League 2 predictions M-W
Milton Keynes Dons
Last seasons relegation brought a smile to may a fan, since the Dons have taken up the mantle of most hated club from Millwall, due to whole move thing. However this season may finally bring some success to the National Hockey Stadium. Manager Mad Dog, Martin Allen is possible the best manager in the division and will create a whole siege mentality around the Dons. Strikers make a difference and in Clive Platt, Scott Taylor and Aaron Wilbraham they have three who can get goals in league Two, of course there is also Izele McCloud but I expect him to go before the end of August. His mantle been taken by John Hasting a non league hot shoot. Other defensive signings and the wingers Jon Paul Mcgovern and Lloyd Dyer wouldn`t be out of place in league one. However key signing maybe Sean O`Hanlon who almost kept Swindon up single handed.
Signings In- Jon-Paul McGovern (Sheff Wed), Sean O`Hanlon (Swindon), Lloyd Dyer (Millwall), Jamie Smith (Bristol City) Jon Hastings (Tooting), Clayton Bankola(Brentford), Drissa Diallo, (Sheff Wed)
OUT Nick McKoy, Malvin Kamara
Prediction- Play off for sure possible league champions, you don`t know how hard that is to write.
Notts County to there friends flirted with relegation last season, but the final day nail biting finish ushered in new changes at Meadow lane. New manager Steve Thompson was the first new man to ask for patience even before he had started shows the depth of change. 13 new players in whilst 14 have gone out. The trouble been will be to gel these new players into a team, a slow start could be the result of wholesale changes. Of the players coming in there isn`t anybody who excites the crowd, a raft of ex Boston players and Jason Lee for example. A lot will be expected of Andy Parkinson and ex Chesterfield striker Tcham N`Toya.
Signings IN -Ian Ross Sheffield United Daniel Gleeson Out of Contract Tommy Curtis Out of Contract Lawrie Dudfield Boston United Austin McCann Boston United Alan White Boston United Junior Mendes Huddersfield Town Tcham N`Toya Chesterfield Andy Parkinson Out of Contract Stephen Hunt Colchester United Gary Silk Portsmouth Jason Lee Northampton Town Matt Somner Aldershot
OUT-Emmet Friars Out of Contract Robert Ullathorne Out of Contract Lewis McMahon Out of Contract Chris Palmer Wycombe Steve Scoffham Out of Contract Julian Baudet Crewe Alexandra Kelvin Wilson Preston North End Chibuzor Chilaka Out of Contract Stacy Long Out of Contract Shaun Marshall Out of Contract Brian O`Callaghan Out of Contract Noe Sissoko Out of Contract Andy White Out of Contract Matthew Williams Out of Contract
Prediction- some are predicting Play off finishes and some even relegation so it is hard to gauge the true Notts County so I am going some where in between.
Last season Barry Fry`s Posh stumbled to a ninth place finish but in truth never really looked like threatening the play off places. A number of different managers and rumoured board level involvement in team affairs didn`t help. In the summer new manager Keith Alexander came in from Lincoln. He knows how to get a team to the play offs and the fans will expect nothing less. In defence the lose of Sean St Ledger was a blow but new men have been brought in, mainly players who know what to expect from Keith Alexander`s teams, with Guy Branston and Richard Butcher likely to be key, as will the goal threat of Simon Yeo and the influence of Wokings Justine Richards.
Signings In-Simon Yeo Lincoln City Guy Branston Oldham Athletic Jude Stirling Lincoln City Richard Butcher Oldham Athletic Justin Richards Woking
OUT-Ryan Semple Lincoln City Sean St.Ledger Preston North End Lee Harrison Barnet David Farrell Boston United Tim Ryan Boston United Phil Bolland Out of Contract Peter Kennedy Portadown
Prediction An outside bet for the play offs, shrewd signings experienced league two manager on top of a sound base from last season.
Last term a 14th place finish just about summed up Rochdale`s season it was neither here or there really. Improvements of the pitch have not been matched on the field and manager Steve Parkin has struggled to bring his top targets. A lot will rest on Rickie Lamberts shoulders most clubs in the division would like Rickie in there team, trying to share the goals will be Christie who should be fitter than last season. However with the lack of budget meaning Rochdales squad is thin on the ground could mean a season of struggle.
Signings In Darrell Clarke(Hartlepool), Nathan Stanton(Scunny), Adam Rundle.
0UT-Tommy Jaszczun Cambridge United Lee Cartwright Unattached Gareth Griffiths Northwich Tony Gallimore Northwich Neil Brisco Barrow Ben Kitchen Unattached Scott Warner Unattached Blair Sturrock Unattached
Prediction, lower reaches of the divison, a good start maybe required I expect the bigger clubs to come calling for Rickie Lambert come January. A lot may rest on the shoulders of the younger members of the squad.
In there last season at Gay Meadow the Shrews will be desperate to improve on there tenth place and will be hoping to start life at the new ground in league One. Gary Peters has found a good keeper in Ryan Esson, and hopes that Andy Cooke can provide the physical presence upfront, whilst the capture of Ben Davies came as a surprise to many.
Signings IN- Andy Cooke(bradford), Ryan Esson(Aberdeen), Ben Davies(Chester), Chris Mackenzie(Chester), Danny Hall (Oldham), Dave Williams (Yeovil)
OUT- Mark Stallard ,Stuart Whitehead, Joe Hart.
Prediction Everything should be in place to improve on last seasons finish and a play off challenge is quiet possible but something just nags me as not been quiet right so I will say top ten but no play offs.
The Hatters were fortunate to hold onto league status last year finishing third from bottom. It is hard to see how Jim Gannon will steer them clear of another struggle. He has brought in Tony Dining to add experience to the middle of the park and Michael Rose from Yeovil along with Gareth Owen are also better quality defenders, up front a striker has been brought in but that could go either way. More departures than arrivals means the squad is thin and dips into the loan market maybe required.
Signings In- Michael Rose, Tony Dining, Gareth Owen
OUT- Matt Hamshaw, Ross Greenwood, Danny Boshell, Harpal Singh, David Beharall,Jamie Kay
Prediction another nail biting finish I am afraid could end in tears at the County ground, investment is needed quick. County fans expect a top half finish...misguided
Relegated last year the backing of management team Gus Poyet and Denis Wise should see them back up next season . Lee Peacock needs to provide the cutting edge with Ricky Shakes providing the services. Unless more goal threat comes in I don`t see them walking away with the division but will be there or there abouts. Defensive strenghtening should mean that they are hard to beat.
Signings In Andy Monkhouse, Jamie Vincent, Ady Williams, Phil Smith, Curtis Weston.
OUT - Rhys Evans, Jamie Cureton, Sean O`Hanlon.
Prediction- play offs come automatic promotion
Everyones favorite summer away trip nearly went Conference last term, they stayed up due to Ian Atkins, he will be hoping to move them further up the table this season. Losing Andy Marriot , Tony Bedeau, Alan Connell and Jo Kuffour will not help but the squad rebuilding has given it greater depth and should avoid a relegation scrape.
Signings In-Nathan Abbey Bristol City Martin Horsell Out of Contract Chris McPhee Swindon Town Carl Motteram Out of Contract Jamie Ward Aston Villa Lee Mansell Oxford United Lee Andrews Carlisle United Micky Evans Plymouth Argyle Stephen Reed Yeovil Town
OUT-Alan Connell Hereford United Tony Bedeau Walsall Jo-Osei Kuffour Brentford Andy Marriott Boston United
Prediction lower reaches of mid table
Following the last season Merson lead joke, expectations are high with new man Richard Money in charge. A team which topped league One until its goal threat was sold off must be able to challenge in League two now Tony Bedaeu, Hector Sam, and Martin Butler have been brought in to get goals. However despite having Westwood, Roper, Gerrard and Alan Picken question marks remain over the defence especially full backs, and is Clayton Ince the answer in goal. Midfield seems to lack creativity and the wingers can blow hot and cold. So the jury is still out.
Signings In-Clayton Ince Coventry City Tony Bedeau Torquay United Michael Dobson Brentford Martin Butler Rotherham United Allan Picken Newcastle Jets
OUT-Michael Standing Out of Contract Daryl Taylor Bournemouth Taiwo Atieno Out of Contract Dean Coleman Out of Contract Andy Oakes Out of Contract Simon Osborn Out of Contract.
Prediction Talk of promotion and Play offs maybe over confidence, we will be there abouts but top ten more relalistic.
A lot more was expected of Wrexham last season but they found the going tough, off field problems took there toil whilst these may be resolved soon hopes are high. Denis Smith hopes to improve on last seasons mid table finish. He has brought back old favorites Jauan Urgate, Neil Roberts, Chris Llewellyn to raise expectations. Pre season has been a mixed bag but they should be challenging again this season.
Signings In Neil Roberts Doncaster Rovers Chris Llewellyn Hartlepool United Steve Evans TNS Ryan Valentine Darlington Josh Johnson Trinidad and Tobago
OUT- Andy Holt Northampton Town Jonathan Walters Chester City Dean Bennett Chester City David Bayliss Lancaster City
Prediction- My outside bet for promotion injuries and off field issues may make the final choice
Best footballing team in league two seemed certain of the championship, then promotion and then play offs but ended up with nothing. New manager will ensure last season was not a flash in the pan but will demand an end result. Tommy Mooney will bring the best out of season long loan Anthony Grant, Sam Stockley will also help bring experience to the defence. In truth I feel what happened last season will make them stronger and more determined this time around.
Signings In Chris Palmer (notts County), Sam Stockley (Colchester), Anthony Grant (Chelsea)
OUT-Roger Johnson, Clint Easton,Joe Burnell, Charlie Griffin, Danny Senda
Prediction- Along with MK Dons the team to beat next year, promotion joint favorites in my book.