Back once again (with the ill behaviour), DoWo returns with its oddest mix of managerial miscreants yet. Loaded with a circus of former DoBo, DoWo and DoDi title-winners, there’s no shortage of silverware in this year’s second division, even if there typically seems to be a glaring lack of common sense. After a difficult DoBo season, the Farts of Midlothian’s miserable campaign culminated in Martin Arthur dropping to a division for the 2nd time in his career whereas it was a different story for Eh Puis Merce as the team led by Mehdi Daoudi saw themselves jump two divisions after being reinstated following St. Pauli’s collapse. Perhaps the biggest story, though, is Michael Davies almost inexplicably taking the reins at the much maligned Downsy’s 11. Many expected Sean Downs to compete in what would only have been his second DoWo season (despite three relegations) but another incredible Houdini act saw both managers leave the clubs at which they made their name to start anew elsewhere. Completing the division, Michael Jones returns to DoWo after his brief, one-season stint back in 2015 (following his impressive DoDi title win last year) and Jake Evans makes his DoWo debut after a solid debut season in DoDi where he proved, beyond doubt, he is the best Evans.
EH PUIS MERCE
At the end of last season, not even the most optimistic Eh Puis Merce fans would have expected to be entering the 2019/20 campaign in DoWo. After a tough season of PTB deductions that saw Cacos nick promotion to DoDi, many expected it to be another season of rest and relaxation for Mehdi Daoudi—instead, with St. Pauli ironically issued with a winding up order, Eh Puis Merce’s second season of meandering through another season in FT B was turned on its head into a race for promotion to DoBo. And while questions remain over Daoudi’s mentality, few can question his talent.
Summary: If Eh Puis can recreate the history-making form from 2016 and the last time they were in DoWo, it’s already over.
It’s hard to know where to begin with Michael Davies and his new club. On paper, the league’s least successful club wouldn’t have been the most obvious destination for the league’s most successful manager. But here we are. Over the years, Davies has been more accustomed to trophy battles than relegation battles—it remains to be seen whether he can inject his winning mentality into a team used to gross mismanagement.
Summary: It will take all of Davies’ managerial nous to convert a club so used to failure into a credible outfit.
Just when it seemed Michael Jones was doomed to a career of managerial mediocrity, he steps up with an impressive DoDi title-winning campaign. Patience, poise and a solid recruitment policy characterised Northern Borras 2018/19 campaign as Jones not only picked up his first title, he also guided his side to the highest overall points total. Considering the fact that Northern Borras finished 5th in DoDi in 2016/17 and Jones’ work has been nothing short of miraculous. But the last time his side made it as high as DoWo, any sense of promotion excitement was brutally removed in a humiliating season that saw Northern Borras humiliatingly bounced straight back down.
Summary: If Jones can focus on the things he did well last season, things should end less painfully than the first time, even if the result is the same.
DIE LAWRO DIE
If anyone had any doubts as to who the best Evans was, Jake and Die Lawro Die answered it, emphatically. As his brother fell in one of the worst campaigns in league history, Die Lawro Die pushed a resurgent Northern Borras all the way to promotion. It was an outcome many expected at the beginning of the season but there’s a difference between dreaming and doing—and Evans proved that he can find the balance between both.
Summary: Another season of the quality shown in his debut campaign could see Die Lawro Die celebrate back-to-back promotions but this campaign might be a stretch too far.
FARTS OF MIDLOTHIAN
It’s tough being a modern day Farts fan. For a club used to success, the Farts entering a third silverware-less season following the second relegation in their history. Few clubs would tolerate such a succession of failure after seasons of success but, despite the failures, few are calling for the head of manager, Martin Arthur. Dignified in defeat as well as victory, his calming presence was both the reason for the Farts historic success, but it’s also the optimism for phoenix-like rise. Arthur is rarely ruffled and the last time the Farts found themselves in this position, the outcome was a resounding title success at the first time of asking.
Summary: It’s a tougher division this time round but the Farts metronome consistency makes them tough to shake.