Crewe Alexandra will be hoping to continue their good run of form as they start the new year in hope of breaking into the play-off places.
Crewe are currently 9th in League 1, only three points off the the play-off places.
With a trip to Rochdale today Crewe will be looking to secure three more points which would put them right in the mix as we move into the second half of the season.
Unbeaten in the league throughout December, the Railway Men picked up a possible 14 out of 18 available points.
Therefore, it was no surprise that David Artell was nominated for League One Manager of the Month for December following his sides impressive run of results over the festive period.
Along with Artell’s nomination, Owen Dale received the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month for December. Dale scored four goals in four games, topped off with a stunning overhead kick at Burton Albion.
After a run of mixed results at the start of this campaign, Artell’s side have found their feet and put themselves in a good position to compete for the play-offs.
Crewe were due to travel to League One opposition Shrewsbury Town on the 2nd January however, the game was cancelled due to COVID-19 complications and will now be rescheduled.
Off the field, Offrande Zanzala has left Crewe by mutual consent. Zanzala made 10 appearances for Crewe across all competitions with his debut coming in the Football League Trophy against Bolton. Zanzala had scored his only goal for the side in a 4-3 defeat to Shrewsbury Town in the Papa John’s Trophy group stage.
Zanzala had become a regular starter for Crewe’s u23s, however, he struggled to cement his place within the first team. He has since signed for Carlise on a six-month deal.
Artell has criticised Cardiff as they up their interest in defender Perry Ng, claiming their bid for the promising defender was “disgusting”, Artell said:
I think we have responded (to the offer), but it didn’t warrant a response, it was “disgusting”.
It came about through an agent who is trying to force a deal. He’s not working for us because we don’t pay agents. He’s trying to get a deal going, but he’s miles away – between here and Mars to be honest.
In other transfer news, Crewe left-back Harry Pickering has been linked with moves away from Gresty Road with reports of championship clubs showing interest. However, Crewe will not be looking to lose the player anytime soon.
The 22-year-old left-back has been with Crewe since playing his academy football and after signing his professional deal in 2016 he made his debut for the side the following year.
Pickering has started the season well for Crewe and was rewarded with a contract renewal in September 2020. The English full-back has contributed to five goals from left-back this season, his good form even saw the former academy graduate captain the side earlier in December.