As no-one else was doing it, and there's now no chance of jinxing anything, I thought I'd kick off the discussion around our thoughts, feelings and preparations for the next campaign.
Here's my view on who's good enough to help us establish ourselves in the Championship. I'm assessing them on the basis that our realistic goal is to finish mid-table ready for an assault on the top 6 the following season...
- Moore - Good enough IMHO
- Long - Needs to start commanding his area.
Would like to see Connor Ripley come in as understudy to long.
Allot depends on CW's tactics for next year, I'm assuming 3-5-2 will prevail.
- Wright - Not sure he's quick enough. His organisational skills are obviously brilliant though. I think we'll have to look see.
- O'Connell - reminds me of Maguire but with more composure on the ball. Definitely good enough.
Basham - I think he'll cut it a level up
- EEL - I like EEL but not worth what I think Wolves will want for him. Let him go back.
- Wilson - didn't see enough of him to be fair
- Freeman good enough
- Lafferty good enough
- Hussey probably not good enough but again, haven't seen much of him to be fair
We do need cover though. Maybe Harry Chapman will come in for this purpose. I don't think Done is good enough as cover at the new level.
- Fleck - yes
- Coutts - yes
- Carruthers - yes
- Duffy - yes but concerns about stamina - maybe a switch so he becomes the impact player off the bench, rather than making way
- Chapman - get him in, I like his attitude and his play
- O'Shea - not convinced
- Scougall - League 1 is his level
- Reed - still one for the future & worth holding onto in case he suddenly flowers
- Brooks - one for the future, maybe an early season loan to L1 to get playing time?
- Sharp - good enough. Yes he's a year older but if you feed him the right balls in the right area, he'll score. Expect 10+ goals from him.
- Hanson - will cause problems, but think we need to be looking for a better goals haul form our forwards. Impact player when we need to mix it up.
- Clarke - I would have said no until about a month ago. He certainly still knows where the onion bag is. I'd give him a go.
- Lavery - has the potential to be a star but needs to get more consistency and more impact if he starts (rather than just being a bench impact player)
In conclusion, I think we've got a strong midfield and a more than capable forward line perhaps with another goal scorer coming in to play alongside Billy. Not sure Ched is the one for this but can see why CW feels it's worth a gamble.
Defence is a tricky one. We tend to rely on scoring more than we concede and our style of play is always going to leave gaps at the back, especially down the flanks and our midfield is more concerned with forward play than holding or defending... If Wright isn't up to it (I'm not sure either way to be honest) then we could do with some experience back there to hold things together.
To be completely honest, I think if you took the whole of the current team and, with a bit more cover for injuries etc, stuck them out there, I think we'd avoid the bottom three...