The Twohundredpercent Pre-Season Predictions: League One


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

You may also like...

17 Responses

  1. Mark says:

    If you’d done a bit of proper research you’d know Hartlepool have signed five new players this summer, including the highly rated James Poole from Manchester City. 10 points clear of the drop zone at the end of last season and never really looked in trouble throughout. I expected better from this website, if you’re not going to do your research properly (or even take a glance at Sky Sports’ League One preview) then what’s the point in these predictions?

  2. Rob says:

    If you knew a bit about your own club, Mark, you’d know that James Poole isn’t a new player, he’s converting last autumn’s loan into a permanent move, so he’s not a new arrival.

    (And if you did a bit of research yourself, you’ll notice that while I may have mentioned a couple of players who have made a handful of appearances in their careers, I generally haven’t mentioned them, because there’s very little to say about them)

  3. Tim Vickerman says:

    Shame to see the trend of using the comments section to slag off the writer on this website. Thanks for the preview Rob!

    Though I do have to point out a couple of wee errors with Huddersfield – Calum Woods is a Scouser, though he hasn’t yet played south of the border. And Damien Johnson is most definitely a midfielder. Lee Clark seems to have been inspired by Kenny Dalglish’s transfer activity in assembling the largest possible number of midfielders anywhere.

  4. Rob says:

    Cheers, Tim.

    “Damien Johnson is most definitely a midfielder.”

    Of course he is. I got my Plymouth Johnson’s confused. Reda Johnson’s the defender, isn’t he.

  5. Ian says:


    (Or, to put it another way, I am past caring)

  6. Tom Lines says:

    What’s with all the trolling in the comments recently? Jeez, it’s tiresome enough on club messageboards and national newspaper sites without it infecting 200%.

    Anyway, your assessment of Walsall chimes with my own views published in WSC’s preview. If only because of the astonishing job Dean Smith did last season. I don’t think I’d go so far as tipping us for the play offs but thanks all the same!

  7. Ian says:

    Tom, it happens every year. It’s largely water off a ducks back nowadays. Championship to follow this evening. Should see some real fireworks.

  8. Richard says:

    Good article – and reading the piece carefully, I can see the very obvious benefit of grouping clubs by possible finish rather than actual position….

  9. Mark says:

    Rob. James Poole is a new signing, he did have a short loan spell last October but to claim he’s not a new signing because of that is bizarre. He was a Manchester City player, now he’s a Hartlepool player, a move of clubs has taken place and he “arrived this summer”.

    Plus it doesn’t excuse the fact you missed the signing of Jack Baldwin, or does he not count either?

    I wonder why you bother to do these previews (which are more the domain of lazy national newspapers), especially when you’ve not done the most basic of research.

  10. Rob says:

    Mark – he’s not an arrival, he’s a returning player. Had Ben Hamer signed for Brentford instead od Charlton, I wouldn’t have called him an arrival either.

    Also, I didn’t “miss” the signing of Jack Baldwin (although three of the five sites I use for the first stage of research for each club did), I thought that the chances of an 18 year old jumping from the Isthmian League Division One to League One, and being a regular player was slight. Any other player of a similar age coming from such as low level (Such as Accrington Stanley’s Kurtis Guthie and Northampton’s Freddy Hall haven’t been mentioned).

    These previews are between 2500 – 3000 words and I spend about 6-9 hours on each division (it did used to take 12 hours before I stopped including the list of transfers for each club (which would have included Baldwin and Poole)), I have to think about exactly how much the readers want to read. But, just as ever there are always complaints by fans of lower placed clubs, because I haven’t written every exact detail, or (in the case of Bradford fans last season, because I’ve included a small detail that they didn’t like because they thought it reflected badly on their club, even though it was factually correct).

    Yes, I’m going to miss things or get things wrong (you name me someone who could accurately write about all 72 league clubs), but as you see with Tim’s comment, if I’m wrong, I put my hands up.

  11. Rob says:

    Oh, and before anyone asks, I realised I’d put Brentford and Sheffield United in the wrong places, so I’ve swapped them over. I’ve not changed the wording, just their positions.

  12. Mark says:

    If you really want to be pedantic about it, you said only 3 players “arrive this summer”. Poole clearly did arrive, he arrived on loan in October, left the and then did arrive this summer. At best it was poorly worded, at worst it was deliberate misinformation. Even if you’re pedantically saying he’s a returning player, why didn’t that merit a mention?

    As for Baldwin not being a first team player, that’s not your call to make. Even then a cursory glance would have showed he played half an hour of our final pre-season friendly against Sunderland, a first team game.

    I’m a big fan of your website and of course you can’t have in-depth knowledge of every team but then maybe you need another approach, the Guardian asked fans for their own opinions for example. Just sloppily casting opinions with little justification is the realm of the Daily Mail and other such crap.

    Why, for example, are Tranmere predicted to be safe and Hartlepool battling relegation when Tranmere have lost by far their best player and another good defender when Hartlepool have kept their squad the same and made a few canny additions?

  13. Rob says:

    Mark: “Even if you’re pedantically saying he’s a returning player, why didn’t that merit a mention?”

    Because I made an editorial decision to ignore players of a certian level, because I was considering the casual viewers will to live. Now that I consider my own will to live, this was clearly the wrong decision.

    ” Even then a cursory glance would have showed he played half an hour of our final pre-season friendly against Sunderland, a first team game.”

    I’ve seen players start their teams biggest pre-season game, then not feature in the team all season. I saw Ipswich v Wolves last Saturday and Wolves were bringing on players after an hour that they’re looking to shift out on loan. Clubs use pre-season friendlies for many things.

    “Why, for example, are Tranmere predicted to be safe and Hartlepool battling relegation when Tranmere have lost by far their best player and another good defender when Hartlepool have kept their squad the same and made a few canny additions?”

    Tranmere’s best player (if you can call Dale Jennings that) started just over half of their games last season, they’ll cope without him. I’ve seen Aaron Cresswell play, and I have seen David Raven play and at this stage they’re of similar ability (Cresswell has been bought for his potential more than anything else).

    Also, I rate Les Parry as a better manager than Mick Wadsworth.

  14. Tim Vickerman says:

    Anyone at Huddersfield rates a draft excluder as a better manager than Mick Wadsworth.

  15. Dermot O'Dreary says:

    There appears to be a franchise missing here which I assume to be entirely intentional. Did you really not want to include a section headed “Oblivion please”?

  16. Albert Ross says:

    Mark – as a fellow Poolie I understand the… bemusement? at placing us in the relegation places, but as someone who used to run a website I can also see the other side of things, one part of which is that there are only so many hours in the day and no doubt many other things that can be done in them than taking a good look at the whys and wherefores of James Poole’s transfer and whether he will lift us into playoff reckoning etc.

    Ultimately these are an opinion, a straw in the wind that will stand or fall as the season goes by. I used to do one that was pretty in depth involving the division we were in, spending a good amount of time looking at ins, outs, what was going on off the pitch, and even so usually got my predictions way off. I can’t find it in me to blame someone for not predicting us to finish higher. After all, it will have no impact on how the team performs.

    For the record, if the fans who have bought the 5700 season tickets turn up for most games and the team responds, I can see us improving on last season and maybe having an outside chance of a playoff place – but then again, optimism is always easy this early in the season.

  17. Exeter have made a couple of more experienced signing than the ones you mentioned – Spanish striker Guillem Bauza and defender Danny Coles from Bristol Rovers.

    From what you said we should therefore be moved to ‘Playoff Contenders’!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>