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Championship rivals thread

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Championship rivals thread

Post by AstonThriller on Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:30 pm

Just thought I'd start a thread where we could speak a little about our rivals this season and how we're doing in comparison.

Newcastle have had a nightmare start haven't they? By all accounts Huddersfield fully deserved the win aswell. Early doors yet but word is Gayle upfront alone is struggling and they are struggling to create chances. Their central defence is incredibly young too which I think is a weak area for them.

Derby have also not started well at all. A bore draw on the first day and a defeat at Barnsley today puts them under pressure ahead of the midweek games.

Wolves have had a fairly good start it has to be said. They are riding a wave of new enthusiasm with their new owners, new managers and some new players but when the novelty wears off they currently have a poor squad in comparison to the main challengers imo so it will be interesting to see who else they buy.

Brighton look like they've started how they finished last season. With extra quality in the league though I can't see them having as good a season as last but I suspect they'll be up there.

Norwich and Sheff Wed getting a draw today was a good result as we don't want neither of them getting away from the pack and opening up a gap.

All in all it's been an interesting start to the season and I see many ups and downs along the way. Ultimately though squad depth and squad quality should will probably come to the fore when it's crunch time. That's why it's important we keep strengthening the squad between now and September 1st.


Last edited by AstonThriller on Sun Aug 14, 2016 4:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by Trotters on Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:12 pm

@Villa_Dan has a colleague at work who said Newcastle would go tbe entire undefeated. Surely he can't show his face anymore!  

My best mate is a Norwich fan so I'm pleased for him but the sooner we put all this lot behind us, the better.
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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by Villa_Dan on Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:30 pm

@Trotters wrote:@Villa_Dan has a colleague at work who said Newcastle would go tbe entire undefeated. Surely he can't show his face anymore!  

My best mate is a Norwich fan so I'm pleased for him but the sooner we put all this lot behind us, the better.

Oh he will show his face. He hasn't got a choice!!
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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by Trotters on Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:50 pm

Can you video it? Laughing
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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by VTID85 on Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:08 am

Derby were away at Barnsley, not Brentford. A minor point, but could alter the analysis slightly.

In their first 5 games last season, Derby only took 4 points. Draws with Bolton (0-0 opening day), Charlton, Middlesbrough, Brum and then losing to Leeds 1-2 at home. They finished 5th in the end with 78 points.

My point is, in my experience living in Derby with in-laws who are all DCFC supporters (well, those that follow football anyway) it often takes the first month for the Championship to settle down. For Burnley the eventual winners, they went 3 games before chalking a win and Wednesday won on the opening day but not again until 19th September when they beat Fulham 3-2.
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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by DelboyVilla on Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:39 am

Still early but we are building a squad to score many and concede very few?

Sounds like a good plan to me!

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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by Trotters on Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:46 am

Rotherham looked decidedly shit in the minute and a half of highlights I've seen but didn't they have a rather successful last half dozen games at the end of last season?
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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by DelboyVilla on Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:56 am

@Trotters wrote:Rotherham looked decidedly shit in the minute and a half of highlights I've seen but didn't they have a rather successful last half dozen games at the end of last season?

You can only beat what's in front of you Trotts?

And luckily there are a few Rotherham standard teams in this league?

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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by Trotters on Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:03 pm

Oh I'm happy for the confidence boost no matter where it comes from. But I was wondering if Rotherham are as shit as we think or did our lads actually do rather bloody well for once?


Last edited by Trotters on Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by Saunders82 on Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:44 pm

@Trotters wrote:Oh I'm happy for the confidence boost no matter where it comes from. But I was wondering if Rotherham are as shit as we think or did our lads actually do rather bloody well for once?

I would like to think we were on the money, starting to impress ourselves on the opposition no matter how good or bad they are. Dancing Banana Dancing Banana
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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by AstonThriller on Sun Aug 14, 2016 5:05 pm

One team that I think we should keep an eye on is QPR. They've got a tidy little team there and Hasslebaink, after struggling when he first arrived there, seems to be getting his message across finally. Beat Leeds 3-0 on the first day and have beaten Cardiff away too so it's been a good start for them.

Another thing to note is Newcastle's start. Fulham away, Huddersfield at home, and their next two games are Reading at home and Bristol City away. Surely you couldn't have asked for a better start considering last season Reading finished 17th, Bristol finished 18th, Huddersfield finished 19th and Fulham 20th.

The real test for Newcastle will be after they play Bristol. They have Brighton at home, Derby away, QPR away, Wolves at home, Villa away and Norwich at home. So they pretty much play four teams in that pack who could be in the play-off/promotion places come the end of the season. Gonna be really interesting to see how they deal with this run and whether their team will have clicked by then.
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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by Villa_Dan on Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:29 pm

@Trotters wrote:@Villa_Dan has a colleague at work who said Newcastle would go tbe entire undefeated. Surely he can't show his face anymore!  

In case anyone is wondering - this weekend Newcastle lost, his Sunday league team lost, and he finished it bottom of our work fantasy footy league.

In his words "the worst footballing weekend of my life"
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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by Trotters on Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:34 pm

The worst footballing weekend of his life....SO FAR!
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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by AstonThriller on Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:56 pm

So four games in what are we thinking about our rivals? Newcastle have finally got their act together which tbh was always gonna happen. Their defence is still vulnerable by all accounts though and you get the feeling they will be relying on Gayle to get the majority of the goals. No surprise but what if he gets injured? They've also had one of the easiest starts out of the main challengers. Fulham, Huddersfield, Reading and Bristol City all finished in the bottom half last season although granted Fulham and Huddersfield have had great starts this season.

I was happy Brighton dropped points yesterday because they worry me tbh. They have a very settled side who know exactly what they need to do this season. Knockhart and Murray are scoring goals for fun aswell but you always get the sense they might drop points when you least expect them to.

With what happened with Leicester last season we have to take teams seriously but I'd be extremely surprised if both Fulham and Huddersfield keep up these results. This is a marathon and once teams start getting used to their styles and the pressure builds I think both will drop off.

Wolves is another that could be a worry but I think it's more early enthusiasm because of the new manager/owner than anything else. They are letting in silly goals and aren't really splashing the cash that much despite all the rumours.

Wednesday are falling apart a little since Forrestieri kicked up a fuss. They don't have a big squad either so are struggling in defence.

QPR have gone backwards since their first two wins but still expect them to be around the top half.

And just now Norwich have drawn with Ipswich and look like they are lacking a cutting edge upfront.

And lastly we saw Derby yesterday and they looked poor. Solid defensively but are struggling to score goals and it looks like Pearson hasn't implemented his style on them yet.

So all in all none of the teams you'd expect to be challenging after Christmas have gotten away from us. We just need to keep chipping away and hopefully our luck will change.
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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by De Kuip on Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:16 pm

Good post.
I've said on a couple of occasions recently that a factor in this division is that everyone is taking points off everyone else. No one even got to 9 points after 3 games which I thought was pretty incredible. I think the barcodes will be a threat and i can't remember without checking when we play them;  but the later the better to give us time to gel and work to RDM'S gameplans. Agree Brighton are a threat but honestly apart from those 2 I don't think that this division is particularly strong;, well certainly not from the point of view of one or 2 teams building an unassailable lead, although as i said,  there's always the potential of dropped points in any game.
If we do get a couple more key signings and don't make the play offs it will be a failure season for me. I know that sounds spoiled but I mean it in the context of who we've signed/will sign. Under a different regime If they'd said there isn't the money/we'll have to rebuild slowly over a couple of seasons I'd have accepted that.  Given Xia''s approach and willingness to open his checkbook I think we have to go up first attempt and I think we will.
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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by Trotters on Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:35 pm

Norwich don't take their chances. If they took even a few they'd win the league but it seems to be a trait they've had for a while. Not unlike us really.

It's a much poorer standard obviously but it's a lot more interesting! And if it is a case where everyone e takes points off everyone then win-at-home-draw-away kind of consistency will see us finish top.

And despite the slightly pedestrian performances so far, I honestly don't think we're too far off having a squad that can come close to the kind of form needed to win the league. Obviously that'll require a creative mid and a striker who are probably prem quality.

Without them though, we're in the mix like everyone else and it'll be a lottery.

Great post, @AstonThriller
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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by AstonThriller on Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:06 pm

Cheers lads

For me right now the encouraging thing is our defence. Looking at all four games the first one we looked a little vulnerable but still only conceded due to an unlucky goal. The second game Rotherham never really had a chance. Then we had the Huddersfield game and their goal was a complete fluke.

So when you add in the clean sheet at Derby the truth is we haven't actually been "broken down" yet.

A tight defence can be just as crucial as being free scoring. Boro got promotion by letting in only 31 goals last season, Burnley and Hull let in 35 respectively while Brighton, Wednesday and Derby let in over 40 goals each.

Our first and most important aim MUST be to secure a play-off spot. So as long as we're either in it or around the those eighth, ninth or tenth positions going into January then we can look at possibly making another push in the market. Hopefully we're much higher than that though and I suspect we will be. Going on a long, unbeaten run would be great right now. We've already played two of the toughest fixtures we'll face this season it's been a nice, steady start.
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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by De Kuip on Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:43 pm

Did not expect Burton to beat Derby - I bet the Brewer's fans loved that!
And yet another example of points dropped by a supposed top championship club. I'm telling you, this league's for the taking for any team who puts a consistent run of wins together.
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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by BillytheKid on Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:01 pm

Burton especially at there place will be like playing Luton and other newly promoted smaller clubs to the Premiership over the past decade, your spot on DK this league is there for the taking with winning runs, trouble is that won't be easy.
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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by AstonThriller on Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:40 am

Well over the weekend results probably went our way a little.

Newcastle won but at least Brighton lost a game finally. Newcastle are showing good form which is worrying but tbh watching them play they wasn't that impressive and Brighton were on top until they went down to ten men.

Wolves lost their first match aswell and so did Norwich. Huddersfield continue to defy the odds and must be respected but they'll need to be up there at Christmas to turn me into a believer I think. QPR and Forest continue to sneak up there themselves so we'll have to keep an eye on them.

After this break we MUST get our act together before the gap becomes too much between us and the top two.


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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by DelboyVilla on Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:08 am

@AstonThriller wrote:Well over the weekend results probably went our way a little.

Newcastle won but at least Brighton last a game finally. Newcastle are showing good form which is worrying but tbh watching them play they wasn't that impressive and Brighton were on top until they went down to ten men.

Wolves lost their first match aswell and so did Norwich. Huddersfield continue to defy the odds and must be respected but they'll need to be up there at Christmas to turn me into a believer I think. QPR and Forest continue to sneak up there themselves so we'll have to keep an eye on them.

After this break we MUST get our act together before the gap becomes too much between us and the top two.

Spot on AT.

Get the fitness levels up to where they should be and get a run of good results going. We will soon catch up!

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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by AstonThriller on Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:23 pm

Fulham have been very sneaky in this window. Signed an Iceland international centre-back, Got Stefan Johanson from Celtic who can score and create goals from the middle of the park and they also signed Chris Martin from Derby, a proven championship striker. And to rub salt in the wound they also nicked Lucas Piazon on loan too. Who is a creative midfielder and can score goals.

Plus their manager knows how to get a team promoted as he done it with Watford already. They've had a very good start and if there's a dark horse in this division then I tell you I wouldn't look past these lot. Especially when the pressure won't be as great on them as it is on us and Newcastle.
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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by AstonThriller on Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:28 pm

So today's results were up and down I'd say.

Huddersfield continued their good form with a good win at Leeds, but I still believe they'll eventually run out of steam come Christmas. Barnsley are surprising everyone and won their fourth game of the season. QPR couldn't beat bottom of the table Blackburn which is a good result for us. Another good result for us was Brighton's surprise defeat to Brentford and tbh the West London club have snuck up the table themselves of late. Wolves also slipped up at the last minute too which was good.

Now to the not so good results. Norwich won again against Cardiff. Sheff Wed got their second win of the season and Newcastle won their fourth game in a row with a win against Derby who haven't lived up to the hype this season.

So it was a mixed bag really and the funny thing is some idiots are starting to panic already "oh tomorrow is must win or we're finished"...LOL just ridiculous Very Happy .

This is a MARATHON...we've got to keep reminding ourselves of this. We've got the talent, arguably the the best squad in the division, so imo it's only a matter of time before we start to flex our muscles.


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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by Saunders82 on Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:55 pm

@AstonThriller yep too true, but if we can do it soon ie tomorrow and follow it up in the week THEN we will all feel a lot better, we don't want to give them all a head start.
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Re: Championship rivals thread

Post by Jae1411 on Sat Sep 10, 2016 9:13 pm

Derby look shite. If we can't beat them then we have a problem........ Oh wait

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