Luton Town FC are back in the English top flight, the Premier League, after winning the EFL Play-off final to secure promotion last season.
With prize money, and profits from last season, plus selling a few unwanted players, my transfer budget going into season two was just under £40mil, not bad but in today’s market, only realistically going to get you a couple of players that could make a difference, this career mode journey will be about slow, steady progression, no quick fix , squad overhaul type stuff, some Harry Redknapp style wheelin’ n’ dealin’ was required.
A 2 week training camp at Camber sands got our pre-season underway, a good opportunity to have a face to face chat with a few of the lads, signal out some of our key players last season and gauge their interest in signing new deals, talks went well with youngster Leleivre, goal king LuaLua, play-off final hat trick hero Cornick and keeper Sluga, all committing to new long term deals.
The training camp was followed by our participation in the International Champions Cup pre-season tournament in Holland, a good chance to try a few new things and blood some youngsters.
We progressed out of our group, won the semi-final 2-1 and found ourselves in the final vs FC Nacional of Spain.
Always nice to win a trophy and build some momentum going into the new season, it also helped to boost the selling of the club to prospective new signings who we had scouted and entered talks with, with that said, we was able to sign 5 new players for a combined fee of just £20.5 million.
Awoniyi (CF) – A strong powerful pacey forward signed from Liverpool to give us extra firepower up top.
Piedl (RM) – Signed on a free, a young but versatile right midfielder to give us extra cover in a position we was short in.
Miazga – Chelsea starlet who I’m surprised they let go, tall, good in the air, an upgrade to our existing CB’s
Musonda – Another Pacey, agile, skilful winger, immediate first choice on the right flank
Williams – Promising young RB signed on loan from Liverpool, with a buy option included
Hopefully these lads have added some depth and cover to the squad, we will need it to survice in the Premier League.
Out board have set realistic targets for this coming season:
Reduce wages, sign 2 youth players, and avoid relegation (out of picture) are all very achievable, so I’m confident of surviving the season in my job whatever happens.
We were happy with the fixtures when they were announced, we could have had a much harder start, but the first four games of the season were all against teams that we expect to be in and around us in the table, so a decent start would give us a sense of how things might go this season.
Sheffield Utd Away first game, we lost 2-0, a baptism of fire, they bullied us all over the pitch, constant pressure, we just couldn’t get our game flowing, unlucky not to score but never looked like getting anything from Bramall Lane.
We followed that up with our first home game of the season against Brighton, a superb display with the new lads slotting in well, earned us a 3-1 win.
Selhurst Park and Woy Hodgson’s men for our third game, Wilf Zaha proving to be the difference maker on the day, as they beat us 2-0, our last game of the month sees us welcome the Villains to Kenilworth Road.
At this very early stage of the season, here is the league table:
New signing Awoniyi, showing a good first touch and a burst of that pace to stride clear of Brighton’s defence and slot in our first EPL goal, hopefully the first of many.