92 clubs favourite players – Crystal Palace – Dwight Gayle

Crystal Palace are back in the Premier League and they will be hoping to last longer than they did the last time and under Ian Holloway they should be entertaining.

The player I have chosen as my favourite is someone that a lot of people will have heard a lot about because he certainly has an incredible story and one that will be mentioned basically every time he is on the pitch. Dwight Gayle has had an incredible rise and for someone that was playing in League 2 at the start of the last season probably did not think he would start a league game at Old Trafford this season.

At Dagenham and Redbridge last season he started impressively and was probably just happy to be a player in the Football League. He scored seven times in 18 league games and even though he was only their for half a season, the goals he scored and points he gained for the club arguably kept them in League 2. John Still was the manager at the time and he was very good at picking up talent from non league football and turning them into good footballers, he certainly helped a lot in his development and I’m sure will be proud.

He then decided to move on and joined Darren Ferguson’s Peterborough United where he got better and better and was soon getting more headlines for his performances. I personally felt that this was a great move for him because like Still, Ferguson has been able to pick up players, particularly strikers and make them better and then eventually make a profit on them when they finally leave. But I don’t think even Ferguson expected him to get a move to the Premier League and because they got relegated to League 1 at the end of the season he probably felt he could not stand in his way even if he does eventually end up just playing Championship football next season. Gayle did try his best to keep Peterborough up and 13 goals in 29 games proves that he certainly is good enough for that level but the big question is whether he can make the step up once more.
Gayle
I do feel that he will end up back in the Championship and Crystal Palace overspent on him but he will give them a great opportunity to get promoted at the first time of asking. I was very happy to see him get first goal in the Premier League against Sunderland and even though it was only a penalty he had to put it away and with it being such a crucial moment in the match it showed me that he has the mental strength to be able to compete at the top level.

Ian Holloway will hopefully get the best out of him and let him express himself but he has been criticised so far by how he is playing him because he is getting pushed out wide a little more than he would want and maybe that is why he hasn’t quite had the chances to prove his worth but I do hope he manages to get double figures in the Premier League.

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Who will be relegated from League 2?

Relegation from League 2 can be tough and we have seen over the years that it can be difficult to come back from.

There are only two teams that get relegated and it is usually a close run thing so it is always tough to take and can cripple a club financially.

The favourites to be relegated are Morecambe and this is no surprise really because they usually have one of the smallest budgets in the league and in Jim Bentley they do not have an experienced manager that knows how to change things if they are going wrong. I like Bentley and think he could become a decent manager in the future but it would not surprise me if he was the first to be sacked this season if things are going badly.
Morecambe
Accrington are another team that will always be tipped for relegation simply because of the size of the club. They are still probably remembered more for the famous quote ‘Accrington Stanley? Who are they?’ than their actual football team. They have brought in Danny Webber who should score goals in League 2 if he gets the chances but they also have an inexperienced manager in James Beattie and I am happy he got the chance but just avoiding relegation would be a great achievement.
Accrington
Dagenham and Redbridge narrowly avoided the drop last year and it will be another year of struggle in my opinion. They do not have John Still anymore who I believe got the best out of their players and although Wayne Burnett did keep them up last season it will be even tougher this year and there is a lot of pressure on former Arsenal youngster Rhys Murphy to score the goals that keeps them up.
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Wimbledon, another team that had a very nervous end to the season will not be hoping for a repeat but I do think that they will be closer to the bottom of the table than even midtable. They are a very likeable club and Neal Ardley did well last year as manager but it might just be too much this season and the signings they have made are not that exciting but they are consistent and maybe this will be good enough. Barry Fuller was very highly rated until his recent injury problems so hopefully he can get over them and Andy Frampton is another that is experienced at this level and will not let the side down too often.
Wimbledon
The final team that could be relegated in my opinion are Newport County. They have just been promoted and will be hoping that the confidence and momentum will be enough to keep them up but I think they will struggle. Yet again I do think they have made some good signings in Harry Worley and Chris Zebroski but it is their first season in League 2 and it may be a lot tougher than some of them are expecting and they will have to show a lot of commitment and energy to survive the drop.
Newport
The two that I think will go down are Newport County and Dagenham and Redbridge

Who will be relegated from League 2?

Being relegated from League 2 could possibly be the worst relegation in England as it means you are no longer a Football League club and teams often struggle to return at the first time of asking.

In recent years, Luton Town, Darlington (this could have been more because of financial problems that affected them for years) and Stockport County have been some of the bigger names to be unable to win promotion from the Blue Square Premier. I am going to look at the five teams that could be likely to battle against relegation even though I could be way off with the league being very unpredictable.

Barnet are the first team I believe will struggle simply because they have been unable to improve for years now and keep on avoiding relegation on the last day, eventually this is going to catch up on them and they will fail and this could be the year. With the loss of 22 goal Izale McLeod they need a replacement and have brought in Jon Nurse but he only got eight goals last season so he will need to improve if they are to stay up.

Burton Albion fresh off their penalty victory over Sheffield United in the Capital One Cup will need to start off their season just as quickly if they are to comfortably mid table. They definitely have goals in their team with Calvin Zola, Billy Kee and Justin Richards so they shouldn’t struggle in this department if they manage to keep them for the whole season but the defence looks a little light and a few injuries may completely derail their season.

Morecambe, another team that caused a shock in the cup will be hoping this is what is to come from their season however I don’t think this will be the case and they could be dragged towards the bottom of the table. The key person for me could be manager Jim Bentley as he clearly loves the club but his managerial inexperience could work against him but at least the fans know that he will be putting his all in.

Accrington Stanley lack a goal scorer in their squad and last season their star striker was Padraig Amond who only got eight goals and they will certainly need to improve here which is why they have brought in Karl Sheppard who does have a good record so far in his career and looks like he could be a vital addition.

Dagenham and Redbridge struggled last season but a good run of form towards the end of the season saw them safely avoid the drop but they may need a little more in the coming season. The loss of Jon Nurse to rivals Barnet could be key as his goals may just make the difference between the two sides. Brian Woodall had a decent year and will be hoping to build on that and manager John Still knows what it takes to be successful in this division so even though I am tipping them for a struggle this year, they could also be the surprise package.

Out of the five I think it could be Barnet and Accrington Stanley to go down.