Dexther Bolle's life at Crewe Alexandra (Sophitia's hotter, though).

Death Ball

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Dexther Bolle, an hispanoamerican guy (spanish with US second nationality), having chosen Crewe as the club of his heart, traveled to meet the team's board after reading news that the previous manager change of heart, to be concrete a transplant after a stroke, asking to be given the position of new management. After some discussion about the man who had worn a t-shirt with the logo of the bank that had conceded the still not completelly paid loan, his request was accepted and Dexther was introduced to the club and the press as the new Crewe Alexandra manager.

He looked at the lads of first and reserve teams, and the reports, over. He thought to himself "I expected a bit better at this level, of course I expected to see players like these, but not so many. Certainly I see why this team is tipped for releation". He looked at the available positions, preparing for the first friendlies and to begin planning the transfer policy. It was clear what were the weaker links of the squad: lack of wingers, left full back replacement, some quality striker and a goalkeeper.

But before any of those could come, the only tactic with some guarantees of working with the squad seemed to be an attacking 4-3-3, which he used in a likely scottish team, the Bidulphlph, with a result of a dominant 5-0, but not a convincing game. The defense was never tested, the midfield was pitted against a vastly inferior side and so was the strikers, who really didn't show much.

First was scouting the parent club for loans, and he's Liverpool, yay!. Two players from the scouted were of use: San José and Francisco Durán, a defender and midfielder, respectively, to play for Crewe the rest of the season, so Dean Cowan from Dundee, a right side defender midfielder, meant to give the option to play 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 formations having a wing occupied. Then veteran Iván Rosado would give punch to the forward, while SAFFC would provide John Wilkinson to have a left wing and Bennet to have a replacement (or new starting) for the left full back.

Some other players have been targetted, but Taner, a turkish left wing/attacking midfielder, who was the most interesting for the team, is not being sold by prices I'm willing to pay and the team says there's no funds (there should be, I have more transfer budget than his first payment and I think the full worth of the transfer, please don't say I mistyped the amount I was to pay).

The worst problem comes from the goalkeeper, Collis who's the goalie that I must play is the worse of the two, but the other is injured and even he's not that good; but every team asks for his goalie a lot more than I wish to pay, the most blatant being Bittnes, valued at 4000€ for whith they're asking more than 200,000€!. So I think I'll rebid for one of the other better choices and accept their demands. And the preseason has ended, with a 4-4-2 that doesn't work bad but still isn't too good, having a 0-3 defeat to a championship side, though not as bad as the result says, and managed a 2-1 win against Liverpool reserves, but then pool's reserves are or League 1's strength.

Oh well, a day for first season match, against Huddersfield, where I'm doubting between keeping the 4-4-2 and see how it goes or make a 4-5-1 as the players would allow to.

In the other side, I began to sell players that I don't intend to use or are too bad, two though were just loaned out, but that's better than nothing.

Screenshots will come in further posts.
 

Death Ball

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Yup, he is. He's the one I'll keep to start alongside Rosado or, in the case of playing a sole striker, he can well have as many starts as Rosado. Then keep two of the others (Thompson's been already sold) as replacements.

Sambou Yatabaré is the attacking midfielder I signed but get the message I have no funds: €220K of transfer budget, the transfer includes an initial fee of €100K and €500K in 24 months.

Attached is the screenie of the team I'll field in the first game against Huddersefield, with Francisco Durán injured for 4-8 days being the first choice fo the attacking central midfielder as soon he recovers.

Most in the bench don't seem worthy of getting minutes, but there's a few who can give something to the team, a couple of defenders, one midfielder and one striker, perhaps a second striker. the rest will be offloaded as I get new players. the injured goalkeeper is the less bad of the two, but still should not be more than my replacement.

The other two screenies show my movements so far in the transfer market. The withdrawn offer is the goalie valued at €4K that they won't sell for less than €120k. And Farum McClean who's just been bought for the youth team, as he looks very promising.
 

mikelfc

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looks good, very similar to the players i got in my save with crewe. one guy i managed to get was bruna from liverpool, he is a great winger in division 2 and can bring a bit of quality in your attack.
 

Death Ball

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First match was a success. I found my defence was too slow and so decided to make small changes to retreat my defensive line... decided it just in the play that was going to lead to Huddersfield getting ahead, as their striker got past my defense and kept his distance between delivering a longish shot by the goalkeeper.

Murphy made a good match, showing to be a decent replacement for Durán. But the player who shined and showed his head was Iván Rosado, who already proved in the last friendly (first game where I used him) to be a wily player, good dribbler and with the ability to take the ball off the defence's feet. He was close to score one after robbing the defender, unfortunately another arrived in time to get it away before he shot. However, he made two goals, giving the team the victory to start the season in seventh place in an unexpected win over Huddersield (before match it was a Evens Huddersfield win, 9-4 draw or Crewe victory, and it was an away game).

The less bad goalkeeper has begun light training.
 

w9lko

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Thats a good start, have a look at harrad and Webster from Burton and maybe even James if you are struggling for keeper I can't really help maybe Price or Atkins from Derby but Tomlinson should be good enough for you.
 

Death Ball

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Just a couple small updates to complete on the previous:

A) The AMC, Yatabaré, got hired. Yay!. Should boost my attack greatly.

B) Went for nicky Bull as GK... had to delay the signing a week due to lack of funds, and this time it can be bad. I don't understand why hiring Yatabaré (100K fee and 500K in 24 months got the remaining transfer budget down from 325k to 25k). He is expensive and didn't want originally to pay that much for him, but it's better than paying the same for the other who was clearly inferior. If it keeps like that I'll have to go with tomlinson as soon he recovers fully, which as above w9lko says is acceptable

C) Luke Murphy did even better in the Curling cup against Tranmere, which was won comfortably and against media prediction by 3-2, and since he's better than Durán if memory serves well, in some stats and average, he will now be my first choice, even if Durán has better stats in a couple points that I thought compensated for the lesser average. I gave this time a creative role and he showed to be up to the task, creating several chances and good passing ideas.

D) Calvin Zola made two goals in the cup match, confirming the abilities he's shown as a good forward and a good head tomake dangerous plays. But Iván Rosado is clearly a wonderful signing, he fights for the ball, has a good amount of tackles and steals, way more than any striker I've ever had, including Premier League, he is acting very intelligently, getting where he must be and creating a lot of danger with his passes to other players. ah, if his passing was better and kept up to his head he could take Crewe to Premier on his own. Also a pity he's 34 years old, but is that experience what makes him so good. If his passing were better I'd also consider retraining him as midfielder.
 
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Death Ball

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The start of season is going pretty good, and has even provided with one of the top moments ever.

After that first victory over Huddersfield, my team was facing favorite Tranmere, though the BBC comentarist expected a draw. With a stellar match by Calvin zola, with two goals plus a penalty, Crewe was able to overcome Tranmere by a 3-2 score, on to the second Carling Cup round. Good.

Next I face them again in league, now I'm the favorite and they indeed lost their morale, winning 3-0 their first league match I beat them 3-1, being Wilkinson the man that reveals himself as a talented player. Third in league.

And then Scunthorpe, who get ahead and my team struggles to keep the ball. Reached the last ten minutes, Yatabaré takes a long shot and in it goes!. In second half things keep going so, dominance by rival, Crewe only 43% possession, then in 60th minute I swap to a 4-1-2-1-2 and there the match turned upside down, as my team starts to dominate to reach the end with a 53% possession, which means in those last 30 minutes I got the bll 22. And Rosado shows his class making the second to be the only team with 3 wins out of 3 matches, leader of league.

Then comes the start of the lump. Second Carling Cup paired me with a premier team: Middlesbrough. I say in press I don't expect anything, but since you have to fight, I change the tactic for one to try resist a superior team, I go to a 4-5-1 with Rosado on top. And omg! minute 37 Wilkinson makes a long dribbling race to the right wing, from the left and scores. WOOO-HOOOOOO!. Bad news come later, as San José gets an injury but specially in second part, when Rosado is the one who has to leave the park. Post match it's found that Rosado is a one day injury, San José being the longer, not too bad since san José has valid replacement. And so Crewe keeps resisting the constant Middlesbrough onslaught, even getting a few more chances. But then, coming 80th minute, they go to the dreaded 4-2-4 and Alves gets a header to draw the match. Grrrr. For then I already had made my last sub, Wilkinson out for Durán and to the center, with Murphy coming to the centre from the wing, making a 4-2-3-1 made with 2xDMC + 3xMC. I decided not to change anything and not go more defensive, I thought I had enough of that. And less after the goal, no sense in trying to defend a drawn, but not going more offensive either as I shall not give it up either. Then Yatabé gets in front of the area and sends a thunder into the net! WOOOO-HOOOOO-HOOOOOOO!!!!!! I can barely believe it!. And with the 3+2 minutes remaining, Middlesbrough could threaten my team a couple times, but they failed to score again.

One thing again pops up, though: some goals that should be marked in the attacker sheet, this time for Yatabaré, are marked as own goals because the ball bounced off a defender.
 

Death Ball

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(Good you're liking. The skin is Klasa gold. I applied a few changes to it. If you spot any and would like to know, you can PM me asking :)
We'll see about that, Jack, likely it will tire them, in which case I'll consider whether I give up the cup for the league results or perhaps the cup income is better. I don't know what is the schedule, will have to check later, but so far my players can cope with the load, I think, so the prize for each round comes handy. So far I think may there be conflict I'll field the worse players for the cup and keep every first team for the league matches).


And since I'm making a new post, the Bull deal was finally cancelled as original team refused to last delay. However, I've seen a goalkeeper who is better valued lower, I'm waiting the answer, perhaps I'll be lucky and buy a better goalie with much less, since this one is just backup, not important :D.

---------- Post added at 12:33 AM ---------- Previous post was yesterday at 11:17 PM ----------

Well, next will be Sunderland and 90% of teams in this fourth round are premeir sides so yeah, I'll give up going further in the Carling. Next match I'll field the players who use to stay home.
 

Death Ball

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A few more games into the league. The transfer window has passed and expectatives are starting to go up. While I said a tentative consolidation to the board, expecting a mid table finish, I'm starting to think in promotion.

In the transfer market my attempts to find a new goalkeeper ended in failure, either the team refused the offer, wanted too much or the goalie wasn't interested, the last one, because he had just signed fro his current club. Currently playing with Collis as Tomlison began injured. Tomlison is now recovered and fit to play, however I'm changing my mind, I think, though he will still play some matches. Both are close in reflexes and one on ones, but while Tomlison gives me positioning Collis gives handling and I'm leaning to prefer the latter.

A couple players were sold, though one (Moore) will not go until 1st January and one signing was made: Álvaro Novo, an AMRC I brought to fill the right wing as after Cowan's injury I found the team was short handed to deal with any more injuries affecting that side, even if I trained Lunt and Murphy to play as MR. In the screenshot you can see my first choice team, though Daniels and Jones may swap frequently in the left fullback position.

In the cup I'm next to field my less used players and see how Tomlison does, will surely not go past Sunderland.

In the league, things look bright, though my team received 1 goal every match they won them save a tie with a team that was twentieth (I don't remember now and don't have the game running) and went up to first position in the sixth match, with a record of 6 5 1 0 and 16 points, one ahead of Colchester. And then in seventh matchday I was to face Leicester, the favourites to win the league, an important match as it would tell me whether my position was real or just lucky. It began very well before the match: playing at home, Crewe was the favourite to win. And in the end, the result being satisfactory, earning a win with three goals scored in first half, two by Zola and one by Rosado. However, Rosado received a small injury that, while not stopping him from keeping in the game I decided it was better to protect him and make a sub, and due to the lack a striker in the bench I moved to a 4-4-1-1 that didn't work too well and in the second half they scored a goal at min 58 or so and in the last minutes when I went to 4-1-4-1 they made a second. The result placed me first with 7 6 1 0 19 points and four over Colchester and the feel that the team has what it takes to challenge for promotion and even, if injuries respect me, for the League One title.


As for players, Zola and Rosado are high in the scoring table, Rosado being the leader (and comp stole him a goal marking it as og), with Wilkinson and Rosado being on top part of the permormers (av ratings). I have more than one player high in most player stats charts.

The next updates will take longer, I don't want to be boring you with long posts that may not be too well presented (at least this one is a bit hurriedly written, as I began writing thinking it was way earlier than it is. In fact I may rewrite it tomorrow, keepign as it is now so I don't have to reupload the screenies and if I forget here it is this) and with little in the way of news. Next will come at mid season or end of next transfer window, unless something relevant happens before.
 

Jack Fulham

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Your doing well, i just started a new game with Brighton today and found a very good signing called Yoann Bourillon on free transfer
 

Death Ball

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Oh, and I looked like an idiot! I didn't thank you for your advice as you deserve. my thanks, people :D
 

Death Ball

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Will changes solve the situation? Some say it's showing it will

-By Ezequiel Valls

After Crewe's seemingly confirmation of their start of season in the shape of a 3-2 victory over Leicester, the apparent decision of giving up the Carling Cup fielding a team of reserves seemed to hit the team morale somewhat. Though the team went on to two draws in a row, 2-2 with Brighton and 1-1 with Millwall, sides they were expected to beat. And though after came a victory on Johnston Cup against L2 Chester and a new win versus Hereford by 1-0, catastrophe followed with a series of defeats, four in five matches, with only one 2-1 win over Swindon following a match that had given hopes of improvement in a close 2-3 to new leaders and in form MK Dons, who were behind in the scoreboard for most of the game.

However, after those matches the Crewe performance seemed to go back to a steep drop, that took them off the play off positions and seemed destined to get the team to the places initially predicted by pundits. The Manager Bolle seemed to be losing his patience with the team, seen in the bands shouting mocks at some of the more blatant mistakes by his men, and some not so blatant. It is said the tension in the changing rooms could be punched at the verbal violence used by the manager, though supporters claim his anger was more than justified in several cases.

However things seemed to start to make a change to the better as the next phase of the Johnston Cup arrived, with Crewe beating L2 Scunthorpe, for second time during the season, by a comfortable 2-1, followed by first FA round victory over L2 Southend. Then the team was moved in what I would call a risky transfer market operation: Bolle terminated contract with centre back O'Donnell, and the termination of Lunt's loan. Lunt had received a injury, not long term, but he was performing rather well for the team, being key in stopping the rivals attacks in the last two victories, being ever present in defense. Done so to tdelve into the market to loan Sam Hewson from Manchester United and sign the spanish defensive midfielder Jaime, against the scouting staff advice. Jaime would be playing in the place of Lunt, second choice to Steven Schumacher, given the last brilliant games by Lunt, it is contested that the decision will benefit the team.

A change that seems to stay in the league and not be just for the cups, has been making Tomlinson the starting position, it is expected that next cup matches will be now Collis's chance to play and show his worth to Bolle, though once a goalkeeper change is done it is not too likely the decision will be undone. Another change of note is his decision to bring Danny Shelley to the first team, where he is expected to debut shortly.

The league! Spirits are up again, after the tactical changes made to the team play style worked in the cups and not just that, but in the league, battling Leyton Orient, who were seventh just ahead and tied to points with Crewe, resulted in a thrasing, a 5-1 in which finally Rosado and Zola ended their 700 minutes long goal droughts, Rosado making a double, and brought Crewe three positions up to fifth and play off segment of the table.

Next fixtures will show if Bolle manages to keep this run of form for long enough to truly confirm, once the midseason arrives, that Crewe is indeed a team with what it takes to fight for promotion.
 
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Death Ball

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......Reuters........23:54:12.......Reuters.......... // .............. Crewe started their match against favorite Leeds, after scoring a loss against Oldham, keeping the team in the last play off position. || Crewe began with a defensive formation, a 4-5-1, Tomlinson; Woodards, San Julían, Baudet, Shelley; Davis, Schumacher, Hewson, Jaime, Murphy; Zola. || Match began with an apparently equal match, with Zola missing a clear opportunity, hitting the ball on the keeper's body after receiving a cross from Murphy that he shot after taking more time than is good to control the ball. On minute 23 Leeds scored their first match and not long after Crewe made a substitution, bringing Álvaro Novo for the injured Murphy. Murphy expected three weeks out. At minute 41 Leeds scored a second. || Second half brought a new change on Crewe, with a little more offensive but still 4-5-1 system, Wilkinson entered for Jaime. Crewe had most of the possession now, given up by a more cautio and defending Leeds, which still got a third goal on minute 62. Then revolution began, Bolle put Elding in for Daniel, Wilkinson taking the left wing. Effects came fast, with Wilkinson scoring after a goal after a beautiful dribbling sequence crossing the field from his wing to the right side in the enemy area at minute 65, closely followed by a second goal by Zola assisted by Wilkinson, and culminated by an assistance by Wilkinson to Hewson to finish close to goal at minute 78. Hewson was harshly given a second yellow card, when contesting an aerial ball, leaving Crewe with ten men, playing a 4-3-2, leaving Schumacher in the middle and passing to the wings, while Leeds was using the typical 4-2-4 formation that is nowadays considered the panacea in finishing moments. As many times, it didn't work, Crewe's managers seems to know how to counter it and his teams look much immune to these tactics, even so far as to having one more close chance. || An heroic comeback from below against a stronger team that made Crewe just deservers of passing to the northern final of the Johnston's Cup, however, there were the penalty shoot-out to prove how it is a terribly unjust way to decide the result of a cup phase, as Baudet and Novo missed their shots to give Leeds the pass on .......... Reuters ......... 23:55:23 ............ Reuters ......... // ......
 

Death Ball

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Interview with the revelation team of League One
-By Ezequiel Valls

He is born spanish from american parents, his love for football was a late affair for him. Some said it was just his money and the board desperation that brought him to the team. Many if not all predicted the team would sink in the last position and the novice manager would see his career cut short. But after achieving the Manager of the Month award in the first two league months, he has become the last hype of the football world, even if his team seems to have lost some of that initial magical form. Anyone who is not lived in complete isolation last half year knows know who are we speaking about.

Dexther Bolle, Crewe, manager, has taken a team favorite for demotion and brought it to the top positions, defeated Middlesbrough in the Carling Cup, made a superb come back against one of the favorites for promotion in the Jonhston's north semifinal and has defeated both of the main candidates to promotion: Leicester and Leeds, who actually sits in first place, and made things very tough for MK Dons, who are second. Currently, at the end of the first league leg, the team sits in sixth position, last promotion play off, at only five points distance from the leading two.

He is with us, to say what he things from his experience in the team.

Ezequiel Valls - You were born in Spain, lived in US; but it seems logical that you would have visited your birth country. Was it part of why you started to like football?

Dexther Bolle - If I'm honest with you, that has nothing to do with my love for football. Holland is where the reason for my love for this sport comes from. I've barely seen football in my life, but the occasional match, mostly during the Eurocups and World Championships; it always bothered me the appearance of pure randomness in the game, goalies kicking the ball upfield without checking at all who's where he's kicking to, or where his mates are before kicking, strikers shooting without checking where the goalie is... all too random, it seemed to me football was a game of chance, just like lottery, where differences between teams came from the fear of the names or an occasional use of players talents. But then I watched international competitions, saw England matches and, mainly, Holland matches, where I found some beautiful attacking play, fast, lively, with some once in several moves that couldn't be done by mere chance. that sprang my love for football. And let's not forget a match Real Madrid won by 3-2 to Deportivo de la Coruña in the times of Zidane and Figo, a wonderful match of godly plays. Then I knew I had to learn coaching and get a team to make it up to play something like that.

EV - However it seems lately like you're not that happy with your players. Yelling, some say you get really hot up there in some of your lattest lost matches. Even during the Leeds game your team won.

DB - Well, yes. You see, my men have done some great work during the season, otherwise our team wouldn't be up there, that is mostly because of them; but you know when you're down there in the dug out, watching the match, directing the game, giving orders, you wish and look for certain kind of plays, you expect your men to perform as you wish and, well, that's not possible many times. Specially if you're ther on the field, with a towering mass of muscle coming to get the ball from you. But sometimes... sometimes it just looks like there's too much lack of head, it's like they were afraid of winning. You can't stay quiet when your attacker sees a ball loose in the opposition area, a couple meters to his side and one ahead, walking to a point where he expected a rebound from the shoot that the other striker couldn't make, and you see that instead of immediately go for the ball and bury it, having no rival close enough to contest the ball, you see him keep walking straight like a dummy doll and then stopping looking while the defender gets to it and only then react. You just wish you had a fifty-two pounder howitzer. Else we'd have not lost, minimum, in our match against Oldham. But the match passes, your blood comes back to the brain and then you know that player did some good things that more than make it for that mistake, that without those we'd not be where we are, and the player understands the heat of battle.

EV - Regardless, the form of your team seems to be dropping, it's many points your team have missed in the last matches, though the closeness of the teams have helped it to keep up there. You have defeated Leeds against everyone's expactations, including yours, but then Leyton Orient who you beat comfortably by 5-1 in league took Crewe out after a comfortable 3-1 win. Do you really think you can keep the team up when the second leg of the league comes?.

DB - Certainly our form is not the same as the starting one. We're a team with a very short bench, any injury is a big blow, we currently have our best passer out for some matches. Hewson and Novo can do a good job as the attacking midfielder, but Yatabaré's superior passing accuracy, that has him up as one of the top passers, is something that so far is past them. Probably in a season those two will be able to get to those levels, but so far they're passing is not so good. They have starting eleven quality though, not in vain Novo has started several matches in the right wing. Then we have a position like the left wing, occupied by Wilkinson, one of the top assist makers, but who do we have if he gets an injury?. Colin Daniel, but he's more of a fullback and therefore just able to cover but not to truly replace him, he's good, sure, and quite a fine player to switch as starting left fullback, but as left winger he's just half the man as Wilkinson is, and he ends playing too many matches, he's so rarely completelly rested.

EV - Indeed, it's widely agreed your team needs some serious strengthening in this transfer window if you want to challenge for promotion. We're in fact seeing some reinforcements, though more players seem to go out than in. Grant, Moore, Pope, Boop, O'Donnell... and only the goalkeeper Ward in, and injured!.

DB - Yes, to be honest I might have kept a couple of the men leaving, Boop and Pope looked with potential, Grant was possibly our only chance to have a left wing if Daniel and Wilkinson were injured at the same time. But the team's economy is not one for luxuries and we need new players with higher wage demands, so we're forced to offload some players we'd otherwise keep. Ward is injured, yes, for more than a month, but once he's back to be fit, he'll provide us with a very solid goalkeeper to make us stronger in the back, where we need it possibly most. I know the majority thinks our midfield is the weaker and I can see why do they say it, our defensive midfielders are too defensive and don't feel quite comfortable if they have to move into the attack, while our attacking ones aren't adept to be in the defensive side; but what I really think is our most dangerous weakness is in the defense, we need some fast defender, San José and Baudet make for a good central defender pair, and Lawrence is a good replacement in the air, while Bennet can do the job, but none of them is fast enough to deal with some opponents, but alas! it seems there's no defender fast and good enough in the market, so we'll have to make do with what we have. We can go with that midifeld strengthening that most fanbase seems to wish. Forward we have enough, Rosado and Calvin are proving to be a quite good pair, Elding can make a good replacement and Yatabaré can also join up there. We could certainly use one specially fast striker, but that's not vital, we can do pretty well with what we already have there.

EV - Will you give more chances to youths? Will we see McLean playing?. Fans don't seem to like that signing.

DB -I don't know, it's always possible, if injuries strike us hard, or some impresses me in training. Shelley has done a good job in his matches as you have seen. Sykes had a brilliant match in the Johnston Cup when our senior goalies were all injured. As for McLean, what fans have to understand is that he's a signing for the future. He is very young and he still has much to learn, we have his position covered enough, so he's not in our first team plans, he knows and understands this; but I see he has a great potential and in seasons to come I'm sure we'll see him making important contributions to our team.

With that, the time alloted for the interview ran out, so we said our farewells and Bolle retired to meet his lads on the training grounds to plan on for the next match against Huddersfield
 

Death Ball

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Cut from the transfer market anallysis in the newspaper

Separated by a red line the activity before winter window and after winter window. In the sellings side, those within the square were sellings decided during or after the summer window that didn't go off until january.

Some outs as part of Bolle's attempts to alleviate the wage budget so that he might be able to do some new star signings. So Luke murphy left the team despite having performed well when he was on the field, or the sell of Carrington, who looked good for the future as well as paying Bopp's compensation for terminating his contract.

The most important ins were that of Ward, who's come out of his injury earlier than expected and has already showed his word with a number of miracle saves. Iriekpen being the fast central defender Bolle had been after since season began. And Liam Craig, that fills the void of a suitable replacement for Wilkinson.

Other good decisions were the loans of Waghorn and Andy Carroll, that have scored a few goals already, giving the team some speed that was missing with Rosado (just now out of an injury) and Zola (currently injured).

McPake seemed a good reinforcement for the defense, but has been disappointing in the two games he's played, having made a mistake leading to a goal.

Piers Palmer is a youngster for the future.

Of note is the termination of Lawrence's loan.

There is one failure, though: Aron Gunnarson from Coventry (on whom account some of the offloading was made) refused the contract offer. Though on the bright side, Crewe will save the payment of the €1.1M offer they made for the player.
 

Death Ball

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The final run of the league has arrived, who have the best options to go up?
-By Ezequiel Valls

After 41 games played, there is only one team with play off guaranteed: leading Leeds, who, with eleven points advantage over second qualified are also favoirtes to obtain the League One title and the first direct promotion place.

The rest is pretty close, with mathematical options to qualify for play offs as low as the twelfth, currently Millwall with 62 points. Though Brighton, in ninth and with 68 points, is the last with a point difference close enough to have significant chances to attain the last play off position. The same that separates Huddersfield in second place from Scunthorpe in fourth, making them along Crewe the three teams best placed to get the last direct promotion place. Also being in safe place to reach at least play offs.

Leicester and Colchester will have to battle with Peterborough, Southend and Brighton to keep their play off positions.

[...]

Let us now move for the second place to earn direct promotion. Huddersfield, Crewe and Scunthorpe are the three with best chances.

If we are to judge by recent form, Huddersfield would be favourites with a 5 1 1 run in their last seven matches, 2 wins in row currently, over Crewe (5 0 2, 3) and with a gap behind Scunthorpe (3 3 1, 1).

However, if we take into account the future schedule of matches, it's also very close between Crewe and Huddersfield. All have yet to play Leeds once more, and the three shoed their ability to defeat them, Crewe by a comfortable 3-2 (score was 3-0) and in Johnstone's cup Crewe did come back from 3-0 to 3-3, the other two got both 1-0. Huddersfield's rivals will be all qualified lower than Crewe's but Crewe's recent form has been most outstanding, dominating every match after Yeovil defeat with their new 4-3-2-1 (3xMC 2XAMC) tactic and they have a bonus: the other two contenders will have to face each other which means at least one will drop 3 points in the way, if it's not both dropping 2.
 
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