Date:Friday August 5 2011
Good grief, is it that time again?
So how are we all feeling? It`s hard to gage the feelings of Town fans as so many seem to be wholly polarised in opinion.
It 's either overwhelming optimism or glumness. If I`m honest, I find myself flitting from one to the other.
I suppose I adhere to the opinion that we`ll either be a major force in League Two or go the way that Bristol Rovers did when they went down a decade ago or how Bradford have struggled to get out of the division since slipping down.
It`s imperative that Swindon do their bloody darnedest to earn an immediate return to League One. A part of me thinks that with players like Paul Caddis and Matt Ritchie in the side we`ll do just fine but the sheer quantity of unknown individuals at this level makes me nervous. De Vita and Connell should be fine in League Two but we need our frontline to work.
Defensively, Flint has potential to be our breakout player of the season while a lot of praise has gone the way of Jonathan Smith in midfield. It will be interesting to see how Oliver Risser adapts in English football, especially as he`s our new captain.
If Paolo Di Canio delivers what he has been preaching since arriving in Wiltshire then, again, Swindon will do amazingly well. The early stages of having a rookie manager in charge of your club is worrying but I`m calm because I believe that he`s not going into these with any misconceptions or underestimating of what it will be like in League Two. Is it a crime to wanting to provide an attractive brand of football? Also, his coaching staff have been just as impressive in their comments and approach. The new Swindon Town management are clearly focused but the only concern is whether they can convert their football ideology into practice on the field of play.
I look at the transfer activity in League Two and I think that there will be 5 or 6 stand out teams. In my opinion there`s not one team in the division that screams 'we will walk this`
I`m not going to lie, my knowledge of some of the clubs in League Two is basic so I don`t mean to offend. These predictions are as I see it right now.
They`ve lost some key players and I don`t see them competing. However, I dare say that people said this about Stanley last summer.
It`s hard to say really. You often find that former Non-League teams can efficiently build their previous promotion. I cannot see this with Wimbledon, I envisage a similar season to what Oxford United experienced in 2010/11.
Dean Holdsworth has potential as a manager but I don`t see them doing any better than mid-table.
Again, their forward line will be the key to their upcoming season. If the clichés are to believed, Lawrie Sanchez is a natural underdog and there is no greater underdog than Barnet.
Once again, I expect them to compete. However, can they do so? We will see.
Rovers have undergone a dramatic change of personnel. Plenty of experienced 'play it safe` signings by their new manager Paul Buckle. I would be very surprised if they failed to earn a Play-Off place.
They`ve had a quiet summer. Again, I don`t predict a particularly successful campaign.
I think they`ll ultimately struggle but they`ll still beat Swindon!
It`s a tough one because it`s quick to assume that with the money they have that it automatically means that they`ll be up there. I`m not entirely convinced but they should be in the proverbial mix.
It was a very quiet summer indeed for Crewe. If anyone else was in charge of Crewe then you`d expect them to struggle but Gradi knows his stuff and can get a lot out of his players. They`ll either be a dark horse for the Play-Offs or down there!
Dagenham & Redbridge
Desperately unlucky to get relegated from League One. However, I doubt they`ll be able to compete. I dare say that people said that in 2009/10
You would expect them to compete. They've built a decent looking squad.
I want them to do well as they have a West Wiltshireman in charge in Jamie Pitman. They could really struggle this time around though.
Macclesfield are another side that I cannot see doing any better than mid-table.
A rookie manager and a small budget signifies to me that if Morecambe do well this season then it would be seriously impressive. I can`t see it happening.
I think they`ll be up right there. Johnson knows what he`s doing and he`s made some decent signings this summer. I cannot see them struggling.
If they don`t get into, at the very least, the Play-Offs then it`s a massively failed season for our rivals. They have a good enough squad to compete and I hope they spectacularly fail.
It`s a tough one. I don`t see them dropping out of the Football League but, as it stands, it`s hard to realistically predict that they`ll get promotion. Depends on the takeover.
An experienced manager at this level but do they have the squad? I`m not so sure.
I consider them Play-Off contenders and that`s with or without Adam le Fondre.
Another team that you shouldn`t write off. I wonder whether last season was their best chance to get out of League Two.
Paul Sturrock is a good manager but whether he can turn Southend into a promotion chasing side remains to be seen.
Good luck to Martin Ling and Shaun Taylor. I think they`ve got a tough job to at least match last seasons Play-Off final.
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Date:Friday August 5 2011
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