Friday, May 16, 2008

ROTATION POLICY .......... Giving everyone a game ........

To rotate, or not to rotate, what is best, a settled side or keeping the squad fresh ?

Much (too much) has been written about the benefits or otherwise, of squad rotation in the Premiership, but let's take a quick look at how it has worked out in the lower leagues.

In the Championship, relegated Leicester used far more players than any other side, followed by Southampton, who managed to avoid a similar fate on the final day of the season. Playoff finalists Bristol City used fewest, followed by FA Cup heroes Cardiff.

In League 2, it was something of a mixed bag at the very top, where Darlington (6th) and Wrexham (last) , utilized 41 players, followed by Accrington (17th) and Macclesfield (19th). So that might be more of a case of Darlington being the exception that proves the rule. Front runners MK Dons and Peterborough, despite having big squads, were "mid table".

It is in Division 1 where the stats are really eyecatching. More players were used here than in the other two divisions and the top six, in order ,cue drumroll, are Millwall, Gillingham, Port Vale, Yeovil, Bournemouth and Crewe, all finished in the bottom eight. Three were relegated and Crewe only avoided dropping out , on the final day of the season.

At the other end of the table, promoted Swansea and Nottingham Forest, along with playoff contenders Doncaster, were all in the bottom five for players used, despite having superior resources to almost every other club at this level.

It seems clear, that whether through choice , or necessity, the fewer players used, the better...... "tinklers" beware .............if it ain't broke, don't fix it !

Good Luck.

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