2017/18 League Two Preview: Gary Caldwell and Chesterfield

Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) previews Gary Caldwell and Chesterfield ahead of the upcoming 2017/18 League Two season.

Background

Gary Caldwell jumped back into management last January, less than three months after losing his job at Wigan, and he soon realised he was fighting a lost cause trying to save Chesterfield from relegation. The club had downsized the previous summer, recruiting several players from non-league as the full extent of their financial difficulties became apparent in November when they posted profits of just £42,000 from a financial year in which they generated nearly £2m in player sales. Most of their board have since resigned or been made redundant.

Personality

Caldwell is a compassionate man who is wedded to a particular style of play. He preaches possession football as a priority and shows remarkable patience with those who need time to grasp the finer points of his philosophy. But he also sticks rigidly to his ideas whenever results aren’t going his way - the process is non-negotiable. Clearly an introvert, he doesn’t give much away in the media but evidently strives for a harmonious dressing room and swerves most opportunities to be critical.

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Verdict

League Two can be a minefield for relegated clubs and it’s not the ideal place to twiddle your thumbs while waiting for a philosophy to bed in. Some much-needed experience has been added to the ranks and the arrival of O’Grady is a nod towards a little more expediency in the final third, but it’s not enough to believe the Spireites will make much of an impact. Caldwell might have secured promotion from League One with Wigan but he had abundant resources and made heavy weather of it.

Prediction: bottom half

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