Chesterfield Season Preview: inconsistent performers

chesterfieldChesterfield found themselves battling relegation last season, after a play-off finish the year before. What is in store for this campaign? To find out, The Football Lab spoke to supporter Andrew Riley, who you can follow on Twitter @Meggy1860.

Chesterfield made a lot of signings mid-season last year and not many of them seemed to make an impact. Was your lowly league position related to a lack of stability?

Possibly too many signings lead to lack of stability but our lowly position was down to the mess left from Dean Saunders appointment, some of the signings were hit and miss

Chairman Dave Allen is not too popular with a lot of Chesterfield fans for selling key players, but some defend the infrastructure he has put in place. What are your views?

Dave Allen is a business man who’s prob more interested in a return on his investment than Chesterfields league position, its worrying that the players have sold haven’t made much reduction in the debts of the club, don’t think there’s much left to sell with Sam Morsy going to Wigan.

Arsene Wenger is the only current manager to have taken charge of more professional games than Danny Wilson. Does it help to have an experienced boss?

Having an experienced boss probably helped steady the ship, after Saunders’ departure.

Goalkeeper Tommy Lee might not be fit for the start of the season. Was it important to loan in a goalkeeper in Ryan Fulton?

Ryan Fulton comes highly rated after a successful loan spell at Pompey last season, its looking highly unlikely Tommy will not be fit for the start, Prob the 1st time in a few seasons that Tommy has got real competition for the no 1 jersey.

Right-back Paul McGinn joins from Dundee. Was this an important signing, after Liam O’Neil’s injury at the end of last season?

Yes a right back has been a priority for most of last season.

Hardworking full-back Drew Talbot had been with Chesterfield since 2009. Were you surprised to see him leave?

Yes, thought he’d get another season in league 1 but at his age you need to be playing regularly.

Jay O’Shea looks like a player that divides opinion. It seems he is a capable footballer but is the type that will turn it on when we wants to…

Jay O’Shea displays have been inconsistant, but after all the player sales his performances have been important.

Jon Nolan was a creative player for Grimsby while Krystian Dennis scored 23 goals in 39 for Macclesfield. Can they make that step up from the National League to League One?

Good question, both unknown quantities which i hope will make the grade, better to gamble on non league players looking to progress than sign older players who’s careers are on the wane.

Gboly Ariyibi seems to have the raw pace you’d want from a winger. Have his performances, particularly in wins over Shrewsbury and Barnsley in the second half of last season, excited you?

Same as Jay O’Shea performances have been inconsistent, a match winner on his day but some performances have been a let down

Ariyibi seemed to be one of your only midfielders last season that attacked the flank. Was it important to sign another out-and-out winger in Reece Mitchell?

Yes, Mitchell is another unknown quantity, Jamal Campbell-Ryce loan spell at the end of last season was disappointing

The club have controversially signed striker Ched Evans on a one-year deal. Your views?

I personally wouldn’t have signed him, too much baggage and not played competitive football for over 4 years and a club sponsor has pulled out, others say if he bags 20 goals then who cares, he has served his time in prison and there’s been people who have done far worse and still carried on with their careers.

Danny Wilson has challenged Rai Simons to show what he can do week-in, week-out this season. Does the forward deserve to start more games?

Possibly there’s been times that Simons hasn’t started games after scoring in the previous but we dont see what happens week in week out in training

What are your thoughts ahead of the League One season as a whole? Any potential dark horses for you?

With the teams dropping out the championship and teams like Millwall, Bradford and Sheff Utd its going to be a more tougher division than normal, Maybe Bristol Rovers carrying on the momentum of back to back promotions

Where will you finish?

I’ll go for a slight improvement on last year and say 14th.

The Football Lab’s Verdict

Chesterfield have looked more organized under Wilson. However, discontent with the board and the inconsistency of key men means they will not avoid an intense relegation battle. 20th