2014/15: Sky Bet Championship Review – November 2014
Another International Break meant there were relatively few games played in the calendar month of November. Therefore, most sides found themselves jockeying for position ahead of the hectic Christmas period and the mid-way point of the marathon Championship season.
The latest Manager to hit the exit door was The Latics German number One Uwe Rosler, replaced by Scot Malky Mackay who is still fighting allegations of improper conduct a situation compounded by Wigan Chairman Dave Whelan’s explaining his appointment with all the tact of Alf Garnett, landing himself with an FA Charge. At least they can share a taxi to Gloucester Place and a takeaway on the journey home; I suggest neither Thai nor Chinese!
Seven of the bottom ten sides have now terminated the contracts of their chosen leader for the current campaign with Hyypia, Holloway and Evans looking over their shoulder at Brighton, Millwall and Rotherham respectively.
It’s a pleasure to report my own Club (Leeds United) completed a month without change, but then again had the Owner disqualified to ensure no semblance of stability is allowed to take root. This will ensure several more turbulent months and further expensive Legal battles for the benefit of nobody other than Rumpole of the Bailey.
The division is incredibly congested, Blackpool apart, but even they are not without hope and the immediate improvement of Bolton and Birmingham following new appointments will ensure others follow suit and teams in the top half can’t discount relegation approaching the New Year.
If anybody predicted Brentford, Bournemouth and Ipswich to be amongst the top four places in December they are lying! All three have enjoyed a fabulous month and will have designs on staying the distance and local Premier League derbies with QPR and Southampton respectively.
My own outside tip for the top Middlesbrough remain resolute and consistent and if Blackburn continue to have the luck afforded to them for much longer even the East Lancs rivalry could be resurrected in the top flight.
Many of the financial heavyweights in this league sit menacingly a few points and places behind stalking their prey waiting for signs of weakness, circling before likely flexing their muscles in the January transfer window. Wolves have regained that losing feeling they became accustomed to pre Kenny Jackett, Forest are firing again, Cardiff and Norwich are able to draw on their hugely expensive playing squads and will expect an improved second half of the season.
A short interlude from Championship chatter to bemoan the sighting of more hideous half-scarves, the latest is at the Chelsea versus Tottenham game and a worrying trend that needs stamping out of the game. Indeed, I witnessed Leeds and Charlton scarves with my own eyes for a midweek Championship fixture with 150 visiting supporters at best, but presumably all clamouring for a memento of this classic 2 -2 draw.
I’ve started to breathe again so back to the Review and honourable mention for the vast improving Fulham who have reverted to a home grown coach like many other in this division and are reaping the rewards.
I notice that Bolton are considering giving ex-Icelandic Trotter Eidur Gudjohnsen a contract at the ripe old age of 36 which made me wonder why? Surely, the opportunity should be given to an aspiring young British player rather than another foreigner looking for a last pay day. Hang on, if am not careful will be joining Malky, Dave and Massimo at FL Headquarters – then again would be a hell of a Taxi ride!
To sum up November, the Blues beat the Reds who beat the Greens who lose to the Whites who then lose to the Blues who had beaten the Reds and Brentford beat all of them!
As ever, don’t get carried away as a miserable defeat is just round the corner.