|Predictions 2008-9 - 20th Rotherham United|
Friday, 1st Aug 2008 15:08
Our predictions for the forthcoming season continue with a look at Rotherham with a prediction which could be wiped out depending on Football League action.
season at a glance
It was a season pretty much devastated by the points
deduction. Their first season back in League Two was going well, but
once the impending administration started looming, form dropped to such
an extent that what looked a certain play off place was well off the
mark, even before you knocked off the ten points for administration.
It's very difficult to know what to make of Mark Robins as a manager. His
time as manager as Rotherham United seems to be eternally thwarted by off the
field problems, and its almost impossible to know what he's like as a manager.
He brought them down from League on the back of a points deduction, and last
season saw their season destroyed by another. You can't look at the table from
last season and assume that the points deduction only cost them ten points. The
threat and the subsequent fall out killed off a season which saw them lurking
around the Play Off zone for long periods.
Robins has no doubt won support from the Milmoor faithful for sticking with
the Millers despite all their problems, but he'll know full well that he's done
anything yet as manager to warrant being known as anything other than the man
who saved Alex Ferguson from his days as a fresh faced striker. And that in
itself is not the stuff to stick on a CV to win another job.
Reasons for a better season
Well for a start, whatever may well happen between
the Football League and Rotherham United, they will at the very least
have the advantage this time round of knowing what they will be facing.
Last season carried the weight of uncertainty around with it. Whatever
battle they face, they'll be well aware of it from day one, and that
will make a massive difference.
The signing of Birchill will give them a goalscorer
that they have lacked since the days of Alan Lee.
Reasons for a worse season
So where do you start?
It's all well and good putting that it's advantage
knowing the state of play from day one, but that also ensures that they
do into the season on an downer from the first day. Many clubs rely on
that Summer naivety that the following season could bring success (hello
Notts County!), but the Millers have been robbed of that to begin with
as whatever punishment awaits them, they'll know they'll be ruled out of
any chance of top half success.
This too will be transmitted to potential players.
In recruiting new players, who wants to come and play for a side where
the earliest hope of success is May 2009? And those that do sign have to
have their motives questioned. It won't be because they feel they can
win things or improve their career with Rotherham. It will be either for
monetary reasons or for the nice quiet life.
They have no home, and will therefore face
practically a season of away games. Its very common for teams to
struggle in the first season after a move of ground. Fans are separated
from their normal viewing positions, making it difficult to create any
atmosphere. The players won't feel at home and visiting sides will
be well aware of this and look upon a trip to the Don Valley Stadium as
Season depends on
|There were certainly a few eyebrows raised
when it was announced that Rotherham had signed Mark Burchill. A
few eyebrows because he was a striker that the whole world
seemed to have forgotten about since his early days as the
Scottish Michael Owen, and his subsequent £1,000,000 transfer to
It all went very quiet for Burchill since then,
with a number of loan spells not producing anything before
retiring back to the Scottish Leagues. But whilst it would be
easy to dismiss Burchill has being someone who was just seeing
out the last few years of his career, his record back in
Scotland was a good one suggesting that there's plenty of life
left in him.
He grabbed thirty goals in three seasons for Dunfermline
which was was in both the Scottish Premier League and Division
One, and the Pars felt that he'd done enough to be offered a new
contract that he knocked back in order to sign for Rotherham.
Burchill is a lot younger that you might expect. He's still
only 27 so this is no pension push for him. This may well be a
level in which he can start enjoying his football and showing
some of that promise he showed many years ago.
20th - Lower half nothingness
Reasons for our prediction
|First of all, it needs to be said that this
prediction has been written before we know the outcome of any points
deductions that Rotherham may face. For the basis of this, I have
guessed that they'll get 15 points deduction, but as you are probably
aware, there still remains a very strong chance that they won't even
start the season. It's all in the hands of the solicitors.
So if we've
tipped Luton for inevitable relegation, why are Rotherham escaping?
Well we think there's going to be a lot of poor sides down at the
bottom end of the division this year. The normal 50 points for safety
won't apply this time round. Luton have taken one spot already and we
feel that there'll be a feeling of safety doing the rounds because of
this. Why should the likes of Accrington and Chester start spending
money that they don't have when relegation will already be decided
before the season has started? There will be that feeling emanating from
many a boardroom who feel that there is no contest down there this
season, so there's no need to strengthen.
So we reckon that in real terms, Rotherham will need to amass
something like 55 points this season if they are to avoid the drop, and
that will be very achievable for a side like Rotherham. In fact, we can
see them doing a little bit better than that so have them finishing so
But if any Rotherham supporter starts looking at Leeds and thinking
that they can do something similar to what they did last season, then
they need to come back down to earth and leave that bag of Bostik alone.
Any points deduction will ruin the season. Forget play offs, forget top
half of the table, just concentrate on staying up.
And that's something we can see them doing. It will be a very dull
season for all connected with Rotherham but it will be one which allows
them to retain their FL status.
Photo: Action Images
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments