Bolton Wanderers are one of the favourites to be promoted straight back to the Premier League and it is clear to see why. They have kept the majority of the squad from last year and in my opinion it should have been good enough to survive in the Premier League. At the back they have Zat Knight who is a capable defender and David Wheater and new signing Matt Mills so they are covered there. In midfield they have the returning pair of Lee Chung Yong and Stuart Holden combined with the quality of Mark Davies and Chris Eagles they should be able to control most games with these players. The only position they are struggling with slightly is in attack as they seem to lack a consistent goal scorer but I have high hopes for both Marvin Sordell and Benik Afobe this season.
Last year many people believed that Leicester City would walk the title and would be preparing for a season in the Premier League right now but unfortunately for them it didn’t quite work out and a lot of their bigger names didn’t perform their best. Now, with Nigel Pearson back in charge they look set to be contenders once again. Both David Nugent and Jermaine Beckford can score goals in this division and Wes Morgan marshalling the defence I expect a much better showing from them this year.
Neil Warnock has got QPR and Sheffield United promoted to the Premier League in the past and will now be hoping to work his magic at Leeds United. The only problem I see with backing Leeds is the fact that they keep losing their best players and the ones that can produce a bit of magic like Robert Snodgrass but nevertheless they do still have payers like Ross McCormack (who is actually linked with a move away) and Luciano Becchio who can score all types of goals so they will be challengers.
Wolves were just awful towards the end of last season and that will have hurt their players and they will be hoping to bounce back to their best this season and give the fans something to cheer about. They could be losing three of their better players though before the transfer window with Michael Kightly already leaving and both Steven Fetcher and Matt Jarvis being linked with Premier League clubs it may not be so easy. Also the team will have to get to grips with what Stale Solbakken or it will be another season of disappointment and they may get stuck in the Championship for a number of years.
Finally, the third team that were relegated from the Premier League, Blackburn Rovers also make my shortlist and it was a difficult decision on whether to include them because they have someone in charge that seems to be a very poor manager but in his defence he has brought in some good signings and that’s what is making me think they could win the title. Danny Murphy could prove to be the signing of the season in the Championship and lead them back to the Premier League.
Ryo Miyaichi has been getting a lot of praise since he joined Bolton on loan from Arsenal but now there are fears that he will run out of steam before the end of the season.
Miyaichi celebrating his goal against Millwall in the FA Cup
Since joining Bolton he has been a revelation and it is of little surprise that when he started playing, Bolton’s results started improving but manager Owen Coyle knows that young players need time and may not be able to play every game. But he was sublime in the big six pointer against Wolves where he helped his team to a 3-2 win. The 19 year old has now scored one goal and provided two assists for the club and he has just given everyone around the club a lift including the fans who now finally have a player that gets them out of their seat when he gets the ball which they have sadly been lacking this season. However, this may be a harsh assessment as they do have Martin Petrov who on his day can terrorise defences himself and Chris Eagles who has been a little in and out of the side but when he has played he has looked decent.
Miyaichi has only played in cup competitions for his parent club Arsenal so far and will be hoping that when he goes back at the end of the season he will have proved to Arsene Wenger that he is good enough for a place in his Premier League squad. They do currently have some good young wingers at the club in Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Theo Walcott so he may find it difficult and may have to leave again on loan or permanently and I’m sure a lot of clubs in the league will be looking to take him on.
This is his second loan spell away from the club, with his first being at Feyernoord where he was quite impressive scoring three goals and getting five assists in his 12 games. On his debut he was given the man of the match which made the fans take to him straight away and label him ‘Ryodinho’ as he played like Ronaldinho did during his time at Barcelona when he was considered the best player in the world. Further praise was heaped on him as he was then called the Japanese Messi by their fans.
It is remarkable how quickly he has made an impact in the Premier League because in January people hadn’t really heard of him and now most full backs in the country will not be looking forward to playing against him. If he can replicate what Jack Wilshere did after his loan spell with Bolton then he will move onto bigger and better things and I just hope that his career doesn’t stall and if he isn’t getting the opportunities at Arsenal then he leaves as I want to see a lot more of him. I am sure the Bolton fans love him just like the Feyernoord fans did and if they stay up will want him to sign permanently.