Football League Expert & Columnist
Shots in the dark
Aldershot, Blackburn, Lee Johnson and Nathaniel Chalobah... Beags looks at the Football League.
Last Updated: 27/03/13 2:28pm
Peter Beagrie is here every week on skysports.com answering YOUR Football League questions.
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, make sure you send it in.
Read below for this week's column where Beags gives his take on League Two basement boys Aldershot, the drama at Blackburn and why Nathanial Chalobah will play for England...
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Hi Peter, Do you think Andy Scott can save Aldershot from relegation and were the Shots right to sack Dean Holdsworth? Thanks, Bradley Hargreaves (Aldershot fan)
BEAGS SAYS: I was shocked at the timing of the decision to sack Dean Holdsworth (pictured) given the improvement in results throughout January and February; three losses in that time saw the Shots pull away from the relegation zone but a five-game winless streak has seen them drop back and they are now rooted to the bottom of the league table. Aldershot have a really tough run-in so it will test Andy Scott's credentials to the max, while the Hampshire side have struggled to find the net all season and are the least prolific team in League Two, scoring just 35 goals. My honest opinion is that with only Craig Reid (10) hitting double figures in the league, the Shots may fail to capitalise on the fact they have the best defence in the bottom half and lose their Football League status.
OVER FOR ROVERS?
Hi Peter, You have voiced your frustrations with the Venky's before, but is there a danger that their decisions could irreparably damage Blackburn? Thanks, Peter Glossop (Blackburn fan)
BEAGS SAYS: I'm sure most Blackburn would love to go back to the days of the long ball under Sam Allardyce than the series of own goals that have followed since. Let's look at the Seven Deadly Sins under the Venky's: 1) Big Sam sacked while Rovers were 13th in the Premier League, 2) unknown and untried Steve Kean given the manager's job, 3) remaining loyal to Kean and alienating thousands of fans, 4) forcing Kean to resign with Blackburn third in the Championship, 5) appointing English managerial novice Henning Berg after botched attempts to capture other targets, 6) Berg sacked after 57 days, 7) Michael Appleton appointed and sacked 67 days later with Rovers 18th in the second tier and with four wins in 15 games. I said these people, including football guru, Shebby Singh (pictured), could ruin Blackburn after years of stability and they have done nothing to change my opinion. The squad has underachieved and form, injuries and in-fighting has had a negative effect and now Gary Bowyer, who took 10 points from 12 in his caretaker spell earlier in the season, has been charged with steadying the ship until the end of the season and garnering enough points to fend off a devastating drop into League One, which, Peter, would constitute irreparable damage.
YOUNG AT OLD
Hello Peter, Do you think Lee Johnson has the credentials to be a successful manager at Oldham? Cheers, Guy Wallace (Oldham fan)
BEAGS SAYS: When I heard news of Lee's appointment it broke my thought process as I was completing a piece about his father Gary Johnson's successful return as Yeovil manager. I am not going to try and baffle you, Guy, on this question as it is a flip of a coin as to whether Lee succeeds or fails at Boundary Park. As a player he was small in stature but big of heart, intuitive and skilful in the middle of the park and looked to get on the ball at every opportunity, while he will be helped in management by the ear of his father. That said, he will want Yeovil to get promoted so that the two clubs are not in the market for the same players and he can tap into his dad's scouting network and squad, like we have seen with Darren and Sir Alex Ferguson. Lee, 31 has a huge task on his hands to keep Oldham up but the Latics have the best squad in the relegation zone and I will be watching with interest to see if he can pull his team clear.
IT'S TIME TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
Hi Peter, Celtic boss Neil Lennon has said he would be interested in a move for Kevin Doyle. Do you think he would be a good signing for us? Thanks, Jack Morrison (Celtic fan)
BEAGS SAYS: At the moment Kevin Doyle couldn't lace the boots of Georgios Samaras or Gary Hooper; he scored his first goal in 16 games and just his sixth of a dreadful season against Bristol City last weekend and has been a pale shadow of the man who scored 18 times and helped Reading to a fourth-placed finish in his last visit to the Championship. His all-action style has been seen all too infrequently by the Molineux faithful - though that is a criticism that could be levelled at 90 per cent of the Wolves squad - and I think he has gone stale, but putting on the famous green and white shirt of Celtic could be just the tonic he needs. A move to Scotland could be beneficial to both him and the Hoops.
OXFORD ON THE UP?
Hello Peter, Are you surprised that Oxford are not currently in the League Two play-off places? Thanks, Pete Turner (Oxford fan)
A BABY TOURE
With England's troubles at centre-half, are there any Championship players you think can step up and earn a regular place in the squad? Thanks, Phil Groves (Man United fan)
BEAGS SAYS: The gulf between the Premier League and Championship is huge but between international football and the Championship it is is immeasurable. The young centre-halves at Hull, Jack Hobbs and James Chester, have done well but have been helped by playing as part of a back three, and while the most outstanding second-tier centre-backs, Cardiff's Mark Hudson and Leicester's Wes Morgan, are strong, resolute and good leaders, they are probably not international class. However, Watford's Nathanial Chalobah, who can play at centre-half or centre-midfield is someone I would put in the England squad now. He is elegant, athletic and has a great temperament, while he has also excelled at all international age groups he has represented; he reminds me of a young Yaya Toure in that he can influence a game from any position. He is THE outstanding talent in English football and could POSSIBLY replace Frank Lampard in the Chelsea's engine rom next season but will DEFINITELY play for England.