Season five preview: Division Two

Skip the crap and go straight to the predictions.

Archway Athletic

I don’t know if Juninho ever thought he’d one day turn out for Colchester United. I’m fairly certain Fernando Morientes didn’t picture his career heading to the JobServe Community Stadium. The area boasts an impressive coastline, which is probably what drew noted fishing afficionado Gazza to the club.

Archway have a good, solid, dependable squad that, paired with the right tactics, can see this team challenge the top of the table. Any spare cash will surely be deployed up front, although in a few years 18 year old C_Iwelumo is going to be one of the game’s best strikers with great stamina, good secondaries and the ability to play anywhere across the front line.

The managers think the experience the Archway managerial team picked up in their first season in the game will serve them well and they’ll push next season.

Manager’s predictions: 4th

Arsene’s Special Schemers

There has been something of a project going on at the Schemers, with manager Bob showcasing something that dangerously resembles ‘a plan’. Having (a) written off the previous season in the pursuit of the best draft pick (lawyers: please check libel), (b) pursued a policy of buying young and (c) arranging deals for other bad team’s draft picks, the Schemers are emerging from their enforced hibernation with an impressive looking team.

Add to this the close-season purchase of 22 rated S_Gerrard RL – why did we spend so long trying to cram him into the same team as Lampard when he can play on the wing? – and the Schemers are only just getting started.

Given almost all of their starting eleven are the right side of 24 years old, this is a team that is only going to improve. Are we seeing the birth of the season 9 champions (not literally)?

Manager’s predictions: 2nd

Clapped Out FC

Indulge me and join me in a thought exercise where an estate agent is tasked with selling the Clapped Out FC team. In this scenario, they are taking a prospective buyer on a tour around the squad like they would a semi-detached house, with a view to a possible sale. It might go something like this:

“Come through the front door and let me show you the defence. I’m sure you’ll agree that the defence is one of – if not the – best in the division. Here we have five amazing 18+ rated players (that doesn’t mean they’re explicit). Their tackling skill is sensational and will surely stop most teams scoring against them this season.”

“OK great, can we see the midfield and attack now?”

“We don’t need to move on so quickly! Stop and marvel at the quality of this defence.”

“Yeah ok I’ve done that what about the rest of the squad…”

“…the fact that the defence is covered in so many positions across the pitch is going to be a real asset over a long season with injuries and suspensions.

“Mate, what about the midfield and attack.”

“Yes there is a midfield and attack somewhere. Now look at this defence!”

We might yet see Clapped Out dip into the transfer market to improve their midfield and own more than one attacker, but this isn’t stopping many managers from predicting Clapped Out will be victorious come the end of the season.

Manager’s predictions: 1st

Clapton Crusaders

Manager Dave has already started with the fighting talk.

“This season I’m going to actually make some transfers. Unlike last season” he screamed as he ripped his spandex vest off of his chest, smashed a collapsible chair over Arsene’s Special Schemer’s manager’s head and jumped off of a stepladder that someone had carelessly left nearby to execute a perfect triple suplex slam with double choke hold. “CAN YOU SMELL WHAT THE CRUSADERS ARE COOKING?!!!” he casually enquired afterwards, before silently worrying about the effects that a career taking blows to the head would have on his mental health in later years.

Clapton are one of the game’s true sleeping giants, with Cup silverware in the early seasons a sign that they have the ability to make it to the top. A fearsome attack and solid defence means the Crusaders are in with a chance in every match – how often will they rely on the passing tactic to boost their passing stats and how often will opposing managers successfully counteract this?

Manager’s predictions: 5th

Ferly’s Burleys

If you stuffed a squad full of absolute thugs, bullies and meat heads, you’d assume you would win the midfield battle at the very least. Probably lay a few reducers on the opposition’s forward line courtesy of a hyper-violent defence while you’re at it.

Next season, Chelsea are in town. Hazard, Drogba and Pulisic will be putting in a shift up top but the team seriously needs to beef up its midfield if it wants to avoid a season of frustration, as managers are predicted.

Will the Burley’s manager dip into the transfer market to add extra steel to his midfield? Will the hardened career criminals that represent the Burleys start windmilling in to challenges? Come on FER, let’s be ‘aving you!

Manager’s predictions: 9th

Finidi FC

Translated into English, Finidi means “future full of sun”.

Operating for their second season under a caretaker manager while their full-time manager is on paternity leave, this season for Finidi is all about sorting out the defence. Rumours that the caretaker manager has been granted Power of Attorney to sell 20-rated right winger X_Asek continue to fly around, which will provide much needed funds for the rebuilding operation.

Many managers are down on this season’s prospects however, in what is surely a transitional year for the team.

Manager’s predictions: 8th

Galacticos

I always thought that Daryl Murphy deserved a shot at the big time. Lining up in a squad that includes Roberto Carlos, Claude Makelele and Antonio Cassano is the least that his talents deserve. This is Daryl’s season to shine, to build on those three successive seasons on loan at Ipswich Town and stake his claim in the pantheon of greats (not withstanding failed drugs tests for recreational cocaine use).

Last season was a mixed bag for the Galacticos. Relegation was a tough pill to swallow, although getting to the cup final showed the quality of the team. This season might see some rebuilding, as the Galacticos will surely work on fattening a squad that has a good first 11 but will need some depth beyond that if they want to push their way up the table.

Otherwise it might be Wales, Golf and Madrid, in that order.

Manager’s predictions: 5th

Merstham Magic

I didn’t realise how tragically hip my laptop was until Google Chrome offered to translate the Merstham Magic team – a team that’s named after the 1975 Saint Etienne team and other Saint Etienne legends – into Danish. Expect to see it skateboarding to its WeWork, starting its own microbrewery and loudly declaring to anyone within earshot that Neutral Milk Hotel are one of the most under-rated bands of the last 20 years.

Merstham have a conundrum. They have the best young defender in the game in P_Repellini and probably the second best one too in G_Janvion. It’s fair to say that their midfield needs a bit of surgery though. Can they wheel and deal their way to improving their squad without selling the crown jewels?

On the pitch, if they don’t fix these issues then this season might be a bit of a struggle. How much can they get for their potentially world record transfer quality defender… if they do decide to sell?

Manager’s predictions: 7th

Victorious Secrets

There are a number of disadvantages to playing football matches in only your pants.

Hypothermia is the obvious one. Once your body drops to a certain temperature your cognitive functions start to shut down, and in truth you’ve already lost full mobility a long time ago.

Modesty is another. C_Ronaldo is yet to sign for the Victorious Secrets but he is probably the only player I can think of who would actually perform better.

Victorious Secrets don’t care. They want to play in their underwear and only the threat of imprisonment is stopping them from playing totally naked, tackle out when making their tackles.

The Secrets have inherited a team that many managers are predicting will go far. That their squad is packed with AC Milan legends is a massive coincidence and no way engineered to create a rivalry with Aguerissimo FC’s Inter Milan Hall of Fame.

The question is – can the Secrets build a team without having to sell two of the best defenders in the game to fund it?

Manager’s predictions: 3rd

Manager’s predictions

1. CLA (2.00)

2. ASS (3.45)

3. VIC (4.82)

4. ARA (4.91)

5. GAL (5.09)

6. CLC (5.64)

7. MMA (5.82)

8. FIN (6.55)

9. FER (6.73)

Mike

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