Four games, four wins and top of the League, not bad for two weeks work although with equal goal difference between us and Leeds its just our one more goal scored, we have got 9 they have 8, that has got us there.
Whats Their Secret?
Back in 1995 Alan Hansen famously declared that "You can't win with kids," but this is clearly not something that John Barnes believes in. His defence in particular is very young with the keeper a 21 year old loanee from West Brom, Luke Daniels, while fullbacks are the on-loan ( from Man City) 20 year old Shaleum Logan and 18 year old Aaron Cresswell and in central defence is the 18 year old Gavin Gunning. But Barnes does mix age with youth and adding experience to the defence is a Jamaican legend, the 36 year old Ian Goodison with no less than 113 international caps to his name. Should be interesting to see how he copes with fellow Jamaican Deon Burton with only 59 caps to his name, but 4 years younger.
Who Are Yeh?
There's very few players in League One that have played at Madrid's Bernabeu but number 10 Alan Mahon is one of them when he appeared there in 2000 as a member of Sporting Lisbon's Champions League team, they lost 4-0 and Mahon played the first half. Now 31 he's also experienced Premier football with both Blackburn and Wigan as well as playing for the Republic of Ireland twice and is another old hand in the team amongst all those youngsters.
Another player with Premiership experience is 25 year old number 11 John Welsh. Ex-Liverpool he's also played in Europe and has also captained the England U-20's but after injuries now finds himself at Tranmere, a club he joined in the summer.
Like ourselves, Tranmere have a settled side and have used only 16 players so far. Another of the regulars are right winger Chris Shuker and new signing ex-Luton and Wednesday midfielder 32 year old Paul McLaren.
After his eleven goals last season, this years top scorer - and captain - is their number nine Ian Thomas-Moore with 3 goals so far. The son of former manager Ronnie, he changed his name from his more well known Ian Moore (just to fool the defenders maybe, or maybe he's a fan of Paul Scofield) when he got married and at 32 has previously been the subject of two million pound transfers, a bit of a rarity at this level. Strangely, he was the only regular first-teamer to be left out of the squad for the League Cup against Bolton.
After 4 games unchanged getting us 4 victories, and only 15 players used, it would be a surprise if Parky were to tamper with the line-up and that would have been a fair assumption before Scott Wagstaff came on for Lloyd Sam and delivered a peach of a goal in just 4 minutes. But then again Parky has already said that Scott's been pushed too early last season and with that in mind he'll be content to let him play the subs role for a bit longer.
Elliot; Richardson, Dailly, Llera, Youga; Sam, Semedo, Racon, Shelvey, Bailey; Burton.