Rotherham United Season Review

So what happened?

With one game to go in the Championship season, Rotherham United have been relegated to League One. The Miller’s currently sit on 22 points after 45 matches, having only won five games all season. They have drawn seven, lost 33 and conceded 97 goals, having a negative goal difference of 58.

Having narrowly survived relegation last season under former Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock, the club hired Alan Stubbs as manager on June 1st. Stubbs suffered during his 14 matches in charge, picking up only one win in his four months in charge.

Stubbs was sacked on October 19th, and was replaced by proven Championship manager Kenny Jacket. However Jacket was only in charge for five matches, failing to pick up a single victory before resigning. It was then left to former player Paul Warne to try and stop the sinking ship as interim manager, unfortunately he couldn’t and Rotherham were relegated on April 2nd after losing 1-0 to Fulham.

Paul Warne has decided to remain on as manager as the club look forward to their first League One campaign in four years.

What changed?

Not much really. Since Rotherham were promoted to the Championship they have always flirted with relegation. In 2014/15, Rotherham finished 21st on 46 points. In 2015/16, Rotherham finished 21st on 49 points. Thus it was only a matter of when, not if that Rotherham would go down again.

The squad was boosted by the arrival of former Premier League player Peter Odemwingie and lower league strikers Dexter Blackstock and Anthony Forde. Loan players were also added but realistically the squad lacked the skill to be able to stay up this season. This years side was the weakest Rotherham side since they were promoted to the Championship.

How did they do it?

A 2-2 draw on the opening game of the season against Wolves inspired confidence, as did a 1-0 win at home against Brentford. However the rest of the opening month included heavy defeats to Aston Villa and Brighton and a crushing 4-0 defeat to local rivals Barnsley.

Rotherham drew both games of September, but then failed to pick up another point until the end of October. From August 20th to December 10th, Rotherham failed to collect a single win until they beat Queens Park Rangers.

A 3-2 win over relegation candidates Wigan on boxing day gave fans some hope that Rotherham would begin to mount a fight back against the oncoming tide of relegation. Another victory over Norwich came in January but Rotherham then failed to win another match until the 44th game of the season when they beat Ipswich 1-0.

The biggest problem for Rotherham was their inability to keep clean sheets. In 45 matches, Rotherham only kept three cleans sheets and lost numerous games by more than three goals. Rotherham also struggled to score goals, having only four players score more than three goals in the Championship, a paltry effort especially considering they failed to score in 19 Championship games.

So what happens next year?

Paul Shane has already agreed to be manager for next season, whilst former player Richie Barker has agreed to come in as assistant manager.

The goal for Rotherham next season will be to rebuild and stabilise the club, and to prevent relegation into fourth tier.