Tuesday, 2 August 2011

A Look at the Opposition: Part 3

Here is the final part of our League Two preview.


Plymouth Argyle
MANAGER
Peter Reid
PLAYERS IN
Robbie Williams, Durrell Berry, Jake Cole, Luke Daley
PLAYERS OUT
Joe Mason
Where to start? Relegated last year in administration, almost closing this summer and sacking a player who refused to defer his wages. Signed Liam Dickinson only for him to leave within a month, Argyle are in a bad position at the moment. Probably more likely to be nearer the bottom than the top, a second successive relegation could be on the cards for the team from Devon.
Port Vale
MANAGER
Micky Adams
PLAYERS IN
Ryan Burge, Ben Williamson, Kingsley James, Phil Roe, Clayton McDonald, Mike Green
PLAYERS OUT
Matt Bell, Kris Taylor, Justin Richards
Having returned to Vale less than a year after leaving them for Sheffield United, Micky Adams has a point to prove. However, having to put himself on the board to enable him to sign players was not the best preparation for the season, but the squad remains largely the same as it was when he left. Securing Gareth Owen again will be a major boost for Adams and Vale and if he can get them playing to the same standard he did before he departed, Vale will be contenders again.
Rotherham United
MANAGER
Andy Scott
PLAYERS IN
Ben Pringle, Gareth Evans, Luke Foster, Chris Holroyd, Troy Brown,
Lewis Grabban, Danny Schofield
PLAYERS OUT
Nick Fenton, Stephen Brogan, Jamie Green, Grant Darley, Luke Ashworth, Mark Bradley, Tom Pope (Transfer Listed), Kevin Elison,
Ryan Taylor, Ian Thomas-Moore, Nicky Law
Defeat at Valley Parade saw manager Ronnie Moore sacked and a subsequent disastrous run of form which saw the Millers go from automatic contenders to middle of the table has beens. Rotherham capitulated similarly to how City did in 2008/09 and new manager Scott will be hoping to improve on that this season. In theory their last season at the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield, promotion would be an excellent way to reintroduce Rotherham to their home town. The first team remains largely similar, but losing Nicky Law is a blow and with a month of the transfer window to go, Le Fondre could still go. Probable play off contenders.
Shrewsbury Town
MANAGER
Graham Turner
PLAYERS IN
Marvin Morgan , Joe Jacobson, Reuben Hazell, Terry Gornell
PLAYERS OUT
Dave Raven ,  Kevin McIntyre, Craig Disley, Danny Taylor, Harry Hooman, Jake Robinson, Matt Harrold
Sooner or later Shrewsbury must reach League One. They have been threatening for the last 5 years but have so far failed to make the next step. Losing out in the play offs last year was a bitter pill to swallow following the return of club legend Graham Turner and they will be hoping to go one better this year. Have strengthened their squad well and will be up there.
Southend United
MANAGER
Paul Sturrock
PLAYERS IN
Neil Harris, Jemal Johnson, Alassane N'Diaye, Liam Dickinson, JP Kalala, Ryan Leonard
PLAYERS OUT
Rhys Evans, Miguel Comminges, Johnny Herd, Adam Bouzid , Louie Soares, Craig Easton
Had an excellent season last year considering the position they were in. Sturrock came in with no squad to speak of and managed to put together a team which performed well in the league. Adding Neil Harris to his squad is a shrewd move and with service will surely guarantee Southend 15 goals this year. Harris is also an excellent provider of chances and any improvement in their final position will rest on his form. They should be challenging for the play offs.
Swindon Town
MANAGER
Paulo Di Canio
PLAYERS IN
Joe Devera, Jonathan Smith, Raffaele De Vita, Alberto Comazzi, Oliver Risser, Ibrahim Atiku, Medhi Kerrouche, Alessandro Cibocchi, Alan Connell.
PLAYERS OUT
Alan Sheehan, Michael Rose, David Prutton, Scott Cuthbert, Alan O'Brien, Thomas Dossevi, Vincent Pericard, Jean Francois Lescinal,
Jon-Paul McGovern, Elliot Benyon
Paulo Di Canio has decided to make his managerial debut in League Two with Swindon this year following their relegation last season. Surprisingly relegated last year after play off final defeat the year before, Swindon will be looking for an immediate return to League One. A large overhaul of the squad has seen many of last season’s underperformers gone to be replaced by younger, hungrier players. Many foreign imports, Di Canio’s plan is one which looks as if it could go two ways; excellently and an instant return to League One or disastrously. Swindon should be up there though, and even if they aren’t with Di Canio around it certainly isn’t going to be boring!
Torquay United
MANAGER
Martin Ling
PLAYERS IN
Chris McPhee, Daniel Leadbitter, Jon Oastler, Robert Olejnik, Brian Saah, Rene Howe, Ian Morris, Taiwo Atieno
PLAYERS OUT
Danny Potter, Scott Bevan, Guy Branston, Chris Zebroski
Last years play off final losers, Torquay surprised everyone by getting that far last season. Having played some excellent football under Paul Buckle and going over 8 games without conceding, Torquay have a lot to live up to after last year. Buckle has now departed though, to be replaced by Martin Ling, and they have lost defensive organiser Guy Branston. Robert Olejnik is an impressive keeper signed from Falkirk , but Torquay will do well to match last seasons performance. Mid table to play off challengers.
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