Tag Archive: Football League One


 

By Tony Alvarez

On Saturday Preston North end took on Sheffield Wednesday and lost 2-0.  Looking at both clubs positions in the League table the result is not all that shocking however a bigger story came from the game, in his comments after the match North End manager Graham Westley has alleged that details of how his side would line up were leaked to the opposition by someone within thePrestoncamp.

Apparently four of the clubs players leaked the information, this is not only the view of manager Westley but also Chairman Peter Ridsdale has been quick to back the manager.

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By Laurie Fitzgerald

It was announced earlier this week that Tranmere had parted ways with manager Les Parry and in the process reappointed Ronnie Moore until the end of the season.

Former physio Parry paid the price for a wretched run of form that saw Rovers pick up just one win in 18 games, leaving them just a point above the League One relegation zone.

Moore, who previously managed the club in a three-year spell between 2006-2009, returns to Prenton Park having also played over 300 games for the Birkenhead outfit during his playing career.

In his previous time in charge, Moore guided Tranmere took the brink of the play-offs; but this time around his task is simple – keep the side in the division.     Continue reading

By Tony Alvarez

On Tuesday night John Wards Colchester United side travelled to the Valley home of run away league leaders and champions elect Charlton Athletic, no one gave the Essex side a chance of winning as Charlton had not lost at home all season however they did thanks to a goal of the season contender from Anthony Wordsworth and a strike form the in form Steven Gillespie.

The win moves Colchester up to 10th in League one with just six points separating them from Notts County who occupy the final play off position however Colchester do have two games in hand on County so closing the gap is very achievable.

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Can Portsmouth be saved?

By Tony Alvarez

For the second time in the last few years Portsmouth FC find themselves in dire financial problems which has led to them yet again being placed into administration, losing many of their players for nothing, not being able to pay wages and more seriously than before look like they wont be able to fulfil their fixtures until the end of the season.

It is widely thought that if the club is not brought in the next six weeks or the debts are not taken on by someone thenPortsmouthcould cease to exist something that has rarely happened in the Football Leagues.

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By Tony Alvarez

On Tuesday night Gary Waddock’s Wycombe Wanderers side succumbed 3-2 at their Adams home park to fellow strugglers Yeovil, this result was followed by a painful away defeat toWalsall. This leaves Wycombe 24th in the table thus in the relegation places, at this point they are five points adrift of Scunthorpe who hold the last position of safety but have three games in hand.

At this stage in the season with Wycombe’s form being so poor of late many are starting to doubt whether the squad has the ability to remain in League one. There run of form has been horrendous taking just nine points from their last 11 fixtures.

Tuesdays tie against Yeovil was billed as a must win fixture with even Wycombe’s goalkeeper Nicki Bull tweeting “Do or Die time again tonight at AP. No time to fear our situation but to embrace it, relish the challenge & realise its all in our hands!” Continue reading

By Tony Alvarez
Last night Huddersfield lost their 43 game unbeaten league run at the hands of current League One leaders Charlton Athletic thanks to goals to QPR loanee Hogan Ephraim and Frenchman Yann Kermorgant.
The result gives Charlton a 7 point lead at the top of league 1 over closest rivals Sheffield Wednesday and gives them an 8 point lead over Huddersfield Town.
Although Huddersfield lost to Peterborough in the play off finals at Old Trafford in May they were unbeaten in the League since December 2010 when they tasted defeat against current Championship leaders Southampton.
Many people are not counting Huddersfields record due to the defeat in the play offs whilst others are just seeing it as an achievement to remain undefeated in the league for so long.
After Huddersfield’s 2-1 over Notts County their was celebrations on the pitch as the club had surpassed Nottingham Forests 42 game unbeaten Football League record however they could only better it by one game after last nights defeat.
Although they have set a new Football League record the club were hoping to chase down Arsenals 49 unbeaten game run but unfortunately for the terriers they fell short.
It will now be seen how the club deal with defeat as it is a psychological barrier which has been knocked down, Premier League fans may remember the severe drop in form Arsenal had after they suffered defeat at Old Trafford in what would of been their 50th consecutive game without defeat.
Despite the loss Huddersfield are still in a great position in League One and cannot afford to let the defeat get into the players head and affect their form in the next few fixtures and even more importantly until the end of the season.
On a side note but quite an interesting fact, both Nottingham Forests and Arsenals unbeaten runs were ended with 2-0 away defeats and now Huddersfield’s record has fell to the same score line.
What are your thoughts on Huddersfield defeat? Will it affect them psychologically? Have they still got enough to get promoted? Are you one of the people who are not counting the clubs run due to the play off defeat? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.
If you are on Twitter please follow us @sfts1

By Laurie Fitzgerald

September’s League One manager of the month award may have gone unnoticed by many, but it underlined a promising manager who is looking to fulfil his potential once again.

Notts County manager Martin Allen was rewarded following his team’s run of four wins and a draw last month, and last weekend’s 3-0 win over Hartlepool saw the Magpies move into the play-off spots.

It may be only a quarter of the season gone, but Allen deserves credit for helping to lay the foundations to push the squad on after they stabilised their position in the league following promotion back in 2010.

However, this stability ironically came on the back of constant chopping and changing of managers, with Steve Cotterill, Craig Short and Paul Ince all leaving the club for various reasons before Allen arrived to secure their third-tier status in mid-April.

Allen looked to build on their 19th-placed finish and made wholesale changes, bringing in a combination of free transfers and loan deals to improve the squad.

Young but promising players such as Ishmel Demontagnac, Hamza Bencherif and Julian Kelly were drafted in, while Allen also brought in striker Cristian Montano on loan from former club West Ham.

Now they have a team that have goals in them and are starting to turn Meadow Lane into a fortress, and for Allen his managerial career is starting to move in the right direction following some setbacks over the last few years.

The 46 year-old started off at Barnet before moving on to Brentford, where he built a team that pushed for promotion to the Championship over a two-year period before resigning from Griffin Park after falling out with the board in 2006.

Allen found a team that had the same ambition to move forward, but he had to go backwards to find it, dropping down to League Two to manage the MK Dons.

However, after missing out on promotion in the play-offs, his talents had been spotted by bigger clubs, and Milan Mandaric decided to bring Allen to Leicester City to help try and get the Midlands outfit to the Premier League.

But despite an encouraging start on the pitch, Allen’s relationship with Mandaric off it deteriorated dramatically over transfer policy and he was sacked three months into the job.

Things got worse in his next role in charge of Cheltenham Town. After failing to save the Robins from the drop in League One, Allen was unable to stem the tide and after allegations over a dispute on a night out, he was suspended and eventually sacked.

It looked like Allen’s career as a manager was going to drift into obscurity, but after helping Barnet stay up before moving to County, the man popularly known as ‘Mad Dog’ looks a rejuvenated character capable of discovering the potential not only at his current club, but also of his managerial credentials.

So what do you think? Will Allen carry on rebuilding his managerial career successfully at Notts County? What can County achieve this season? Leave a comment and let us know your views.

By Tony Alvarez

On Saturday Lee Clark’s Huddersfield Town side beatStevenage2-1 at their home the Galpharm Stadium thanks to goals from Gary Roberts and Lee Novak.

This might not be particularly impressive for fans with little knowledge of the Football Leagues, it was 3rd place in the table beating 15th at home not a huge surprise but those in the know will be fully aware that this is Huddersfield’s 37th consecutive League game without tasting defeat spanning across this season and the majority of last season.

Of course the club have lost in that time in cup competitions and must importantly in the play off final at the end of last term when the suffered a 3-0 defeat to Peterborough United at Old Trafford.

Frustratingly for club after finishing third last season despite their unbeaten start to this season which so far sits at 12 fixtures the club yet again sit 3rd in the table, 4 points off leaders Charlton Athletic and a point behind 2nd place Sheffield Wednesday.

Frustratingly for the club despite being on this long unbeaten run too many games for the liking of everyone involved with the club have been drawn, of the 12 fixtures so far the club have drawn 6. This draws include points dropped at Leyton Orient who were bottom of the table a the time as well as failing to win against other sides in the bottom half of the table, Rochdale, Oldham and Bury with the other two draws coming against 4th placed MK Dons and 9th placed Hartlepool.

On Saturday Huddersfield travel to bottom of the table Exeter in a fixture you would think they should easily win, however Huddersfield record shows you can never know what to expect fromHuddersfield.

Following that Lee Clark’s men host Phil Browns Preston side who currently lie fifth in the table and are finding their feet in League One after last years relegation from the Championship.

It is good news for the club that the players have simply forgotten how to lose a League fixture, if they continue with their run of never knowing when there beaten the club will surely be there or there abouts at the end of the season.

I expect the club to find a vain of form in terms of picking up more victories, I fully expect the club to face defeat at some point this term however the club could do with winning more games if it meant sacrificing the odd draw for a loss at times.

Lee Clark is on the right track with his squad, he has a brilliant squad of players who in total honesty would not be out of place in the Championship and are desperately unlucky to not already be a Championship side after last seasons exploits.

What are your thoughts? Who will be the side to take Huddersfield’s unbeaten record? Do you think the club will achieve automatic promotion? Would you take a few defeats if it meant turning some of the draws into victories? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts

If you are on Twitter please follow us @sfts1

By Tony Alvarez

Last night Wycombe Wanderers suffered their fourth defeat in the League in just 7 games after they fell to a 1-0 loss away to fellow strugglersYeovilTown.

 Gary Waddocks men have been a bit of a yoyo side over the past few seasons working their way back and forth between League One and League Two spending a year in each.

This time however the feeling from the fans and around the club was that they were ready they were strong enough and crucially knew what to expect from League One, unfortunately for them so far things haven’t turned out as they have expected.

Wycombe currently sit in the relegation zone with just 5 points from 7 games with their only win coming away at bottom side Leyton Orient.

With the above in mind I have to point out that although the Wanderers are in the relegation zone with just 5 points they have a game in hand on every other side in the bottom half of the table, a win in that game would take them to at least 17th in the table, which then makes the start to the season look reasonable.

Of course it is way too early to say a club are doomed or destined for the drop but at present Wycombe do appear to be struggling with the standard of Football they are coming up against.

The problem for Wycombe in my opinion is that pretty much all of their squad are good League Two players and are all more than capable of playing in League One, the problem is that I don’t think they should all be playing in League One together.

No disrespect to any of the player but many would be good if they had some proven League One players around them with a knowledge of how to win games in that League.

At present the players are all familiar with League Two and what it takes to move up from their but unfortunately only know the feeling of relegation in League One.

This was the reason I was disappointed with what Waddock did in the transfer market, I have great respect for “the ginger Mourinho” but he signed players who he had worked with before but mainly players who were playing in League Two players such as Ben Harding, John Halls and Joel Grant to name a few.

Waddock has assembled the perfect blend of youthfulness and old heads however the number of players who have consistently played and proved themselves in League One are low.

Having said all of the above I predicted at the start of the season that Wycombe would stay up and I sand by that. I predicted 15th place which I think is a little optimistic but I can certainly see them beating the drop.

In Nikki Bull they have one of the best keepers in the League inmy opinion and that could add some valuable points on the off days or when the side needs a match saving performance.

After Christmas when the players are all accustomed to the League and more “ready for battle” I think they will accumulate a healthy sum of points which will guide them to between 16th-19th place in the League.

What are your thoughts? Will Wycombe survive? Is my theory about the club having too many potential League One standard players together correct? Did Waddock bring in the right men when he had the chance? Leave a comment and l et us know your thoughts

By Tony Alvarez

Following Stevenage FC (formerlyStevenageborough) impressive feat of recording back to back promotions taking their club from a Blue sq Premier side to League One the Hertfordshire side have impressed in their opening fixtures in League One and are looking like they could yet again challenge for promotion.

Prior to the season when I predicted how I thought the final table would end up I placed Stevenagein 20th, I thought there battling qualities would see them survive but they would have a real challenge to keep their League One status.

So far they club have looked to make my prediction look way off the mark currently sitting in 10th place and have given all their opponents a hard time which I frankly did not expect.

The club continued their impressive form so far on Saturday with a 4-2 win over struggling Rochdale at The Lamex Stadium thanks to goals from strikers Craig Reid and fellow front man Chris Beardsley grabbing a brace as well as an own goal from Rochdale defender Neal Trotman.

 Stevenagehave taken to League One like a Duck to water, they have only tasted defeat once in their opening six fixtures in the League.

That defeat came away at early pace setters and current league leaders in MK Dons, they lost 1-0 thanks to a Charlie Macdonald goal early in the second half.

Despite the clubs start to the league one campaign, if they intend to battle for promotion this season they will need to win more fixtures although the club have only lost once they have also only tasted victory once so far.

The club would settle for mid table safety this season and look to build next term and fight for promotion then, however Stevenage would almost certainly would have settled for mid table last season and ended up pushing on into the play offs and gained promotion via a 1-0 victory over Torquay United at Old Trafford thanks to a John Mousinho strike.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Stevenage, their style of play and key men I will fill you in, they are a big side with height running all the way through the side and they know how to use it, I would not go as far as comparing them to Stoke but they style is not too dis-similar.

Unlike many clubs who are in League One Stevenage do not have any players in the squad that fans of Premier League Football and even the Championship would be familiar. Most clubs have at least one player who has had a career at the top and has dropped down the Leagues usually down to old age, however Stevenage are a squad of hard grafting players who have worked their way up. 

The club will look to build upon their victory over struggling Rochdale when they visit 15th placed Oldham who despite being 5 places behind Stevenage only trail them by two points meaning a victory forOxford would see them leapfrogStevenage.

Ones things for sure whether they win lose or draw Stevenage will never make it easy for their opponents, ifOldhamturn up not ready to battle they will see themselves going home pointless.

What do you think can Stevenage challenge for 3 successive promotions? Will they out perform my predicted 20th placed finish? What can the club do to kick on from their current position? Would you compare them to Stoke or is there another way you would describe the Hertfordshire club?

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