Author Archives: Alex Scott

‘The Rebuild of The Once Great Premier League Club Should be Able to Properly Begin’ Bolton Wanderer’s Huge Week Ahead

The latest update from behind the scenes at Bolton Wanderers should give the fans a spark of hope, six potential bidders for the club made the last deadline for offers set by the teams’ administrators.

One has since dropped out the running, but the men in charge of selling the club have placed another deadline, 4 pm on Wednesday for the five remaining candidates to submit their final offers and proof of funding for ownership of the club.

The hope for Bolton comes from the fact that they are still able to attract at least five potential owners, amazing considering just a few weeks ago they didn’t even know of their club would still exist for the 2019-20 season. In a few weeks then, the rebuild of the once great Premier League club should be able to properly begin.

After the deadline on Wednesday, the new owners will have a contract signed by Friday for the big handover, making this one of the biggest weeks in the clubs history.

With the exodus of players still underway before then, however, even if the takeover all goes through, there will be a struggle at the University of Bolton stadium as the club are looking at starting next season with a 12 point deduction, part of their terms for staying in League One. So it is going to be one hell of a job for whoever takes over.

With all this going on while other clubs are building for next season, I don’t know if Bolton will be able to attract the calibre of player needed to help them out of this mess. We could very easily see them slip into League Two if I was the manager at Bolton I’d consider bringing through a whole host of youth players and blood them in, to properly to make a proper go at things in League Two. Rely on the academy and make the club as self-sufficient as possible to avoid any mess like this in the future.

Hot Prospect: Two reasons Why Man City’s Target Liam Delap Will Make The Big Time

Teenage Derby County striker Liam Delap has been linked with a move to Premier League champions Manchester City. Son of former Premier League full-back Rory Delap, Liam has impressed this season helping Derby Under 18’s to the Premier League North trophy.

Although impressive for Derby this season, It’s widely believed that he caught the eye of City scouts whilst on international duty for England Under 16’s at the Mercedes Benz Aegean Tournament in Turkey, a tournament in which Delap finished top scorer and secured the golden boot.

If City did sign the young forward its believed he would go straight into the Elite Development Squad, which would be a brand new challenge for the 16-year-old. Should City tempt the youngster to the Etihad they would need to pay the Rams compensation as part of the Fifa solidarity payments scheme.

It’s rumoured that the compensation figure could be around the million-pound mark, a gamble that I’m sure City won’t mind making.

Will it be worth it?

It all depends on game time in aiding the development of the player, something City has a history of not being the best with, when it comes to youth players.

Anyways, here’s two reasons why Liam Delap will make it to the top of the game, whether that be at Manchester City or at Derby County.

Natural Goalscorer

Something that many believe can’t be taught is the natural instinct of a striker, being in the right position at the right time, but young Delap, unlike his dad, has this in bucket fulls. If you watch the young lad in games he’s constantly on the move and trying to find pockets of space on the edge and inside the box.

Being in the right place at the right time is a trait that will take young Delap far in the game, even if it’s not at the highest level, everybody is always on the lookout for a goalscorer.

Good People Around Him

In his dad, Liam has a great role model and someone who has been around the game for a very long time, Rory Delap was a player at many levels in the Football League and in the Premier League. Therefore he will know that he needs to keep his lads feet on the ground, and even if he does go to the bright lights of the Etihad, he still needs to work hard.

It’s this model and motivator that many young players lack, and it sees them fall out of academy sides thinking they’ve already made it when they get signed.

OPINION: Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson To Ride Into Bury FC & Save The Day is a Career Ender – Agree?

There’s a job opening at the team that won promotion from League Two last season, Bury FC. You’d think the applicants would be queuing up at the chance to take on the side, that’s where you would be wrong.

The off-field situation is bleak, nobody is sure who’s been paid, nobody knows when they are going to get paid, in fact, I think 99% of the players at Bury don’t know if they will be playing for them come the 2019/20 season. It will need a miracle worker if they are going to stay up next season.

Rumour is that Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson joint managers of Chester FC are being linked to the job. Is that because the owner of Bury loves saving every penny he can, so thinking to bring two guys up from Non-League will be cheaper than getting someone with League One experience? I think so.

Johnson apparently is a fan of Bury, so you could understand him wanting to ride in and save the day for his favourite club, but as the two of them have a great little project going on down at Chester, are they really going to sacrifice all of that for the sinking ship that currently is Bury?

The risk of not getting paid, the probable instant relegation to League Two surely it is a borderline career ender?

If Bury where on a better footing financially, then you could forgive the pair of them making the move. Full-time management at the highest level neither of them have been at and a larger paycheck, but it just isn’t worth the risk currently. The grass isn’t always greener.

Photo credit: Terry Marland

Two alternatives to Wan-Bissaka for Manchester United

With both senior right backs at Manchester United leaving the club, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer will have opportunity to really put his stamp on a new look Manchester United side ahead of the coming season.

If you believe the rumours, the red side of Manchester have been hotly pursuing Crystal Palace right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka identified as the long term heir to the right back position at Old Trafford. However, gone are the days when United had the pick of who they wanted in the English Leagues, and Palace have reportedly already turned down a big £40 million pound offer for the young Englishman.

Wan-Bissaka is contracted at Palace until 2022 and the London side seem to be holding out for roughly £60 million pounds.

With Solskjaer in charge, Manchester United are reportedly changing their transfer policy, instead of paying out for megastars. The club are apparently looking for young British talent that they can nurture and build their own ‘galactico’s’ out of, evidenced by the signing of young Welshman Daniel James from Swansea City.

After possibly being priced out of a move for the Palace right back, we took a look at some alternatives for the ‘Red Devils’ to fill the right-back role…

Keiran Trippier

Trippier doesn’t exactly fit the model of ‘Young’ but the Tottenham right back and England national team starter is reportedly available for around £35 million, saving Manchester United £30 million for a man with heaps more experience playing in the Premier League, Champions League and for the national side.

The Spurs full-back did struggle for game time last season but did impress playing for England. Trippier is from Manchester so could perhaps be persuaded to move back up north.

Nathanial Clyne

We could easily have filled this spot with Thomas Munier, who it is reported United are looking at, however, if they look close to home they could save themselves a lot of money.

Clyne is never going to take Alexander-Arnolds spot at Liverpool, but while out on loan at Bournemouth last season Clyne proved that he still has what it takes to be a Premier League player. With young Diego Dalot already at United, Clyne brings experience to the position that could be much needed in bigger games.

Unless Trent gets injured at Liverpool, Clyne isn’t going to play, so perhaps could be available on the cheap. With the right assurances about game time and the chance to get himself back into England contention?

Stick or Twist: Should Jim Gannon Twist With The Oldham Athletic Job or Stick With Stockport County Following Promotion

Another rumour on the managerial merry-go-round is that Stockport County boss Jim Gannon could be off to Oldham Athletic.

The Vanarama National League North manager of the year, took Stockport to the National League North league title last season and presumably will manage them in the National League next season.

Gannon is in his third spell as manager at Stockport, after being made a member of the clubs hall of fame, having also played at the club for roughly 10 years making over 350 appearances.

In the eyes of many, Gannon has done a great job taking Stockport into the Vanarama National League, despite this Stockport are a semi-pro team with part-time players, so you could see the attraction of the move to Oldham. However, is the attraction of moving up one division strong enough to part Gannon with his beloved Stockport? I personally don’t think so.

The last time Gannon left the club at his own devices, was the chance to go to Scottish Premier League side Motherwell, who at the time was playing in the Europa League, Oldham are just nowhere near that level.

Gannon has really got a project going down at Stockport County, having got them promoted out of the Vanarama National League North, a division they had been stuck in since the 2013-14 season. Following the promotion, you have to think, a club the size and calibre of Stockport County will attract the right kind of players and will flourish in the National League.

Therefore leaving very little reasoning for Gannon to move to lower midtable Oldham in League Two, as give it a couple of seasons and Stockport could be in a similar position themselves – should they succeed in a very tough National League division.

Opinion: Bury’s Danny Mayor linked to Plymouth, a good move?

When a manager moves clubs, there is always speculation about who he will be bringing with him, both on and off the pitch. The latest rumour of this type is that Bury winger Danny Mayor could be set to follow his old manager Ryan Lowe from Bury to Plymouth Argyle.

The winger is out of contract this summer so would be a good move for Plymouth. Having been a key figure in Bury’s promotion season with 11 goals and 10 assists in 42 appearances in all competitions as they got promoted out of League Two, the division that Plymouth now find themselves in.

So is it a good move?

For all parties involved, we’d be inclined to say yes, for Danny Mayor he escapes all the off-field carry on that is currently drowning poor Bury Football Club. He gets a solid pay-check and a manager that already believes in him, and is very aware of just what he is capable of producing. The only negative we can see is that he could perhaps take a gamble and look for a team slightly higher up the ladder, having already proved his class in League Two, reaching double figures for goals and assists.

Is it a good move for Plymouth?

Again the answer is yes. As we mentioned, Mayor is a very good winger at League Two level, one of the best in the division. Therefore, under the right manager, that they already have, by the way, can be a game winner. As Argyle looks to bounce straight back up to League One next season, signing players like Mayor is a great way to start and show the intent that the club that wants to go places.

OPINION: Can Altrincham Go One Better Next Season In The National League North?

After defeat in the Semi-Finals of the National League North Play-Offs last season, Altrincham will look to go one better this campaign and get promoted to the National League.

Last campaign there was very few people who would have tipped ‘Alty’ to be anywhere near the playoffs. However, with experienced manager Phil Parkinson at the helm, the club finished 5th in the league 11 points behind title winners Stockport County.

The club has made it very clear they want to be up there again, if not winning the league during the 19/20 season. Tying down their manager to a three-year deal and, securing the core of their squad for another assault on the title next season – including top scorer Jordan Hulme who finished on 20 goals and 11 assists in all competitions.

Last season Altrincham were the highest scoring team in the National League North, however defensively they conceded 20 more goals than title winners Stockport County. With how long manager Phil Parkinson has been in the game, he will know that this is the area that needs work early in the window with already making a signing to improve them defensively from Nantwich in Toby Mullarkey.

It seems like all the right things are happening at free-scoring Altrincham for them to once again compete around the top of National League North again next season, and we see no reasons why on paper they can’t go one better and get themselves promoted. However, as everybody knows The National League North is a funny old league, and every team can go through bad spells or have an injury crisis. However, if they stay fit and keep their consistency from last year minus a couple of the draws and narrow losses, we could see ‘Alty’ in the top tier of Non-League very soon.

‘I’m at the club until I’m told otherwise’ Josh Magennis right to ponder Bolton Wanderers Options

Behind the scenes Bolton Wanderers are in turmoil, things aren’t amazing on the pitch either.

We’ve seen player strikes and players not getting paid last season, but recently Northern Ireland International Josh Magennis, despite his limited footballing ability has released a statement of intent during a recent interview.

When Magennis was asked about whether he is still committed to Bolton the big striker replied: “Unless somebody comes in and buys me, or unless the club goes bust and I’m able to walk away from my contract as a free agent, I’m at the club until I’m told otherwise.”

It, therefore, seems that the Northern Irishman isn’t set to down tools anytime soon and is going to honour his contract at the club, something that I’m sure fans of the turmoil club will appreciate.

Despite the statement, however, it does seem that Magennis isn’t exactly over the moon to be stuck under contract at Wanderers. He’s only been at the club a year after moving from Charlton Athletic, but I guess the uncertainty would have anyone contemplating their future.

The striker hasn’t exactly set the world alight during his time at Bolton, meaning I’m unsure if anybody would pay a fee for the big target man. Which leaves him looking at the future of the actual club with doubt, as he is under contract until the end of the 2020 season.

We can all guess the underlying message in the player’s recent interview and statement, but without reading between the lines all the striker has said is he will honour his contract. Something that I’m sure if he took legal action over, he’d be able to get out of due to his and all the Bolton players wages not being paid on time.

Is Curzon Ashton’s Mark Bradshaw Focus On Youth The Right Step In The National League North

More signings are set to walk through the door at Curzon Ashton and so far this window, it has been set out very clearly that the club is taking a new approach and are focusing on younger players.

This strategy can have positive and negatives effects on a club depending on how well the club handle it. After finishing just above the relegation positions last year, I’m sure that Curzon will be hoping this influx of new exciting talent will propel them up the National League North table and into a more comfortable finish next campaign.

Curzon has already signed a number of players this transfer window, meaning it could be a brand new team that appears next season and that unpredictability could definitely work in their favour.

Last year the clubs under 18’s won the quadruple, an amazing feat. With this influx of new young players and, academy players being moved up to the first team, it appears that the future of Curzon is very bright. I just hope their plans for long term success don’t affect them in the short term.

The famous quote “you don’t win anything with kids” was disproved by Sir Alex Ferguson early in his management career with Manchester United, and everyone at Curzon will be hoping they can do it too.

With youth though often comes inexperience and immaturity, therefore the management at Curzon will have to keep an eye on this and keep players together and as a squad ever more so if results don’t go their way. If they can defeat this, then the potential in the team being assembled is scary and they could be in for a very successful few seasons.

Why Are Fans Shifting From Premier League to Non-League Football?

The National League attendance figures for the 2018-19 season have been released and, what a sight it is for fans of the game outside the Football League.

As more and more fans of ‘The Beautiful Game’ grow sick and tired of the disconnect between professional players, earning more in a week than what some people do in multiple years and themselves. It seems that more of this disgruntled lot are turning their attention to their local clubs, many of which I’m sure will be surprised at the standard on the show.

More and more fans are becoming annoyed at being treat like a number on a piece of paper, as opposed to an actual person, and can you blame them? Once most of these people go to a non-league game, it’s a fair bet that a number of them will end up frequently attending these games due to the feeling around the place.

The family atmosphere is something in Non-League you just don’t get in the Premier League, you feel like you really are part of something and you can genuinely see the rewards for any input you put into the club. Whether that be financial or volunteer hours, your hard earned time and money don’t just disappear never to be seen again.

The main reason I think that Non-League attendances are growing isn’t anything that the clubs below the football league are doing especially, it’s more what the Premier League clubs aren’t doing, they aren’t looking after the support that follows them week in week out.

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