In another busy week in League One we continue to learn more about how this league might shape up, with heavy defeats for Lincoln and Shrewsbury at the hands of two title favourites we look into other news surrounding the league. As players begin to make their mark on proceedings others are yet to get off the mark with teams quickly making signings before the end of the transfer deadline, writes Samuel Rowson
Sheffield Wednesday sign another impressive League One forward, the Fleetwood empire expands to Ireland, Ipswich impress with former Imp on the scoresheet but we start with a worrying Injury for Pompey.
Thompson injured as Pompey defeat the Gas
This weekend saw another team carry on their fast start to the campaign in Portsmouth. Pompey hosted Bristol Rovers in a match in which pitted old foes in the Cowley brothers against Joey Barton, who have met several times in management since that historic day in 2017. The last time these two teams played at Fratton Park saw Bristol Rovers lose 1-0 and subsequently get relegated to League Two. And this game would be no different with them conceding two late goals from Pigott and Dale to lose 3-1. However the main talking point that was taken from this match was 27 year old Portsmouth midfielder Louis Thompson and his horrific injury. Louis would not see out the whole game, after an awful 18th minute tackle by Glenn Wheelan saw him receive seven minutes of treatment before being subbed off and sent to the QA hospital in Portsmouth. Wheelan only received a yellow card for his challenge which saw the Pompey midfielder suffer a double fibula fracture as a result.
A fibula fracture would usually see a player out for anywhere between six weeks to three months, this all depends on the severity of the fracture. With this being a double fracture it is hard to say how much more time will be needed for the player to fully recover and to return to the football pitch. Thompson is due to have more in detail scans over the coming days to ascertain the severity of the injury.
Thompson however has a history of severe injuries which has blighted his football career to date. With him suffering pelvic issues before the first of his two Achilles based injuries in the space of just seven months. This was whilst he was on the books at Norwich City ruling him out for the majority of the 2016-17 season, and the whole of the 2017-18 season. Hopefully this injury will not turn out to be as severe as his previous ones and will not hinder his career going forward.
Wednesday sign top end forward in Wilks
Mallik Wilks has put pen to paper on a permanent move from Hull City of The East Riding to Sheffield Wednesday of South Yorkshire. The 23 year old Yorkshireman joins for an undisclosed fee and will strengthen an already strong Owls side for this League One campaign. The forward is no stranger to the league after impressing for Hull City in their title winning season of 2020/21. Scoring 19 times in 44 appearances and getting a further 9 assists. This is an astute piece of business by Wednesday who clearly have ambitions of returning to the Championship in their second campaign in the division. And adding Wilks is only going to cement their position amongst the front runners. Wilks has also played for Doncaster, Barnsley and Grimsby, most noticeably scoring 14 goals in 46 appearances for Doncaster in a season which would see them come up short against eventual play off winners Charlton in the Play-Off Semi Final. With a somewhat disappointing Championship campaign last season with only 3 goals in 20 league appearances he will be looking to find his form of previous years and put in another solid League One stint with Wednesday.
Fleetwood add to their portfolio
When you first think of Fleetwood what is it that first comes to mind? Is it their rise from non-league obscurity to League One regulars, or that they had Jamie Vardy scoring goals before he gained fame and fortune in Leicester. Whatever does come to mind it probably isn’t this. They have recently added another football club to their portfolio, similar to how Manchester City and Red Bull have clubs across the globe.
To be more precise the owner of Fleetwood, Andy Pilley has recently purchased Waterford FC in Ireland. They join Fleetwood United (UAE), Western Cape Fleetwood (South Africa) in the ever growing ‘Cod’ empire. The clubs in The UAE and South Africa were created to expand the global reach of Fleetwood and to help players develop their playing careers with a look at moving prospects into the English or European game. It also gives Fleetwood a help in developing ‘home grown’ academy players even if they did originate from a different continent. Now with Fleetwood having a sister club in Ireland it allows them to dip into potential talent, like Lincoln have been trying to do over the last few years with the likes of Elbouzedi who came from the aforementioned Waterford. Loaning out Roughan and Long to Drogheda and signing Mandroiu from Shamrock Rovers as he made the hop across the Irish Sea. It’s a very lucrative league to look at for potential young talent and Fleetwood might just have got a step ahead of other clubs in this league thanks to their owner. The benefits of which might not yet be seen for a couple more years.
Ipswich roll over the Shrews
Ipswich carried on their impressive start to the season with another resounding victory. This time with an away win at Shrewsbury. The tractor boys have really lived up to the title of preseason promotion favourites. Only conceding 2 goals in 5 league games, winning 4 of them and scoring 10 goals in the process. To add to that they are still unbeaten and seem to be relishing and rising to the challenge. And this performance was another dominant one. They had 67% of the possession, with 13 shots and 8 corners. Carving out chances throughout the game and limiting their opponents to very little.
The first of the three goals came courtesy of former Imp Tyreece John-Jules. He picked the ball off the Shrewsbury midfield and continued to run through the helpless defence, calmly slotting the ball home for his first goal for the Suffolk side. That control and ease of finish reminded me of the only goal he scored in the red and white against Blackpool in 2020, similar distance out and the same result. From then on Ipswich seemed to control the ball and their opponents in Shrewsbury, who themselves have not had a favourable start to the season with only 5 points from a possible 15. With second half goals from Chaplin and Jackson the rout ended 3-0 to the visitors.
The strength in depth of Ipswich this year is phenomenal. Freddie Ladapo once of Plymouth and more recently Rotherham came off the bench, a player who has scored double digits in League One in each of his last three seasons in the division. And experienced forward in Sone Aluko also featuring as a substitute, a player who once graced the premier league for Hull. This is a very impressive showing from the first 5 games and only time will tell if it is to be their season.