2014/15: Sky Bet Championship Review – October 2014
My enthusiasm for this review waned throughout a miserable, dispiriting month for my own club. Not a solitary victory and of course another coach through the revolving doors at LS11. I am of course referring to Leeds United, a club which should be stamped with a Government Health Warning.
However, putting aside my pain, anguish and desperation for now I will don my impartiality hat and look back over the merry month of October. Another side to sink like a stone is Nottingham Forest; Psycho ably demonstrating that playing heroes are not always the best choice to return to former glories. I believe a top six position will still be achieved but the weight of expectation needs to be overcome.
AFC Bournemouth heads the table alphabetically and staggeringly statistically as Eddie Howe’s men gather goals and points with alarming regularity. The demolition of Birmingham City was positively rude in its execution, borne by a freedom to play uncomplicated, slick attacking football other supporters crave. The majority of clubs and opposing fans have The Cherries as low priority and I think they thrive on the small town mentality, little history to speak of but possibly to make.
Now they have reached the summit we shall see how they cope with expectation and pressure, very well I think and serious contenders for top six. Geographically, Middlesbrough couldn’t be further away, but a consistent run of results has catapulted The Smoggies to their highest League position in years and one I forecast in previous reviews. Pitiful crowds at The Riverside never seem to dampen the Chairman’s ambition for his club and shrewd work in the permanent and loan market over a period of time make Boro‘ a real force.
The panic button was pressed at Bolton, Birmingham, and Blackpool – oh and again at you know who? Fulham and Leeds appointed from within, Bolton and Birmingham successful young managers and Blackpool hired Lee Clark or Red Adair, such is the task ahead of him. The Tangerines currently the only club adrift with a host of sides battling to join them. Could fifty points see a club go down this year? I suspect it will.
Honourable mentions must go to Huddersfield Town & Brentford, teams traditionally living in the shadows of near neighbours now looking imperiously over their shoulders. Chris Powell is a manager destined for big things in my opinion, very possibly the first Black England manager, you heard it here first!
Away from the Championship one of my pet hates raised its ugly head again the other week, the abominable ‘half-scarves’ at Old Trafford for the Chelsea game. Football tourists sporting cringe worthy red and blue…I can’t go on…am getting annoyed.
Back to reality, Wolves and to a lesser extent Rotherham have made the step up one division with conviction and potentially none of the three promoted clubs will be returning from whence they came. The same could be said for the three relegated sides with Norwich, Cardiff and Fulham spluttering to find form and any consistency in the toughest of leagues.
The majority of other sides take on step forward and two back or vice versa as the middle of the table is as congested as the M62, M25 or wherever you reside on a rush hour afternoon.
Another half a dozen games and we will reach the Christmas period and the January sales, the best wheelers and dealers have much to gain or lose in search of riches or sanctuary from the drop.
As always, I won’t wish supporters of other clubs the best as it would be a hollow gesture but support your team, lambast referees, moan at you Chairman and generally conduct yourself in a manner fitting of a biased, embittered loser like myself.