Doncaster Rovers have been relegated to League 1 after being beaten by Portsmouth in a must win game.
The game itself couldn’t have started much better with the team racing into a 2-0 lead but even if they did manage to win this game it still would have been very difficult for the team to stay up after what has been a pretty bad season however they were the favourites to go down at the start of the season so maybe it was expected. But looking to the future and if they can keep this squad together who will be good enough to get the team promoted at the first time of asking, which is not an easy thing to do as big teams have found out over the years such as Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest and Leeds United.
The first question that has to be asked is whether Dean Saunders is the right man to take the club forward? This is only his second job and he has only won seven games out of 37 which would suggest that he hasn’t been great but the club have had a lot of injuries and he has had to rely on loan signings which is never easy. I think he should be given the time to succeed and get his own team together.
Doncaster have a decent squad but for one reason or another it hasn’t quite worked out for them this season. Injuries have been quite cruel on them too. Tommy Spurr is one of the players that I believe has the potential to be a very good Championship defender but he struggled with injuries and he could have had added some much needed stability at left back and will be very important next season if he stays. Looking at the defence that have been playing and it is really surprising to see some of the players in the Championship never mind getting relegated from it. Habib Beye, who actually got sent off against Portsmouth, was a first team regular at Newcastle United in the Premier League only a few years ago and was signed by Aston Villa for quite a large fee. Pascal Chimbonda and Herita Ilunga have also played for the club this season and these yet again are players who are experienced and played at the highest level.
It is remarkable the amount of players Doncaster went through and how well known they actually are. In the midfield, they have Giles Barnes who was once rated as one of the best youngsters in England when he was at Derby County but his career has stalled and he may have to stay at Doncaster to kick start it. James Coppinger is a midfielder that I do like in the squad and I believe that if he stays then he will be vital if they are to bounce straight back to the Championship.
El Hadji Diouf has been at the club too and I cannot imagine him playing in League 1 but if he does decide to stay then he will score goals at that level and would be one of the favourites for top goal scorer at the start of the season. He cannot produce moments of magic. Yet again, they have had Premier League experience upfront with him in Frederic Piquionne but his two goals in seven games wasn’t quite enough to inspire the team to staying up.
A very poor season for Doncaster but maybe it wasn’t so much of a surprise, the fans will be hoping for a consistent look to the side next year and this will hopefully allow them to challenge for promotion next year. If they fail to bring in a few players and get rid of the ones of high wages it could be a real struggle next year.