League One 2021/22 Review – Part II
Next up Part II of my look at our League One rivals and those sides that the bookies think will be challenging for a play-off spot.
Oxford United fell again for at the play-off stage last season and an automatic promotion type burst at the end of the season. They will need to be more consistent, which I feel is a bit of a Karl Robinson issue, but they I am sure with a few more recruits they will be in and around the top 6 again.
Random memories: Ugh, that penalty last season.
Any decent transfer business yet: Still look as if they need a lot more recruits, but midfielder Marcus McGuane signed on a permanent after last year’s loan spell.
Promotion Odds: 5/1
Chances the manager will make the season: If the cheeky scouser underachieved at The Valley then he has overachieved at The Kassam. 8/10
I like the look again of Lincoln City. It is great to see Michael Appleton back after being diagnosed with testicular cancer. Appleton is particularly good with young players and loanee’s have also excelled under his watch. The Imps have Jorge Grant but so far look to added some good value.
Random memories: Was Jayden Stockley’s goal last season the goal of the season? It got my vote.
Any decent transfer business yet: Will be interesting to see how good Man City’s 19-year old central midfielder Lewis Fiorini is.
Promotion Odds: 5/1
Chances the manager will make the season: Michael Appleton once had a reputation of chasing the next job, but unless he is lured away again there is no chance of Lincoln getting rid. 10/10
Bolton Wanderers are back in the big time, well League One. They would not be the first promoted team to challenge for another promotion. They look the best equipped of the four newbies although their summer dealings have been less than spectacular.
Random memories: April 25th, 1997. I was at Burnden Park for the last ever game at the historic ground.
Any decent transfer business yet: Josh Sheehan was signed from Newport. He was a very good playmaker at L2 level.
Promotion Odds: 11/2
Chances the manager will make the season: Ian Evatt is very much in credit at Bolton, so pretty sure he will get the whole season to try to take Bolton back another level. 9/10
Best laid plans and all that as MK Dons find themselves managerless the week before the new season kicks off. Russell Martin had made quite the impression with his possession-based football and he had attracted a number of good signings before he left for Swansea. Captain Dean Lewington has taken over, but any summer promise has been severely dented with the loss of Martin.
Random memories: MK Dons don’t really inspire any memories. There was that 5-1 win in our first ever league meeting.
Any decent transfer business yet:
Promotion Odds: 11/2
Chances the manager will make the season: Well, Martin didn’t even make all of pre-season. Jody Morris and John Terry are among the favourites to take over.
Wycombe Wanderers are back in L1 after their first ever experience of 2nd tier football. With relegation came the inevitable loss of key players such as Ikpeazu and Onyedinma. Manager Gareth Ainsworth remains as Wycombe will try again to get back to the Championship.
Random memories: That desperate night in the League Cup in 2006 under Les Reed at The Valley.
Any decent transfer business yet: Sam Vokes was signed from Stoke in a high profile move. Vokes has been anything but prolific for a long time though.
Promotion Odds: 7/1
Chances the manager will make the season: Loyalty works both ways and Ainsworth and the Wycombe owners have shown that in spades. 10/1
Doncaster Rovers have had a perhaps an over-reliance on loans, but under Richie Wellens they appear to want to build more long term stability. There’s been quite a lot of good transfer activity, although to contradict myself, they have signed Matt Smith (the Arsenal one) loan. Donny will try again to get into that top 6, albeit without James Coppinger.
Random memories: Oh what a night that was.
Any decent transfer business yet: I always thought Ben Close was a decent player.
Promotion Odds: 10/1
Chances the manager will make the season: Richie Wellens is in his fourth job in three years. He’ll either settle down or be twitchy again 5/10.