After the big build up a rather flat opener at the Reebok in a game that reverted to type. Still, it's the first point towards the magic figure of 40 that normally guarantees safety. What lessons do we draw from matchday one?
Probably that we were overdue a reality check after the euphoric cloud that swept us all the way to Hamburg last Spring. It's back to the bread and butter of a 38 match Premiership programme, so a point on the road from Bolton we'll take as a positive.
What remains apparent is the pressing need to settle on our squad for the campaign. Mark's departure is inevitable and the transfer request all part of the chess game. Stockdale didn't do his reputation any harm at the Reebok by all accounts. Hughes has to now add new impetus into last year's side with fresh blood. He knows it, so just sit back and allow the 'targets' - real or imaginary, to float on and off the back pages, be they Algerian centre-halves, Dutch-based Africans or that singular sub-species known as Craig...
Centre-back cover is imperative after the sale of Smalling and the news of a 6 month lay up for Senderos. As already noted on this blog, when we need to change the course of a game, there's not enough quality currently sitting on the bench. A younger and more energetic midfielder needs to put bite into that area - wonder why Hughes didn't rate Sidwell?
Bright spot of the week, the Cup pairing with Port Vale and a reunion with Mickey Adams. You all know what I feel for that guy by now.
COYW - now who's next up in the Prem...?
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