Login Register

Comment: The big kick-off has arrived!

With the big kick-off just hours away, columnist Peter Davies gives his views on the Dragons' prospects for the coming season.

The Big Kick-Off has arrived - at last! The performances against Blackburn and Manchester United bode well but Flynn's men must now forget about glamour friendlies and concentrate on the nitty-gritty.

In one of the Sunday papers Ron Atkinson predicted that Wrexham will go down this year. I like Big Ron a lot, but I'd like to know the last time he watched a Division 2 game in the flesh! I'd go for mid-table - again - and I feel the Red Dragons' season will hang on several key issues:

DEFENCE: The back line gives me some cause for concern. The manager has no option but to put his faith in a rookie keeper. Rogers played a blinder against United, but every stopper can have his day. The real achievement is consistency across a string of games - something that has eluded both he and Walsh.

At present the first-choice back-four is an intriguing combination of three Irishmen and a Trinidadian. Curious too are the contrasting levels of experience. Carey has made 260 league appearances - but left-back Holmes has yet to make his bow and Lawrence and Warren have played only one full match apiece.

By my calculations that means the Reds skipper has played 130 times as many league games as his three co-defenders put together. Is that some kind of record?

But there are promising signs. Newboy Holmes looks neat and composed and gets much further forward than Hardy ever used to; 'Tall Man' is already tipped to be the success story of 2001-2; right-back Warren is oozing determination; and Carey is, well, Carey.

MIDFIELD: I'm fairly confident that the Fergie-marshalled midfield will hold its own. With Owen and Williams gone it looks like a big year for the hard-running Barrett and the injury-prone Phillips.

Ferguson is the pivot - and probably the best playmaker in the division - but I worry that we rely on him too heavily. When he's injured or suspended we look a different, and much lesser, side. I think itundefineds time for others to stamp their mark on the team - and take the pressure off the Scot.

I would also like to see Flynn make the best of his resources and play two wingers as a matter of policy. We've got four talented widemen: Blackwood, Chalk, Gibson and Edwards. Why not use them in pairs?

ATTACK: Trundle was utterly sensational last time around and the coming campaign will rise or fall in line with how far he is able to replicate last year's goalscoring feats, how many games he misses through red and yellow cards, and how determined opposition sides are to mark him out of the game.

I still remember what Peterborough boss Barry Fry said after the sun-tanned Scouser scored the winner against his team on Grand National Day.

At the post-match press conference he announced he was devastated - not because his Posh side had been beaten, but because he had spent ALL WEEK coaching his defenders how to cope with Trundle's pace, power and bag of magic tricks.

That says it all. The debate about his strike partner - Sam? Faulconbridge? Morrell? - is slightly immaterial. This season is about Lee Trundle.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
Contact Us
Full contact details