Category Archives: EFL

2 Managers that could replace Paul Cook at Wigan Athletic

This weekend saw Wigan lose 3-0 to Brentford. Fans are now getting increasingly frustrated with Paul Cook and their team’s performances.

While most fans are wanting to see change, most still actually like Cook. He’s done a lot for Wigan over the years and fans won’t disregard that.

However, the excuses he keeps making for the losses and poor performances are really getting to fans.

One week he will blame the Championship itself and say the league is too hard. Another he may blame the players.

If he is to be replaced soon, the question right now is who will replace him? There are a few options like Sam Allardyce that would be sensible, but as a Bolton fan, I’d hate to see that.

Here’s two who would be great options…

Chris Hughton

The 60-year-old certainly has experience when it comes to management. He has had many successful jobs at Tottenham, Newcastle, Brighton and Birmingham to name a few.

He has played and managed at different levels. Furthermore, Hughton has 2 Championship promotions, a play-off place and stabilizing Norwich City and Brighton in the Premier League.

David Moyes

Possibly most remembered for his time at Everton, Moyes could be a perfect replacement. Experience at Preston, Sunderland, Man United and West Ham could also help.

He has been out of a job since he left West Ham last year. Could Wigan be his next task? It certainly wouldn’t be a bad move in his career as he seems to thrive in tough situations.

Stoke City pull their man from Bolton Wanderers squad

This weekend saw Bolton Wanderers kicked out of the FA Cup by League Two’s Plymouth Argyle. One player that wasn’t in the Bolton squad was Thibaud Verlinden.

Now, The Bolton News have reported why.

Verlinden is only on loan to Bolton. Like many players that have been recruited recently for the Trotters, he has been very impressive so far.

However, fans have been worried about what Bolton will do if these players have to return to their parent clubs soon.

Thibaud wasn’t in Bolton’s side that faced Plymouth this weekend. This had fans questioning what had happened to him.

The Bolton News has now revealed how it was actually Stoke who stopped their man from playing.

Stoke City

The winger is on loan from Stoke until January. However, new Stoke City boss, Michael O’Neill pulled him from Bolton’s FA Cup clash.

This now means that the Belgian player could enter Stoke’s squad for the competition. It has also confirmed Bolton’s worries about Stoke calling him back in January.

Plymouth Argyle

Bolton lost 1-0 this weekend against the League Two side. It was clear that they lacked creativity on the pitch, which was their main downfall. However, they can now start to concentrate more on clawing back in the league.

Whether Thibaud could have made a difference to the game or not will never be known for sure. However, finding a January replacement for the winger will be a hard job for Keith Hill, who up to now as got his recruitment right.

How is Sheffield’s Rhys Norrington-Davies getting on at Rochdale?

The left back joined Rochdale on loan this season. He has made a difference to Brian Barry-Murphy’s team.

Ryhs Norrington-Davies plays for Sheffield’s Under 23’s. He joined Rochdale on loan this season to help them out at the back.

His time in League One will give him some experience for when he makes a return to the Blades.

While he has been playing for Dale, he also received a international call up. He was called to play for Wales Under 21’s.

Current form

Norrington has played 15 games in League One for Rochdale so far. He has delievered 2 assists and 1 goal.

Pretty impressive for a left back. His style of play is to operate very wide to give him enough space to make decisions.

Cautions

However, he has picked up two yellow cards so far this season. As a defender, picking up cards is something that happens a lot.

Miss-timed tackles often happen with defenders, especially when they start to panic. He just needs to try and hold back to not get cautioned.

How is Stoke’s Thibaud Verlinden getting on at Bolton?

Stoke fans were shocked when Bolton signed their winger, Thibaud Verlinden. He’s only on loan with Keith Hill’s side but Stoke fans thought he would be ready to join their first team this season.

As a Bolton fan, I would like to thank Stoke. Verlinden has been absolutely brilliant for us so far.

The skill that the 20 year old has is unbelievable. He has also shown the determination with the rest of the Bolton team to try and get points.

Stoke fans will welcome him back with open arms. This spell in League One will prepare him for regular football if Stoke want to feature him in their first team.

Unfortunately, he suffered a groin injury a few weeks ago and missed two games. However, he’s back now and fit.

Current form

In 7 games, he has scored 2 goals. The youngster is talented. Not only can he score goals and contribute to others but he can also inspire with his footwork.

He isn’t afraid to take on opposition and get stuck in. I would say that he is definitely getting the most out of his time at Bolton.

Careful

Before he returns to Stoke in January, there are still a few things he needs to work on.

One thing is fouls. When Verlinden played against Blackpool, he picked up a yellow card and the referee had to have a word with him. That didn’t stop him however, as he continued to be quite careless on the pitch.

Rochdale’s 17y/o star being eyed up by Man Utd, Man City & Newcastle Utd for a January move

Rochdale defender Luke Matheson is being linked with a number of Premier League clubs with Manchester City, Manchester United and Newcastle all thought to be monitoring the 17-year-old, who has been tipped to have a big future.

Matheson made his senior debut for Rochdale at the age of just 15 when they faced Bury in the EFL Trophy, at the time becoming their youngest ever debutant. He was awarded the Man of Match award that night in what was an impressive display for his age.

Since his opening appearance, the youngster has gone to make 15 league appearances for Dale as he is now a regular in Brian Barry-Murphy’s team. The right-back enjoys driving forward, therefore, he is often involved in attacking plays his side produce.

The highlight of Matheson’s career so far came earlier this season in the Carabao Cup when he scored at Old Trafford against Manchester United to level the game at 1-1. Unfortunately for his side, they eventually lost on penalties to miss out on the giant-killing that night, however, all the headlines were about the ‘Rochdale wonderkid’ the next day.

Matheson recently signed his first professional contract with Rochdale in a three-year-deal. He is another product of the academy at the Greater Manchester club who have produced so many players who have gone on to play at a higher level. He has been at the club since the age of nine, so he is a real success story for their youth system.

Back in February, Matheson was called up into the England under-17 squad to face France where he started in the Three Lions’ 3-2 victory. He recently represented his country at an under-18 level too in games against Poland and Slovakia, the latter who they beat 1-0 on the road, so he is a player who is clearly rated by those who monitor young English players in this country.

Rochdale have made a mixed start to their League One campaign this season where they are 50/1 in the football betting to finish in the top six at the end of the 2018/19 campaign. Matheson is expected to continue to play lots of football as manager Barry-Murphy is not afraid to give the young players in his squad an opportunity to shine.

Higher hopes for Dale

Dale was in a relegation scrap last season but managed to survive with a late surge up the table at the end of the campaign. They are expected to finish much higher this season and still have hopes of finishing in the top six.

Newcastle has reportedly been scouting Matheson since January where they were initially impressed with his talent. Given his goal at Old Trafford though back in September, the two Manchester giants are also thought to now be interested in keeping him in the North West.

If a move for Matheson is made in either the January transfer window or next summer, he could be immediately loaned back to Rochdale in order to continue playing League One football which will help his progression at such a young age.

How is Wigan Athletic’s Callum Lang getting on at Shrewsbury?

Wigan fans were gutted earlier this season when Callum Lang went on loan to Shrewsbury. The Football Manc Cave takes a look at how he’s getting on.

Callum Lang has slowly become a fan favourite at Wigan. However, earlier the season, some were quite vocal on how they felt about him going out on loan.

The 21 year old went and joined Shrewsbury on loan to gain some more playing experience.

Some fans couldn’t understand why he was being allowed to leave as Wigan have been struggling themeselves.

Others understood that this would benefit Lang’s career. However, the striker is struggling to get appearances.

Current form

The striker has played 5 games so far and scored once in his time at the new club. He has also received 0 yellow or red cards.

Lang has previously been at the likes of Morecambe and Oldham on loan spells. He will now be looking to be better than ever during this loan spell.

Deserves more

Shrewsbury are currently 11th in League One. Lang is a player who will want to help this team build.

He is a product of Wigan’s youth and has worked his way up. Now he deserves more of a shot at Shrewsbury.

Rochdale need their defence to look like this tonight to stop Ipswich Town

Rochdale face Ipswich tonight at home. After a loss to Bristol Rovers last weekend, they’ll be looking for a win.

Brian Barry Murphy will be looking for his side to boince back tonight and react. Dale lost to Bristol, 2-1 at the weekend.

They went 2-0 down in the first half and Eoghan O’Connell even scored an own goal.

Fans were frustrated at half time but Dale’s second half performance definitely improved. Callum Camps managed to pull a goal back but it wasn’t enough.

With that in mind, this is how Rochdale’s defence should line up tonight if they want to stand a chance…

Left back: Rhys Norrington-Davies

The 20 year old has got big responsibilities for his age. However, he has adapted well.

This may be a tougher game for him as Ipswich are 2nd in League One. Rochdale are currently 14th.

Centre back: Paul McShane

The 33 year old only joined Rochdale a few weeks ago. However, he has made such a good impact at the back.

He is acting as a leader as his experience proves that he knows what he’s doing.

Centre back: Eoghan O’Connell

The 24 year old scored an own goal against Bristol last weekend. However, he shouldn’t be dropped tonight.

If Brian Barry-Murphy was to leave him out of the squad tonkght, it would completely knock his confidence.

Right back: Luke Matheson

The 17 year old didn’t play against Bristol so he could be featured tonight. He will be rested enough.

Jimmy Keohane played in this position last weekend. He is naturually a midfielder so he could be swapped tonight.

2 danger signs for Wigan Atheltic as they lose against Swansea

Wigan played Swansea at home this weekend. Unfortunately, they lost 2-1. Fans are getting frustrated.

Swansea are 3rd in the Championship so this weekend was always going to be a tough clash for a 20th placed Wigan.

However, the Latics have divided fans with their performance. Some think Wigan deserved more from the game.

Others are completely blaming Paul Cook. Wigan went 1-0 down after 12 minutes. They only equalised after they got a penalty.

Swansea scored a 92nd minute winner which rattled Wigan fans even more. With that in mind, here’s two warning signs for the Latics…

Last minute

This isn’t the first time that Wigan have conceded a goal late on. It has actually happened a few times in recent weeks.

Fans are understandably getting annoyed at this. The team need to stay switched on until the last minute. Not until the 85th.

Paul Cook

No one can deny what Paul Cook has done for Wigan in the past. However, most fans are fed up.

His post match interviews are full of excuses rather than picking up on the frustration. He is also making substitutes too late that are changing the style of play in the wrong ways.

Bolton’s win over Fleetwood shows these 3 signs of change

Bolton Wanderers managed a 2-1 win over Fleetwood this weekend. This now takes them a step closer to getting out of the minus points they were on.

This was a great result for the Trotters this weekend as the win made it 3 in a row.

Keith Hill has really transformed this Bolton side. They started the season on -12 points. However, now they are on -2.

One more win and they will be out of the minus and can start to focus on getting out of the relegation zone.

Here’s 3 points that I have taken from the game that prove things have changed…

Goals

Chris O’Grady and Daryl Murphy were to thank for both Bolton goals. This already proves a big change in the squad.

When both players were introduced to the squad, they struggled to find the back of the net. However, in recent weeks, they have both improved massively.

First Half

The fact that both goals came from the first half paints a picture of strength. Not only did Bolton keep on top of their lead.

They also kept on top of the 3 points by not allowing Fleetwood to equalise. This is also an improvement.

Teamwork

The Bolton squad were kind of chucked together with little time to gel. Now that they have, they are performing collectively.

Stand out performers other than the goal scorers have been players like Jason Lowe and Josh Emmanuel. They are all playing for each other, the fans and to escape the bottom three.

1 pro & 1 con to Rochdale’s loss to Bristol Rovers

Rochdale faced Bristol Rovers at home this weekend. Unfortunately, they lost 2-1. However, here is one positive that Dale can take from the game and one lesson.

Bristol managed to go 1-0 up after 8 minutes. Unfortunately, things got even worse for Brian Barry-Murphy’s side.

O’Connell scored an own goal soon after this to give Bristol a 2-0 lead.

However, Rochdale came out fighting in the second half. Fans were much more inspired by their teams performance and they even managed to pull one back.

Callum Camps managed to get Dale’s only goal of the game. Here’s one pro and one con they’ll take from the game…

Pro: Second half

At least the team and the management recognised that they needed to improve. Fans really weren’t happy until things changed.

Whatever was said in the changing rooms at half time inspired the Dale team to come out and try to turn things around. There were also a few questionable decisions by officials that effected Dale.

Con: Second Loss

This was Rochdale’s second loss in a row. They play a second placed Ipswich tomorrow.

It is unlikely that they will get some points from this game. That is why these last two performances should have been better. Own goals definitely don’t help the situation.

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