Tag Archives: wolves

How Good is Bolton’s Luca Connell Future, With Tottenham & Co Sniffing Around

It’s a really sad state of affairs at Bolton Wanderers this season, the club have been relegated back to League One and the ownership of the club still looms like a dark cloud over the University of Bolton Stadium.

To pour more misery on the Bolton fans, it seems one of their young starlets is grabbing the attention of many a Premier League suitor. Youngster Luca Connell is an Irish midfielder, who is out of contract come to the end of the season and, can leave for nothing more than training fees.

He’s made quite the impression in his 10 outings in the Championship this season for the Trotters. Playing in a defensive role in the midfield is his favoured position, however, he can be moved about a little to left-back or left-wing showing a good deal of versatility.

Tottenham Hotspur, Norwich City, Everton and Wolves have all got Connell firmly in their radars and with good reason too.

The 18-year-old is an up and coming star. He may not be the key signing the fans want for the likes of Spurs, who haven’t signed anyone in the past two transfer windows, but in what will be a very competitive market this window. Investing in the future may not seem the silliest of ideas for Pochettino.

He can certainly flourish at a club like Spurs who do give youth a chance, although a high possibility would be that he is sent back out on loan for a season in the Championship to gain some more game time experience.

Whatever his destination is, Luca Connell is a name that all Bolton fans will be keeping an eye on over the course of the next few seasons. Let’s hope that Bolton’s future can do a 360 and be as bright a future as the Irishman.

Two Returning Loan Players Rochdale Had Who Will Go On To Greater Things

Now that the retained list has been published it has been confirmed that all loanees, namely Joe Bunney, Zach Clough, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Ethan Hamilton, Rory Holden & Rekeil Pyke will be returning to their parent clubs.

All were thanked for their contributions but some will be missed more than others, as the performances they have shown at Spotland this season will surely mean they will go on to operate at a higher level in the future.

Ethan Ebanks-Landell

From the minute he signed, it was obvious that his capture, albeit temporary, was somewhat of a coup. He is a player that is easily capable of operating in a higher division.

At this stage in his career, it appears unlikely he would achieve a regular position in Wolves Premier League squad. So the natural progression for Ethan would be to be loaned out again to one of the promotion-chasing sides in League One, or would even be a suitable candidate for most sides in the Championship.

Ethan Hamilton

Hamilton was a bit of an unknown quantity coming to Spotland on loan from Man Utd in January., this was Hamilton’s first loan move away from Old Trafford. I did a little piece on Hamilton before his move in January, but with only youth team games to go off, it was hard to assess how he would be.

Hamilton proved to be a outstanding addition to the team though, scoring crucial goals and his general passion and commitment to the team shown him to be developed beyond his years. I fully expect him to be on loan at a bigger club or, even a higher level in the near future as he looks to continue his development.

As is usual for Rochdale and clubs of our size I fully expect Brian Barry-Murphy to dip into the loan market again this coming transfer window, in his bid to improve on what was a difficult season for Rochdale AFC.

City Fans can say a fond farewell to Nicolas Otamendi as he heads for the summer exit door

Nico Otamendi was a shining light in City’s 100 points title-winning season 12 months ago. Playing alongside one of either Vincent Kompany, John Stones or Aymeric Laporte, The Argentine became an irreplaceable figure in Pep Guardiola’s back line.

Many pundits called Otamendi for his defensive errors during his first two seasons in England, but after working with Pep Guardiola and his coaching staff, he had pundits and even fans eating their words for his huge improvement.

Yet, this season something has gone wrong for the Argentine finding himself out of the first-team action, particularly in the Premier League. Mostly due to the partnership built by John Stones and Aymeric Laporte, the centre backs warrior-like approach has been well down the pecking order in City’s title defence.

Due to the fact, the Blues are on course to retain their title, with a projected total of 98 points-pipping Liverpool to the title by a point and within a potential domestic treble – Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup, the decision taken to bench Otamendi has been hard to disagree with.

Clearly unhappy with his lack of game time, the man nicknamed ‘The General’  now looks ready to leave the City project for a new challenge, here in England or even abroad.

Linked with Wolves, West Ham or a return to Spain with Valencia, any club wanting to recruit a new centre back should give careful consideration at least. There is no reason to suggest he couldn’t slide straight into a top Champions League club defence.

Atletico Madrid are that leading club chasing the City defenders signature. Diego Simeone’s side certainly knows what they’re purchasing. A player with a no-nonsense approach to defending with a risk-free gun-ho approach to the beautiful game. Should Otamendi come out of a 50/50 duel as the winning man, he looks a world beater. If he’s the loser in the challenge, he can look the obvious weak link in City’s current back four.

Pep Guardiola’s quest for domestic and European dominance will go on with or without City’s General. But this departure will hurt more than most at the Etihad. His performance levels last season means he deserves all the credit he will no doubt receive when he eventually departs Manchester.

Solskjaer Rues Missed Opportunity Once Again

Man United once again lost to Wolves 2-1 for the second time in a matter of weeks. What was a lively start by the Red Devils, which should have had three goals early on in the half at least. United went on to stutter after that and Wolves slowly got into the game and found themselves in front.

That loss played right into the teams arms in and around them, with Arsenal, Spurs & Chelsea all winning this week and leaving United back down in sixth, albeit two points off the much coveted fourth place.

It seems a growing trend in the post-Fergie era, that the United teams when given the opportunity to make a leap forward, don’t take advantage and the defeat to Wolves was another prime example.

United could have been sitting in fourth on 64 points, joint with Spurs and it very much in their own hands. After the results last night, United have to hope for losses elsewhere and have given them a uphill task once again.

Solskjaer if anyone will know how to close seasons out, how to chase down the pack – as we seen at the start of the Norwegians United reign.

Many people once again are blaming the players, however, this United squad is too imbalanced and in all honesty, not good enough to compete. It’s not a new thing, it’s been a problem since Fergie’s latter years. Unfortunately for his successor’s, Fergie’s ability to get a top-class tune out of any Joe Bloggs has done them no favours.

Poor transfer decisions and a rotation of managers has halted United’s Premier League success, with the club now entering their seventh season without a Premier League title – or a close chance of one.

Ole has to find the cutting edge many of the United teams have had in the past, he has a big job in the summer and all the fans will be hoping to see less of the Wolves results and missed opportunities going forward.

Man United Will Look To Avenge FA Cup Defeat Tonight With This Front Three

The Red Devils travel to Molineux tonight in a bid to leapfrog both Arsenal and Spurs into third place.

A win against Wolves will not be easy however, as United remember from their 2-1 FA Cup defeat recently. It was a lacklustre performance from the men in red, and newly appointed permanent boss Solskjaer will be hoping for a much better showing this time around.

Martial picked up a knock in their 2-1 win over Watford, but reports say he has shaken that off. Wolves have the best record this season against the top six sides, with a total of 10 points taken off them, however, they have won only one in the league in the last six outings.

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A win for Solskjaer’s men tonight would see them climb to third, one point ahead of Arsenal, three in front of a stumbling Spurs side and four between themselves and Chelsea in sixth. This turnaround has been amazing under Ole, and will leave a lot of United fans wondering what if he was in charge earlier.

Tonight is a must win, especially with them leaving the teams around them with a game in-hand.

We take a look at a possible front three for Solskjaer…

LW: Anthony Martial

Even if Martial can give an hour after his knock, the man whose goal secured the three points on Saturday will be looking to conjure some sort of goal scoring run together to impress this ‘new’ boss.

CF: Romelu Lukaku

Before the international break the number nine hit six goals in three matches, and will want to continue his rich vein of form in front of goal.

Playing with more confidence than we have seen in recent times, Lukaku will be hoping that this could be a turning point for him as he looks to get back to his old prolific scoring ways.

Retro Football Cushions

RW: Marcus Rashford

Rashford this season has matured, and more so under Ole. We have seen in recent games Lukaku coming out to the right and this maybe a good way for the two strikers to start interchanging throughout the match.

Rashford in my opinion is undroppable at the moment, and he will want to keep grabbing the goals as he looks to cement his place in the the United first team for many years to come.

TWO Fixtures That Man Utd Must Win In April To Reach Top Four

After the much anticipated news of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s managerial position being made permanent by the club, the first target, and the target for all of his short tenure is to reach the top four.

A quarter-final of the Champions League against Barcelona is a nice distraction but qualification for next season’s Champions League is the number one priority for Solskjaer. Especially if he has desires to challenge for the Premier league title next season.

To attract the type of players needed to help in his bid to be the first post-Fergie manager to win the league, Champions League football is a must.

To get within touching distance of the top four, after what was an awful first half of the season under the old regime is an achievement within itself – but not enough for the trophy focused Solskjaer.

United have a home and away fixture against Barcelona in April, alongside five Premier League matches – including a mouth watering Manchester derby.

However, there are two matches that are a must win for the Red Devils in order to strengthen their chances of Champions League qualification come the end of the season.

Let’s take a look at the two fixtures in question…

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Away v Wolves – 2nd April

Having lost the FA Cup tie a couple of week ago with a lacklustre performance that United fans haven’t seen since Solskjaer took over the wheel. The Red Devils will be looking for a better result against a very good Wolves side, and one that, although are not a direct threat to United in terms of the top four, are a team that have done very well against the top six sides this season.

A tricky away tie at the start of the season could set the tone for what is a difficult month ahead.

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Home v Chelsea – 28th April

United end the month with a home match against rivals Chelsea. Lucky it’s not away, as United’s record at Stamford Bridge is very poor.

Should Man United be either in the top four or on the cusp of it, this tie should all but indictate where they will finish come the end of the season.

Chelsea are always a tough side to beat, however, United have beat them recently in the FA Cup – coincidently at Stamford Bridge. This should give Ole’s men a confidence and experience to draw on, in what could be a season defining tie.