As we embark on our penultimate season at the Boleyn Ground, the inevitable dreams, doubts and, of course, nightmares begin to surface.
We’re counting down the hours to the big kick-off and it just had to be Spurs, didn’t it? So the question now springs to mind – how well have we equipped ourselves to deal with the trials and tribulations of a Premier League onslaught?
Collectively we seem to have offloaded the players that most of us would have chosen, apart from Modibo Maiga. There also seems to be genuine quality in the players that have been added to the squad.
I’d personally, like to think that the Andy Carroll scenario could end up being a blessing in disguise. Simply for the fact that Sam must have learnt last season that, without the right tools, you serve up a rubbish product.
Why then am I so nervous that Carlton Cole starts up top on his own for the opener?
Enner Valencia looked top quality in Brazil, but he doesn’t look like a lone striker for me. Likewise with Mauro Zarate, who looked sharp in New Zealand. But he actually looks more like the fox in the box that we’ve been lacking for so long. So will he get a start in front of Kevin Nolan?
Cheikhou Kouyate is a bit of an unknown quantity who, along with everyone, has looked very ordinary in pre-season. Diego Poyet, although he looks a class act, I think this season may be one too soon for him to be started on a weekly basis, and the next manager will reap the rewards from him.
Which leaves just the right and left backs. Carl Jenkinson is a great addition as a loanee, but the injury curse strikes again, leaving Guy Demel’s name on the sheet already for the opener. Aaron Cresswell looks like he’s worn the shirt for years.
Strangely though, it looks like only two of our new signings will start against Spurs. Yet again, we are being told that “he’s not fit,” “he’s 3 weeks off starting.”
What goes on? Is Sam choosing the players?
If not, it’s a dangerous game being played by the owners. Each signing so far seems an improvement on the squad; but if the manager refuses to utilise the system to suit the players, and not vice versa, then we may just have a problem. Because we may just have a squad that doesn’t fit the system!
So bring on August 16, and we’ll all be there again and moaning like mad!
Until, that is, Carlton Cole gets on the end of Ginger’s 80-yard clearance in the 93rd minute and nicks the three points with a 1-0 win…
See you all next Saturday.