Vital Football

Latest Crewe Alexandra News

How We Line Up

How We Line Up

We're still, apparently, a couple of players short of a complete team but us fans know at least eight players who should be 'good to go' on August 9th.

Holland definitely has a 'make or break' season ahead of him. Anything other than a vast improvement on last season will not be tolerated by the no-so-barmy army. It's going to be a tough division too, no-one (at the moment) looks like they're heading for administration and there aren't four teams you can say will definitely be in the bottom four come May.

Has Holland put together a decent enough squad?

Essentials

Steve Collis - Signed from Southend on a free and looks to be a very capable keeper. However, he's never faced a full season of games as number one. Can he stand up to what will be a hard season? He'll have to, we have few other options.

Julien Baudet - Certain to be captain next season, Holland has already pretty much said he's building a defence round him. His improvement in the last two season has been exceptional, a defender who can compliment him well would go down a treat.

Michael O'Connor - Essential? O'Connor? Yes. I'm predicting a big season from Occy. A replacement for Gary Roberts, who can remain in the corner with a sour face. He showed good form towards the end of last season, carry that on into the next 12 months and we're looking at a very decent player.

Nicky Maynard - Ah, Maynard. Will he go? The answer is probably, but whilst he's here he is the first name on the team sheet. Fans, mostly opposition fans, doubt the £2million price tag but if he's here for the season then I'm certain he'll live up to it. 25 or 30 goals is the quesiton.

Probabilities

Billy Jones - Our only qualified left back is unlikely to get the chop any time soon. Debate fades in and out over whether he is good enough; for me he's comfortable and having seen us without a left back for the last 5 out of 6 years, comfortable is good enough.

Danny Woodards - Still on the transfer list, reportedly attracting no-one. At the time he was transfer listed I didn't think he'd be here by the end of July but it looks like I misjudged the situation. If Woodards remains it puts Holland in a sticky situation - your best defender or the one who shows more commitment for the long term?

Steven Schumacher - He's not spectacular but he does his job quietly - he's like a modern day Neil Sorvel. If we assume Gary Roberts won't be around much longer then a Schumacher-O'Connor double act in midfield may be in the pipe line.

Jake Livemore - Spurs loanee who Steve Holland rates very highly but at 18 is he likely to go straight into 46 games a season with us?

Calvin Zola - We've paid £200,000, we'll bloody well use him.

Joel Grant - £130,000 was a bit steep when it's not a guarantee he'll make it at this level. I pray he somehow turns out to be some amazing find - like Bournemouth got with Max Gradel last season.

Don't Count Your Chickens

George Abbey - All depends on Woodards' situation but Holland would be wrong to to go with Abbey whilst Woodards is at the club.

Danny O'Donnell - He was utterly useless last season and could be some way behind the first team if Holland finds a new centre back.

Chris McCready - He wasn't quite as useless but Holland is seeking a replacement thankfully.

Ben Rix - His likely omission will please most. He should/could be nothing more than a bit-part player.

Eugen Bopp - He was told to leave six months ago but now Holland seems to be taking a shine to Bopp. He impressed fans last season with a few quality substitute appearances before losing all that admiration after a shoddy display at home to Forest. Clearly a player with a lot of skill, if he can apply himself he could well be a surprise player.

Byron Moore - Steve Holland and fans lost patience in old shirker towards the end of last season. His poor finishing and lack of willingness to tackle needs to be overcome, I can't see him starting the season like last.

Tom Pope - The arrival of Zola has put our Popey out in the cold. He had a promising end to last season but is he really the man to help us back up the table? Probably not.

You'll Be Lucky

Adam Legzdins - He's arrived as 2nd choice and is likely to remain that way whilst Collis is fit. Being young and inexperienced, there is little benefit to the team in sticking him in.

Gary Roberts - Mardy bum has burnt his bridges and is unlikely to return to Holland's good books. A move away from the club won't come soon enough.

Mark Carrington - Appearing vaguely over the past couple of years, it seems no-one in the management team is too keen on him. Will he break through or is he playing for a future elsewhere? The latter I reckon.

Shaun Miller - He's shown promise but not much else. He's desperate to get in the team but it doesn't look likely he's the answer to any potential problems. Should Maynard go a replacement will be sought from the outside.

Colin Daniel - Having shown nothing in his year at the club it's likely to be another season of loan moves for 'Junior'.

Players not mentioned for various reasons include Stuart Tomlinson and the academy bunch.

So, the starting 11 is still far from certain. A new centre back is needed, I would say, if we're to challenge much higher than the bottom 8 whilst Maynard's (possible) replacement will have a lot to live up to.

At the moment, a safe bet for the 11 come August 9th, barring injuries and transfer sales, could be:

Collis

Woodards
Baudet
??????
Jones

Grant
Schumacher
O'Connor
Bopp

Zola
Maynard

For me, the fate of next season then rests on the new centre back. Can they sure up the defence enough?

Even with expected departures, we can guess that Anthony Elding is the most likely replacement for Maynard whilst Abbey ok at right back.

Have we improved on last year? Definitely. Is it enough? Probably not. I still see a depressing season, but hopefully free of a relegation scrap - but then that's all that Holland has promised so far this summer.










Join the FREE Telegraph League One Fantasy Football League!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Dink
Date:Monday July 21 2008
Time: 4:25PM

Comments

0
Maynard... 225 goals... he's not bloody Pele ;-) Couldn't agree more re. Occy though. If he can stay fit for long enough he could be the real deal. Thought he looked quite the athlete at times last season.
ChampagneCharlie
21/07/2008 19:08:00
0
Crikey. I meant 226. ;-)
Dink.
21/07/2008 19:23:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Best of Vital Network

Recent Crewe Alexandra Articles

51 Clubs Receive EFL Family Excellence Award - 2016/17

The Football League have recognised a record 51 clubs in the 2016/17 Family Excellence Awards.

Potential League Two Make Up 2017/18 (28/4/17)

With a few games remaining in the 2016/17 campaign, some promotions and relegations in the football pyramid are already known.

Reaseheath Review 24/04/17

Steve Johnson looks at the non-first team picture from the last week.

More Reliable Than A League 2 Octopus? (24/4/17)

Time for the new special computer that crunches the numbers to determine the final League Two positions for 2016/17.

Archived Vital Crewe Articles

Vital Crewe articles from

Site Journalists

Steve Johnson
Editor email
Profile
Josh Ravenscroft
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Match Result - Plymouth (A)
Suggested By: Steve Johnson
Plymouth Argyle Win0%
Draw0%
Crewe Alexandra Win0%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
P Doncaster 44 25 10 9 85 33
P Plymouth 44 25 8 11 83 24
P Portsmouth 44 24 9 11 81 33
4 Luton 44 18 17 9 71 22
5 Exeter 44 20 8 16 68 18
6 Blackpool 44 17 16 11 67 22
7 Stevenage 44 20 6 18 66 7
8 Mansfield 44 17 14 13 65 5
9 Wycombe 44 18 11 15 65 4
10 Carlisle 44 16 17 11 65 -1
11 Cambridge 44 18 9 17 63 7
12 Colchester 44 17 12 15 63 6
13 Accrington 44 16 14 14 62 3
14 Grimsby 44 17 10 17 61 -2
15 Barnet 44 13 15 16 54 -6
16 Notts County 44 15 8 21 53 -22
17 Crewe 44 13 13 18 52 -11
18 Morecambe 44 14 9 21 51 -18
19 Crawley 44 13 11 20 50 -16
20 Yeovil 44 11 16 17 49 -13
21 Cheltenham 44 11 14 19 47 -16
22 Newport 44 11 12 21 45 -22
23 Hartlepool 44 10 13 21 43 -21
R Leyton Orient 44 10 6 28 36 -36
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Write for Vital Football

Recent Crewe Alexandra Results (view all)

Crewe Alexandra Fixtures (view all)

Apr 29 2017 3:00PM : Plymouth Argyle (a)
Sky Bet League Two
May 6 2017 5:30PM : Barnet (H)
Sky Bet League Two

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.stig7tfm3
The Vital Football Members League