Greenwich Gull

A League 2 blog with an overwhelmingly pro-Torquay United bias

League 2 Season Preview: Morecambe

Recap of last season

After making the play-offs in 2009/10, the Shrimps made a sluggish start, winning only once in their first 9 games. Losing talented winger Mark Duffy to Scunthorpe in January robbed the Shrimps of much of their attacking invention in what proved to be an ultimately disappointing season. Manager Sammy McIlroy paid for the underachievement with his job and a period of rebuilding awaits under new boss Jim Bentley.

Personnel in

  • Veteran winger Kevin Ellison has arrived from Rotherham on a 1-year deal in search of first team football, but is surely only a temporary solution
  • Also moving from Rotherham is central defender Nick Fenton, whose varied experience will be an asset
  • Midfielder Gary McDonald’s arrival from Scottish side Hamilton is an intriguing piece of business, discussed further below
  • A potentially key signing is that of versatile right-sided player Izak Reid from Macclesfield, who I’ll also say more about later on
  • Young forward Lewis Alessandra found himself out of favour at Oldham last season and will surely have a point to prove

Personnel out

  • Despite his stellar performances on loan at Torquay, midfielder Craig Stanley’s contract was allowed to expire and he’s since been reunited with Paul Buckle at Bristol Rovers
  • Veteran striker Paul Mullin, often the focal point of the Shrimps’ attacks, has retired. It will be interesting to see how the team adapt.

Strengths

Morecambe created plenty of chances last season: no side had more shots at goal and their direct attacking style can unsettle defences.

Weaknesses

All the shots in the world won’t help you if you can’t convert the chances you create, and this is where the Shrimps struggle. No side had a higher ratio of shots to goals last season, while at the other end few teams invited more shots at their own goal. They seldom scored early goals last season, often handing their opponents the initiative and conceding late in the half.

Key man

Gary McDonald, a recent arrival from Scottish side Hamilton, could well be the man to fill Duffy’s boots. Assured on the ball, a fine passer and with experience of playing at a higher level, he looks eminently capable of bossing games from midfield.

One to watch

Diminutive right-back Izak Reid, a new signing from Macclesfield, has sparkled in pre-season and is no stranger to playing in a more advanced position. His arrival will give the Shrimps a valuable alternative outlet.

Outlook

Most likely to eke out an unspectacular existence in lower mid-table, the Shrimps should prove too strong to be drawn into the relegation vortex, but ultimately not good enough to trouble the division’s promotion-chasers.

Predictions

Ben: Definitely too good to go down, but it’s hard to see them improving on last season’s placing.

Danny: Lower reaches of the table but not in any danger.

Maxi: Some key signings will give Morecambe enough to stay up.

Links to other teams in this preview can be found here

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One comment on “League 2 Season Preview: Morecambe

  1. Pingback: League 2 Season Preview 2011/12: Round-up « Greenwich Gull

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This entry was posted on July 29, 2011 by in Season Preview.
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