Right, pre-season is all but over, and after 7 weeks with his players; including a week away in Portugal, Neil Harris’s squad kick off the season away to newly promoted Shrewsbury on Saturday. We’ve played four games this pre-season, having won 1, drawn 2 and suffered a single defeat, the question I’m sure we are all thinking is what place will we finish this season? Looking around on other sites I’ve seen many differing predictions, FourFourTwo have predicted 3rd, having just been relegated from The Championship does this present a fair prediction? Opinions from myself and others is that this season will be a transitional season, and perhaps staying down for another season might do us good.
While League One means we will be traveling to places like Fleetwood and Blackpool instead of Derby and Wolves, it presents a chance for the club to invest in youth, and more importantly allows a chance to play them. The Championship is fast becoming a money hungry division with fees for players now in the millions, and a club of our size will struggle to compete on the same level, due to this young players struggle to get game time as the financial reward is so high. As we often saw last season if you make a mistake you will probably get punished. Every club dreams of playing in the Premier League, and as a result believe a little risk can bring great rewards later on down the line. With players in our squad such as Sid Nelson, Fred Onyedinma, Aiden O’Brien and Jack Powell, there is potential there to take the club forward. I think anyone that’s been to a game this pre-season can see how much Fred has improved by playing for Wycombe for half a year. Sid Nelson at the end of last season looked a different player to when he made his debut against Bournemouth. These experience’s are invaluable at this stage of their development and can only help the club moving forward in the long term. As Harris has stated throughout the summer, we will have to be patient as they will make mistakes, however I believe after an initial transition we will be serious contenders in this division, whether that be this season or next.
While we all never wanted to go down, we should always feel lucky as we are not in a situation similar to Blackpool. As a club we are lucky to have a chairman such as John Berylson, with the stability he brings along with Andy Ambler. Over the summer debts were cleared once again with Berylson showing even more commitment to the club and his intent was clear, he is here for the long run. With Harris incharge the board and chairman feel they have their long term fix, I think all of us want Harris to succeed, and be our club manager for years to come. Perhaps it has come sooner than a lot of us thought, but the club know what Harris brings to the table, and more importantly the fans he brings back with him through the gates.
Many of you kindly responded to my tweet yesterday for predictions for this season, here is a selection:
Seems like a lot of us share similar predictions to this season, and thanks to all of you for replying, it’s greatly appreciated. As for myself, anywhere within the top 10 presents a good return for the current crop we have. I agree that we are 2 players away from completing our squad, and if we get the right additions these could change the outcome of our season. Based on transfers still to come in, knowing one of these is Steve Morison, who signed yesterday on a one year deal my prediction is 7th place. The start of the season will bring inconsistency, however as the season goes on we will improve and perhaps have some glory in the JPT trophy. If I was a member on the board or Harris himself I would target next season as our push for promotion, it’s easy to forget how difficult it is to get out of this division as we found 5 seasons ago. Sheffield United have still been unable to find a way out of the division, despite a lack of bigger clubs as previously with the likes of Southampton, Norwich and Leeds when we won promotion.
If you didn’t tweet me yesterday, why not leave a response if where you think we will finish this season? Either leave a comment below it tweet me! My Twitter can be found at the bottom of this page.