Football League Expert & Columnist
Peter Beagrie blogs on Millwall, Brentford, Morecambe and more
How can Millwall boost their fortunes? Who are Brentford's best strikers? Beags has answers...
Last Updated: 19/09/13 3:23pm
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 views on stuttering Millwall, Brentford's best frontmen, Morecambe, Brighton and more...
What on earth is going wrong at Millwall? Mark Wilson
BEAGS SAYS: New broom, sweeping changes! It would be easy to put it down to that but I genuinely think that's the case. Kenny Jackett had built a team/squad over a number of years that was based on shape, organisation and hard work; there was a spirit, belief and unity about Millwall which meant even when they were not playing well they still worried the opposition. Steve Lomas has brought in lots of new faces who are still to blend and gel and the negativity from the terraces to the ex-Hammer will not go away, even though the Lions kick-started their season win a fine win over table toppers Blackpool on Tuesday after going a goal down. Different players have been used in different formations as Steve looks for the magic formula, and his team must build on the Blackpool win and make sure it is not a result in isolation. I would like to see how a partnership of Steve Morison (pictured) and Martyn Waghorn would develop with Martyn Woolford and James Henry supplying them from the wide areas in a 4-4-2 formation, as this system would take the pressure off an overworked defence and offer a real threat going forward.
Have you noticed any differences between Brighton under Gus Poyet and Brighton under Oscar Garcia? Simon Lance
BEAGS SAYS: Simon, there seems to be little difference between Brighton under Poyet and Brighton under Garcia with Albion defensively tight but not prolific going forward and having an overreliance on one striker to get the majority of the goals. Brighton have picked up after losing their first two games and are now unbeaten in four, with Argentine colossus Leo Ulloa (pictured) their top scorer with four goals. I expect the Seagulls to play a quicker, slicker, less-patient style to get the best out of their star striker, who has the physicality and the strength in the air to benefit from a more direct approach. With Craig Mackail-Smith still out with his Achilles injury and only Ashley Barnes offering much support from a goalscoring perspective, Brighton will struggle if they don't invest in another forward of repute, particularly in view of Ulloa's red card against Reading.
ROUGH ON ABBOTT
Do you think Carlisle were wrong to sack Greg Abbott? Gareth Whittle
BEAGS SAYS: Let's have a look at the evidence, Gareth. Two points from a possible 18 signified a poor start for Greg but the 13 goals conceded in the first three league games versus Leyton Orient, Bradford and Coventry left the people in the boardroom very nervous indeed. Even a cup win on penalties against Blackburn and a good performance in the next round against a very strong Leicester team couldn't change the minds of the powers-that-be who decided Greg was not the man to take the club forward. They may not be right but as the paymasters they have THE right to make this call. Defensively Carlisle were already showing signs of major improvement and it is the law of sod that they beat Sheffield United and kept their second clean sheet in the process in the first game after Abbott's departure. I spoke to Greg at the beginning of the season and applauded his positivity as I felt the squad was short in certain departments, while the always passionate and professional Abbott can point to two consecutive Wembley appearances in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, losing to the Saints of Southampton and then beating Brentford, and a lofty eighth position in League One - but ultimately the fans that voiced their opinions have forced an early decision to be made.
Brentford have lots of strikers but who do you think should be the Bees' starting front two? Daniel Green
BEAGS SAYS: If I was to pick the best pair from the quality squad Uwe Rosler has amassed, it would be Will Grigg and Clayton Donaldson (pictured) as both are proven at this level. Grigg had an outstanding season with Walsall last year and despite being hampered by niggling injuries this campaign, when he is fit he is strong and powerful, a very good one-on-one finisher and can link up well, too. I spoke to Donaldson, meanwhile before he joined Brentford and even though he is getting on in years I told him Rosler would improve him even more. Clayton had just had a remarkable season at Crewe, scoring 28 times and chasing everything in his usual style; his willingness to run the channels sometimes takes away from his goal tally but he always weighs in with 15+ and as a man with a real team ethic he is a perfect partner for any striker. Farid El Alagui and Marcello Trotta, meanwhile, are game changers - El Alagui has the pace and enthusiasm to run in behind, while Trotta can drop short and link the play - but as Uwe prefers a 4-3-3 it means two unselfish, mobile strikers operate either side of the central one. The loss of Conor McAleny is massive one, then, because he naturally occupied the left channel giving Herr Rosler a major headache to ponder.
Which League Two bosses do you expect to manage at a higher level in the near future? Marvin Andrews
BEAGS SAYS: In my honest opinion, Marvin, I think any of the managers in League Two who do well with their respective clubs would only be looking at gaining an opportunity at League One level. I don't think there would be many Championship chairmen looking to employ from two divisions below such is the pressure in the second tier and the lack of jobs for so many qualified people. Managers at League Two level only get Championship jobs if they have a real sustained period of success, achieving promotion from the fourth tier to the third and impressing with their style of play, or by operating shrewdly in the transfer market and improving youngsters who can be sold on. That's the harsh reality but these managers are intelligent enough to recognise that. Chris Wilder (Oxford, pictured) and Paul Tisdale (Exeter) have displayed all the aforementioned qualities to become the second and third longest-serving managers behind Arsene Wenger, but unless they get back-to-back promotions they probably won't get a crack at a second tier job - except if there are men of vision in some boardrooms who decide to remove their blinkers and realise that the old adage 'tried and tested' means 'tried and failed' hence their availability.
Do you think Morcecambe have a chance of promotion this season? Jack Clegg
BEAGS SAYS: It is improbable, Jack, but not impossible and if they do James Graham Bentley (pictured) deserves a medal and not just his promotion one. He has worked wonders to keep Morecambe competitive since taking over the reins in September 2011 and after a slow start, taking one point from nine, his team have won four League Two games on the spin. The Newcastle cup game aside, falling attendances have impacted on the big, likeable Scouser's budget, while injuries to important players such as Chris McCready and Jack Redshaw must be factored in, too and a wafer-thin squad shows the seismic challenge Jim has to maintain the Shrimps' lofty position of sixth. It won't be for the lack of trying and any youngsters thrown in will receive the backing of their manager to the hilt. Good luck for the rest of the season.