Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Christian Brown’s npower Championship 2011/12 Preview - Part Two

The Football Front’s Christian Brown in a three feature takes a look at the chances of the team’s in the npower Championship.

This is part two of the npower Championship preview – Part one can be found here.

Crystal Palace – 2010/11 finish: 20th

Last season started with so much optimism for Palace; George Burley started the season in charge, Nathaniel Clyne was still there and even Edgar Davids signed at one point. But, it came so close to tears as Palace very nearly went down. Under the guidance of former player Dougie Freedman they won’t be going down this season. Key additions such as Glenn Murray and Jonathan Parr will improve the team. Whilst retaining crucial players like Julian Speroni will ensure relegation doesn’t’ happen. It’s clear the club do not have enough to challenge for promotion, following their financial crisis suffered and the relegation battle last year. But most Palace fans will happily settle for a mid-table place - which is exactly what they should achieve. Position – 16th

Derby County – 2010/11 finish: 19th

After the complete write off last season, this summer started with so much hope. New signings were ade, money was actually spent by Mr Clough. But then pre-season started. Draws against Morecambe and Macclesfield occurred, before embarrassingly losing to Matlock Town, and then 2-1 against Crewe with arguably The Rams’ best team out and being a goal up. Clough’s dilly dallying in the window has caused targets to move elsewhere or stay put, and when the owner is saying how “Derby will finish top 6”, you do fear for Clough’s job security. Average additions to an already average squad will not get Derby to the top 6, so after this season it will be goodbye and farewell to Mr Nigel Clough. Position – 19th

Doncaster Rovers – 2010/11 finish: 21st

In terms of injuries, no-one in arguably the whole of the Football League had it as bad as Doncaster Rovers. How they survived last season was an absolute miracle. Speculation over Sean O’Driscoll’s job was unfairly increasing, but as John Ryan said – “we will never have an injury crisis this bad ever again in the history of the club.” Keeping hold of players like Billy Sharp and James Coppinger have been crucial, whilst also acquiring the services of Tommy Spurr from rivals Sheffield Wednesday, will tighten things up at the back. In terms of league position, their team is in no state to challenge, but they will stay up rather comfortably. Position – 17th

Hull City – 2010/11 finish: 11th

Hull City will be a very strange tiger this season. At one point last season they were in the hunt for the 6th play off place, but Middlesbrough put an end to that with a 4-1 thumping at The KC Stadium. However, from all the signings they’ve currently brought in during the close season, only Jack Hobbs and Adriano Basso would seem players that could maybe piece together a play off charge. Paul McKenna and Dele Adebola are experienced yes, but a combined age of 69? No-one knows what to expect from this Hull team, which could well work in their favour. With a strong squad already in place though, this should be another productive season. Position – 10th

Ipswich Town – 2010/11 finish: 13th

After so much expectation last year, it was perhaps inevitable Ipswich were going to fail. This season there is more expectation, but with good reason. With Paul Jewell at the helm and with five quality additions brought into the club (Michael Chorpra, David Stockdale, Lee Bowyer, Jay Emmanuel Thomas and Nathan Ellington), this could well be the season Ipswich achieve the targets set by the club’s hierarchy and the impatient fans. The players already in the squad are hardly from the footballing scrapheap, so with the new men in place they’ll definitely be good enough to mount a charge, and that is exactly what they’ll do. Position – 4th

Leeds United – 2010/11 finish: 7th

What is going on at Leeds? First they lose both holding midfielders Bradley Johnson and Neil Kilkenny on frees, then they force their goalkeeper out before bringing in a sub standard replacement in comparison to Schmeichel, and then to top it off, 2 of their best strikers get injured (Becchio and Somma)! With Premier League eyes keenly fixed on both Max Gradel and Robert Snodgrass, if Leeds aren’t careful, they could be back where they came from. Losing Schmeichel is a monumental blow, as he won the club so many points on his own last. New keeper, Longeran will not do the same. Position – 13th

Leicester City – 2010/11 finish: 10th

The Foxes aren’t high up on every other Championship club’s Christmas card list at this current moment in time. Last season, they got a load of Premier League loans in. This season they’ve bought a whole new team, spending ludicrous fees and paying out ridiculous wages in the process. For example; Matt Mills cost them £5.5 million, and Paul Konchesky is on 40k a week. Unfortunately for football purists, money does talk; and talks a lot in this league. Leicester will get promoted, especially so under Sven’s guidance – but they still don’t have the required strength to win the league outright. A lot of people will be hoping Leicester fall flat, but you can’t see it. Position – 2nd

Middlesbrough – 2010/11 finish: 12th

Last season, Middlesbrough were expected to walk the league. Kris Boyd signed, and he was expected to score 20+ and help steer Boro back to the top flight. None of this happened, and they even had a patch where they were looking over their shoulders constantly, as they were fighting against the relegation trapdoor. Tony Mowbray then came in, and a storming finale ensured they finished a respectable 12th. They should have been allowed to build on this finish, but financial problems have meant that they have to sell, rather than buy. Mowbray will have to work wonders to get a top 6 finish, and that just won’t happen. Position – 11th

Part One is available here

The final and third part will be available on Wednesday 3rd August

This piece was written by Christian Brown, you can follow him on his Twitter - @Chris78901, Chris also writes for The Sports Pallet too. All of Chris' work is on his blog, 1-chris78901.



Things you may like to read

Christian Brown’s nPower Championship Review 2011/2012 – Part One

The Championship. Is it more competitive than ever before?

Matt Bruce’s npower League Two 2011/12 Review – Part One

1 comment:

  1. "Losing Schmeichel is a monumental blow, as he won the club so many points on his own last."

    Sorry, you're getting 2011 confused with 1999, Leeds United with Manchester United and Kasper Schmeichel with Peter Schmeichel.

    KS was shite. And as for classifying deep-lying powderpuff Neil "Don't Hurt Me!" Kilkenny as a holding midfielder?

    Did you see Leeds last year?

    ReplyDelete

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