2017/18 League Two Preview: David Artell and Crewe

by Mike Holden / 13 July 2017, 09:28

Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) previews DavidĀ Artell and Crewe ahead of the upcoming 2017/18 League Two season.

Background

David Artell picked up the reins in January and gradually got the Railwaymen moving again, when they had almost crawled to a standstill after three years of passive football under Steve Davis. A thumping 5-0 win over Grimsby was the tipping point, the first of eight wins in the final 17 matches following a dismal run of two wins in 25. Crewe scored 1.88 goals per game over those final 17 matches, compared to just 0.53 goals per game in the 17 matches prior to that.

Personality

Possibly the most educated manager in the country, Artell has degrees in analytical science and forensic biology, plus a PGCE in biomedical science. Whatever he turns his hand to, his thirst for knowledge and desire to solve problems is insatiable. The finer points of his managerial style are yet to be revealed but Introverted Thinking appears to be his dominant cognitive function. Such people can sometimes be seen as carefree or lazy. In reality, they strive for efficiency, conserving energy for when it's really needed in moments of crisis.

Quote

"We have brought in some quality players. They have ability, but the mix and blend amongst the squad is better. It should mean that things can be sorted out on the pitch instead of them looking to the bench for instructions. All the clubs we are going to play are different. We played Portsmouth and they wanted to pass the ball around, then we played Newport and they didn’t. We have to be able to play against the different styles and stand up to the physical side of things."

Verdict

The capture of Jordan Bowery on loan was the catalyst for the turnaround last season, providing Chris Dagnall with a target man to feed off as he netted a dozen goals in 14 games. So making Bowery’s move permanent should be enough to ensure that Alex steer well clear of trouble. However, results under Artell looked better than they actually were, due to the stark contrast with what had gone before, and a continuation of those standards is the only reasonable expectation.

Prediction: mid-table

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