Tag Archives: league 2

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.

Oldham Athletic need a win!

The Football Manc Cave are looking at Oldham Athletic’s next match. Following some poor results, things have to pick up for Binade.

Oldham really need to start taking some points from teams and hopefully being at home this week may help. With a relatively new manager and some new signings, things seem to be hard for the Latics and fans are getting increasingly frustrated. They play Exeter City at 7.45pm on Tuesday.

Oldhams Form:

Forest Green 1-0 Oldham

Oldham 1-2 Crewe

Bradford 3-0 Oldham

Exeter form:

Exeter City 1-0 Macclesfield

Stevenage 0-1 Exeter

Exeter 1-1 Swindon

Line Up & Team News:

Oldhams line up against Bradford was as follows…

1. Woods

2. Mills

3. Iacovitti

4. Sefil

5. Smith-Brown

10. Maouche (C)

11. Nepomuceno

17. Missilou

18. Fage

19. Segbe Azankpo

24. Sylla

This line up will probably be repeated mostly on Tuesday. Oldham fans are worried about whether David Wheater will be back for this game. He’s been out for a couple of weeks and fans are desperate to have him back to strengthen their defence.

Prediction:

Along with a lot of Oldham fans, my expectations are low. I think Oldham will lose again, unfortunately. I hope something changes soon for them as fans don’t deserve the performances and results the team are getting.

With 2 weeks left of the window, what do Oldham Athletic need to do

Leagues 1&2 still have a couple of weeks to get any last-minute signings done. What does Oldham Athletic need to do?

Oldham have had to face a lot over the summer, they’ve spent the majority of it getting used to the new manager, Laurent Banide. On top of that, fans were begging their team to get new signings made which is exactly what they’ve done. I just think it’s come too late and that’s the problem that Oldham are having.

They’ve managed to get the likes of, ex Bolton captain, David Wheater, another ex Bolton man, Chris Eagles and Plymouth left-back Ashley Smith-Brown to put pen to paper. There’s been a few more over the summer too, however, pre-season games showed Oldham that they needed better defence.

The players they have signed have great potential and I honestly don’t think they need to sign anybody else. If they do, that will be a bonus to the squad and it will give Banide more options. For the time being, however, it’s about the training sessions and how they can make the most out of them.

Defence needs work

One of the biggest things that need to be worked on is the defence. Like I said earlier, Oldham lacked quality at the back and the management finally realised that just before the start of the season when they started to recruit. Training sessions now need to be focussed on them and how they should gel together.

The situation that their style of play is in at the minute is very much like Man United’s last season. The back four need to tighten up so that they can push forward on the attack with no problems. Banide needs to work with what he’s already got and make it strong. That’s what he’s there to do, although he hasn’t been there long so he just needs some time. At least that’s what Latics fans are hoping.

Once the defence is at its best, that’s when the training sessions can switch to attacking positions. Banide will either turn this around or end up getting sacked. Who ever ends up in charge needs to work the existing squad up to standard.

2 weeks of the transfer window left, what do Rochdale need to do

Rochdale have enjoyed a solid start to their season, taking five points from their opening three league matches, and beating Bolton 5-2 in the first round of the Carabao Cup.

The Dale won their opening day fixture at Tranmere Rovers 2-3, with striker Ian Henderson grabbing two and loanee Rhys Norrington-Davies netting on debut. In their opening game at Spotland, Rochdale drew 1-1 with Doncaster Rovers and 0-0 yesterday. It’s been a good start to the season, how far can Brian Barry-Murphy take them?

It’s a big two weeks for them into terms of the transfer window. Rochdale needs to add depth to a good starting 11, to be competing at the right end of the table come May. They have arguably the best goalscorer in the division, Henderson, however an injury to him would leave them light on goals.

Also, although they’ve scored nine goals in three matches, they’ve still conceded five which is a worry. Obviously if you sacrifice defensive thoughts to score more goals, you are likely to concede more, however Murphy may be looking to sign a central defender to help steady a leaky defence.

I think Rochdale have an exciting team, a manager that wants to succeed and is supported by the fans. They’ll have a good season, however, their lack of depth does worry me, when you look at teams like Sunderland and Portsmouth, in comparison. If Murphy can perhaps poach a couple of loan players and pick up a couple of permanent signings to bolster his options, particularly in defence, then Rochdale will be well prepared for a shot at the play-offs.

BBM should set up his Rochdale back 4 like this to frustrate Shrewsbury & take the 3 points

Rochdale have enjoyed a good start to the season, The Dale won their opening game 3-2 at newly-promoted Tranmere Rovers, before drawing against Doncaster at Spotland.

A hidden gem

Robert Sanchez joined in the summer from Brighton and Hove Albion. The youngster has started the opening three matches, and despite conceding seven goals, it’s looking like Brian Barry-Murphy has found his number one for the season. Sanchez spent time on loan at Forest Green Rovers during the 2017/18 campaign, so will be looking to impress this time around in a higher division.

Jimmy Keohane will operate at right-back again, the versatile Irishman has played a number of positions since signing for Rochdale last summer. A reliable player that will do his job pretty much anywhere on the pitch.

On the other side, Rochdale look to have found a gem in the loan signing of Rhys Norrington-Davies from Sheffield United. The left-back has already chipped in with a goal and an assist in the opening two league games and just provides an extra attacking option to Barry-Murphy. It’s important that full-backs add that width and quality into the box, particularly when you have a striker like Ian Henderson, who usually profits from opportunities.

Experience

Jim McNulty provides that experience and leadership needed in central defence. At 34, the defenders best years are probably behind him. However, his leadership skills and influence off the pitch, are priceless to The Dale. He will be partnered by new summer signing Eoghan O’Connell, who signed from Bury. The Irishman made 31 appearances last season and has headed to Rochdale hoping to continue the solid form that saw them promoted to League One.

Shrewsbury Town is one of the hardest places to go in League One, however, The Dale are the underdogs and are scoring goals, I give them a big chance of getting a result.

It’s boys v men for Bolton Wanderers again this weekend against Tranmere Rovers

Both Bolton Wanderers and Tranmere Rovers are looking for their first win of the EFL League One season in this bottom of the table match up.

Should Bolton Wanderers not have received a twelve-point deduction at the beginning of the campaign, they would be ahead of Tranmere Rovers. But as it stands, Tranmere sits in 20th on zero points and Bolton sit in 23rd with minus eleven.

The Football Manc Cave brings you the Tranmere v Bolton match preview, where we will discuss the form of each of side and what this game means to them going into it…

Bolton Wanderers

In the two league games and one cup game that Bolton Wanderers have played, it truly has been boys vs men.

Suffering from significantly less possession and shots on target than each opponent, the Wanderers did well to salvage one point at home against Coventry. On their own soil, they had to hold out for a point in a game that saw 24 shots go against them and 7 for. If this is how Bolton plan to survive the season, the die-hard Wanderers fans will be in for a very slow and drawn out season.

In the EFL cup, the Wanderers managed to score for the first time in over four months, with two against Rochdale. Ronan Darcy and Dennis Politic were the scorers in the 5-2 defeat.

Tranmere Rovers

Tranmere Rovers haven’t seen much success either. They have lost both league games and their EFL cup tie against Hull City, 3-0. Despite this, the Rovers showed signs of being able to dominate the game over a decent side. They just need stamina and confidence, which a big win over Bolton Wanderers could give them.

Rovers were promoted to League One last season after finishing sixth and winning the play-offs. This will make survival in this league even more difficult for them and increasing the gap between themselves and Bolton Wanderers is incredibly important.

Prediction?

Despite the valiant efforts of Bolton Wanderers, they are being overhauled in every single game. It appears the class and experience of the vigorous League One is far too much for these youngsters, who have been forced to take an unhealthy leap in their careers. Although Tranmere Rovers finished sixth in the league below last season, their quality will likely surpass Bolton’s.

Bolton will back to the wall, praying for a point, so expect a late winner or shock draw.

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.

What is going wrong for Banide at Oldham Athletic?

Oldham Athletic’s recent performances give positives and negatives despite overwhelming defeats

They have lost every pre-season game and league game so far but pulled off a 3-2 win in the Football League Trophy against Liverpool U-21s. The Latics really got to show what they were about against a weaker opponent.

The victory proved that there are class and quality in the squad to be worked with. Segbé Azankpo proved to a clinical finisher and Chris Eagles were heavily involved in attacking play throughout. This is Oldham’s threat.

Their organization in maintaining pressure and defending is lacklustre, leaving holes and gaps to exploit at the back.

Oldham’s situation is somewhat similar to that of Man Utd last season. Their weak defence stops the attack from progressing confidently and without fear. Solskjaer now has Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and the Reds put four past Chelsea on the opening day of the Premier League.

How can Banide fix his squad?

Of course, Banide cannot be blessed with such an investment. But a recognized manager like himself should be able to get the best out of the defence he has. By giving his current defence a structure and system to go by on a weekly basis, the talented attackers in the side would have more freedom. This would result in the Frenchman’s side improving, winning and gelling as a team.

In the early days of the season, it would be unfair to judge the new manager. He has come into a difficult position at a struggling club. But their defeat against Crewe and their victory over Liverpool U-21s proved that the side has a bit of bite about them when they attack.

If this can be utilized throughout the season, whilst defensive philosophies are upheld – we could still see Oldham Athletic blossom this season.

Unlike other managers in recent years, Banide should be given time to implement a system and a squad that can progress the club further. Unless they get relegated, of course.

Two Oldham Athletic players that need to shine for Binade against Blackburn Rovers

Laurent Banide could find a pass this season if he can take his team far in the Carabao Cup. But he needs these two Oldham Athletic players to show up to see them past Blackburn Rovers…

Oldham Athletic was keen on beginning the season under new manager Laurent Banide, as the Frenchman looks to take Oldham Athletic to the other end of the table.

Unfortunately for the Latics, they currently find themselves on zero points after two games in League Two. They have played both home and away and have been outplayed on both occasions, suffering from less possession and fewer passes than their opponents.

Banide’s side was dominated by a strong Forest Green. But was also easily bested by a Crewe side who was recently obliterated by Plymouth Argyle. This shows that Oldham is unable to match not only the top teams but the fairly average teams also.

Regardless, Banide’s Latics will go toe to toe against Championship’s Blackburn Rovers. They currently find themselves on zero points after two games. Though they have faced very fierce opponents in Fulham and Charlton.

Should Oldham cause an upset in this game, they would need moments of brilliance from the quality they have, as it appears the reigns of Banide aren’t controlling much thus far.

The Football Manc Cave bring you the two players who can lead Oldham Athletic to victory in this big League Cup tie…

Scott Wilson

Banide has started Wilson upfront in both games of the league so far. It appears that he is in favour with the manager and that the Latics believe he can be their goalscorer. The 26-year-old Englishman Scott Wilson scored 14 and assisted 5 for Macclesfield in the 17/18 National League, and continued with 10 goals and 2 assists for the same side in the 18/19 EFL League Two.

Now in the Oldham Athletic strip, Wilson needs to take his game up a level and live up to the trust placed in him by the manager. A winning goal in a cup game against a tough opponent would kick start his career with Oldham.

Chris Eagles

Another recent acquisition for the side is ex-Man Utd and Burnley man Chris Eagles. The 33-year-old is still kicking it. Against such a tough opponent, Oldham Athletic must utilize the experience and quality they have in Eagles.

He has faced teams of all strength and sizes and will be able to set the bar for his teammates against a team who, on paper, beat them with ease.

‘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.

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