Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Npower Championship Season Preview : Play Off Final 2010 2011 Reading Swansea

Monday 30 May 2011
Wembley Stadium
London

 "There's no league like the Championship and you only have to look at the amount of money flying around and some of the players and managers involved this season to realise it's going to be another cracking season. It's probably the hardest league in the country to predict, which is what makes it so exciting for the fans and I can't see this campaign being any different. For a while it seemed to be the norm for the teams that came down from the Premier League to go straight back up again - but it was good to see QPR, Norwich and Swansea disprove that rule last season. They really bucked the trend and there's nothing to suggest that Birmingham City, Blackpool and West Ham are going to hove it all their own way this time round. 

Leicester are going to be very strong because they're the side with the financial muscle. Burnley are going to be there or thereabouts too because they've managed to keep the nucleus of the side that took them into the top flight a few seasons back and are adding to it intelligently. Leeds, under Simon Grayson, will be right up there again and Hull have a decent chance after stabilising their position last season. It's not an evidence for one moment that Blackpool are going to struggle on their return to the Championship. They've lost a couple of key players, though, and it's going to be very interesting to see how Ian Holloway adapts and who he brings in to replace them. There are some big managerial names in the Championship this season. Sam Allardyce has knows how to win games. He's a winner and could be just what West Ham need this season - his side will be well organised and they'll know how to finish games off. They'll be a big threat this season, along with Chris Hughton's Birmingham who will need to roll their sleeves up and start winning Football matches again. Steve McClaren's appointment as boss at Nottingham Forest could prove a masterstroke. He has worked under the best manager in the world in Sir Alex Ferguson and he knows his trade - it's a great club and they'll be knocking on the promotion door this season.

Cardiff and Reading both missed out in the play-offs last season but from personal experience that failure often spurs you on. Reading have a great footballing side and Cardiff have got a terrific squad. Ifthey can keep hold of their key players then Malkay Mackay can push them on to the next level. Portsmouth had such a small squad that they were always going to struggle when they picked up a few injuries last season. It was important that they established themselves in the Championship and now Steve Cotterill is adding to the squad they could be a threat. In the Championship the margins are so slim that any side that gets on a run could put themselves in contention and Middlesbrough and Ipswich are two teams that are well capable of breaking into that top 10 and pushing for the final play-off place. Derby are another although the worrying thing is that they've been near the bottom of the table For the last few seasons and it looks like they're trying to bring in a whole new squad of players can Nigel Clough bed them in quickly? If not then they could be struggling once again.

The gap between League One and the Championship is closing very quickly and the teams that do get promoted are generally more than capable of playing at the higher level. I think well see that again this season, Southampton have got a very good side and some really exciting talented players going forward. Further along the south coast, Gus Poyet has done a terrific job at Brighton; they're going into that new stadium and his side play some beautiful football. They'll be very tough to beat, particularly at home and if they can keep that going on the rood then who knows? Peterborough had a fantastic run to the play-off final last year and beat a very strong Huddersfield side to get here and I reckon all three hove the potential to do hold their own, as the likes of Leeds, Millwall and, of course, Norwich did last time out. Safety in the Championship is the best that Bristol City and Millwall can hope for and when it comes to potential struggles then there are big question marks over Barnsley - who have struggled for a while - and Crystal Palace who will have difficulties turning their fortunes around. Let see Watford with Mackay going, and it might be difficult for Sean Dyche to step up and get the best out of these youngsters the woay Mackay did. A couple of seasons ago Doncaster were really flying too but they struggled a bit last term and haven't really strengthened that squad too much, oventry can be joining them in a relegation fight; I don't think they've got enough quality to start bottling for a lace up top. It will be hard for any club to run away with the top prize in the same way that Queens Park Rangers did last season but probably West Ham and Birmingham City will go straight back up to the Premier League at the first time of asking. As for the play-offs go for Leicester, Nottingham Forest, Leeds and Blackpool. Whatever happens. " it's going to be close."


Codec H264, Mkv
Bitrate 1200
Sound 128kps
English Comments
Pass : thewildbunch22
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