Tag Archives: Rochdale

Memory lane for Rochdale fans

Rochdale have a habit of rescuing themselves from an unlikely position over the past few seasons in League One, and we at 24/7 football believe this kick has come again.

Currently Rochdale sit above the relegation zone by one point, cutting it close, but something in the season always seems to trigger Rochdale going from second bottom to a real chance of survival, we have picked out a moment one from last Season which we believe saw the turn around of the Dale to stay up last season.

2017/18 – FA Cup 2-2 draw at hone vs Tottenham.

Rochdale were near the relegation zone but had a really good cup run reaching the fourth round. Every single side in the football league wants to be drawn against a top six side in the premier league and the further in the competition you go, the more of a chance you getting of facing a bigger team. Rochdale had just beat championship side Millwall in a return home leg 1-0 win. And they were drawn against Tottenham Hotspur. After league form which showed signs of potential but not the finished article with other teams turning Rochdale over, this was a massive chance to boost morale and show off who they were. And they did indeed taking the lead with a perfectly executed shot from Ian Henderson. Spurs pulled two goals back then from Lucas Moura making his debut after moving from PSG, and a substitute appearance from Harry Kane somas him slot home his penalty leaving Rochdale 2-1 down with 8 minutes to go. However up stepped Steve Davis with a brilliant ball from the right with Tottenham unable to get a head on the ball, Davis controlled and stuck it in the back of the net to the delight of the Spotland crowd.

On came a trip to Wembley for the Dale. The fairytale journey didn’t last unfortunately however playing admirably on a snowy Wembley pitch and taking the lead, Rochdale showed true character which they carried through into the run in of the 17/18 season. Playing there final game against Charlton which saw club hero Joe Thompson who has recovered from cancer twice came on as a sub and score the winning goal to keep Rochdale up, sending the fans into ecstasy, and bitter sweetly, sent neighbours Oldham down to League Two.

Can Rochdale have a last gasp survival run in again?

Written by Sean Murphy

Three Managers who could replace Keith Hill at Spotland.

This morning Rochdale announced the departure of manager Keith Hill after the Club had lost 9 of its last 11 league games. Hill had been Rochdale’s longest-serving manager this century and had been with the Dale since January 2013. However, Hill’s time at the Spotland came to an end with Rochdale languishing in 22nd place and 5 points from safety. Under Hill, Rochdale have won two promotions from League 2, one in 2010 in Hill’s first spell and a second promotion from League 2 again in 2014.

However, with Hill’s dismissal, Rochdale needs to find a new manager to guide the club away from relegation and with only 11 games to do so, it’s a hard task for any manager.

So with the tremendous test ahead of the new manager, who are potential candidates to take the Rochdale hot seat?

Paul Hurst
Paul Hurst is the current bookmakers favourite at the time of writing and has been out of work since he was dismissed at Portman Road back in October. The Sheffield born manager has had a prominent rise over the past decade with his first job being the joint manager of Ilkeston town. Since then, the former left-back has managed Boston United where Hurst achieved promotion to Conference North and the Lincolnshire senior shield cup in his first season. Hurst would later resign from Boston in 2011 to join fellow Lincolnshire-based side Grimsby. Hurst spent five years at the Mariners achieving promotion back to the football league in 2016 via the playoffs. Hurst remained in charge of Grimsby till October of 2016 before moving to League One Shrewsbury Town. Hurst guided the Shrews off the bottom of the table and finished the campaign in 18th. The following season Hurst guided Shrewsbury to a playoff place and the Checkatrade trophy final before losing out to Lincoln. After a successful season with the Shrews, Hurst was hired as Mick McCarthy’s replacement at Ipswich Town. Hurst only managed to last 15 games at Portman road before being given the boot after only winning one game.
Hurst would be a great fit for Rochdale with the 44-year-old already having previous experiences of working on a tight budget both at Ipswich and Shrewsbury. Hurst also guided Shrewsbury out of the mire back in 2017 and could do the same again with the Dale.

2. Steve Evans

Steve Evans is another name being thrown

into the ring to be the next Rochdale manager with the Scot being out of work since January. Evans, who has won six promotions during his managerial career, was recently dismissed by Peterborough United after a poor run of form which saw the Posh fail to win three games and lose to fellow promotion contenders Luton (4-0) and Portsmouth (1-0). Evans’ most successful spell was with Yorkshire-based side Rotherham where the former Glaswegian striker achieved back-to-back promotions from League 2 and 1. Evans guided the Millers to England’s second tier for the first time since 2005. Evans would later go on to manage Leeds for half a season before moving to Nottinghamshire-based side Mansfield town in 2016. At the Stags, Evans would guide the club to a 5th placed spot by February, however, would bizarrely resign with the Glaswegian claiming he wanted to go to China. Mansfield accepted Evans’ resignation and stated that “ No individual is bigger than the club”. A day later Evans would join League One side Peterborough United and not the Chinese super league.
With Evans achieving 6 promotions in his career it’s a no brainer to appoint him right? At his last two clubs, Evans has overspent and failed to achieve the targets that were set for him. Furthermore, critics and fans would also be quick to point out his lack of loyalty with the Mansfield resignation saga.

3. Darrell Clarke

The third and final manager on this list to replace Keith Hill is former Bristol Rovers, Darrell Clarke. Clarke has managed over 400 games as a manager and has built a strong reputation as an astute football manager and will be looking to get back into the game after being dismissed by Bristol Rovers in December 2018. Clark started out his managerial career with Salisbury City where the former winger started life as a player Manager. The Mansfield-born manager went on to achieve two promotions with the Whites before leaving in 2013 to become assistant manager at Bristol Rovers. Clarke wouldn’t become full-time Manager till March 2014 and saw the Gas relegated to the Conference following a 1-0 defeat to Mansfield on the final day of the season. Clarke remained in charge the following season and returned Bristol Rovers back to the Football league on the first time of asking. The following season, Clarke would achieve consecutive promotions with the club as the former winger guided Bristol to a third-place finish in League 2. Clarke would continue to impress at Bristol Rovers finishing 10th and 13th place in League One. However, Clarke left the club in 2019 after a run of 7 defeats in their last ten games.
Clarke would be an excellent choice for the Dale, as the Manager has shown his determination and loyalty at Bristol Rovers whilst working with constraints. Clarke also holds the highest FA coaching badge a level 5 UEFA pro.

Rochdale fans, who do you want to see as your new Manager?

Written By Tom Langford

Twitter @tom_langford27

Why Keith Hill Is Still The Man For The Dale

Despite currently sitting at a rather disappointing 21st in the League One table in late September, any thoughts of sacking manager Keith Hill would be ludicrous.

Keith Hill is enjoying his second spell at The Crown Oil Arena as a manager after replacing John Coleman in January 2013. Hill made 154 appearances for Rochdale between 1996 and 2001. The 48 year old joined Dale’s coaching staff after he retired, he was appointed to the position of Director of Youth. He first managed the club as caretaker manager, after the departure of Steve Parkin in December 2006. Unfortunately for Hill the game ended up a 2-1 loss to MK Dons. The Bolton born manager lifted The Dale out of the bottom three, where they had spent the majority of the season so far, and was rewarded by being given the role permanently in January 2007.

The 2007/2008 season saw Hill lead Rochdale to the League Two Play Off Final, his side suffered a defeat to the now non-league outfit Stockport County. The following season was heartbreak again as the season ended with a Play Off Semi Final defeat to Gillingham. Success soon followed as the very next season Rochdale secured automatic promotion to League One, finishing third in the league behind Notts County and the now Premier League side Bournemouth! This was the first promotion for 41 years.

Hill was then able to lead Dale to a ninth place finish in League One, which saw his side achieve the highest league finish since the late 60s as Hill’s men racked up a rather impressive 68 points.

Hill and assistant manager David Flicroft’s achievements were recognised by Barnsley who lured the pairing to Oakwell in 2011, however, Hill only had a 25% win rate, leading to him losing the job in December 2012.

Since his return in 2013, Keith Hill led Dale to another promotion, making him the club’s most successful manager.



All of Hill’s success has come with a limited budget, where all but a few of his squad came in on free transfers or through the academy.  Hill is one of the best in the lower leagues at working to a tight budget, if not the best. This has seen him sign a contract that keeps him at The Crown Oil Arena until the summer of 2022. I have no doubts that Rochdale could not bring in another manager who could produce anywhere near what Hill has given the resources at his disposal, let alone do a better job!

Hill also has a fantastic record with youth players. He has produced players such as Craig Dawson who has gone on to be a Premier League regular with West Ham. Scott Hogan who is now with Championship Aston Villa and Burton Albion’s Jamie Allen who had been at The Dale since he was eight years old. Hill also gave Daniel Adshed his professional debut in a 4-0 demolition of local rivals Bury in the Checkatrade Trophy in September this year, the youngster who was just 16 years old and 17 days set up Dale’s second goal of the night for Bradden Inman. This shows Hill’s ability to promote youth players and turn them into very good players, some worthy of the Premier League! He can also spot great free transfers, he brought Nathaniel Mendez-Laing in, who has recently moved to Championship Cardiff City and has just won player of the month!

Hill is clearly an expert at bringing success to a club with extremely limited funds and there is no doubt in my mind that he should be the Dale manager for the foreseeable future!