Dial Square – Season Review 2014/15

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2014/15 Season Review

Season three with the fledgling club, and we continue to build on the success of the past two seasons. The squad is developing well, and we’re managing to keep them together, despite clubs as big as Manchester City and Werder Bremen making enquiries and bids on our best players. It seems that the Chairman isn’t of the interfering sort, as he didn’t get involved, even when huge sums of money (for our level) were bid.

npower League Two (stats)

As I sit here to write the review of the league season, I look at my notes, and to be honest, they’re pretty blank. That’s not to say that nothing happened, just that nothing unexpected happened. I suppose you could argue that we won the league when being tipped for relegation is unexpected, but I know better. That our players far outstrip our reputation. That I am a superior manager to the Artificial ‘Intelligence’. And if we can keep these players together, we’ll do it again in League One, too.

FA Cup (stats)

Both Charlton and Swindon are League One clubs, and we beat them! I hope that is something of an indicator as to what we can expect in the league next season. Even against Premier League club West Ham, it took an 89th minute Nolan goal to stop the tie coming back to Highbury for a replay.

Capital One Cup (stats)

Our 4-0 result against Championship club Brentford was the shock of the round. It shocked me too, as I didn’t expect a win, let alone such an emphatic one. We drew another Championship club in the second round, Birmingham. But try as we might, taking it to penalties, it wasn’t enough, but I can’t fault the team on this one – we shouldn’t have even got to penalties, on paper.

Johnstones Paint Trophy (stats)

When we barely beat Charlton, I didn’t hold much hope for going anywhere far in this competition, though I was mildly confident on  beating Northampton. It was a much tighter affair than I envisaged, and in the end we did well to get through. After that I resolved to do our best and see what happens. We are a team to be reckoned with at home – Highbury is a fortress – and Crawley found that out the hard way. Stevenage away was tough, and we were lucky not to concede, and we nicked a goal against the run of play. The second leg was the polar opposite, as we walked all over them for an easy win. I went into the final wanting to win, but was happy at just being at Wembley. You probably expect me to say that Tranmere were the better team, but they wasn’t. We were comfortably on top from kick-off to full-time whistle. We could have scored more than the one goal and made it so much more comfortable, but Afobe’s composure let him down. Still, a League Two club winning the paint pot, at the first ever attempt, eh? The magic of  the cup!

My Player of the Season

For the past two seasons Afobe has easily won this accolade, but this season he went off the boil somewhat. Someone needed to step up and take some of the goalscoring responsibility. Gnabry was that man. The German u21 player has scored and assisted some very important goals this season, and wasn’t just a key player, he was critical to our success this season. Werder Bremen and 1860 Munich of the German Bundesliga both offered in the region of £1.8m for him, and both were swiftly rejected. It is a mark of how happy he is here that he didn’t once complain about me rejecting bids from such big clubs, and in his home country, too.

Transfers

4 loans in, for squad depth. Both Miquel and McAleny’s contracts run out at the end of the season at their original clubs, and I’ll be looking to sign them both. Hayden and Meade are rarely used, and when such good offers came in for them, I didn’t need to consider them for long, if at all.

Youth Intake

Again, nothing. 😦

Next Season

The players are developing so well, that I think another promotion could be on the cards, if we can keep them both fit, and at the club, assuming we can fend off the poachers again.

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