25th May, 1998. A day that will forever stay with me and every other Addick.
But not 18th April, 1999, 22nd May, 2004*, 24th May, 2009, 29th May 2010, 13th April, 2013, 29th May, 2016 and 20th May, 2017. The days since our famous Sunderland victory that Millwall have appeared at Wembley. *played at Millennium Stadium.
Envious? What, me?
You have to give it to them, they rarely shirk a big game and yesterday was no different when Millwall came from a goal down at Scunthorpe to win 3-2 on aggregate and will meet Bradford in this season’s League One play-off final at Wembley. On the bright side is that they’ve won only one of those Wembley / Millennium Stadium games, the 2010 League One play-off final against Swindon.
Bradford will provide stern opposition to our fellow south Londoners though and with yesterday’s Championship relegation spot decided it got me thinking about the make up of League One next season.
I’d expect Bradford or Millwall to be promotion challengers again as would Scunthorpe under Graham Alexander be. From the others still resident in League One I’d look at Oxford, MK Dons, Fleetwood and Peterborough as all being potential promotion candidates.
Portsmouth under Paul Cook will be strong, and have the wind in their sails after years of mismanagement. Plymouth Argle have taken 5 seasons to get out of the 4th tier, but I fancy them to do well too. Luton are play-off favourites and if they can prevail I would also add them to my list.
From the Championship I see Blackburn on a downward spiral, which as we know is hard to break. Rotherham could easily re-settle in League One and provide tough opposition depending on how Paul Warne and Richie Barker shape their squad during the summer after a very poor season. Finally Wigan have become the Cahmpionship / League One yo-yo club and last time in League One were promoted as Champions, but the summer could also see a lot of change in playing squad and a new manager, but it would be wrong to ignore them.
One thing is for sure, League One will not be as easy on paper as it was this season. For Charlton it was an opportunity missed.