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Back home…for now - 02/07/2003

I enjoyed my trip to the states and it looks like there’s a strong chance I’ll be back out there soon. Nothing has been signed yet, but my Visa should be sorted out within the next few weeks and then I’ll be free to commit myself to a medium term contract.

Looking at Bolton’s progress, Sam’s signing of Laville is a massive boost for the club. Of all the players arriving at the Reebok in recent seasons, Florent Laville has made possibly the biggest impact. His partnership with Gudni last season was the deciding factor in keeping Bolton up – with Gudni retiring, his signing is all the more welcome.

Although Ivan Campo has not taken up the offer of a new contract, I honestly don’t see it as a big blow. Sam ended up changing the shape of the team to accommodate Campo. We all saw how uncomfortable the Spanish player was when he took up the centre-half position, it was only when he played the midfield anchor role that his performances improved. However I’m sure that Sam will prefer the flexibility of not having to play to a certain shape, and that’ll be to the benefit of the team.

The position that worries me is that at centre forward. We’ve struggled for goals over the last couple of season and it’s goals that bring you points. Henrik Pederson worked his socks off last year but we really need a few more options up front. The press have mentioned Hakan Sukur, but I’m not too sure myself. He had a very poor World Cup with Turkey – who were a team that actually over-performed in the competition. He missed a few chances from three yards and hardly set the world on fire when Graeme Souness had him up the road at Blackburn. Of course there’s still plenty of time until that start of the season and I fully expect Sam to bring in a couple of players yet.

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