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Wanderers Ways. Neil Thompson 1961-2021

L1 Contenders next season


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Posted (edited)

Ok, there are uncertainties over players and manager for us still but assuming Evatt stays, which I think he will, who will be our main contenders? Rotherham have already made a statement with quality signings and Huddersfield have brought Duff in to get them back up. Brum obviously have heavy financial backing so they’ll want a quick return to the Championship and both Stockport and Wrexham will be shelling out to get another promotion and that’s before considering last seasons challengers in Posh, Lincoln. Blackpool and Barnsley. Will Charlton finally get it together and can Stevenage challenge again without Steve Evan’s? It doesn’t seem as though we’ll have much cash to splash and most of our squad are tied to contracts so our room for manoeuvre seems limited unless we can move a few out and sell one or two to raise money. Personally I think the squad is still strong enough to challenge but to be sure we need at least a couple of additions and hopefully experienced ones. I think next year is going to be the most competitive for some time but who will be our major challengers for a top two spot?

Edited by Whitesince63
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Will all depend on player/manager changes over the next 2 months to get a view of strongest teams, but there will be more of them. Rather than 3 basket cases coming down, we have 3 relatively strong teams coming down (and the basket cases have stabilised), and rather than 4 small budget clubs coming up we have 2 with decent budgets, so there could be a good 12 clubs in contention this year.

Unlike this last season where I thought we were rightly favourites to get automatic promotion, at this point I'm thinking we could be anywhere in the top 12 this season. If I had to pick a top 2 for next season now I'd say Rotherham and Charlton (seem to have sorted themselves out with a good managerial appointment mid season)

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Posted (edited)

Birmingham got 50 points last year and would've been nowhere near relegation if they hadn't gone mad and appointed Rooney (and probably would've survived had Mowbray not fallen ill too). They've a good youth set up, money behind them and a manager who's proven he can win promotion at this level. Can't see a world where they aren't favourites.

Other teams will be looking at us and thinking we'll be up there too, but the top end of the division is definitely far stronger than it was this year. 

Edited by Tombwfc
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Let's just let other teams worry about us.

As I alluded to in another thread, away fans don't see our downsides as much as we do. Anyone I speak to is dumbfounded we didnt go up, even moreso at our performance at Wembley. I told a few at a do over the weekend performances like that were our achilies heal all season and often popped up in derbies where there was a bit of pressure.

Folk can't get their head around how we didnt go up.

Let's keep the illusion going and let Rotherham shit their pants at coming to reebok :)

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I agree Gonzo we still have a top six squad even without changes but hopefully if we can get in one or two with a bit of spirit and backbone we should be able to resolve the weaknesses that have plagued us this season. I doubt FV will have much left to invest but maybe if one or two are sold it gives us a little to spend on the right players. There should also be plenty of free players available who can do a job so I suppose it then comes down to wages but we need a bit of experience if we’re going to get out so hopefully Evatt will realise that?

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3 hours ago, Tombwfc said:

Birmingham got 50 points last year and would've been nowhere near relegation if they hadn't gone mad and appointed Rooney (and probably would've survived had Mowbray not fallen ill too). They've a good youth set up, money behind them and a manager who's proven he can win promotion at this level. Can't see a world where they aren't favourites.

Other teams will be looking at us and thinking we'll be up there too, but the top end of the division is definitely far stronger than it was this year. 

I agree Birmingham are clearly going to be up there, one of the better teams to be relegated in recent years.  And they've still got the Juke haven't they (and Keshi Anderson!).

But unless I've missed something, they don't have a manager yet, since Mowbray had to pack it in.

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7 minutes ago, Johnnyrotten said:

I agree Birmingham are clearly going to be up there, one of the better teams to be relegated in recent years.  And they've still got the Juke haven't they (and Keshi Anderson!).

But unless I've missed something, they don't have a manager yet, since Mowbray had to pack it in.

Had Rowett on interim but don't think they've appointed him permanently and can't be who is being referred to as having experience of getting out of this league 

Given they were happy to ditch the original manager whilst in the play offs just to get Rooney in doesn't guarantee they'll get it right this time 

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19 minutes ago, DirtySanchez said:

Had Rowett on interim but don't think they've appointed him permanently and can't be who is being referred to as having experience of getting out of this league 

Given they were happy to ditch the original manager whilst in the play offs just to get Rooney in doesn't guarantee they'll get it right this time 

Yes, the owners will be looking for instant results and if they don’t come they’ll soon enter panic mode. I sincerely hope they do.

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39 minutes ago, DirtySanchez said:

Had Rowett on interim but don't think they've appointed him permanently and can't be who is being referred to as having experience of getting out of this league 

Given they were happy to ditch the original manager whilst in the play offs just to get Rooney in doesn't guarantee they'll get it right this time 

Although I don't think Eustace has done anything at Blackburn to suggest they sacked the next Pep!

At end of September Brum had 12 points from 9 games having got 2 points from 5 in September, there was talk he was getting the push, clearly Rooney was being lined up. 

A week later they'd won home games v Huddersfield and WBA and went upto 6th (2 points above 15th!), I didn't get the impression that reflected their prospects under Eustace; 6th in September and 6th in March are two very different things.

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2 hours ago, L/H White said:

not us 

honestly can't see us involved in the top 6

I think some will be in for a shock to the strength of this league next year, even mousinho said after Oxford it will be more competitive L1 next time out 

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18 minutes ago, radcliffe white said:

I think some will be in for a shock to the strength of this league next year, even mousinho said after Oxford it will be more competitive L1 next time out 

Stronger but we can still compete for the top six if we stand still and stay as we are 

Tweak and refine the squad and we can challenge top two 

We're not all of a sudden 5th or 6th or even 7th "best"

I'm not having manager less Brum as clear favourites either like the boys bookies are

Be reet 

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50 minutes ago, Popeye doyle said:

More competitive, means more teams vying for top spot. That means more crucial games at the top end where teams can cut each others throat. It’s vital that we win more of those type of games. 

Absolutely spot on popeye that’s also my feeling exactly. More decent teams means tougher games and more points shared hence my belief that the total points needed for top two this year will be lower than in recent years. Even with what we’ve got now I’d put us top six but if IE can pull off a few specials top two is definitely on.

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Too early to say with any certainty. We will have a better idea by July. Promoted and relegated sides are particularly difficult to evaluate at such an early stage in the Summer. 

I would tentatively say: Wigan won't break any pots, Charlton need to be taken seriously, Stevenage are in bother without Evans, Wycombe are dark horses with some renewed stability and pretty wealthy ownership.

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On 28/05/2024 at 12:43, Johnnyrotten said:

I agree Birmingham are clearly going to be up there, one of the better teams to be relegated in recent years.  And they've still got the Juke haven't they (and Keshi Anderson!).

But unless I've missed something, they don't have a manager yet, since Mowbray had to pack it in.

 

Sorry, think I wrote that at the point it was being reported they were talking to Alex Neil, thought it would've been done by now.

FWIW, last I saw Nixon had Neil as the favourite, with Paul Heckingbottom also in the mix. Both have L1 and Championship promotions on their CV.

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Let them all be "contenders" we were the cup final for a lot of teams this year, and that caused issues. 

Big game against Bolton, so if we're written off, even better, just prove people wrong.. 

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We will challenge in my opinion because

1. We have a good core squad that has won a lot of points and scored a lot of goals

2. a good board who are taking us in the right direction.

3. Stability

There is a small chance it could get toxic with Evatt and fall to pieces but I don’t see it reaching Megson levels. The style of play is such that it should win us enough points to keep us flirting with promotion/playoffs.

I think Evatt would’ve left by now if he was leaving. Despite his flaws he has proven that he can build a capable team. 

I think and sincerely hope he has learned a lot this season. About the squad and what needs fixing and also about managing games and how he needs to improve on that front.

Collins, Charles, Vic, CMG. Is a really nice set of strikers to have with plenty of quality. All top end of league one. 

Thomason, Dempsey and Sheehan is a good starting point in midfield.

Santos, Toal and Baxter are solid options defensively. 
 

Sales of fringe players mixed with some additions to provide some more bite to the team and some more pragmatism tactically and we have a great chance of autos.

 

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On 28/05/2024 at 13:52, L/H White said:

not us 

honestly can't see us involved in the top 6

I can see us being there but whether we can crack it is another question.

I have my doubts but, as ever the eternal optimist, I am hopeful that IE will deliver and prove me to be ever so slightly misguided.

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