Rochdale are relegated to League 2

Rochdale have been relegated to League 2 after being beaten by relegation rivals Chesterfield despite both managers admitting that Rochdale were the better side.

Rochdale are 24th in League 1 with only 38 points

Already club chairman Chris Dunphy is counting the costs of being unable to survive in League 1 and this could show in the sort of team they have next season and whether they will be able to compete to win promotion at the first time of asking. John Coleman will have a tough job on his hands and will need to use all of his experience if he wants to succeed at Spotland now. He replaced former manager Steve Eyre who didn’t have the greatest of times and was sacked in December when the club were 22nd in the table so it was always going to be tough for the former Accrington Stanley manager to keep them up. Even though Coleman has won only four of his 17 games in charge I hope he is given the chance to do well because he had a good record at Accrington and won 40.20% of his games so if he is able to get a decent squad together it wouldn’t surprise me if they were one of the best teams in the league.

Looking at their current squad and who could possibly stay, are they good enough? I think there midfield is where they are at their best as they have club captain Gary Jones who they hope will stay not only because of his experience but also because of his all round ability. He can score goals from midfield with him hitting over 50 for the club but maybe this is why they have struggled slightly this year because he only has six and his goals were a big reason why they performed so well last season. Nicky Adams is another that I think they need to keep because he is a very hard worker and never lets the team down although he has been criticised at times this year from some fans and maybe this has been slightly harsh.

Ashley Grimes is another very good player who started the season very well and looked like a natural finisher who would score a lot of goals this year. He has scored eight goals in 36 league games which isn’t terrible especially for a team that are struggling but maybe he would have been expecting a few more. However, I believe if he is played up front next year he will finish as the League 2 top scorer. Another striker they have is Jean Louis Akpa Akpro who must delight and infuriate fans so much because he can produce some moments of real quality and then make a wrong decision or play a poor final ball. However, he is another that I think will score goals in League 2.

Rochdale in my opinion should be able to bounce straight back as long as they don’t suffer too much financially and keep faith with their manager and their squad. They certainly have goals in the team so maybe they just need to improve their defence slightly as they have conceded 77 goals this season.

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Sheffield Wednesday’s new manager Dave Jones

Dave Jones has been given the Sheffield Wednesday job after the club decided to sack their manager Gary Megson.

It was an interesting decision it itself to sack Megson who had just led his team to victory against Sheffield United, however club chairman Milan Mandaric had already decided to sack the manager after his team got beat away to Chesterfield. He said he did not want to ruin the Sheffield United game for the supporters and this is why he kept Megson in charge for it. So, at least he allowed Megson, the Wednesday fan himself, enjoy a victory over their biggest rivals which must be a moment he will never forget especially as more than 36,000 were at the game.

But, football moves on quickly so let’s have a look at Dave Jones, he has always been a respected manager and has always got his teams to play good football. He was most recently at Cardiff City where he was sacked because he failed to get them promoted. This might seem a bit harsh as they finished in the playoffs the year he got sacked but they failed to get promoted and it probably hurt that little bit more that Swansea did. He was very well received by the Cardiff fans and he had a good win percentage of nearly 42% at the club and did get them to an FA Cup final which is a very good achievement for a Championship side.

He did achieve promotion to the Premier League with Wolves and the Wednesday fans will be happy with this as they beat Sheffield United 3-0 in the playoff final. Jones, was however also sacked from this job after having an appalling season in the Premier League followed by just four wins from 15 games on their return to the Championship. He knows what it is liked to get sacked and with Mandaric in charge, who likes to sack managers, this will probably only end in one way. The Owls will only hope that this happens when the club are at least in the Championship and he has taken them as far as they can go.

The new man at Hillsborough needs to hit the ground running and get some victories under his belt as the fans may not take to him as quickly as they had done to Megson. Yes, Megson did play a long ball game but this was expected as all his teams have played that way and now it might be difficult for the players to get out of this mindset. But, Jones encourages passing football and it won’t happen overnight but when it does click all of his teams have played fluent attacking football and have been one of the most entertaining teams in the league. However, looking over his track record it hasn’t always brought success and this may be a bit worrying. Wednesday should finish in the playoffs but when a new manager comes in, the players step it up to impress and if they string a very good set of results together they could still end up in the top two.

Who should be the next Leeds United manager?

Leeds are looking for a new manager after club chairman Ken Bates decided to sack Simon Grayson even though the club are only four points away from the playoffs. Leeds are a massive club and should be aiming for promotion but they have to be more realistic and Grayson has done a good job especially as this is only their second season back in the Championship.

Grayson dealt with a few problems during his time at the club and lost key players like Bradley Johnson and Jermaine Beckford who would have added more quality to the squad. He never seemed to complain too much about the boards transfer policies even when club captain Jonny Howson was sold in the last transfer window. The former Leeds player had a very impressive record as manager winning almost 50% of his games in charge of the club and it is difficult to see who will replace him and do a better job.

But there are a few candidates with Neil Warnock now available he would seem like one of the favourites to take the post. However, his connections to Sheffield United may put him off the idea of managing Leeds. But, he has a tremendous record in the Championship and can get teams promoted as he has shown with both United and more recently QPR. He would not be a popular choice though as the Leeds fans have never really liked Warnock and I can’t see them taking to him unless he produced instant success.

Lee Clark is another man linked with the job as he has done tremendously well with Huddersfield in League 1 yet again this season but one thing that would worry Leeds is even though he gets praised for the way his team play football and avoid defeats, he still hasn’t guided them to a promotion which is remarkable as they went 43 games undefeated. The best managers make brave decisions to win games but it seems like Clark would rather take a point than risk going for all three.

Former Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies should also be considered for the job because he seems to get the best out of players and his teams always finish near the top of the table and it is not surprising when he leaves a club they begin to deteriorate. Forest were finishing in the playoffs every season under Davies but now he has left they are struggling in the Championship. He also overachieved at Preston and also led them to the playoffs.

So, Warnock would be a very good choice but not a popular one with the fans however success brings popularity and if he got them promoted then there wouldn’t be a single Leeds fan complaining. I would like to see Davies get the job because he wasn’t treated fairly at Forest and with the right backing he will make Leeds into a team that challenges for promotion. Also if he gets Leeds into the Premier League he will have a better chance of keeping them up than with his previous club Derby County.