Season 4 – We Go Again

 

Welcome back as the boys return from holiday and we look to go again and have a better season compared to last season after we managed to survive in the Championship quite comfortably in the end. In this update it will be a quick run through of the pre season results and the players we have brought as we look to hit the ground running in the opening game against Hull.

 

A quick side note on Tranmere. I kept an eye on them after we had left them to see if they could get promoted or if they would drop off and bottle the league but they did manage to win the league so that’s three promotions in as many years and we will play them next season.

tranmere

 

 

Transfers

 

Lewis Cook – Season long loan

cook

Bailey Wright – 800k

wright

Patrik Schick – 750k

schick

Ionut Radu – 250k

radu

Trent Alexander-Arnold – Season long loan

alexander arnold

Tosin Adarabioyo – Season long loan

tosin

Jeff Hendrick – Free transfer

hendrick

Shota Sasaki – Season long loan

sasaki.png

Mason Holgate – 350k

holgate

Ross McCormack – Free transfer

mccormack.png

Kyle Walker-Peters – Season long loan

walker peters

Vajebah Sakor – 600k

sakor

Martin Olsson – Free transfer

olsson

Leighton Baines – Free transfer

baines

Tammy Abraham – Free Transfer

abraham

Olufela Olomola – 600k

olomola

We have brought in a number of players which was needed as the team last season wasn’t as good as I would of liked along with a few players being sold and the new additions have improved every position on the pitch. We may still lack depth in a couple of positions but I am very happy with the squad we have and feel we can have a good season and be much more competitive. Bringing in players like Hendrick, Baines and Abraham who I rate on frees can only be good business.

 

 

Pre Season

pre season.png

 

We managed to go undefeated in our pre season which is an added bonus as we looked to get the players back to match fit and ready for the long season ahead. We have played some good football in pre season and the ten nil smashing of Evian looks promising despite them having dropped down the leagues in France. We also had positive performances against better sides like Olympiakos and Anderlecht as well as dominating a mixed Arsenal side of first team players and reserves. We have renewed the loan for Ponce and he looks a much better player already than he did last season.

 

 

Season Preview

table

season odds

 

cup game

opening games.png

 

We are one of the strong favourites to be in the play offs as the odds keep changing as we go from anywhere between 5th and 7th in the season odds for winning the league. There are a lot of winnable games this year as there seems to be more smaller teams in the league which should help us do well should we not mess up against the smaller sides. I can guarantee now that we will get battered by Tranmere as that is always the case if you leave a club. We do have a fairly hard start with us playing Hull, Sunderland and QPR in our first 6 games. A cup game away at Oldham should see us progress but I am not taking that as a certain win.

 

 

So there we have it, a look at our new signings along with the results of pre season. We have a much stronger side than last season. We are still in talks with a couple of players to boost the depth of some positions after we missed out on a couple of our main targets which we may go in for again should they become available again. We will continue to play our 4312 formation as we have worked on it over the summer and the boys are more comfortable with it which helped with the performances in pre season. hat are your thoughts on the signings? Good? Bad?

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Relegation?

 

Welcome back to the final run of games before the seasons ends and there is a strong possibility that we could be relegated. We have looked good but we haven’t picked up the points that we have needed to be safe of relegation. We have some games coming up that we should hopefully be able to pick up points from. I have faith in the boys to keep us up and we can go again next season after a summer of making the squad our own. We did manage to bring in a player on the free transfer deadline day which I am very pleased with as he is far to good for us.

 

Younes Belhanda:

belhanda

 

 

Derby – Home – League – 21st V 12th

A bore draw against our old side. A game we dominated from start to finish but we just couldn’t get the breakthrough and come away with the 3 points. We had the best chance of the game to win it when Skuse missed an open goal mid way in the second half.

derby table

 

Huddersfield – Away – League – 5th V 21st

Huddersfield take the lead in the first minute after a free kick in to the area gets knocked down and Williams volleys in in to the back of the net. We go down to 10 men when Skuse gets sent off for a two footed tackle from behind. Ayling gets a second yellow for shirt pulling meaning we ended the game with 9 men.

huddersfield table

 

Nottingham Forest – Away – League – 11th V 21st

A tight game with Forest breaking the deadlock in the second half when put a ball is put  in to the area and Assombolonga runs in at the near post and taps it in. He gets a second when they break and hes one v one with the keeper and slides it under him. We have a man sent off again when Paredes gets a second yellow for a silly tackle in their half.

forest table

 

Cardiff – Home – League – 21st V 14th

We get the opening goal when Wood squares to Antonsson in the area to tap in past the keeper. We get a second of the game late on when Ayling swings the ball in to the area and Belhanda is there to side foot it in.

cardiff table

 

Coventry – Away – League – 20th V 21st

We take the lead inside 10 minutes when Belhanda runs down the right beating two defenders before he crosses in to the area for Wood to volley in. We double our lead when Phillips plays a one two with Wood before running in to the area and slotting in to the bottom corner. Belhanda makes it three with a curling effort from the edge of the area. Wood gets his second of the game when he robs the ball from their defender in the area and fires it past the keeper at his near post. We get a fifth when Roofe gets on the end of an Ayling cross to head past the Pantilimon.

cov table.png

 

Blackburn – Home – League – 18th V 7th

We open the scoring when a cross from Wood falls to Antonsson who is open in the area to tap in at the near post. We get a second early in the second half when a deep ball in from a Belhanda corner gets headed back across the 6 yard box for Stephens to nod in. Ayling gets our third after he stayed up for a corner and the ball gets put back in to the area and hes there to power it home.

blackburn table

 

Swansea – Away – League – 2nd V 18th

Swansea get the opening goal in a pretty even game when Tabanou beats his man and crosses to Dack who runs in front of his defender and diverts the ball in to the back of the net. We get the equaliser when we play a corner short to Brattan who is on the edge of the 6 yard box to curl it through a group of players and in to the top corner.

swansea table

 

Ipswich – Home – League – 19th V 12th

We get the breakthrough when Phillips fires a rocket in to the top corner from 30 yards. Anotonsson makes it two when he rounds the keeper and rolls it home. We get a third when Ponce receives the ball from Wood in the area and fires in to the bottom corner. Ipswich pull one back after a long throw beats our keeper and leaves Marrone open to tap in.

ipswich table

 

Wigan – Away – League – 24th V 18th

Wigan take advantage of our poor performance when they get the only goal of the game when a free kick is deflected and falls to Byrne to tuck past the keeper at his near post. We had no reply to Wigan who defended brilliantly and looked better than where the league says they were.

wigan table

 

Hull – home – League – 18th V 4th

We concede a penalty late in the first half when Kemen pushes a player at a corner. Hernandez steps up and fires in the only goal of the game in to the bottom corner with our keeper getting a hand to it on the way in. We go down to 10 men when Phillips gets a second yellow for a late tackle in the centre circle. We had a chance to equalise late on but Wood skies the best chance of the game for us.

 

 

Results:

results

Table:

final table

 

End Of Season

end of season

stats

 

 

We survived and quite comfortably after we picked up a little bit of form towards the end which proves that we are a good team and after a few tweaks we are scoring more freely now and look a solid team and hopefully we can build on our squad over the summer with some fringe players already leaving we should hopefully be able to challenge for a top 6 spot. I am quietly confident we will have a good season next season and as I say with the right additions we will have strong side to compete for the top 6. It took us a while to turn the season around but we did manage to win 4 of our last 10 and get draws along with them which isn’t that bad considering we was losing every week when we first took over. I can’t see us being sacked despite not finishing as high as we would of liked so we will look to build without the fear of being sacked as the Leeds manager which we all know managers at Leeds don’t last long! Part of me regrets leaving Tranmere but that is in the past and we have to keep on looking forward and improving to be where we want which is the Premier League. Thanks for reading and let’s hope we have a better season with us in charge for all of next season!

A Massive Cup Draw

 

Welcome back to the blog as we look to turn our fortunes around at Leeds as they are struggling near the bottom of the league and wins are becoming few and far between. We are slowly looking better and better and like a Championship team but we are still lacking that clinical finishing in most games for us to pick up more points.

 

 

Crystal Palace – Home – FA Cup 5th Round

We make a strong start to the game and we get the opening goal in the 15th minute. The ball deflects to Maddison in the area and he cooly puts it in to the top corner. We double our lead a few minutes later after Wilson plays a ball over the top to Wood who takes a touch and curls it with the outside of his boot past the keeper. Crystal Palace pull one back early in the second half when they counter and cross to Zaha who is open and slots it past the keeper. We bottle the lead when they equalise with a cross in to the area to tap in. We regain our lead just after the hour mark when Phillips slips Wood in to side foot it in. Antonsson wraps up the win with a brace late on with the first coming after he beats two defenders and curling it round the keeper. He gets his second seconds later with Phillips getting the assist again when he squares to Antonsson to fire it home.

 

Cup Draw

cup draw

 

Fulham – Away – League – 10th V 20th

Fulham get the 3 points in what was a very scrappy game with neither team creating serious chances. We concede a penalty when Paredes tackles from behind in the area and Fossati steps up and smashes it in to the bottom corner.

 

Wolves – Home – 20th V 18th

We took advantage of our good first half performance when we win a corner which gets floated in to the area and Gibson jumps highest and powers it in to the bottom corner. Wolves get the equaliser minutes later with a side footed finish from inside the 6 yard box. We go down to 10 men when Kemen gets a second yellow for a silly tackle in the middle of the pitch. Wolves get the winner with 5 minutes to go with a powerful headed finish from a cross.

 

Sunderland – Away – League – 2nd V 21st

We concede early when Sunderland when a cross in to the area beats everyone and falls to their striker to tap in. They make it 2 when a ball gets knocked down to Wilson and he fries past the keeper on the edge of the area. They make it 3 when our keeper doesn’t react quick enough and Ndong slides it under him. We pull one back when Phillips squares to O’Kane on the edge of the area and smashes it past the keeper.

 

Millwall – Home – League – 21st V 22nd

We get the opening goal after we win a penalty which Wilson steps up and converts straight down the middle. Millwall had a chance to pull level just before half time but our keeper made a great save. We get a second when Stacey squares to Machach in the area to tuck in to the bottom corner. He gets a brace when he beats his defender and curls it in to the corner.

 

Man United – Away – FA Cup 6th Round

A very even first half and we did look the better team going in at half time. We held them out from scoring until late in the second half when Januzaj crosses to Martial who is free at the near post to flick it in. They get a second when Martial controls the ball in the area and beats two defenders with skill and curls it in to the corner hitting the post as it goes in. They make it three when Smalling rises highest at the back post and heads in a free kick whipped in by Mata.

 

 

Results

results

Fixtures

remaining

Table

table

 

Youth Intake

intake.png

 

Dan Ball

best intake.png

 

We are still struggling to pick up the wins but we are playing well and deserve better than what some of the results suggest. The game against Manchester United looks very one sided but in reality we was the better team until late on when they brought on the big players and battered us. We had youth intake day which was awful to be honest with only one player that has any decent potential. If the worse does happen and we get relegated and we keep our job I will stay and aim to return at the first chance. We are running out of time to get back to winning ways and we do only have a slight cushion to the relegation zone.

 

 

Thanks for reading.

A Man On The Move

 

Welcome back to the blog as we look to maintain our good start to the season and punch above our weight as we look to continue the fight for the automatic places. We continue to play some very nice football and the results have come as a result. We have a top 3 game coming against Birmingham and could be massive come the end of the season.

 

Crewe – Home – Checkatrade Trophy Group B 

We get the breakthrough inside the opening 10 minutes with Ennis getting the goal. Boateng squares it to Ennis in the area to tap home. We get a second minutes later when Boateng has a go from the outside of the area and it takes a deflection to beat the keeper and go in. Crewe have a man sent off which gives us the edge and should mean we get the 3 points. Boateng gets his second after a one two with Enobakhare and fires it in to the back of the net.

 

Birmingham – Away – League – 3rd V 2nd

We get the opener in a tight 40 minutes after Gardner crosses to Ennis who is in the area to head it in. Nugent wraps up the win late on after receiving the ball from Ennis on the edge of the area to tuck it past the keeper.

 

Southend – Away – League – 13th V 2nd 

Enobakhare breaks the deadlock after the ball bounces around the 6 yard area from a corner and he reacts quickest to poke it in. We double our lead when Nyambe smashes the ball up field to Clarke-Harris to nod on to Ennis to fire past the keeper. Ennis gets a second when he gets on the end of a Nyambe cross to head in at the near post.

 

 

As you know we have done some amazing things with Tranmere and have got back to back promotions against the odds and have looked more than good enough in this league and we could and should get promotion to the Championship which is crazy to think where they should be but I won’t be here to find out as we have been offered a job in the Championship which some people probably won’t agree with and will question why I have left at this point of the season. Well as much as I have enjoyed my time at Tranmere I need to keep on moving up and be where I want to be I have to move on and take the next step to progress in my journey.

 

 

 

derby

 

We have joined Derby who are struggling in the Championship but still have a good enough team to be able to do something and in a year or two could get in to the Premier League. Yes I have left a team close to promotion to join a struggling team in the next league up but I feel being at Derby would give me a better chance moving forward than what Tranmere would in the long term. Maybe I will regret this decision and we will move on sooner rather than later or maybe this is the start of something we can be proud of. I have also brought in Brede Hangeland to continue being my assistant.

 

team.png

 

tactic.png

I will try and remain using my 4321 formation which was pretty successful at Tranmere and we have the players to make the tactic work. I am willing to change and will have a backup tactic as we still do have players like Ince at the club who is a very good player at this level and should be playing week in week out. We have some very good players but lack depth in some positions which we will look to sort once we have settled in.

 

Brighton – Home – League – 19th V 8th

We go in front inside 2 minutes after some nice build up play leads to Johnson chipping the ball to Shotton in the area to volley past the keeper. We get a second after Russell has a go from 30 yards which bounces off the bar on to the back of the keeper and Vydra is there to tap in. Vydra gets his second when Ince squares it to him on the edge of the area to smash in to the top corner.

 

Cup Draw

fa cup.png

 

 

Fixtures:

fixtures

Table:

table after game.png

 

 

So there we have it, I have left Tranmere to take up the challenge of Derby. Was it the right move? Should I have stayed? Only time will tell but we have started off well and beat a very strong Brighton team quite comfortably and they boys looked well in the 4321. We could still make the play offs but I would be happy to finish in the top half and we can build on from that next season. We have some very tough games coming up against most of the teams fighting for promotion. On to the next part of the journey….

 

 

 

Thanks for reading.

A Mixed Bag

 

Alright lads,

We are back at it in the league as we look to build on our strong start in the league as we come up against some strong teams in the next few games. We also have the chance to progress in a cup or two should we perform well and have luck on our side. We have played some of the best I have seen this team play.

 

Sheffield United – Home – League – 1st V 8th

Sheffield United get the winning goal late on in what was a tight game with neither team being able to create many clear goal scoring chances. They win a corner in the 87th minute which gets whipped in and Packwood is there to rise highest and head home giving them the 3 points.

 

Cup Draw

fa cup.png

 

Rotherham – Away – League – 22nd V 2nd

We go in front early on after a ball in to the box from Enobakhare hits their defender Nugent and the keeper is wrong footed and is unable to stop it from going in the net. Enobakhare turns goalscorer when he gets our second when he scores from the edge of the area after receiving the ball from a corner. We get a third when Kuhl scores just before half time with a rocket in to the top corner.

 

Bolton – Home – League – 2nd V 23rd

We had some good chances in the early stages to go in front but it wasn’t until the 34th minute when a goal came and it was for Bolton. A route one ball which gets knocked down to Agyei who takes a touch and smashes it in to the back of the net from outside the area. Agyei gets a second and wraps up the win for Bolton when he gets on the end of a whipped ball in from Taylor to head in to the back of the net, he looked in an offside position but the goal stands which was frustrating.

 

Weymouth – Home – FA Cup 1st Round

We get the opener courtesy of Clarke-Harris who gets on the end of a ball in from Clarke to head in to the bottom corner with the keeper getting a slight hand to it. He gets a second of the game with a volley from just inside the area clipping the underside of the bar as it goes in. Weymouth get a foot back in the game when they score a free header in to an empty goal after Zabret comes for the free kick and misses it leaving an open goal. Le Fondre makes it three when he pokes the ball in at the near post after Clarke squares it to him on the 6 yard line.

 

Cup Draw

fa cup 2.png

 

Oxford – Away – League – 7th V 3rd

Oxford are gifted the lead midway in the first half when Nyambe heads a cross in to his own net when he had time to control it and clear it. Enobakhare pulls us level minutes later with a nice finish in to the bottom corner after a quick one two with Kuhl. We take the lead when Kuhl fires the ball in from 30 yards. We get a third when Clarke-Harris curls it in to the bottom corner from just inside the area.

 

Luton – Home – League – 2nd V 6th

We take the lead in the first half when Enobakhare scores a volley from the edge of the area taking a deflection on the way in after receiving the ball from a corner. Luton get an equaliser when they get a free kick to the right of the goal. They curl it round the wall and under the goalkeeper. Luton take the lead after our defender slips near the area and Taylor is there to rob the ball and slot it past the keeper. Le Fondre gets us level after we counter from a Luton free kick and Shephard squares to him to tuck home.

 

Results:

results

Fixtures:

fixtures

Table:

table

 

We are still playing well despite a couple of blips against Sheffield United and Bolton which are kind of expected, even if Bolton were managerless at the time! We had an easy cup game against Weymouth and most of the side was rotated and they played well (granted it was against a non league team) which earned Clarke-Harris a run in the side which he has took with both hands after Hugill got injured and is out for the season and our other strikers not banging them in and a player we was after turned us down who could of been our goalscorer. We are still on course to have a good season and are really punching above our weight by sitting second in the league.

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Early Contenders?

 

Alright lads,

Welcome back to the blog as we continue to play well and stay in and around the play offs. We were unlucky to lose against Leicester in our last game but we put in a good performance and hopefully that won’t knock our confidence going in to the next few games.

 

Signings

Stefan Scougall:

scougall.png

Craig Gardner:

gardner.png

 

Scunthorpe – Away – League – 8th V 4th

We make the breakthrough early in the first half. A corner gets knocked down by Hugill to Enobakhare who fires in from close range. We score a second when Enobakhare goes on a solo run beating player after player and squaring it to Ennis to tap in on the 6 yard line. We win a penalty after a counter attack after Ennis was hacked down in the box which Nugent converted straight down the middle. Scunthorpe pull one back when they square it to the edge of the area and tucks it in to the bottom corner. Scunthorpe then get a second in injury time after a cross falls to their striker to poke in.

 

Colchester – Home – League – 2nd V 22nd

We get the only goal in the game in which we dominated from start to finish and one in which we should of scored more goals. We get the goal just before half time when we had some brilliant build up play leading to Enobakhare laying it off to Hugill to fire under the keeper.

 

MK Dons – Away – League – 4th V 3rd

MK Dons score first with a brilliant free kick in to the top corner giving the keeper no chance of stopping it. We get back in to the game late on with a much deserved goal when Kuhl plays it to Scougall on the edge of the area to smash it in after taking a deflection on the way. We come away with a point in one of our toughest games yet this season.

 

Liverpool U’23’s – Home – Checkatrade Trophy Group B

We win an early penalty after one of our players gets pushed over inside the area at a free kick. Le Fondre steps up and cooly puts it in to the bottom corner. We get a second after Adams flicks on free kick to Satka to head home at the back post. A well desrved win meaning we win the group and progress in to the next round.

 

Shrewsbury – Home – League – 2nd V 6th

Enobakhare puts us in front after he receives the ball from a corner and smashes it through a number of players in to the bottom corner. Satka doubles our lead late on when Clarke-Salter flicks the ball on from a corner to Satka who is open at the back post to tap in.

 

Northampton – Away – League – 15th V 1st

We score in the opening couple of minutes when Kuhl gets in to the are and curls it past the keeper in to the far post. Le Fondre scores our second when Adams plays him through and shoots first time and it flies in to the bottom corner. Northampton get one back after poor defending with a header back to the keeper being to short and Samuel taking advantage and putting it past the keeper at his near post. They get an equalizer after a cross falls to their player at the near post and pokes it in to take a share of the points.

 

 

Results:

results.png

Fixtures:

fixtures

Table:

table.png

 

WE ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE! WE’RE GONNA WIN THE LEAGUE! Bit early? We are continuing to play well and dominate games but we do seem to lack that killer instinct in some games and are unable to finish teams off but saying that we do currently sit top of the pile. We have brought in a couple of players just help boost the numbers where we were a little light. Scougall looks very average but his stats are far better than Enobakhare’s and is a nice back up to him. We also have brought in Gardner. He is only here till the end of the season and has plenty of experience in higher leagues. We have some tough games coming up in the next dew games along with an FA Cup game which in theory should be an easy result.

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Goals Goals Goals!

 

Alright lads,

We are back from a crazy cup game against West Ham which we came from behind to win in injury time. We now return to league action with also a game in the Checkatrade Trophy and the next round of the EFL away at Leicester! Hopefully we can kick on from that and have a good start to the season to build upon.

 

Charlton – Home – League – 9th V 18th

Hugill gets us off to a good start when he gets on the end of a ball from Kuhl and he has time to control and place it past the keeper. Ennis doubles our lead with a powerful strike from the edge of the area which flies in to the top corner. Charlton pull one back early in the second half with a tidy finish in to the bottom corner. They get the equalizer after they pass through our defence and curl it past the keeper from just inside the area.

 

Carlisle – Away – Checkatrade Trophy – 1st V 4th

Carlisle get the opening goal when they score at the second attempt after our keeper got down well to save the first effort. We get the equalizer with Nyambe getting on the end of a whipped ball in from Forster-Caskey and heads it home. Le Fondre puts us in front just before half time when he tucks it past the keeper from inside the area. Carlisle pull level seconds in to the second half when a mix up in defence leaves them free to score in the 6 yard box. They get a third after our keeper comes out and misses the ball and they poke it in to an empty goal. Carlisle get a fourth with a headed finish from a free kick in to the bottom corner. Kiwomya pulls one back for us when he runs in to the box and fires past the keeper at his near post. We get a late equalizer after we win a penalty which Nugent steps up and converts straight down the middle. We win the game on penalties.

 

Swindon – Away – League – 1st V 11th

We score first with Satka rising highest at a corner and heading in to the back of the net. Le Fondre gets our second after Forster-Caskey squares it to him on the edge of the box and he smashes it past the keeper in to the top corner. Forster-Caskey then turns goal scorer when he scores a 30 yard screamer in to the top corner leaving the keeper no chance. Trotter gets a fourth when he tucks it home from close range.

 

Bradford – Home – League – 4th V 10th

We take the lead minutes before half time with Forster-Caskey squaring the ball to Hugill who fires it in. Bradford have a penalty saved which turned the tide in the game and gave us more momentum. Kuhl gets our second with a curling free kick in to the top corner to wrap up the points.

 

Rochdale – Away – League – 21st V 3rd

Enobakhare gets the opening goal when he curls it past the keeper in to the far corner from just inside the area. Kuhl scores our second when he scores from 30 yards taking a slight deflection on the way to beat the keeper. Rochdale get a foot in the game with a goal around the half hour mark, scoring from the edge of the area. Rochdale get the equalizer from inside when they poke it under the keeper.

 

Leicester – Away – EFL Cup 3rd Round

We take a shock lead when their defender heads a cross in to his own goal. Leicester pull level with an effort rebounding off the post and falling to Niang to score in to an empty goal. Ennis gets a second for us shooting from inside the area which sneaks under the keeper in to the back of the net. Leicester equalize again scoring from a penalty which they put in to the bottom corner. Leicester get the winning goal in extra time when they cross a ball in to the box to Okazaki who pokes it in.

 

 

Results:

results

Fixtures:

fixture

Table:

table.png

 

 

We are in good form and are playing superbly. We put up a massive fight against Leicester and were unlucky to lose and on another day could of beat them. We are up in the play off places and were briefly top of the league during a game but we bottled it. We are still dominating a majority of our games which says something about the quality of players we have and how they fit the system we are playing. I am feeling more confident about the season as we go on beating teams and playing some good football. The only negative is we are still conceding sloppy goals which is annoying but we will sort the problem out over the season.

 

 

Thanks for reading.