Everyone else has been lining up to give their verdicts on how they see the 2021-2 League Two campaign will pan out – so why not us too? We probably won’t be too much cop at the standard po-faced analysis you can normally expect at this time of year. We aren’t The Athletic*, y’know. But allow us to take our thoughts for a little spin before the grand depart on Saturday 7 August. For all the drama and stories coming up over the next few months, it all boils down to where we finish. So, where will that be? And how will that make you feel?
(* can you imagine us behind a paywall. We’d not make enough for a coffee!)
Boro’s fortunes looking ahead…
If you ask us (and we know you didn’t), our feeling is one of “cautious optimism” for the 2021-2 League Two season. We told anyone who’d listen – yes, that’s our name in FourFourTwo again – that our results in 2021 alone are enough encouragement. OK, we aren’t totally blown away by our pre-season results. But what exactly do these sort of games tell you? The main thing is that guys got game time. We’d rather the lads were fit and prepped; running up cricket scores at the expense of local non-league sides tells us very little.
Then again, our forwards hold the key to our fortunes this season. Jamie Reid showed that he’s got an eye for the white poles early doors. What held us back last year will do so again if we still can’t create and convert our chances. The realistic hope, in our view, is that the upper echelons of mid-table is where we should be aiming. The very idea that we’re favourites for relegation as far as the bookies are concerned is laughable. To be fair, we do seem to be drifting down the list now. Our uninformed and biased view is that we are the dark horses.
Keep the defence as tight as it was and get the attack firing on all cylinders. That’ll be the magic combination for Revs. We now just want that first match to see where we’re at…
2021-2 League Two: Promotion
In the promotion stakes, Salford City are obviously top of many people’s list. At first glance, you could be mistaken for thinking this is a lazy choice. But the Ammies have too much in the way of resources to mess it up again. It’s almost like Luton struggling to get out of the Conference year-after-year. If Salford aren’t in the automatic promotion places by the end of the season, we’ll be very surprised. The main question is who joins them.
A usual tactic of ours is to look at who came down and see who might go straight back up. With us on the 2021-2 League Two scene, Bristol Rovers and Northampton Town are two sides who tend to do what they can to stay out of our way. And that means they’ll likely be sniffing around for an instant return to League One. From those left behind last season, Tranmere Rovers are perhaps the most well-equipped to do something special.
And, well, Exeter City always take up one of the playoff places. The Grecians just don’t seem to do anything with it. Use it or lose it.
2021-2 League Two: Relegation
At the other end of the table, we rather hope that we have absolutely no business in the 2021-2 League Two relegation dogfight. Our only involvement, if it’s alright with you, should be to pile on the misery for those slogging it out beneath us. Now, we believe we foolishly suggested that Oldham Athletic could be a dark horse at the top end of the table – based purely on how many goals the Latics scored last season. We’d like to now apologise for a stunning lack of judgement.
While they aren’t our prime picks for the drop, it could be a bumpy season at Boundary Park.
Of course, Sutton United have the unique double challenge of competing in the Football League for the first time and getting used to a new playing surface. How that works out for them we don’t know. But there could be a lot of fact-finding and soul-searching during the early stages of the campaign. To be fair, the same can also be said of Scunthorpe United. After the Iron timed their relegation run slightly too late last season, a bad start this time around may be fatal.
It’ll be interesting to see how Hartlepool United do in the first few months. Between them and Torquay United in the Conference playoff final, the Devon side would have spooked us the most. But we know we’re being a little harsh on the latest National League graduates. And we also know that newly-promoted sides tend to fare well at this level. If that’s the case again, it’ll possibly be two of the old guard to go down. That, or Harrogate Town have awful second season syndrome. Who knows? Well, no-one does. That’s the point.
Anyway, here’s to the 2021-2 League Two season. We aren’t doing a 1-24 list because we’ll end up cramming 10 clubs into 10 places between 8th and 18th with no rhyme or reason. May it be a blinding campaign for all concerned. But mainly us… #KeepItBoro