League One – Early Impressions

Written by Connor Lawson

The new EFL season has begun. After a long time away, football is back for the passionate fans up and down the country. I have seen four League One teams in action so far; MK Dons, Shrewsbury, Millwall and Bradford. In my opinion, MK Dons, Millwall and Bradford should all be battling it out at the top end of the table this season, whilst Shrewsbury are likely to be involved in another relegation battle this season.

I think that I should probably start by talking about the teams I have actually watched so far this season. MK Dons have played three, and accumulated four points. In brief, MK Dons look like a decent team this season. It is evident that they need to improve at the back, especially considering the fact that they have conceded four goals in three games, and have gone 2-0 down in their last two league games. However, their goals scored matches their goals conceded. New man Kieran Agard has bagged half of their league goals so far this season. MK Dons have some tough games at the end of the month and during September. First, they face Peterborough before travelling to Northampton and Bolton.

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credit Liam Daly

Shrewsbury escaped relegation by just four points last season, and they haven’t started their new campaign particularly well. They looked fairly poor when I saw them on the opening day and looked weak going forward. Since then, they have loaned strikers Ivan Toney and George Waring from Newcastle and Stoke respectively. Their goalkeeper, Jason Leutwiler, didn’t look confident at all and made a catalogue of mistakes on the opening day. The Shrews haven’t scored yet this season, which is a worrying statistic for their fans, and improvements still need to be made.

Millwall were last seasons play-off finalists and as a result have been tipped for promotion this season. It is evident that the Lions don’t lack the ability to score goals. They have already notched six this season yet star striker Lee Gregory has only managed to score once. They started the season well, with a good 3-0 win against Oldham and a 4-0 cup win away to Barnet. Millwall look as if they possess the ability to really hurt teams, especially on the counter-attack. Millwall were the third best team away from home last season, but at the New Den, they suffered seven losses which really damaged their promotion efforts. Steve Morison was another big player for them last season, he managed fifteen goals. However, Millwall suffered a rather surprising defeat away to Peterborough in the week when they were hammered 5-1 by Posh. Millwall have real potential to succeed this season and will definitely by pushing for promotion.

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credit joshjdss

Bradford are the last team I have seen play this season. For me, Bradford as a club are much bigger than League One, their fan base is probably one of the biggest in the league and the atmosphere at Valley Parade is always brilliant. Bradford will be very happy with their start. Two wins and a draw means they are still undefeated. On Tuesday night, they conceded their first goal since April against MK Dons, so it is obvious they are a solid defensive unit. One thing that I think they lack is a twenty-goal-a-season man. James Hanson was their top scorer last season with eleven league goals. However, Bradford are trying to fix that problem by signing Polish striker Vincent Rabiega. They have also loaned Josh Cullen from West Ham, a player who looks like he could be pivotal in Bradford’s season. They have made some good signings this summer, not least Colin Doyle from Blackpool for just a quid. Bradford could have a big season ahead and I think they can go one better than the play-offs this time round.

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credit quisnovus

Other teams that I haven’t seen but I thought I should mention are Bolton, Charlton, and the newcomers from League Two. Bolton look strong and I have tipped them to win the league, having won all three of their games so far they look like strong contenders. Charlton have that huge problem of an awful owner on their hands. It is horrible that the fans are having their club ruined in such fashion. Despite all of this, they haven’t started the season too badly, a win, a draw and a loss is what is probably best described as average. Northampton are the best performing newly promoted side so far, and they are undefeated, whilst also drawing all of their games. New striker Alex Revell is an experienced player when it comes to League One and he could be vital for them this season. Bristol Rovers pulled off their only win against Oxford, but didn’t play badly at all at home to Bolton. They have also done well to hold onto last season’s League Two top scorer Matty Taylor. Oxford haven’t had the start the would’ve wanted and they could be hit hard by the loss of Kemar Roofe. However, they have recruited some good players this summer, such as winger Rob Hall from Bolton, a player who had a great season at MK Dons last season. Finally AFC Wimbledon find themselves bottom of the table having lost all of their games. Like Bristol Rovers, they suffered a narrow defeat at home to Bolton. I think they just need some time to adapt to their new surroundings and the points will eventually come in.

What have you made of your teams start to League One? Let us know in the comments below!

featured image by quisnovus