“I’m no good at judging the size of crowds Ted, but I’d say there’s about 17 million of them out there” – It would be that time of the year again, then. It’s nearly three months since Boro’ last kicked a ball in anger, but League Two action is back once again with the renegade master and, wow, hasn’t the footballing landscape in SG2 changed in that time? And will that change bring more people through the gates?
Out went our Graham with something resembling a “well done, good job – but sorry old boy, everything has changed…”, before 13 players followed the gaffer out the exit door and into the A1(M) sunset. Now we have a brand new manager in the rather dashing shape of ex-Spurs and England striker Teddy Sheringham, with a handful of new faces joining those lads we retained this summer.
Now, it’s no bad thing to suggest a couple more additions won’t go amiss before the transfer window closes at the end of the month. But there’s no need to panic – numerically, we’re in a similar position to this time last summer. And we think we’ve got a pretty formidable midfield taking shape… if the manager is able to work out how he can make best use of the talent at his disposal.
We can’t really get too bothered by our pre-season performances either. It’d have been nice to see some signs of how we might take on League Two this season, rather than a collection of slightly uninspiring displays against teams at least two divisions apart from us in either direction. If we lose 4-0 to Notts County and finish August with no points to our name – that’s when we’ll start to panic.
It’s either or with the Magpies – in seven past meetings, we edge the head-to-head record four-to-three. And the bookies are leaning towards a home win with 31/20 (BetVictor) the best price we’ve seen so far. It’s maybe worth making a note of the fact that our visitors have signed 17 players this summer – this game could feature a whole load of gelling, and not of the Brylcreem variety.
That’s why a 0-0 at 17/2 (888sport) could tempt you.
You see, you can insure your sanity by whacking a tenner on us to drop back into the Conference at 14/1 if you must. It’s your money and if we can’t have it, William Hill might as well. But our campaign isn’t going to be decided by how we do against Spurs’ yoofs. Teddy and this bunch of lads could be well handy in time – it’s just as well we don’t have to wait too much longer for a better insight.
That’s pretty much why we just want to get the party started.
Notts County club profile – it’s the sound of the BoroGuide summer