5-Minute Season Preview: League One

by Mike Moore

Saturday, August 6th, 2011
 

Last season, Brighton cantered to the title, with Southampton and Huddersfield fighting neck-and-neck for most of the campaign before the Saints eventually prevailed and were joined in the Championship by play-off winners Peterborough. But who will be up there or thereabouts this year?

Who’s Looking Good?

Huddersfield: After coming agonisingly close last season, being right up at the top for nearly the entire campaign, the Terriers lost out in the play-offs and so are many people’s favourites this year. Having been consistently present in the promotion chase for the last few seasons, all they need is that final push and bit of luck and they’ll definitely be there. Keeping talented young manager Lee Clark and last season’s top scorer Jordan Rhodes should ensure they have the quality to finally make it out of the division.

Sheffield Wednesday: Too big for this division now? Last season showed the Owls can be brilliant on their day, but a lack of consistency means they will once again be contesting League One. The presence of city rivals United will have many fans excited, and the two Steel City clubs, with two of the biggest budgets in the league, could well be challenging each other this season. Wednesday have done well to sign players such as former Forest midfielder David Prutton and the experienced Jose Semedo, but the lack of a proven goalscorer could be a worry.

Also Up There: Charlton are also thought by many to be too big for the division, and this could finally be their year, with Bradley Wright-Phillips and Johnnie Jackson’s goals a major boost. Preston could be set for an immediate return to the Championship, as in Iain Hume they have probably the best player in the division, and manager Phil Brown will be desperate to succeed. Last season’s surprise package Bournemouth should also still be up there, despite losing Eddie Howe as manager towards the close of last season, with Danny Ings and Michael Symes as key men up front. And like city rivals Wednesday, Sheffield United are also a big presence, with a swarm of talented youngsters such as Jordan Slew desperate to prove themselves.

Who’s Not…

Oldham: Paul Dickov’s men looked solid in midfield last year but a lack of goals meant they flirted with the bottom four for uncomfortably long. Little has been done to ameliorate this this summer so the Lactics could struggle again. Former Chelsea man Felipe Morais is a class act on the wing though, and Dickov will be keen to prove himself as an up and coming managerial talent.

Yeovil: Having lost many of their best players over the summer, this campaign could be a difficult one for Terry Skiverton’s men. One of the smallest budgets and fanbases in the division, they have tried desperately to attract new talent, and signings such as former Leeds man Pual Huntingdon could be crucial to their survival this term. The newly-signed strike partnership of Rory Fallon and Steven MacLean, both £1million footballers not so many years ago, could also prove very interesting to watch.

Tranmere Rovers: Flirted heavily with relegation last season, popping in and out of the dropzone on a number of occasions. Goals could be a major worry this year, as talismanic forward Enoch Showumni carries on with his mission to develop the world’s best goal celebration. But with captain John Welsh a stalwart in midfield and new goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams shoring up defence, they should have enough.

Also Down There: Stevenage could struggle the most out of the new boys, with no prior experience at this level, the camaraderie and fan support will be vital this term. Notts County could well be down there again following a dreadful slump in form at the end of last season that just saw them stay up. Lee Hughes’ goals will once again be vital for the Magpies if they are to survive. Walsall escaped relegation on goal difference on the last day of the season and could struggle again following the departure of top-scorer Julian Gray. In young winger Will Grigg, however, they have one of the brightest young talents in the division, and winger Kevan Hurst is a quality signing from Carlisle.

 

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  • Adam King

    Hard to argue with that – I don’t think that Wednesday will be up there though, but a top half finish is well within their means. Sheffield United will also come up just short of promotion.

    Huddersfield, Charlton and Scunny are my promotion picks, whilst I think Notts County, Walsall, Tranmere and Yeovil will be heading to League 2.

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