Tag Archives: graham alexander

Can Salford City’s home form be enough to overcome Plymouth Argyle

The Football Manc Cave is giving you a glimpse into what should be an interesting and exciting game this week, Salford City vs Plymouth.

This league is a new challenge for both teams with Salford only being promoted at the end of last season. Alongside that Plymouth being relegated into this league and then having to adapt to a new manager, Ryan Lowe, and a lot of players from Bury who followed in the manager’s footsteps. This should make it an exciting game with a lot of action. Straight off the bat, Plymouth would be favourites, although anything can happen.

Salford’s Form

Salford 2-0 Stevenage

Crawley 2-0 Salford

Salford 1-1 Port Vale

Plymouth Argyle’s Form:

Crewe 0-3 Plymouth

Plymouth 1-0 Colchester

Newport County 1-0 Plymouth

Salford’s home form is obviously a lot better than their away form so far however, that is to be expected from most clubs. Hopefully, their home crowd can get behind them and they can deliver.

Squad News:

Chris Neal has been playing brilliantly for Salford and he’ll have guaranteed his place in the squad. Carl Piergianni received the man of the match for his efforts last weekend. Adam Rooney will no doubt be leading his team out. Richie Towell is the one to look out for and his form will guarantee him a place in the squad too. Mani Dieseruvwe is another player who’s already scored two goals this season and will be looking to add to that tally. Jake Beesley got his first EFL goal last weekend and made the equaliser so he’s another who Graham Alexander will probably be considering giving another chance.

Prediction:

Unfortunately, I do think Salford will lose as Plymouth are looking the stronger side. I do think that with the home crowd, Salford will be able to find the back of the net at least once though.

Salford City: Taking League Two football to new levels

Salford City is the talk of the town, with that brings expectation and pressure. Can they deliver and win a third promotion on the bounce?

Many expected The Ammies to breeze through the National League last season, however, that wasn’t the case. Salford was made to settle for the play-offs, in which they defeated AFC Fylde in the final at Wembley, 3-0.

The bookmakers made Salford immediate favourites to win League Two, following the hype created by football fans, I can only assume. It’s their first-ever season in the EFL, and despite having a billionaire who is a part stakeholder in the club, they must abide by Financial Fair Play rules and have to remember, they are still only a League Two club, one step at a time.

The class of 92 ambition

I admire their ambition. The class of 92 aren’t doing this as a publicity stunt or a job on the side, they want to take this club to the very top. Some people will like them, others will hate. They are following all the same rules as the other 23 teams, if anything, it makes the rest of the league try 10x harder to beat them. “Let’s get one of over on Neville & co. Let’s show them what money can’t buy” etc.

Salford has a good manager in Graham Alexander, someone who has experience of both playing and managing at a lower level. It’s important to just do your job. Do the basics, sign hungry players, play simple football and win games. They haven’t been caught up in the whole media hype, it’s just a club going about their business and achieving their targets like every other club.

We all know what social media is like these days. In a couple of months the hype and talk will die down, they’ll be treated and talked about just like any other club.

‘Salford City lost a game. It’s hardly time for panic stations’

Crawley Town handed Salford City their first-ever EFL defeat, as they won 2-0 at The People’s Pension Stadium.

This will have come as a shock to some, but is it really? It’s the start of the season, nobody is fully up to speed and it’s League Two football, after all, everyone beats each other.

Salford were the pre-season bookie’s favourites to win the league, despite it being their first ever seen in the EFL. That’s not Salford’s fault. They don’t make up the odds.

Having the Class of 92 involved brings an enormous amount of outside pressure and expectation from the media and neutral fans. However, let’s remember they have League Two players who’ve probably not dealt with that weight of expectation ever in their careers.

I saw suggestions this will be a wake up call and culture shock, nonsense. Graham Alexander knows League Two as well as any other manager. He’ll know they’re in for a long, tough scrappy season. They lost a game. Hardly time for panic stations.

People talk as if Salford have just luckily found themselves in League Two, and are trying to win it with players with no experience, who have suddenly been shocked by the toughness of the league. Way off the mark. Salford has the squad to fight and scrap for points while having that balance of quality too.

They’re a good side that has earned the right to be in League Two, along with the other 23 teams. At the moment, everyone is watching and talking about their results. Wait until 10 games in, the hype train will die down and Salford can get to work.

Salford City need these three players to show their quality against Leeds Utd

Salford City could continue to surprise in their tie against Leeds Utd in the Carabao Cup.

Salford City has gone and drew themselves a big game in their first League Cup tie. They will face Leeds Utd at Moor Lane.

The difference in the quality of the two teams is evident. Salford City has just been promoted to EFL League Two, whilst Leeds have just narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League.

However, with back to back promotions and an ever-increasing fan base, Salford City have some bite about them. They totally outclassed Stevenage in their first game in the fourth tier, winning 2-0. But then suffered a 2-0 defeat away at Crawley Town.

Salford City has to start showing up to every game. If the best of the team can perform week-in week-out, they can assert their dominance on the league.

Graham Alexander has a lot to deal with against Leeds Utd, a team who will want success in this competition. Eddie Nkeitah is likely to make an appearance. The loanee from Arsenal will be making life even more difficult for the Salford City defence.

Should Salford City be rigid and calm enough to concede less than 2 goals, their quality up front need to pull their weight.

The Football Manc Cave introduces 3 Salford City players who can help cause a ‘cupset’ against Leeds Utd in the Carabao Cup…

Richie Towell

The new signing has been wonderful to watch. Able to score and assist, the midfielder acts as a distributor and a link between players in the forward lines of his team. Whether he worms into the box and pops one himself, score a wonderful free-kick or plays a dangerous ball to the strikers. Towell is always involved in goal-scoring opportunities. He will be pivotal to the quality and supply that Salford City must offer against Leeds.

Adam Rooney

Rooney is Salford’s go-to man for quality and success. He has been Salford’s prolific striker in their recent growth and will continue that this season. Eager to get off the mark this season, there would be no better occasions than at home against a big side two tiers above.

Emmanuel Dieseruvwe

The 24-year-old stands at 6 foot 4 and proved incredibly dangerous after bagging two goals against Stevenage. The striker is beginning to become more and more in favour of him.

With the physical demands of the EFL and Leeds Utd in particular, this striker will be fantastic this season. And may well be the man to carry his team through to the next round of the League Cup.

Whilst Salford are expected to have to defend compact and deep, having the presence of Dieseruvwe upfront to receive and hold the ball will prove pivotal to their counter attacks.

These two players need to start for Salford City on Saturday

Salford City travel to Crawley Town on Saturday for their first-ever League Two away match.

The Ammies, under the leadership of Graham Alexander, won their opening day match 2-0 against Stevenage. An impressive performance in a match they dominated from minute one. That will have settled any pre-season nerves that the staff, players and fans had. They are more than good enough to compete at this level.

So, one down, 45 to go…it’s a long old season. Let’s take a look at two players that must start on Saturday for Salford…

Emmanuel Dieseruvwe

The man that scored Salford’s first-ever EFL goal, and their second. Dieseruvwe is still only 24 but has played at a lot of clubs, without really settling down at one. Even for Salford, he hasn’t featured a lot in his two-year spell. Maybe this year is the one when everything clicks into gear. The striker looked a real handful vs Stevenage, although the goals weren’t brilliant, he was there to put them away.

This is his chance to carry on that form, be a hero and make Salford your home. A confident striker is a dangerous striker, he’ll be raring to go on Saturday.

Richie Towell

This was The Ammies best signing of the summer, in my opinion. A midfielder that should dictate many games this season. Towell was very good for Rotherham in both the Championship and League One. Still only 27, he could easily still mix at those levels.

Salford has found a gem, build your team around him, give him the ball as much as possible. Fair play to Alexander, finding a midfielder of that quality to play in League Two must take some pulling power, you’ve done the hard work, now just sit and enjoy the results.

Salford City’s strong start shows they’re not here to make up numbers

Salford City got off to a great start in League Two as they managed to beat Stevenage 2-0 at home.

I got to see Salford’s pre-season games and it’s safe to say that fans didn’t get to see the best out of their team. There was some good football and stand out players, however a lot of losses, this made people wonder how they would perform in the league. This game was also going to be on Sky so the added pressure was something that people thought might throw them off. They surprised in their first home game of the season after being the stronger side and managing to bag a win.

First Half

The Ammies didn’t only get off to a great start in the league but a strong start in this game too. A couple of minutes in, they managed to win a corner. Newbie Ritchie Towell stuck out as he went in for every challenge and tried to put the pressure on.

Stevenage also tried to apply the pressure but Salford’s defence was just too tight for them. It only took 17 minutes for Salford’s Rooney to hit the bar. It was at this point when they became the favourites as chance after chance meant a goal would soon come.

26 minutes in, Stevenage did manage to get the ball in the back of the net only for it to be ruled offside and Salford to respond in the best way. After a series of passes and the Ammies trying to show they meant business, Wiseman brilliantly controlled the ball and hit a long pass which managed to reach Mani Dierseruvwe and he scored Salford’s first-ever league goal.

At the 32 minute mark, Dierseruvwe nearly put Salford 2-0 up after another great bit of play from Towell. Salford managed to keep their lead until half time. At this point, the second half could have gone one of two ways. Either Salford would have come back out feeling inspired after the first half or Stevenage would have been told to work harder and Salford could have slipped in standards.

Second Half

Coming out and showing they wanted the win, Salford clearly had a half time team talk that made them motivated to win even more. Just after the whistle went, Wiseman nearly assisted Salford’s second as he crossed it into the box and it just missed Towell and Dierseruvwe.

It was only the second minute of the second half when Mani Dierseruvwe finally got rewarded for his efforts and put the Ammies 2-0 up. This came from a clever free-kick headed down by Piergianni which couldn’t be blocked by the Stevenage players in the box and Mani Dierseruvwe bagged his second.

55 minutes in and nearly a third for Mani again after Towell managed to push forward and find the striker, only for his shot to be put wide. Salford kept on this same pressure until the end of the game.

In the 77th minute, Richie Towell’s time was up as he was subbed. Even though he created most of the Ammies chances and looked really promising for the rest of the season, he had managed to get a yellow card in the first half so taking him off was probably sensible as he does go on for every ball.

Ten minutes later and Mani Dierseruvwe was also taken off. He only had two minutes of normal time to get a hat trick but was still taken off. This may have been just to waste time. Oscar Threlkeld made his debut for the club when he replaced the goal scorer.

The Ammies managed to win 2-0 after five minutes of injury time. It was a great performance for them and fans were left feeling very happy and excited for the rest of the season. I am also glad that Oscar Threlkeld and Ritchie Towell got to make appearances as I wrote an article this week on why the pair should be given a chance in Salford’s first game of the season. The very promising performance has set high standards not only for Salford but for all League two teams.

Two players that must appear for Salford City today

Salford City’s opening fixture in League two will see them face Stevenage and The Football Manc Cave have picked out two players who should feature in the game.

I was at two of Salford City’s pre-season matches and got a good idea on who will be stand out players for them as they go into League Two. The promotion will be hard as a whole new league will prove difficult. However, new signings this summer have brought fresh and energetic legs into the mix. With that in mind, here are two of those players who should make an appearance this weekend…

Ritchie Towell

The 28-year-old played in both games that I got to see this summer and he stood out for me. The midfielder has pace and will run players down the middle. He will create chances and score. I saw him find the back of the net in their friendly against Woking and he really deserved the goal. Despite only signing for the Ammies this summer, he seems to have blended in perfectly and will be a stand out player this season.

Being a part of the squad today whether it be starting, or bringing him on in the second half will see a burst of energy on the pitch that should drive the whole team forward.

Oscar Threlkeld

Threlkeld is a product of Bolton’s youth and has spent the majority of his career at Plymouth Argyle. He joined Salford this summer and again, I got to see him in action. If he isn’t started against Stevenage then he should definitely be brought on at some point, especially if the Ammies are behind or struggling. In both games, he tried to run down the wings to create crosses that would hopefully lead to goals if he gets a chance in the league.

The 25-year-old is another player who seems to have gelled well with his new teammates, and will contribute towards a successful season for Salford.

Salford City, the team who just can’t please anybody

The sun was shining brightly for Salford City on the Peninsula Stadium, the latest sports ground in the country to hold a Football League member.

Yet this is no normal club. Salford City has been far from ordinary since the class of 92’s takeover in 2014. How many other of their footballing rivals have achieved four promotions in five seasons? How many have been promoted from the National League at the first attempt?

Both are an extreme rarity, yet this is Salford. For manager Graham Alexander, a shot at League One glory looks optimistic and the recent evidence with Tranmere Rovers shows it’s highly likely.

‘Look at Tranmere in their recent seasons, Lincoln another, although they had a year in-between. Bournemouth also, one season next to bottom in League Two then five or six seasons later in the Premier League. They prove it can be done, but no one has got out the National League at the first attempt until we did’.

Where the Ammies are concerned, when one league achievement is ticked off, the expectation for another is even higher. After dropping down from League One with Scunthorpe to the National League with Salford twelve months ago, Alexander does not seem phased with the challenge that lies ahead, or more importantly, the criticism that comes to his sides way.

‘I’m not out to prove people wrong, I’d rather prove people right. For myself, the owners, the players and supporters, I’m here to do that for them’.

On the tribalism show by their opposition last season. ‘I think we noticed it early on. We drew with Leyton Orient at home then lost back to back games at Gateshead and Sutton, where the elation shown against us was surprising. It opened my eyes up a lot’.

There was also criticism when the newly acclaimed league club, who could barely attract 100 spectators before Neville and Co came in, found themselves on Sky Sports for the opening game of the season against Stevenage.

The question surrounding the constant animosity against the Ammies is a puzzling one. The club’s financial muscle is the strongest argument, although the commitment and desire shown by the ex-Man United players rival the likes of Andy Holt at Accrington Stanley. He is acclaimed to be one of the best football custodians in the EFL, so too are the owners of Salford City.

Club strikers Adam Rooney, 31 and newest signing Luke Armstrong, 23, represent the keen ambition at the Peninsula, with eyes only for the top of the League Two tree next May.

Adam Rooney

Rooney is loving life in a red shirt saying, ‘It’s brilliant, so many players come here because of the clubs ambition. Our aim is to be competing at the top of the table come to the end of the season. Winning promotion at Wembley is always a day to remember and we hope for more great memories’.

‘Towards the end of last season, we saw more kids come with their dads and grandads. We sign autographs for the youngsters, Irish fans who speak to me say they’ll definately be back again’.

Armstrong, fresh from his move from Championship side Middlesbrough, echoes his senior striker’s views.

‘It’s a really ambitious club with the intention for moving up the leagues going from strength to strength, trying to push on every time, going as high as possible and that’s great for a young player’.

Listening to Rooney and Armstrong, it’s no wonder so many players are keen to board the Salford train. Where the journey will end will most likely be a better position to where it is now.

The final touches: What Graham Alexander should be getting right in Salford City training this week, agree?

Salford City’s biggest ever season is just around the corner. And here is what we hope Graham Alexander is doing in training.

Salford City was promoted to the National League at the end of 2018. One season later, they were promoted to the EFL League Two, the highest tier of football the club has found themselves in since their formation in 1940.

Alexander has lost his last two games of pre-season. Suffering a 3-1 defeat to Woking and a 3-1 defeat to Middlesbrough. Despite being friendlies, there is cause for concern for Salford City.

Defence

They have shown weaknesses in defence, particularly when defending set-pieces. Therefore, defensive strategies against the dead ball need to be drilled into the side going into their new season and throughout. This will prevent the majorities of goals that Salford concede.

Attack

New signing Richie Towell has been a stand-out player for Salford City in pre-season. Against Woking, I had the pleasure of seeing the link-up between himself and Danny Lloyd, where the two confidently turned midfield possession into a quick attack.

This fairly new partnership needs to develop quickly. There have been glimpses of the service they can off the Salford attack, but rigorous training and a set method of attack can give the lads a routine to follow and perfect.

Fitness

Alexander cannot expect the same run of success as recent years as they step into their biggest challenge yet. His team need to be ready for a high-intensity season, with 46 league games and a potential cup run, or two.

Salford needs fitness and depth in order to cope with the demands of the EFL. If the squad can remain fit, work on aerial dominance in defence, and find a suitable style for Lloyd and Towell to run the game, we could see Salford City soar high in League Two next season.

What will former Swindon Town man offer Salford City?

Salford City has completed the signing of Martin Smith, on a two-year contract, following his release from Swindon Town at the end of last season.

The 23-year-old started his career at Sunderland, and had loan spells at Gateshead United and Carlisle United, before moving to Kilmarnock permanently. Swindon signed the midfielder in 2018, he made 11 appearances last season, before leaving to join Salford.

Smith doesn’t bring a great deal of playing experience to Moor Lane, however, he’s been around the lower leagues throughout his career. So he will know the demands of League Two, and how important it is to maintain a good level of performance during a 46 game season.

Smith was highly-rated as a youngster, however, his career hasn’t gone to plan so far, perhaps this is the break he needs to kick-on. It’s all about him playing football, being happy and tasting success. Sunderland has had a great academy for many years, bringing through England internationals Jordan Henderson and Jordan Pickford, Smith played in the same academy side as them, which shows he’s got the talent. Salford will give him regular game time and an opportunity to start developing his career.

Martin Smith quotes

On arriving at Salford City, Smith said:

“I’ve had a journey in the game which has had some good moments and tough moments which got me here now but I’ve loved every minute of it, it’s something that I love doing. I love getting up each day and going to training and I love playing each week so this is a massive opportunity.

The clubs I’ve been at I’ve learnt a lot and developed as a person, as a player, and I feel I’m ready for this challenge and I’m ready to be successful and to help this club as much as I can to get to where we all want to be.”

« Older Entries