Football League Expert & Columnist
Football League: Peter Beagrie on Blackburn, Plymouth and Charlton
What lies in store for Blackburn, Plymouth and Charlton? Peter Beagrie looks into his crystal ball...
Last Updated: 28/08/13 11:45am
The former winger, who played over 770 games, representing clubs in all four tiers of the English footballing pyramid, including Manchester City, Everton, Bradford, Sheffield United, Scunthorpe, and Grimsby, forms part of the Sky Sports punditry team for all the big matches in the Championship, League One and League Two.
So if you have a poser for Peter, whether it's about your team, a player, match or incident that has caught your eye, or a wider point on the Football League, send it in.
Read below for this week's column where Beags gives his take on what fans of Blackburn, Plymouth, Charlton and Peterborough can expect from their clubs this term...
Hi Peter, What are your views are on Blackburn's chances of a top-six push this season? Personally I think the injury to Ruben Rochina on the opening day has consigned us to a relegation battle as we have a severe lack of creativity in the centre of midfield. Who do you see as a bright spark for us this season? Sean Bell
BEAGS SAYS: As usual with Blackburn there seems to be more questions than answers with regards to their possibilities and probabilities, and the confidence will only return when chances are converted into goals and the sloppy goals being conceded are eradicated. I feel Rovers are inhibited after the struggles of last season and the loss of Ruben Rochina is a major blow; he didn't have the best of pre-seasons but he looked sharp in the opening game against Derby and can make something out of nothing. The Blackburn management were hoping that that Alan Judge and Chris Taylor would provide enough ammunition for Rochina, Leon Best and Jordan Rhodes but with only one goal and one point so far the negativity remains. With the Venky's still in charge, I am left wondering when Blackburn's luck will change, but I think that will coincide with the return from injury of DJ Campbell (pictured), who will add the spark that has been missing and give everyone a lift; he has a great work-ethic and can create opportunities for himself, always a plus when your team lacks imagination. I can't see Rovers getting relegated - though the same was said about Wolves last year...
PILGRIMS TO PROSPER?
How well do you think Plymouth Argyle will do this season? Modestmod
BEAGS SAYS: Everyone seemed to be over-reacting to Plymouth's poor points haul; they were beaten by promotion favourites Fleetwood, only narrowly lost to an unbeaten Southend and went out to an injury-time goal to Birmingham in the Capital One Cup. Hardly a disaster and then everything then came together at Cheltenham, with the Pilgrims picking up a 3-1 win. Having looked at the squad that John Sheridan has built over the summer, it appears light in numbers but heavy in physicality and energy. Reuben Reid, Marvin Morgan, Guy Branston and Neal Trotman (pictured) are solid performers at this level and I fancy Plymouth to finish in the top 10 easily - and if they keep their key players injury and suspension-free, and are buoyed by the newly-sanctioned ground improvements to Home Park, Sheridan's men could battle for a play-off place.
Hi Peter, I am a Charlton fan and even before the end of last season I had a concern for us suffering the second season blues. Chris Powell has looked to strengthen our goal-scoring ability with signings on a tight budget, but will the lack of strength through our spine going cost us a spot in next year's Championship? Objective CAFC
BEAGS SAYS: Charlton do not possess household names and when that's the case you have to make up for it in organisation, spirit, unity and character, traits the Addicks had in abundance last year as they overachieved and claimed a top-10 finish. The character and leadership of Johnnie Jackson (pictured) has been a feature in the Londoners' recent rise but an overreliance on their classy captain has left them short in that area. Mark Gower, from Swansea, is a good acquisition, while Marvin Sordell and Simon Church will supplement Charlton's best player, Yann Kermorgant, up front; Sordell was homesick for the capital, and Church has settled in well with his boundless energy. Chris Powell is a good manager and a great person and I wish him well. Another top-half finish is doubtful but consolidation is a must.
I have been impressed with how Peterborough have once again managed to keep large proportions of their squad intact. However, it shocked me to see that nobody tends to regard the Posh as genuine promotion contenders. How exactly do you see things developing at the Posh? Bigrog90
BEAGS SAYS: I have gone on record in saying Peterborough are one of the favourites for automatic promotion. Dwight Gayle's key was always going to be the difference between automatic and play-offs and Britt Assombalonga (pictured) has been a revelation; the ex-Watford striker has been likened to Jermain Defoe by Millwall legend Neil Harris and you can see why after scoring three goals already this season. Assombalonga is supplemented by Lee Tomlin and the evergreen Grant McCann, and I think those three amigos will secure Posh an immediate return to the Championship.
What do you think is going wrong at Middlesbrough at the moment? On paper we have an above average side for the Championship, yet keep playing so poorly every week. J Peart
BEAGS SAYS: Middlesbrough certainly have individuals capable of flourishing in the Championship but they are not functioning as a team; I have seen an improvement from the backend of last season but they are still not playing the free-flowing football they played at the start of the 2012-13 campaign. Vital lessons that must be learned are that you cannot make wholesale changes week in, week out - consistency comes with consistent team selection and you cannot be three, four or five players away from your best XI - and that you cannot play players who are not fully fit in a division as unforgiving as the Championship. However, Tony Mowbray (pictured) has slashed the budget and if he manages to recruit Ross McCormack from Leeds for circa £1.5million, a play-off pace could be attained. Will that be at the expense of Marvin Emnes? Only time will tell.
SURE TO SURVIVE
Do you think that Doncaster have the strength in the squad to progress within the Championship this season. I believe that the club have the right manager to compete at this level but position, if any, would you strengthen? Eric 64
BEAGS SAYS: Have Doncaster got the strength in depth to progress in the Championship? I don't know, but they should have enough to survive if they keep their key players fit. A great home win over Blackburn followed by a point at fancied Wigan was just the response Paul Dickov wanted after the opening-day defeat against Blackpool, but while Paul has purchased well this summer, I feel a proven striker to help out Billy Paynter, Chris Brown and instant hit Theo Robinson (pictured) is required, as is a midfield enforcer with a bit of energy who can complement the more creative Richie Wellens, David Cotterill and James Coppinger. Fingers crossed for a successful season, which would mean my pal Dickov will have maintained Rovers' Championship status.