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2011-2012 Football League Predictions

August 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Just a quick post with my predictions for the new football league season starting next week. This is how I see the Premier League, Championship, League 1 and League 2 finishing up. These could be amazingly correct or staggeringly wrong, we shall see how the season develops.

Premier League:

 

  1. Manchester United
  2. Chelsea
  3. Manchester City
  4. Arsenal
  5. Liverpool
  6. Tottenham Hotspur
  7. Everton
  8. Aston Villa
  9. Stoke
  10. QPR
  11. Bolton
  12. Fulham
  13. Newcastle
  14. Sunderland
  15. West Bromwich Albion
  16. Wolves
  17. Blackburn

——————————————————————-

  1. Norwich
  2. Wigan
  3. Swansea City

Championship:

 

  1. West Ham United
  2. Leicester City

——————————————————————-

  1. Leeds United
  2. Ipswich Town
  3. Southampton
  4. Middlesbrough

——————————————————————-

  1. Cardiff City
  2. Birmingham City
  3. Brighton
  4. Nottingham Forest
  5. Bristol City
  6. Burnley
  7. Hull City
  8. Reading
  9. Blackpool
  10. Portsmouth
  11. Derby
  12. Watford
  13. Millwall
  14. Barnsley
  15. Doncaster

——————————————————————-

  1. Crystal Palace
  2. Coventry
  3. Peterborough United

League 1:

 

  1. Huddersfield Town
  2. Charlton

——————————————————————-

  1. Sheffield United
  2. MK Dons
  3. Scunthorpe United
  4. Brentford

——————————————————————-

  1. Preston North End
  2. Colchester United
  3. Leyton Orient
  4. Chesterfield
  5. Bournemouth
  6. Carlisle United
  7. Sheffield Wednesday
  8. Exeter City
  9. Tranmere
  10. Oldham
  11. Walsall
  12. Bury
  13. Notts County
  14. Hartlepool United

——————————————————————-

  1. Yeovil Town
  2. Rochdale
  3. Wycombe
  4. Stevenage

League 2:

 

  1. Shrewsbury Town
  2. Crawley Town
  3. Swindon Town

——————————————————————-

  1. Rotherham United
  2. Bristol Rovers
  3. Crewe Alexandra
  4. Oxford United

——————————————————————-

  1. Gillingham
  2. Torquay United
  3. Plymouth
  4. Dagenham & Redbridge
  5. Accrington Stanley
  6. Aldershot
  7. Northampton Town
  8. AFC Wimbledon
  9. Bradford
  10. Port Vale
  11. Southend United
  12. Morecambe
  13. Hereford United
  14. Macclesfield
  15. Burton Albion

——————————————————————-

  1. Cheltenham Town
  2. Barnet

Demand for Donaldson

As a Crewe Alex fan, so far the entirety of this off season has been dominated with rumours surrounding the out of contract Clayton Donaldson. The League 2 top scorer with 28 goals, Donaldson along with strike partner Shaun Miller led the Crewe attack that managed an impressive 87 league goals and the former Hibernian and York City striker has been attracting rumoured interest from a host of clubs in League 2, League 1 and the Championship.

Donaldson in action for Crewe

Dario Gradi has stated he would like to keep Donaldson and why wouldn’t he? After the season the striker has had. Donaldson managed 19 league goals in his first two seasons at Gresty Road, but his 29 goals in all competitions means this past year has been the best in his career so far in terms of goals. The offer made by the Alex would require Donaldson to take a pay cut on what he already earns and with most clubs able to offer much more in the way of wages compared to Crewe, it would seem unlikely he will remain in South Cheshire. The offer does include the incentive of Donaldson receiving a healthy percentage of any future transfer fee for the striker from other clubs but it seems pretty certain he will move on.

Bradford City, Donaldson’s home town club have been the most vocal in their pursuit of Donaldson with manager Peter Jackson apparently holding talks over a possible move to Valley Parade. Other League 2 clubs linked with his services have been Oxford United, Gillingham and newly promoted Crawley Town who will likely be able to offer much bigger wages than any club outside the Championship as they look to bring a second straight promotion through heavy investment. It would be a rather strange outcome however if Donaldson decides to remain in League 2 however with this being a great opportunity to move up the leagues.

League 1 teams mentioned as being interested in Donaldson include Carlisle, Chesterfield, Tranmere, Sheffield Wednesday, Charlton Athletic and Colchester United whilst Watford, Millwall and Coventry have also been suggested destinations in the Championship. Watford may be looking at Donaldson as a potential replacement for leading scorer Danny Grahama who is attracting interest from newly promoted Swansea City whilst Millwall’s leading striker Steve Morrison is on the verge of a move to another new Premier League side in Norwich City. However, regardless of where Donaldson winds up he will be expected to deliver a similar tally of goals and level of performance that he managed in this past season for Crewe.

Jumping on the Bandwagon, Goalpost technology now please?

August 17, 2009 Leave a comment
We are only into the second week of the football season and already there is national discussion and debate about whether technology should be employeed to determine if the ball has crossed the line or not. There are of course arguments for and against the introduction of technology in this area and this is probably the main reason for it still being a discussion point and not a reality.
Ball clearly shown in the goal where it would then bounce back out and not be given

Ball clearly shown in the goal where it would bounce back out and not be given.

After the Crystal Palace ‘goal’ that never was at the weekend (see left), once again managers all across the country have called for the governing bodies to introduce goalline technology to help out officials and eliminate the possibility of contentious decisions continuing. Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock has demonstrated his feelings on goalline technology, firmly stating that it should be introduced. “If they can’t spot these injustices they have got to have help.”

Those who back the idea of implementing technology to solve this problem will argue that it wouldn’t interfere with the flow of the game for the referee to look at a monitor for ten seconds to determine if the ball has crossed the line or not. Also, some of these wrong decisions could lead to big repercussions for the teams and managers on the wrong end of them.

For people who oppose the idea of technology, be it television replays for officials to look at or something that indicates the ball has crossed the line instantly, would claim that these mistakes are human error that has to be expected and add to the interest and charm of the game and that if these talking points were removed from the game it would become a more mundane game. There are also fears that if technology to solve this issue came into the game, would it stop there? Would the governing bodies decide to employ technology to determine penalty decisions or offside decisions during the game? Would technology invade every aspect of the game and potentially ruin the sport by providing no possibility for debate or contention?

I know if a wrong decision were to affect my team, Crewe Alexandra, I would be screaming for the technology to be there and shouting to everyone who would listen that it should already be in use. However, I do find it interesting and fun to talk about when it happens to any other team in the country, so for this reason I would quite like things left as they are. In addition to this I do fear that if technology were to be used succesfully at dealing with goalline issues, it would become appealing to governing bodies to try and eradicate all wrong or even slightly debatable decisions with technology, taking a lot of the intrigue out of the game.

So after thinking about this whilst writing, I have decided I am undecided on the topic, for now.