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POLL: Who will finish higher in League Two… Oldham Athletic or Salford City?

Before League Two starts again, both Oldham Athletic and Salford City will be looking to gain promotion this season.

With both teams having a challenging season ahead, it’s time to decide who will have the more successful League Two campaign. One side are newly promoted and looking for another promotion after last season’s playoff win in the National League. The other side finished 14th last season after another turbulent campaign under three different managers.

With fixtures being released, new signings in mind and pre-season friendly’s to come, who will have a better 2019/20 campaign?

Salford City

Newly promoted last season and they’re already causing a fuss with other teams by being one of the most highly anticipated teams of the season. They’ve been picked to go on Sky for their opening game and the Class Of 92 want them to have a successful season. Can they?

Oldham Athletic

With a new man in charge starting next week alongside starting their transfer campaign by signing defender Zac Mills. Oldham are on the hunt to finish higher this season.

Latics have also picked out Salford as one of their key dates. If they can get on top of their team and style of play before the start of the season, can they manage a higher league finish?

Who will finish higher in League 2

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Stockport County will be looking for the double bounce promotion, these 2 factors will help that

The Champions of the National League North, Stockport County, are taking a step up to the National League, but what can they do to stay there next season?

As many long-serving Stockport County fans will despise to remember, this huge club was a Championship side until 2002. Due to the club falling into administration, it’s been a downhill slope for the club which has been playing in the sixth tier of English football for the past six years, until now.

This Greater Manchester based club will take the place of its neighbour, Salford City, in the National League next season. If Stockport can follow suit of Salford, they will find themselves alongside them in the EFL League Two, presuming that Salford is capable of remaining in the division.

Stockport County clinched their first league title in 52 years by finishing 1 point ahead of Chorley, but how can they ensure a finish the fans deserve in their new league in the 2019/20 season…

Investment

A sore subject for Stockport County would be finances. However, Jim Gannon himself said “Only the best clubs that are investing well or have strong management and teams have done well. So hopefully we can replicate the likes of Salford and Fylde, Harrogate and Halifax, who have consolidated at that level.”

This suggests that Stockport County’s investment over recent years hasn’t been enough to allow the club to grow, hence how they have stagnated in the National League North. But now that they have established themselves as real contenders, it may be time to invest in the future of the club and allow them to progress even further.

Goals

Stockport County were very impressive last season, scoring 77 goals. However, in the 2018/19 National League North, teams scored an average of 55.8 goals, whereas, in the 2018/19 National League season, teams scored an average of 57.3 goals. This demonstrates the higher quality and ability of teams in the league, and Stockport needs to be able to keep up with that next season.

Fortunately, Gannon has taken this into account. Stockport recently disclosed that they have signed the striker Alex Curran from Colne, a 20-year-old who bagged 22 goals in 44 appearances last season, and 22 goals in 46 the season before. This young talent will no doubt increase the rate of fire for his new club.

And the manager has some strong words to say about him, “With Alex, we think we have got a player with an outstanding C.V. Over the last two years he’s been one of the main players, he’s a regular goalscorer, provides regular assists and I think we’ve provided a great platform for him.”

Salford City needs to stay focused this year amidst early signs of what’s to come

Recently promoted Salford City will be fighting to go higher than League Two next season. 

The Class Of 92’s team managed to get to the play off’s last season and move from the National League to League 2. They’ll have a tough 18/19 season playing a new set of teams and going into a level of football that will have them in the spotlight, on TV and playing in competitions that the club has never been in before. 

Manager Graham Alexander will have to put his priorities right with the team. He’s managed teams in higher leagues than the National League before, so he’s got experience and hopefully, he will do well inspiring the club but what should they focus on? 

Focus on the League

This season will see Salford compete in the Carabao cup and the EFL Trophy which will be exciting for the team, staff and fans. However, the team found their spark last year and got promoted off their style of play, goals and hard work.

The team should give the competition’s their best efforts, definitely, I just think they should put all their efforts into the league, try and remain in the division and then maybe the next season give the cup games more attention. 

Television & Fans Of Other Teams

If you look at all the posts on social media that Sky and Salford have been posting about cup ties, fixtures and news ahead of this new season. Tonnes of fans have jumped on the fact that Salford has already been picked to go on TV. Their first game of the season against Stevenage has been picked, and now their cup tie with Leeds is expected to be an interest of Sky TV.

The first thing I think Salford need to do is not let the pressure of televised games get to them, and the second thing is to ignore the hate and abuse from other teams. A lot of fans are saying that because of the money and ex-Manchester United players behind the team, that’s the reason Sky are “favouriting” them over other teams.

It may be true but the players don’t deserve the abuse. Adam Rooney even picked up on this in an interview and basically said that “anyone who doesn’t support Man United doesn’t like Salford because of their owners” he also went on to add, “we’ve had tonnes of abuse off people this year but if people want you to fail, all you can do is succeed and move on and hopefully rub it in their face.”

‘The closest Leeds Utd are getting to Man Utd this season’ Big Carabao cup draw for Salford City as Twitter reacts

Salford City vs Leeds – you couldn’t write it, could you?

I wonder which Carabao Cup first round matches will be on Sky…I wouldn’t even hazard a guess.

I’m sure there’ll be plenty of banter in the build-up between ‘The Class of 92’ and Leeds fans. It’s good revenue for The Ammies, Leeds will bring 10,000 and half of United’s season ticket holders will turn up too. A quick upgrade of the ground may be needed.

Anyway, lets look at how Twitter reacted to the tie being drawn, 1-0 Gary Neville…

Oldham Athletic fans not feeling very optimistic ahead of the new season ‘Macclesfield and Salford as key fixtures, I feel sick’ ‘That’s a tough start’

Laurent Banide’s side have revealed their fixtures to fans this morning and how has it gone down?

The Latics finished 14th last season in League Two. They start their 2019/20 campaign facing Forest Green away on the 3rd of August, Crewe at home on the 10th and Bradford away on the 17th.

Oldham’s Twitter account posted their fixtures in a unique way, they put out their opening five fixtures in one post. Their ‘festive fixtures’ in another and then what they predict to be their, ‘Key Fixtures’ to be before posting a full rundown of the season to come.

According to them, Macclesfield, Salford and Bradford are dates for the fans diaries but some have disagreed…

‘Yes!! Come on The Ammies!!! Live on Sky Sports!’ ‘On Sky straight away… what a surprise’ Salford City already causing a stir before the seasons started

Fixture day has arrived and Salford’s first games in League Two are here. 

After The Ammies managed promotion last season, the fans have been waiting on their fixture list to weigh up how they think their team will progress.

As Salford’s official Twitter page revealed their opening games this morning, I expected fans to be giving opinions and talking more in general about their upcoming season, however, it’s been more a case of ‘who’s on TV.’

Salford will face:

Stevenage FC at home to kick off their league two campaign on the 3rd of August.

Crawley away on the 10th of August.

Port Vale at home on the 17th of August.

Sky has revealed how the Stevenage game will be aired on the opening week but that seems to be the talking point for all fans today. With Salford being the newly promoted team, you do expect them to be a hot topic. Although a lot of fans are suggesting that because of the Class Of 92’s money, input and influence on the what happens with the team, this is why they are getting televised matches when other teams should get a look in.

There are some who have given more of an opinion on the fixtures themselves, and some even having a dig at Paul Scholes’ recent betting scandal. Television aside, what’s your opinions on the opening fixtures?

Ex Bolton Wanderers player should have a huge impact On Salford City’s debut EFL season

With Salford promoted to League 2 last season, who will make a big impact for the team?

For Salford City, this is breaking new ground in the clubs history and one that the fans will soak up every last second of throughout the course of the season. 

Many players impressed last campaign as the Ammies gained promotion through the playoffs, with a win over AFC Fylde. However, a different level of football awaits.

Which player could make the biggest impact in League 2… 

Tom Walker

Personally, I think Salford have got a great team collectively and have done the right thing in getting rid of players they didn’t think were beneficial. The team members that they have kept in a contract are all great, but I’ve picked out Tom Walker as someone I think people should keep an eye on next season. 

The 23-year-old midfielder started his youth career at Bolton Wanderers and in 2015 he signed for the first team. However, between 2015 and 2017 he only appeared 18 times, although he did bag one goal. In 2016, he was loaned to Bury and made 11 appearances and then went on to Stockport. He made 5 appearances before moving to United FC of Manchester, and in 2018 their fans were gutted when Salford signed him. Walker has since made 57 appearances and scored 11 goals for the class of 92’s team. 

As well as his impressive form, another reason why I think Walker will have an impressive season is that his ex-teammate, Oscar Threlkeld has just signed for them too. This would give Salford a strong defensive midfield duo but Walker has also proven himself as a goal scorer too. 

Salford City favourites for the League 2 title?…Not for me

Salford are the bookmakers’ (SkyBet) favourites alongside Scunthorpe to win League Two next season. It will be The Ammies’ first season in the EFL, will they adapt and dominate as quickly as expected?

Salford has the ability and stature to attract players. With the ‘Class of 92’ part owning the Manchester club, players are keen to join and be a part of history. Coupled with the fact their manager, Graham Alexander, has experience of managing in the EFL already with Scunthorpe. You’d expect Salford to sign good quality players, and be challenging at the right end of the table come May. Favourites for the title? Not for me.

In my opinion, Bradford will win the league next season. They have a brilliant fan base who support their club through thick and thin, Gary Bowyer is a top manager and building a side with the aim of winning the division. Zeli Ismail and Clayton Donaldson have already signed for The Bantams, while striker James Vaughan is also expected to sign, which could result in goals, goals and more goals.

Ryan Lowe will be targeting promotion with Plymouth, having succeeded at the task with Bury last season. Also, Scunthorpe now has Paul Hurst, who won promotion and done a superb at Shrewsbury.

The 2019/20 League Two season promises to be very tightly contested, and with no clear favourite for the title, everyone will fancy their chances of making the top three.

2 Salford City players that need to leave for the sake of their own careers

The Ammies has an amazing season that saw them promoted from the National League to League Two. 

Salford were promoted when they won their playoff match against Flyde. The class of 92 now have a League 2 season to compete in, and the club have recently put out their list of players they are releasing alongside who they’re keeping on contract.

With that in mind, I’ve had a look at two players I would have also let go or just send out on loan. 

Max Crocombe

The 25-year-old goalkeeper signed for Salford in 2017 after he wasn’t offered a scholarship by Luton or MK Dons, and he’d tried his best to get into other teams so decided to get into non-league football.

In 2017, Crocombe played for Salford against Bradford but he ended up getting sent off after he was seen urinating at the side of a stand. It would be fairly easy for Salford to recruit a replacement whether it be temporary or permanent.

He isn’t their first choice and maybe the Ammies should let him go on loan somewhere while he gets some more appearances, and learns to wait till half or full time to go for a wee. 

Josh Askew

Askew may benefit from going elsewhere also. The 21-year-old defender has had 41 appearances and 2 goals since 2017, but he’s no stranger to loans or other clubs.

He spent nine years at Blackburn before joining the Ammies. At Rovers, he signed his first professional contract in 2016 however, that same season, he went on loan to Ramsbottom. Admittedly he did come away with player of the year but then he ended up at Warrington. Maybe the defender would be better suited somewhere else. 

Wrexham would be silly not to try sign Salford City’s Danny Lloyd – agree?

Salford City fans were excited by a tweet yesterday, that suggested Danny Lloyd has gained interest from Wrexham. 

The tweet basically explained that Wrexham have enquires about the midfielder. With all parties interested, however, the 27-year old’s wages may be too high for Wrexham to pay. 

Lloyd was with Stockport in the 2016/17 season and he finished as the clubs top goal scorer. He managed 29 goals and 19 assists that saw him earn a place in the team of the season. When his contract was up, Peterborough pounced on him and he appeared 37 times for the club, managing 13 goals before he joined Salford on a three-year deal. The midfielder has made 35 appearances for the club and managed 3 goals, and if Wrexham manages to pull off the transfer, he could be a crucial part to their team. 

Wrexham have gone from strength to strength in the National League. They finished 10th out of 24 teams in 2017/18 and an impressive 4th in 2018/19. I hope that the deal can be negotiated as Lloyd would be a great attacking midfielder for the club. It’s been proven he can also help them in the goals department too. Fans think it is unlikely, however, stranger things have happened. 

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