|Predictions 2008-9 - 19th Dagenham|
Friday, 1st Aug 2008 23:08
Predictions coming thick and fast now, and we're just inside the top twenty by looking at who we think will finish in 19th position this time round.
Dagenham & Redbridge
season at a glance
You could argue that last season was everything that
they could ever have hoped that it would be. I know you hear all that
about how they're not just in the Football League to make up the numbers
and how the word "consolidation" is banned around the club, but reality
is that Dagenham were never going to do anything other than at the very
best stay up, and that was exactly what they did. However, a total of 49
points gained is less than fifty point safety figure that is offered
You'd be forgiven for thinking that John Still has always been manager
of Dagenham. Or rather than he was their manager back in the days when
they were known as Barnet, and he continued that reign when they
underwent the change of name to become Dagenham and Redbridge.
clearly got something about him, and it would appear that his niche is
taking smallish sides up from the Conference, and keeping them well away
from the trapdoor from where they came. He's certainly took Dagenham
further than they've been before, as he did with Maidstone United many
Quite whether he'll be able to take Daggers up to that next level,
like he did with Barnet when he lead them to the Play Offs. It'd
certainly be a bigger achievement should he manage that.
Reasons for a better season
Well the obvious answer is that they'll be all the
better for their one season in the Football League. Most of their side
had come with them from the Conference, and had little Football League
experience behind them. Except for keeper Tony Roberts who brought the
average number of League appearances in the Dagenham side to 270 for
They have retained the bulk of their side, and will
certainly kick off the new season with no worse a squad that they
finished last season with. No one has gone Perkins grabbing with
Manager Still has used his non league contacts to
bring in striker Mark Nwokeji from Staines. He got 34 goals last season,
and could well be another one who has slipped through the net only to
come in later on in life.
Reasons for a worse season
Long term readers will know how we often go on
about the importance of "momentum" when discussing a side's prospects.
Normally when we mention how a side who narrowly avoid relegation on the
final day of the season due to a good late run, and how we tip them for
better things the next season. Like we did in the past two years with
both Torquay and Wrexham who completely blow that theory right out of
But it does ring true for the sides promoted from
the Conference. Dagenham had an okayish start to the season, only
for things to start sliding very quickly winning just three games
between the end of September and February. Their whole survival last
season was dependant on one good run of form where they won five games
on the trot. Form over 46 games would suggest that this was not a true
reflection of what Dagenham are like.
Season depends on Ben Strevens
|When it comes to naming the top strikers in
the division, you'd be very surprised to hear Ben Strevens name
mentioned by anyone. But whilst he may not be one for picking up
the plaudits, he remains a good striker at this level who stays
under the radar as he doesn't feature for one of the more
glamourous sides. Well as close to glamour as you can get in
He's got a little bit of everything has
Strevens. He's over six foot tall, so he's useful in the air,
and he knows where the back of the net is, with fifteen league
goals last season in a side which was generally a struggling
Dagenham received a bid for Strevens from a League One side
on 1st August, which was duly accepted but then turned down by
Strevens. Whether that was a signal of a desire to stay at
Dagenham or a reflection on the deal offered, but if he can
remain at Dagenham throughout the season, then they'll certainly
have an advantage over some of their rivals down the bottom.
19th - Lower half nothingness
Reasons for our prediction
|You can almost predict where Dagenham are going to
finish right now. Well obviously we have done above, but with Dagenham,
they're the sort of side where you'd happily stake your mortgage on
their finishing position.
You know for certain that there's not a hope
in hell of them finishing anywhere close to the top half. There's not
enough drugs in the world for anyone to think that they've got anything
close enough to be being worthy of the tag of Play Off outsiders.
They're sticking with the same squad mostly from last year, so you'd
have to assume that will bring with it a similar finish to last season.
More experienced the players may be, but they're not going to become
better players all of a sudden.
But on the flip side, with all the problems with other sides, whether
its the points deductions surrounding Luton, Bournemouth and Rotherham,
or the general crapness of sides like Chester, they'll have more than
enough about them to ensure that they avoid getting dragged into the
mire at the bottom.
The pressure will certainly be on Strevens to perform. Whilst they
are far more than being a one man team, having Strevens will be
something that sets them aside from the likes of Accrington and Chester,
and it will be his goals which ensure that Dagenham pick up sufficient
wins here and there to stay above the aforementioned Accy and Chester.
So pop down to the Building Society in the morning, and smile nicely
as you inform the manager that you wish to stake all of your equity on
Dagenham to finish somewhere between 18th and 22nd thanks to that nice,
little RochdaleAFC.com. It's in the bag already.
Photo: Action Images
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