Oct 11 2012 by Nick Hilton, The Liverpool Post
Star turns, key loan players and stats from table-topping Tranmere’s super start to season
JAMES WALLACE: The 20-year-old is revelling in the role of captain, becoming the driving force of the team from midfield. Originally joined Tranmere on loan from Everton in the final months of last season and accepted the challenge, thrown down by Ronnie Moore in the summer, to build his career by signing for Rovers on a permanent basis. Everton released Wallace without a fee but will collect 50% of the player’s transfer value if and when he moves on.
ANDY ROBINSON: The most creative and individually talented player in the squad, Robinson, 32 is relishing his role as an elder statesman in the Prenton Park dressing room. Hometown hero to the fans, Robinson worked hard during the summer to get himself into the best physical condition has enjoyed in many years.
JEAN-LOUIS AKPA AKPRO: The French striker always had exceptional pace but has added a cutting edge to his game since moving from Rochdale to Prenton Park during the summer, as his seven goals testify. Moore reckons Akpa Akpro has the potential to reach the top level of the game. Suffered a foot injury last weekend that will put him on the sidelines for three months. Tranmere will miss him.
JAKE CASSIDY: Teenager, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, combines hard running and hard work with predatory finishing in the box. Seven goals so far this season.
LIAM PALMER: Another youngster building an effective central midfield partnership with James Wallace. The 20-year-old from Sheffield Wednesday is a consistent and reliable performer.
BEN GIBSON: Drafted in at the start of the season in an emergency, the 19-year-old from Middlesbrough has built an impressive central defensive partnership with Ash Taylor. Moore rates Gibson’s communication skills on the pitch as particularly valuable.
All three loan players are on deals due to expire at the beginning of January and Tranmere will be hoping they can be renewed.
TRANMERE are enjoying their best ever start to a season. The current unbeaten run of 11 games (eight wins and three draws) outstrips the previous best of eight unbeaten games in the 1934/35 Division Three North season.
Rovers still have a way to go to match their best ever unbeaten sequence, 18 matches during 1970. The run included 13 games towards the end of the 1969/70 Division Three campaign, then five more games at the start of the 1970/71 season.
The number of home supporters attending games at Prenton Park is creeping upwards, bucking the national trend in the lower division. Rovers pulled in around 400 additional fans for the last weekend home game, against Brentford on September 29, for which the gate was just over 5,700.