Blogs & Opinion


Peter Beagrie:

Most Popular Posts:

Recent Comments:

Gary Bennett on Reading crashers

"Leeds have thrown away too many games this season with our dodgy defence conceding too many soft goals.Scoring goals has not been a problem and i think the play offs are still there to ... " View all comments

Peter's picks

Peter reflects on the stars of the League Two season

Peter Beagrie - Peter Beagrie Posted 5th June 2012 view comments

This has been an incredible season and it's not likely to be forgotten any time soon.

We saw Manchester City win the title in the dying seconds and Didier Drogba dramatically end his Chelsea career by winning the Champions League - but the Football League also gave us all sorts of drama in May.

Powell: Peter's player of the year

Powell: Peter's player of the year

West Ham won the Championship Play-Offs in the 88th minute to break the hearts of Ian Holloway and Blackpool and then we saw an epic League One Final between Sheffield united and Huddersfield. It wasn't the best game, but it went to the 22nd penalty and I've never seen a more exciting shoot-out.

Meanwhile, in League Two a youthful and exuberant Crewe side graced Wembley with an incredible goal from their prodigious talent Nick Powell.

With all of that in mind, let's draw the curtains on the season and raise our glasses to some of the outstanding performers.

I've chosen my League Two highlights below, but feel free to add your comments. There's too many stars for me to mention, but if you want to pay homage to somebody else then make your mark in the comments box at the bottom of the page...

Take a look back at Peter's Championship highlights

Take a look back at Peter's League One highlights

My League Two manager of the season...

This was a really difficult decision. Initially I opted for Swindon's Paolo Di Canio, but he had one of the biggest - if not the biggest - budgets in League Two. He obviously spent the money wisely and built a team that reflected his own philosophy of football; always entertaining and expressing yourself. However, he was given every chance of success.

The same could be said of the other two managers in the top three - Graham Turner (Shrewsbury) and Steve Evans (Crawley). The top three budgets in the league probably produced the top three teams. I felt that provided a stark contrast with the jobs that Mark Yates and Steve Davis have done at Cheltenham and Crewe respectively with much lesser resources.

So I'm going to go for the person that I feel genuinely deserves to be called League Two's Manager of the Season and that's Mark Yates. He missed out on taking Cheltenham up via the play-offs, but this team were the second favourites for relegation at the start of the season and ended up in sixth place with 77 points behind much richer clubs. He's played an exciting brand of football, he's done well in the transfer market and I think he deserves this.

A shout out for...

Steve Davis - I'll also reserve a special mention for Crewe's Steve Davis. He had to replace a legend in Dario Gradi and did it by going on a 19-game unbeaten run and taking a team from 18th place to promotion via the Play-Off Final - all with a team with an average age of 22. He has a couple of old-timers in there, but the rest of the team were given the license to express themselves and he has imparted his knowledge on them. It all came to fruition at Wembley and they'll be in League One next year.

Graham Turner - He first became Shrewsbury manager in 1978 and they were renowned for their set pieces, their professionalism and their never-say-die-attitude. In 2010 he went back to the club after a long spell at Hereford and he has managed to get them out of the division. They've been favourites for promotion for the past few years and promotion has finally arrived, so I'm really pleased for a guy who personifies passion in football.

My League Two player of the season...

The best players are mentally strong and they turn up on the big occasions and make a difference. Well Crewe's young star Nick Powell certainly made a difference with a great goal in the Play-Off Final and I think he's nailed on to make a good career in the game if he can keep his feet on the floor.

He was outstanding at Wembley and hardly wasted a ball. His physique, build and ease of movement reminds me of Dennis Bergkamp and he plays like more of a number 10. Sometimes people freeze at Wembley, but he did what we expected of him and more. His goal was unerring in the way it was destined for the top corner - as much as he's destined for a very good career in the game.

He was run close by Matt Ritchie of Swindon, who was the architect behind the Robins' success last season. He hit double figures for goals and assists and is being watched by a host of clubs. He possesses lovely balance, a great left foot and he will terrorise defences in League One next year if Swindon can keep hold of him.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Niall Quinn

Quinn: Sanchez can be main man

Niall Quinn backed Alexis Sanchez to fill the goalscoring void left by the injured Olvier Giroud at Arsenal....

Kevin Phillips

Phillips: Giants have no excuses

Premier League sides have no excuse for going out to lower-league teams in cup ties, says Kevin Phillips....

Football League Bloggers

Andrews: Dons deserved it

Keith Andrews explains how a strong philosophy and shrewd signings saw MK Dons record their greatest win....

Latest News RSS feeds

Arsenal dig in to qualify

Arsenal survived the final 15 minutes with 10-men to defeat 1-0 Besiktas to reach the Champions League group stages.

Live transfer updates

Milan hold Fernando Torres talks. Bayern land Medhi Benatia while Spurs capture Federico Fazio from Sevilla.

MK Dons handed Bradford tie

MK Dons' reward for knocking Manchester United out of the Capital One Cup is a third-round home tie against Bradford.

England captaincy candidates

Who will be England’s new captain? Former skipper Terry Butcher thinks it is an easy choice.

Giroud out until New Year

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is unlikely to play again this year after having surgery on his injured ankle.

Features

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

When it comes to the art of signing players, few did it better than Brian Clough and Peter Taylor. In the latter’s book With Clough by Taylor he explained some of the science behind it in detailing how Nottingham Forest actively sought to buy players they perceived to have personal problems.

Champions League group draw: Follow it live on Sky Sports on Thursday

Champions League group draw: Follow it live on Sky Sports on Thursday

Sky Sports is the best place to follow Thursday’s draw for the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Sky Sports Fantasy Football: We look at which player you should sign out of Mario Balotelli and Angel Di Maria

Sky Sports Fantasy Football: We look at which player you should sign out of Mario Balotelli and Angel Di Maria

Sky Sports Fantasy Football scout Tim Clement weighs up which big-money signing is most likely to rack up points for your side this season.