & Liverpool and it's a chance for Blackpool's shinng light to shine.

Adam Season Rating Change: 85 - 85/86

The only thing about his rating, is that it's the current rating cap of the Championship. SM will be cautious to give him a rise in his rating as Blackpool are very likely to go straight back down to the Championship. I hope they overlook this factor more, and give him a rise that he deserves through his performances for Blackpool. Regardless of how poorly Blackpool do, they are going to win the odd game and if Adam is fully fit then he's always going to play a part of it. There will be interested clubs in him at the end of the season or even January whether Blackpool are doing well or doing not so well but i really think that Adam wont have to move back down to the Championship and is a future 87+ player if he can move onto a better club and establish himself as a regular in the squad.

Potential Future Rating: 85 - 87+

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Re: The English (Mainly Premier) League Thread

anyone know about BOsingwa

i know he's been injured for almost a year, but it seems he was the best RB in league before ( according to rating)

now that Ivanovic is giving him tough competition, i think it's either ivenovic to 92 or bosingwa to 91.

who will start for chelsea next season? I have him in a lot of my teams and can't find a good replacement.

Will he drop or rise back?

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Re: The English (Mainly Premier) League Thread

anyone know about BOsingwa

i know he's been injured for almost a year' date=' but it seems he was the best RB in league before ( according to rating)

now that Ivanovic is giving him tough competition, i think it's either ivenovic to 92 or bosingwa to 91.

who will start for chelsea next season? I have him in a lot of my teams and can't find a good replacement.

Will he drop or rise back?[/quote']

It's a tough one. I'd argue that Ivanovic has done nothing to warrant being dropped so Bosingwa will either deputise for him or Chelsea will sell. I think there have been rumours about him moving in the past. Can't say for sure though until the season starts. If he is playing back-up then fully expect a drop.

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Re: The English (Mainly Premier) League Thread

anyone know about BOsingwa

i know he's been injured for almost a year' date=' but it seems he was the best RB in league before ( according to rating)

now that Ivanovic is giving him tough competition, i think it's either ivenovic to 92 or bosingwa to 91.

who will start for chelsea next season? I have him in a lot of my teams and can't find a good replacement.

Will he drop or rise back?[/quote']

It's early to say yet in terms of rating predictions because who knows what happens but i'm going to stick my neck on the line and say:

Bosingwa, 92 - 91

Ivanovic, 91 - 91

Ivanovic should be the first choice but i still expect Bosingwa to fill in if a centre-back or Ivanovic is out injured. If a centre-back is out for supension or injury, like Alex is now, then Ivanovic should play at centre-back and Bosingwa will play at right-back.

But Ivanovic ill be prefered and i'm saying for him to stay rather then to rise at the moment aswell as for Bosingwa to drop.

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Re: The English (Mainly Premier) League Thread

Interesting that no-one has profiled any of the top players with the highest rating being 90 at the moment. I think I like it this way but I might buck the trend later on ;) I honestly thought we'd get 6 reports on Rooney within hours :P

Luka Modric - 91 :)

I'm happy doing the likes of Doyle/Fletcher/Adam for the minute, might do a Tevez one later this week but i'm going to do another 90- player later today.

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Re: The English (Mainly Premier) League Thread

Owen Coyle - A New Bolton

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Bolton Wanderers of recent years especially under Sam Allardyce have been known to play long ball stuff with the ball knocked up long towards a Kevin Davies type figure. Under Sammy Lee it was a similar sort of style of play and i don't think you can call the work of Gary Megson a style of play. But now they've brought in a very good promising young manager in Owen Coyle and after Coyle's first few signings it looks like they'll adpot a new sort of style of play and in my opinion they'll get more success off it then they did with a long ball strategy.

This section on a four part write up about Bolton Wanderers will focus on Owen Coyle.

Owen Coyle made the best decision of his career so far by leaving Burnley for Bolton, at the time Burnley were higher up in the divison but Bolton were the established Premier League club and overall they had the better squad. He did enough to keep them in the divison and now he's looking to build on that with Bolton by bringing in some quality players and really overall improving the squad and adding a lot more ability to the squad. Under Coyle they now look a side capable of staying in the Premiership in the long term and i have no doubt that they'll stay in the division, they clearly have the quality over sides like Blackpool, Blackburn & Wigan with a solid backline a strong goalkeeper along with some very good quality in midfield & upfront.

Previous Managerial Statistics:

Falkirk, January 2003 - May 2003

Managed: 19

Wins: 12

Draws: 3

Defeats: 4

Win %: 63.16

St. Johnstone, April 2005 - November 2007

Managed: 113

Wins: 58

Draws: 29

Defeats: 26

Win %: 51.33

Burnley, November 2007 - January 2010

Managed: 113

Wins: 48

Draws: 28

Defeats: 37

Win %: 42.48

They are decent statistics and overall he is one of the best young managers in the country. For me he's definatly the right man for Bolton Wanderers and he should build a great side here. Now to his line-up for the new season, a lot of previous Bolton Wanderers sides would line up with a 4-5-1 formation or a 4-4-1-1 formaton with Kevin Nolan playing behind the forward but for me even though they may well be plaing a 4-4-1-1 or a 4-5-1 for me the way they'll go about things will be a different mindset to things which will be needed. Players like Tamir Cohen & Lee Chung Yong especially will benefit from this with the ball on the ground and i really think it will be a new Bolton.

Likely Bolton Line-Up:

Jaaskelainen

Ricketts Knight Cahill Robinson

Petrov Cohen Muamba Taylor

Chung-Yong

Davies

New Bolton Links

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Martin Petrov - A New Bolton

Martin-Petrov-001.jpg

Bolton Wanderers of recent years especially under Sam Allardyce have been known to play long ball stuff with the ball knocked up long towards a Kevin Davies type figure. Under Sammy Lee it was a similar sort of style of play and i don't think you can call the work of Gary Megson a style of play. But now they've brought in a very good promising young manager in Owen Coyle and after Coyle's first few signings it looks like they'll adpot a new sort of style of play and in my opinion they'll get more success off it then they did with a long ball strategy.

This section on a four part write up about Bolton Wanderers will focus on recent signing, Bulgarian winger Martin Petrov.

For me the free transfer of Martin Petrov is easily the best signing of Bolton's summer so far, and they'll have to do a lot to beat it. It was clear he wasn't going to get back into the Man. City team again, but the City fans loved him and when he was given a chance in his earlier City career he was one of there key players. Earlier i stated that i thought Martin Petrov would participate for Bolton on the right-wing, for me that's where he'll play he'll favour the left-wing but he can easily fit in on the right. Matthew Taylor has been phenomenal in the left-wing position in recent years for Bolton so he should stay on the left-wing he can also play at left-back but i don't think that's needed. Robbie Blake can also play on the wing, overall he'll just add competition in the squad but i don't think he'll start at all. Lee Chung-Yong played on the right-wing last season for Bolton but for me he'll play more in the attacking midfield role behind the strikers and look for some goals. I only really see Petrov, Taylor, Chung-Yong & Blake getting a lot of first team football on the wing though the rest just aren't at Premiership quality yet.

Competition on the Wing:

Martin Petrov, Right/Left, 88

Matthew Taylor, Left, 87

Lee Chung-Yong, Right/Left, 86

Ricardo Gardener, Left, 86

Robbie Blake, Right/Left, 85

Stuart Holden, Right/Left, 83

Danny Ward, Right/Left, 78

For the one's i haven't mentioned, i think that Gardner's past it. He will do the job though and if he's needed he'll fill in well, for me though he's a bit too much of the old Bolton which he played a big part in. With the old Bolton he often saw the ball fly up high above him and he was only needed for breaking play up and when on the ball to put it near the box. He's not great on the ball and he'll only fill in every now and then. Haven't seen a lot of Stuart Holden because of injuries but i don't think he's at the quality to get a lot of first team football next season. Danny Ward's a great young talent and in the future he will be at Premiership quality, but if Coyle wants to do the best thing he'll loan him out to play regular Championship football and let him develop before giving him some football for Bolton.

Petrov will add more then just his ability as he has done to any club that he's ever played for and that is his set-pieces. He has what i would say is the best cross or set-piece in the Chamionship, a great curl on his cross and a great whipping set-piece into the box. Play like Gary Cahill & Zat Knight will be targetmen for set pieces and Petrov's set pieces should find some extra goal for Bolton which they did struggle for last seaso. Petrov's got an extra gift, just like Delap does at Stoke, and Bolton will look to use it to it's full and with Kevin Davies always lurking in the box this signing will add a few goals to the tally and something that you will see next season in the Premiership.

Martin Petrov Seasonal Prediction: 88 - 88

New Bolton Links

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Proving his Worth

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTPJPgj8tX3iVir5NlcKZd-kTOBN-1SgXx0u_6ABrBSBpM9Sxw&t=1&usg=__-SEZmoQNMlSGsn760fJ_fnGJyCg=

Until the start of 2010 Florent Malouda had been considered a bit of a flop. Chelsea shelled out £13.5m for his services and in 2 seasons had produced just 12 goals and 11 assists in 81 appearances. Then, in January, something amazing happened and he became a world-class winger and one of the best attacking players in the Premier League.

He contributed to 17 goals in the second half of the season and earned a well deserved +1 to 92 in the Premier League changes in June. If he can continue that form next year I don't see why he can't rise further. Chelsea are favourites to win the domestic trophies again and Ancelotti seems to be getting the best out of the Frenchman. If he remains in exile from the national team then 93 may be his limit but playing at the quality he was for the last 6 months in the best league in the world could net him a 94 if Blanc likes what he sees.

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Robbie Blake - A New Bolton

0,,10265~7653221,00.jpg

Bolton Wanderers of recent years especially under Sam Allardyce have been known to play long ball stuff with the ball knocked up long towards a Kevin Davies type figure. Under Sammy Lee it was a similar sort of style of play and i don't think you can call the work of Gary Megson a style of play. But now they've brought in a very good promising young manager in Owen Coyle and after Coyle's first few signings it looks like they'll adpot a new sort of style of play and in my opinion they'll get more success off it then they did with a long ball strategy.

This section on a four part write up about Bolton Wanderers will focus on recent signing Robbie Blake.

This might not be a popular signing in the minds of Bolton fans, with a former Bolton player who is ageing and doesn't score too many goals but i feel this is a very good signing. He is indeed 34 years old and doesn't score very many goals but it's a bit of versatility and with another free transfer you can't really lose can you if he does retire in a couple of years. He wont be on a huge wage and he's a better back-up winger/forward then they currently have at the club. On the wing, he's a better back up then the likes of Holden & Gardner and he's an attacking player with the title of the thread - "The New Bolton". He's more renound for his attacking ability though, and throughout his career he's definatly more of a forward then he is a winger. With the line-up i did previously i didn't put Blake in the side upfront, but i do think he would pip Johan Elmander to being Bolton's second choice striker behind Davies. Bolton will play two out and out strikers at some point of the season and i think something on Bolton's minds would be that Davies & Blake wouldn't work well together because there both strikers but i don't think this is the case. With the new Bolton, and the new style of player they wont rely on a big targetman upfront and two little strikers with a bit of pace and with a goal in them will do well for them, let's just say i can see Robbie Blake scoring a lot more goals then Johan Elmander next season.

Blake's Competition:

Kevin Davies, 88

Johan Elmander, 87

Robbie Blake, 85

Mutapha Riga, 83

As you can see there, there's only a few forwards at Bolton and only three really worth considering for a starting spot in the Bolton side. Davies has to be the star striker at Bolton, he scored so many goals last season and he's been one of the key players for Bolton for many years and that'll remain that way for another season. He's starting to age, but i still feel he has three seasons of his very best to give Bolton Wanderers. Elmander has done very poor for Bolton since he's joined and i think Bolton should try and sell him back to Toulouse, nowhere near the fee that Bolton paid for him but if they could get something in the region of £4,000,000 to £5,000,000 for him from Toulose they'd be doing well. And then they could maybe bring in someone like Michael Chopra for that sort of fee who'd do a lot better for Bolton then Elmander has and will do for Bolton whilst he's still at the club. They do need goals though as Robbie Blake's goalscoring record is quiet worrying if they are going to look for goals out of him.

Robbie Blake Goalscoring Record:

2009/2010 - Burnley - Premiership - 2 Goals

2008/2009 - Burnley - Championship - 9 Goals

2007/2008 - Burnley - Championship - 10 Goals

2006/2007 - Leeds - Championship - 9 Goals

2005/2006 - Leeds - Championship - 11 Goals

2004/
2005
- Birmingham - Premiership - 2 Goals

2004
/2005 - Burnley - Championship - 13 Goals

2003/2004 - Burnley - Championship - 22 Goals

You can see through that two things, neither of which will help his cause going into the season with Bolton. The first of which is that he's never really hit it out in the Premiership, last season just a couple of goals through the season at Burnley and just two goals in the second half of the 2004/2005 season wit Birmingham. He does have a good goalscoring record in the Championship though, in recent years always hitting in and around double figures. The other of which shows that his goalscoring is declining through age. At the age of 27, he scored 22 goals in the Championship with Burnley, at the age of 33, he only found the net on two occasions. He's only older now but all that could change and he'll be aiming for at least 5 goals this season for Bolton. Just like Martin Petrov he adds something to the team aswell, and that's really with long range free-kick and long range strikers in all. In the last few years he hasn't been a box player for Bolton but he moves deep and troubles the opposition with long distance strikes.

Robbie Blake Seasonal Prediction: 85 - 86/85

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Re: The English (Mainly Premier) League Thread

Marcos Alonso - A New Bolton

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Bolton Wanderers of recent years especially under Sam Allardyce have been known to play long ball stuff with the ball knocked up long towards a Kevin Davies type figure. Under Sammy Lee it was a similar sort of style of play and i don't think you can call the work of Gary Megson a style of play. But now they've brought in a very good promising young manager in Owen Coyle and after Coyle's first few signings it looks like they'll adpot a new sort of style of play and in my opinion they'll get more success off it then they did with a long ball strategy.

This section on a four part write up about Bolton Wanderers will focus on recent summer signing, young left back Marcos Alonso.

This lad is certainly the future at left-back for Bolton and managing to sign him from Real Madrid was very good for Bolton who never looked towards the future under the likes of Alardyce. There now doing that with it starting under Megson and now carrying on with Owen Coyle. Marcos Alonso joins the likes of Lee Chung Yong, Danny Ward, Fabrice Muamba, Mark Davies & Gary Cahill who are all great talents for the futre and the future of this Bolton Wanderers team. At the moment Bolton have Jloyd Samuel, Sam Ricketts & Paul Robinson as the main left-backs at the club, Robinson & Samuel are the out and out left-backs whilst Ricketts will fill in wherever but for me he'll be the first choice right back at Bolton. You also have Matty Taylor who can always play at left-back if it's needed, but as i've said before you really want to keep him on the wing where he really does thrive. Paul Robinson will be the out and out left-back at the club but with Marcos Alonso now at Bolton they don't really need Jloyd Samuel, i wouldn't expect him to get a lot of football next season and i wouldn't be suprised to see him sold with the new Premier League rules.

Marcos Alonso's Competition:

Matt Taylor, 87

Paul Robinson, 86

Jloyd Samuel, 86

Sam Ricketts, 85

Marcos Alonso, 80

From that though, as i've already said Taylor shouldn't be needed at left-back and neither should Sam Ricketts for a lot of the season. Alonso should get a lot of cup football, and the odd sub appearance but he should find himself in the first team at Bolton and should get a rise.

Marcos Alonso Seasonal Prediction: 80 - 82+

(Wouldn't bet my life on it, haven't seen him play, just expecting him to get some first team football and improve as a player at Bolton.)

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