NEW Macron shirts on, a supply of Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls and a 200-mile trek down the motorway can only mean that football’s back, although it’s hardly been away this year with the World Cup.

The Wanderers fans were in good voice and spirits in the Moon Under Water in Watford as we enjoyed our lunch, boosted by a couple of pints of Old Empire.

A short walk to the unfinished Vicarage Road and we were ready for the off.

The team selection didn’t inspire confidence and within 25 minutes, we all wished that we had never left the pub.

Already some fans were calling for chairman Phil Gartside’s head.

Our defence had a shocker and failed to deal with two proven strikers in Troy Deeney and Matej Vydra.

That merely rubbed salt in the wounds as we know where our deficiencies lie.

Captain Jay Spearing was the only one to hold his head up in the first half.

Things improved in the second half as Liam Feeney replaced Darren Pratley, Chungy weaved some magic and we created a few chances.

A couple of cracking saves from Gomes had us wishing ‘We want Almunia back’.

However, it was no surprise when Forestieri made it three after another defensive mistake.

Expectations are not high and they are even lower after this start.

New season, same old Bolton; giving the opposition a two-goal start didn’t work last season and is unlikely to work this campaign either.

The majority of players on show on Saturday were Dougie Freedman’s signings.

We lack a creative playmaker in midfield and our striking problems are assuming historic proportions now.

One match doesn’t make or break a season but on the evidence of this one, there is a huge gap between us and the teams that will be challenging for promotion.

It’s going to be a long and winding road this season.