The Sherriff Says....
There is only one word that can be used to describe Tranmere's 2005/2006 season - horrendous.
Believe it or not, despite Brian Little getting us to third place the season before, he wasn't that well liked. He had no rapport with the fans and seemed detached from the club. So, when the team's better players, Messrs Hall, Hume and Taylor all departed in the summer of 2005, and Little failed to replace them, things didn't look too rosy.
Everyone still tipped us to do well with our 'tactical genius', but things went from bad to worse. We had loads of mediocre loan players in and we went the whole season without an orthodox left sided midfielder/winger. Brian's negative tactics got us nowhere, yet amazingly we did enough to stay up.
Little went near the end of the 05/06 term and to the delight of fans ex-Rover Ronnie Moore was appointed about a month later.
Moore is straight talking, positive, and has Tranmere in his blood. He knows the fans, he understands them. There is a great feeling of togetherness at Prenton Park now and everyone is looking forward rather than back.
Ronnie brought in nine new players in the summer and got rid of the dead wood. Notable arrivals include exciting winger Chris Shuker, Australian Defender Shane Sherriff and your ex-player, a certain Gareth Taylor.
Gareth, for me, has done well. You need to be able to appreciate what sort of player he is to see how well he does in games. He's not going to cover every blade of grass, but he's going to be a problem for defenders, he's going to hold up the ball and link up play, and he's always likely to get the odd goal or two as well.
It's been pretty regular 442 stuff for us so far, with good width and balance to it. It's a very strong starting eleven we have, although if we have a weakness I guess it's our strength in depth. Which is shame, as I think this season promotion could be doable if we just went for it a little bit more, and got say two or three more bodies in. That's asking a lot though as, to be fair, the club has invested quite a lot in the squad this year.
We've kind of struggled in big home league games over the last few years, but fans are hoping this could be a turning point and Ronnie could change things.
I can't see past a score draw to be honest - I don't see too much between the sides. I think we'd be happy with that, in all honesty.
From our vantage point you seem a great bet for promotion this season, for obvious reasons. The League is a little stronger than last year, but you'll have enough about you to get promotion.
Good luck for the season apart from the two games between TRFC and yourselves, and safe trip to all those making the trip to Prenton Park at the weekend.