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3 Rochdale players that should play vs Oldham Athletic today – Agree?

Oldham Athletic host Rochdale in a pre-season friendly today, as both sides continue their preparation ahead their seasons starting on August 3rd.

Oldham finished 14th in League Two last season, new manager Laurent Banide will be looking towards the play-offs. However, last seasons talisman Callum Lang looks to be staying at Wigan Athletic for the next campaign.

While Rochdale escaped relegation, following their brilliant form under caretaker boss Brian Barry-Murphy, which saw him be appointed the clubs permanent boss.

So, let’s look ahead to this friendly. Which three Rochdale players should start on today?

Ian Henderson

Scored on Saturday vs Huddersfield, will score five vs Oldham. Perhaps a little optimistic, I’m just a huge fan of his. Henderson being fit and scoring goals will make or break their season. Provide him service and he’ll score 15+, if they don’t, they’ll struggle to avoid relegation. I’m quietly confident they’ll have a good season, though.

Ntlhe Kgosi

The defender was signed from Stevenage in 2017, on a free transfer. He was in and out of the side last season, making 19 appearances, similar the season before when he made 20. Whenever I’ve watched him, I’ve been impressed and wondered why he doesn’t play every week. Perhaps if he has a full pre-season, he can be a vital player for Murphy next season.

Bradley Wade

Josh Lillis will start the season as Rochdale’s number one. However, Bradley Wade is currently the only other goalkeeper on their books, so perhaps he’s going to be given an opportunity to challenge for the number one shirt next season. Still only 19, he has plenty of potential and time is on his side.

2 strengths and 2 weaknesses which will see Rochdale finish mid-table

Brian Barry-Murphy was appointed as caretaker manager of Rochdale in March 2019, after the sacking of Keith Hill. He guided them to safety and has since been given the job on a permanent basis.

The Dale were struggling in the relegation zone when Hill was sacked. However, Murphy shored up the defence, winning a lot of games 1-0 which saw Rochdale steer themselves clear of safety.

Dan from The Football Manc Cave looks at two strengths and two weaknesses that will see Rochdale have a solid next campaign.

Keeping Ian Henderson

Rochdale have one of the best strikers in League One. He’s done it time and time again, and just guarantees goals at this level. As long as Murphy has the creative players to feed him, he will score enough goals on his own to see Rochdale safe from relegation, at least. I’m amazed he’s still at Rochdale, a big side like Ipswich or Sunderland could probably buy him for peanuts and he’d score them 20 goals.

Brian Barry-Murphy

A young coach that must excite the Rochdale fans. He struck an immediate connection with supporters, got the results required and with a full season of him, they must feel confident about them pushing for mid-table. Murphy needs to sign a couple of quality players, particularly in defence, then perhaps they can mount a push for playoffs next season.

Lack of central defenders

Rochdale only has two central defenders on the books currently. It doesn’t take the brains of Britain to understand that simply isn’t enough. They need to sign experienced, solid defenders, otherwise, they may well ship too many goals. Perhaps they’ll look to the loan market, and get some young Premier League defenders to marshal their defenders. Either way, they certainly need some before August 3rd.

Not replacing Bradden Inman

Bradden Inman is a very good midfielder, particularly in League One. He scored four goals in 29 appearances for Rochdale, offering that creativity and quality to start attacks. He left to play in Australia, it’s important that Murphy replaces his void, otherwise they may struggle to supply Henderson with chances.

Rochdale seemed to have found a gem on loan

Rochdale made their first summer signing yesterday after securing a deal to bring Norrington-Davies to Spotland, on loan from Sheffield United.

The highly-rated 20-year-old started his career at Swansea, before joining The Blades in 2017. The defender is seen as a future starter for United, therefore they are looking to get him some vital EFL experience.

The Welsh under-21 international spent last season at Barrow and made 28 appearances.

Let’s look at two things that Norrington-Davies can bring to Rochdale…

Energy & creativity

One of Norrington-Davies’ main strengths is his ability to fly up to the wing and deliver crosses. In League One, a majority of games are close contests, if you have that extra quality that can provide a match-winning contribution, you will have a successful season.

Rochdale have one of the best strikers in the division with Iain Henderson, they need to focus on creating him as many chances as possible. He’s a goal scorer. Get players around him, quality into the box and he won’t let you down.

Position filled for minimal cost

Rochdale was searching for a left-back this summer, and they seemed to have found a gem on loan. Two reasons why they’ve done a great deal: He’s just a very good player for League One, solid at both attacking and defending, provides energy and will excite The Dale signings.

Also, I can’t imagine Rochdale are paying much towards his wages. They are doing Sheffield United a huge favour by offering him a year of competitive football. That’s key. Rochdale need to strengthen their squad ahead of next season, taking advantage of the loan market is very important for them – and they’ve made a good start.

Rochdale fans feel hard done by following Dan Adshead’s move to Norwich City

It was announced yesterday that Rochdale academy graduate Dan Adshead completed a move to recently promoted Norwich City. Signing a long term contract to play with their Under 23 initially for an undisclosed fee.

He made a total of 16 appearances in his breakthrough season, scoring once in the EFL Trophy against Leicester Under 23s in the group stages. He also managed to make three appearances for England Under 18s and scored on his debut.

The rumoured fee of roughly 300k has been floated around the internet. This hasn’t gone down well with sections of the fan base who believe, he’s worth much more than that. Especially as Manchester United were rumoured to be in for him for £1 Million last season. No doubt the deal for him will contain add ons should certain clauses be met.

Adshead has long been recognised as a promising talent, with former manager Keith Hill even inviting him to train with the first team a couple of seasons ago when he was only 15.

Dan showed a maturity way beyond his years when breaking into the first team last season, and could go on to be the best academy export the club has produced for quite some time. He will be sorely missed but no one can begrudge him the move to a higher level.

Rochdale have to set the achievable goal following quiet preseason

Rochdale’s final UK pre-season fixture was confirmed on Friday with a trip to local neighbours Oldham pencilled in for Saturday 20th July. This adds to Blackburn, Huddersfield and Bradford at Spotland on the 14th, 17th and 27th of July respectively and away trips to Ramsbottom and Hyde on the 24th and 30th of July.

With the new kits released on Saturday ahead of the new season, this is a great time to predict what’s potentially ahead for the Spotland faithful this coming season.

Much is being made about the lack of business or contract news coming from the club so far this summer. Players are still under contract until the 30th of June, and it has become quite common for players to delay contract offers while they or their agents assess all their options and see if a better offer comes in.

It is safe to assume at least half of the players offered deals will sign, namely Matty Done, Jimmy Keohane, Aaron Morley, Kgosi Ntlhe, Ollie Rathbone, Brad Wade, Aaron Wilbraham and the Youth Team’s Lewis Bradley, Harrison Hopper, Florent Hoti and Fabio Tavares.

With Rochdale having a rather large squad last season I do not personally expect an abundance of signings this summer, rather more quality over quantity.

With the right additions, League One can be a lot more comfortable for Rochdale this coming season. A mid-table finish has to be an achievable goal. If they can avoid the many defensive errors and inconsistent performances from certain players that led to Dale struggling last season.

With Brian Barry-Murphy taking the squad to Portugal on July 4th for warm weather training, this will be his chance to assess how well fitness has been maintained over the close season and see where perhaps signings may be needed.

Is The Lack of Transfer News Concerning For Rochdale, or Is BBM Right To Wait?

Following Rochdale AFC’s survival, and a sixth consecutive season in League One secured for the first time in their history. Its been a quiet summer so far for the Dale fans.

With no contract or transfer news at all since their season ended, apart from Brian Barry-Murphy’s retained and released list, this could be perceived as good news or bad news depending on your outlook.

Firstly, the lack of news on contract signings is potentially bad news. As it has become the norm that players delay signing extensions, whilst they or their agents look around to see if they can get a better deal elsewhere. Or in most cases, they use other clubs interest as a bargaining chip to get an improved deal.

Secondly, no transfer news isn’t always a bad sign as Brian Barry-Murphy knows that this transfer window could make or break, not only his spell as Rochdale manager but, his management career in general. If he doesn’t get the recruitment right, it would tarnish all the good work Rochdale fans seen following his appointment. So waiting for the right signings rather than panic buying, just to appease the fans could be a rather bit of shrewd business.

BBM lost just three times, against three playoff placed teams in an extraordinary spell at the end of last season. In which he guided Dale to safety and 16th place finish, something that was a stark contrast to the other two-thirds of the season.

It’s clear BBM can get a tune out of the current regime, however, following a couple of departures. Barry-Murphy has surely been given the right already to earn the trust of the supporters and hope that he can continue where he left off.

Rochdale fans, who would you like to sign this transfer window lets us know in the comments below?

Was Rochdale The Making Of Cardiff City’s Mendez-Laing

A name very much on the end of most Cardiff City fans tongue last weekend was that of scorer Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, who doubled his goal tally for the season in the final game of the season.

Many Rochdale fans, however, will have good memories of Mendez-Laing during his spell at Spotland under Keith Hill. After not really having much impact at Peterborough during his three-year spell with the club, in which he found the back of the net four times. Being loaned out became the norm for the winger.

Three back-to-back loan spells at Portsmouth, Cambridge and Shrewsbury left Mendez-Laing looking broken. In came Rochdale in the summer of 2015, with Kieth Hill believing he could revive the winger’s fortunes and get him playing as he should be.

Signed on an initial one year deal, Mendez-Laing didn’t have an ideal start with mounting injuries pushing back his league appearance to October. Nevertheless, Hill thought if he could get Mendez-Laing up to match fitness on a regular basis he’d have some player on his hands.

The winger scored roughly one goal in three games and it was a no-brainer to activate his second-year option on his contract.

During his second season at the club, he turned up in the big games when Rochdale needed him too, and carried the team a lot towards the end of the season as Dale pushed for a playoff place.

His turn of form and performances didn’t go unnoticed, and Cardiff City came calling for the free agent in the summer of 2017 after he rejected a Rochdale contract.

He helped the bluebirds in their quest to be promoted to the Premier League, however, an injury-ravaged first half of the season put a dent in his momentum.

Rochdale fans, what memories do you have of Mendez-Laing and did you think he had what it took to play in the Premier League?

Two Players That Rochdale Fans Will Be Desperate to Sign a New Deal – Agree?

Following on from my previous articles it has been revealed that Brian Barry-Murphy has offered new terms to seven out of the nine players who out of contract this summer.

Namely Matty Done, Jimmy Keohane, Aaron Morley, Kgosi Ntlhe, Ollie Rathbone, Brad Wade & Aaron Wilbraham. Only Jordan Williams and Bradden Inman were informed that their services would no longer be required at Spotland next season.

With such a high number of potential renewals, it is likely that not all will accept. Out of the seven that Barry-Murphy wishes to retain, I would like to concentrate on two in particular…

Ollie Rathbone

I was quite surprised to learn that midfielder Ollie Rathbone’s contract was allowed to run down, as I would have been sitting him down to discuss terms long before this point. Many Rochdale fans will agree, it is vital he signs a new deal and doesn’t walk for free if they are to see some progression on the pitch. His endless energy and commitment to the cause is a vital cog in a fully fit Rochdale midfield.

Kgosi Ntlhe

The second player was considerably harder to pick as a couple of players seemingly played their way into new deals towards the end of the season, turning it on exactly when needed. The player I have chosen to focus on is Kgosi Ntlhe as he almost looked a different player upon return from his injury towards the back end of the season.

His impressive performances in the back four, chipping in with a couple of important goals, have almost certainly meant he will have at least another season at Spotland to kick on and showcase his talents on a more regular basis.

Aaron Wilbraham is also worth a mention as he was strongly considered for this article as similar to Ntlhe, he put in some big performances at the back end of the season and scored some crucial goals. His age is a factor though with him currently being 39, he surely can’t have many seasons left professionally. Depending on his wage demands it may ultimately be better looking elsewhere in the long run, but providing the finance package to retain him is reasonable, he maybe could be a good option.

Two Returning Loan Players Rochdale Had Who Will Go On To Greater Things

Now that the retained list has been published it has been confirmed that all loanees, namely Joe Bunney, Zach Clough, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Ethan Hamilton, Rory Holden & Rekeil Pyke will be returning to their parent clubs.

All were thanked for their contributions but some will be missed more than others, as the performances they have shown at Spotland this season will surely mean they will go on to operate at a higher level in the future.

Ethan Ebanks-Landell

From the minute he signed, it was obvious that his capture, albeit temporary, was somewhat of a coup. He is a player that is easily capable of operating in a higher division.

At this stage in his career, it appears unlikely he would achieve a regular position in Wolves Premier League squad. So the natural progression for Ethan would be to be loaned out again to one of the promotion-chasing sides in League One, or would even be a suitable candidate for most sides in the Championship.

Ethan Hamilton

Hamilton was a bit of an unknown quantity coming to Spotland on loan from Man Utd in January., this was Hamilton’s first loan move away from Old Trafford. I did a little piece on Hamilton before his move in January, but with only youth team games to go off, it was hard to assess how he would be.

Hamilton proved to be a outstanding addition to the team though, scoring crucial goals and his general passion and commitment to the team shown him to be developed beyond his years. I fully expect him to be on loan at a bigger club or, even a higher level in the near future as he looks to continue his development.

As is usual for Rochdale and clubs of our size I fully expect Brian Barry-Murphy to dip into the loan market again this coming transfer window, in his bid to improve on what was a difficult season for Rochdale AFC.

Rochdale Announce Who’s Out The Door This Summer, As BBM Looks To The Future

Now that the dust has settled on another turbulent season for Rochdale in which they confirmed survival in the final weeks of the season, talk has turned to shape next seasons squad going forward under the management of Brian Barry-Murphy.

Currently, Defender, Kgosi Ntlhe, Midfielders, Matty Done, Jimmy Keohane, Aaron Morley, Ollie Rathbone, Goalkeeper, Brad Wade and Attackers, Aaron Wilbraham, Bradden Inman & Jordan Williams are out of contract this summer.

Loanees Joe Bunney, Zach Clough, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Ethan Hamilton, Rory Holden & Rekeil Pyke will be returning to their parent clubs.

Brian Barry-Murphy will be keen to re-sign as many as possible of the out of contract players, to reinforce the form and consistency Rochdale showed towards the end of this season.

What appears to be most alarming to Dale supporters is the fact the club have let Ollie Rathbone’s contract dwindle. He is an important player for the club and, now holds all the cards in regard to the decision on his future. It is imperative he is offered a new deal as soon as possible to retain his services at Spotland.

Midfielder Matty Done is likely to be offered fresh terms as he is one of the elder statesmen of the team, and has a bit more to offer yet, wages dependent of course.

I believe that Keohane, Nlthe & Wilbraham late-season form will have done enough for them to be offered new contracts, as they showed enough about them to warrant BBM’s continuing faith in their abilities.

When it comes to Brad Wade & Aaron Morley I understand that they may have contract extension options. so hopefully these will be taken up. Wade is currently the only real option BBM has as back-up to first-choice keeper Josh Lillis, so he is more likely to be offered terms than Morley who didn’t feature often under the previous regime. Morley will want assurances from the new management team about his playing time, before considering any possible renewal if the club were to offer him one. I don’t think it would be a major surprise to many at Spotland to see him move on to seek more first-team action if, he didn’t get the assurances he wanted.

This leaves us with Bradden Inman and Jordan Williams who are out of a contract and are leaving the club. Bradden started the season well, scoring twice in a 2-1 win on an opening day away at Burton Albion, but since then has shown inconsistent form leading to him drifting in and out of the team and struggling to make any real impact when he has played.

Finally, Jordan Williams was one of few Rochdale players that a fee was paid for, rumoured to be around the 100k mark to Barrow a couple of seasons ago, so there would be a reluctance to let him go on a free, but despite an extended run in the team this season, he has looked like this level is maybe beyond him at this early stage in his career.

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