Last season, all Spireites fans would have been content with was survival in League One.
However, everybody’s expectations were, and have been, raised due to a fairly successful set of results and finishing in the play-offs.
Paul Cook has exited the club and every Spireite sends their thanks and best wishes with him.
Enter Dean Saunders – who is hoping to mix a blend of youth and experienced players collectively maturing them into a winning team, being hard to beat and having a determination to scrap out games to get over the line and be victorious.
He is quoted as professing that ‘There is more than one way to win a game’ - I agree with him and think Paul Cook never truly believed this, sticking to his own vision and not having an effective Plan B.
Chris Turner and Mr Allen tell us that we have one of the top ten playing budgets in League One, therefore recruitment of further players and retention of current highly-rated players should be possible.
However, we are also led to believe that the aim is to be challenging to get into the Championship.
This statement leaves me with mixed feelings.
Where will the money come from to get us there (player recruitment/loans/wages etc)? And, more importantly, if we did get there, where does the huge cash injections required to recruit again and maintain that position come from?
We have not got enough supporters coming through the door to achieve the extra revenue.
Eoin Doyle’s exit in January had a knock-on effect that in several games last season, we really struggled to get the ball in the net, appearing to require the services of an out-and-out goal scorer, a player who can score from the good work and many chances we create in every game.
For the new season, we will require goals from the entire team, with four or more players needing to reach double figures, giving us the ability and cutting edge to win matches. No less than 18 different outfield players scored for Bristol City last season.
If Mr Saunders wants to build a title winning team and squad, he must find a formation that suits him and the players, but gives other teams a problem.
Recruit to fit into that formation, including some experienced players that have been there and done it.
Get goals from all over the pitch.
Keep it very tight at the back.
Use the loan market wisely and productively.
Finally, get the players to ‘believe’ and have as much desire to win the league as he has.