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L1 Wide Season Review / Summer Preview

Hi all,

Tranmere fan here in peace.

As newly minted league members, I'm looking to put together a fan-sourced and fan-made division wide round-up and was hoping I could find one or two of you willing to write something in the following format for Wycombe:

Club Name
Manager (or likely candidates)
Tenure (of current manager if applicable)
Ownership Situation: (appreciate this may run long for some in the division)
Main Fan Forum:

Star Player:
Underappreciated Gem:
Top Prospect:
Potential 19/20 Breakout Year:
Fan Scapegoat:
Waste of Space:
Dream Transfer Target:

Season Review: (< 200 words)
Tactical Overview: (< 200 words)
Plans & Priorities for Preseason: (< 200 words)

If people are interested I'll post the full round-up here once I've got the responses.

Our Example Version below:

Tranmere Rovers

Manager: Micky Mellon
Tenure: 2 1/2 seasons
Ownership Situation: Very positive, no wealthy benefactor though.

Fan Forum:

Star Player: James Norwood (CF, 28yo)
Underappreciated Gem: Connor Jennings (n10, 27yo)
Top Prospect: Harvey Gilmour (CM, 20yo)
Potential 19/20 Breakout Year: Sid Nelson (CB, 24yo) or Paul Mullin (CF, 24yo)
Fan Scapegoat: Liam Ridehalgh (LB, 28yo)
Waste of Space: Chris Dagnall (CF, 32yo)
Dream Transfer Target: Rhian Brewster on loan would be lovely

Season Review:

After a great initial start to life back in the football league Tranmere's form sagged heading into the Xmas period. January additions at center mid and on both wings in Perkins, Morris and Pringle helped bolster the team's fortunes and a 7 game winning run pushed us from Mid-table back up in to the Playoffs of League Two where we remained until the end of the season. After beating Forest Green in the semi final we had to go to the final minute of extra time for Connor Jennings to head home the goal that put us back in the third tier. James Norwood finished the season on 32 goals, in the FL Team of the Year and of course with the Golden Boot, while our reliable shot stopper Scott Davies bagged the L2 Golden Gloves for 19 (21 including play-offs) league clean sheets.

Tactical Overview:

Micky has never been afraid to change our shape in his time in charge, nor our style of play. After losing Andy Cook to Walsall (the large of our classic 442 little n large) we switched to playing more to the strength of our other 20 goal a season man, James Norwood, whose pace allows him to play off the shoulder of the final defender. For much of the season we opted for a 433 where both wingers looked to cut inside onto their stronger foot to play Nors in or shoot. This setup allowed Ollie Banks to act as a deep lying playmaker in the middle, while paired with two of our three more industrious midfield options in Luke McCollough, Jay Harris and later Dave Perkins. Manny Monthe was our rock at the back, paired with a rogues gallery of partners due to terrible luck with injuries and the decline of the once mighty Steve McNulty. When we were overwhelmed or outmatched Mellon tended to switch to 3ATB, allowing our full backs Caprice and Ridehalgh to get further up the pitch and whip balls in from wider areas.

Plans for Preseason:

The elephant in the room is that Norwood's contract is expired, and his exit for a pay rise well outside Tranmere's budgetary constraints appears inevitable. So the main thing to be keeping your ear out for is news of potential striker signings. Rumours have attached us to bringing back the now relegated and supposedly unsettled Cook from Walsall, paying out to Flyde for Danny Rowe or taking Callum Lang on loan. The club will want to wrap up new deals for CB pairing Monthe and Nelson, both 24, who showed enough to make fans confident they would handle the step up to L1. While much of the squad seems likely to stay we will also need to find some new wide-men, as Ben Pringle, Keiron Morris & Johnny Smith were only here on loan deals last season. The squad looks a little thin for the moment but if we can stave off supposed approaches for manager Mellon and key assists maker Connor Jennings, and of course find a way to replace some of Lord Norwood's goals members of the SWA will be confident we can do enough on our resources to target mid-table safety.


  • Wycombe Wanderers
    Manager: Gareth Ainsworth
    Tenure: Forever (or since 2012 to be more precise)
    Ownership Situation: Fan-owned, but currently seeking investors as even our moderate outgoings exceed our income
    Main Fan Forum:

    Star Player: Adebayo Akinfenwa (CF, 37yo, strength 97 on FIFA 19)
    Underappreciated Gem: Curtis Thompson (CM, 25yo)
    Top Prospect: Scott Kashket (CF, 23yo)
    Potential 19/20 Breakout Year: A loanee as yet unknown
    Fan Scapegoat: Ryan Allsop (GK, 26yo)
    Waste of Space: No room for a waste of space at this club
    Dream Transfer Target: Being realistic, Fred Onyedinma (RW, 22yo) is a former loanee and would be an excellent signing.

    Season Review: Overachieved on both expectations and budget by surviving in League One for the first time in four attempts. Great start to the season followed by a slump after January when three influential loanees returned to their parent clubs. Finishing 17th was a job very well done. Repeating the achievement this year looks even more challenging given the state of our finances, and our more experienced players being another year older.
    Tactical Overview: 4-3-3 with two mobile wide players and Akinfenwa in the middle. Hard working all over the pitch. Tough to play against.
    Plans & Priorities for Preseason: The potential sale of Kourtney Hause to Aston Villa from Wolves might bring in much needed sell-on money. Given we currently don’t have enough players to fill a match day squad, and we don’t have the funds for transfer fees or high wages, we are hoping for Ainsworth to work his magic yet again and bring in some more cheap young talent. Expect heavy use of the loan market.

  • Great stuff Chris. Really appreciate you taking the time to do this.

    I've put your rundown in the first part of the roundup, which is here:

    Thanks again!

  • Good stuff @Chris, although I'm not sure I'd agree that Curtis Thompson is underappreciated

  • The fact that he didn’t win player of the season puts him in that category for me.

  • @Chris, We have only had 3 relegations since we joined the EFL , 2004, 2009 and 2011. the period from 1994 to 2003 was all in our current league,

  • I am aware of that - β€˜first time in the last four attempts’ would have been clearer.

  • Have edited accordingly.

  • @UbiFides Thanks for sharing that, it's a really good read and I look forward to seeing other teams added over the summer.

    Thanks also to @Chris for our contribution.

  • Must admit, have only peeped at this thread for the first time just now. Was dreading another open plan office type yawn but far from it. This should be a fascinating insight into the world of our League 1 competitors. Excellent contribution from @Chris. Hope you are getting a good response from other clubs.

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