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Championship rivals thread 2017/18

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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by NARLA24 on Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:06 am

Leeds the ones to watch for me. Looking like a very good team as are Cardiff.
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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by The Utterer on Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:28 am

I agree Narla, Leeds have continued their upward curve from last season and are surely the biggest threat, Cardiff are strong although surely Brentford will now drop off after moving home to Birmingham to become Brentminger city.
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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by AstonThriller on Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:33 am

LOL the meltdown from the Wolves lot on deadline day after they failed to get a striker was absolutely legendary Laughing . And I think that right there underlined the difference between their owners and Xia. They pretty much put all of their eggs in the Jorge Mendes basket, while Xia has let his managers get who they want. Now don't get me wrong, Mendes has bought some very decent players and has even got them a manager. But the fact he seems to be only concerned about getting his struggling, young prospects in the shop window, rather than Wolve's long term prospects. Costa was a Benfica reserve, Neves and Boly was on the bench at Porto, Jota was barely playing at Atletico etc. Then they supplemented that by getting in a few British freebies like Ruddy and Bennett. One can admire them for having a clear strategy, but it could all be in vain after they contrived to leave themselves well short in the area that matters most, and that's someone who puts the ball in the back of the net. Let me add that maybe "FFP" is starting to bite them in the backside at last?

As for the other rivals. Folks are talking about Leeds and now doubt they have started well. I saw people on twitter say "why can't we sign gems like Leeds have?" Well, let me educate a few people about Leeds. Firstly their coaching staff is about 99% Spanish, their director of football is Spanish, their director strategy is Spanish, their head of recruitment is Spanish and so are their main scouts. So their philosophy is very European and this is why they've signed up the likes of Saiz and Alioski. Who were very decent gems playing in weak leagues. Leeds look tidy but what made the difference last season is Wood was scoring nearly every week. And I think over the course of the season they'll begin to really miss that. They've played Bolton, Forest, Sunderland, Preston and Fulham thus far. They beat the first three away from home but drew 0-0 with the latter two at home. So that might be an indication that they are primarily a counter attacking team and find it hard to break down sides at home. Infact, reports suggest both Preston and Fulham could have won those games at Ellend Road. So it will be interesting to see what happens with them.

Fulham were strongly linked with Jota and Gayle a day before the window shut and tbh I'm thankful that they failed with those bids. Because if they'd gotten those two then they would have been a very serious threat this season. In the end, they may have kept the core of their side from last season but they've sold Aluko and brought in a winger on a free and Jordan Graham on loan. I don't think they've improved at all tbh.

Boro tried to get Jota themselves but failed. Which is good for us. They brought in some league one winger, Shotton from Blues and managed to keep Gibson. It's not been a bad window for them at all but I still wonder where the creative spark is gonna come from in the midfield? Lewis Baker has scored goals from midfield in Holland and I'm sure he'll chip in with a few, but he's no "number ten" type. Thus far they've been terrible away so we'll see how they go in the next few months.

Reading brought in Aluko, Bacuna and Edwards to name a few. Those seem like cheap, uninspiring signings to me but then Aluko got a fair few goals and assists for Fulham last season and though the Wolves lot didn't like him, Edwards scored ten goals last season ffs. So they may end up being solid signings and Stam has a way of molding everything together so we'll see how it goes.

The mess that is Nowrich got in Grant Hanley late in an effort to shore up that leaking backline. Not sure that will happen though as apparently Hanley has been very poor at Newcastle and was ripped about by Forest in the carling cup the other day. Other than that they managed to keep Oliviara and Murphy at least. Plus Pritchard should soon be back which will be a massive bonus for them. Just not sure their manager can cut it tbh.

Hull have had a very solid window tbh. Perhaps one of the very best of the teams in this league. Toral and Ervine will bring goals and creativity to their midfield even though they lost Clucus. Then they snapped up Dicko from Wolves and another defender from Chelsea on loan. They've lost Hernandes for most of this season though so that's bound to hurt.

Sheff Wed , like Fulham, have kept most of the core of their side from last season which I guess is a good thing when you consider they've made the playoffs two years on the spin. And along with us, and Boro, they have the most strength in depth when it comes to their strikers. They usually take a while to get going so we'll have to keep an eye on them.

Sunderland have basically closed up shop tbh. Their owner isn't interested in making a push in the market and is pretty much relying on Grayson to possibly sneak them into the playoffs with his organizational and man management skills. They did bring in a few cheap signings and loans like Mccmanaman, Williams and Wilson. Plus they kept Ndong which is good for them I guess.

Derby had an ok window. Huddlestone and Lawrence are good signings. And at the end they've signed up Winnal from Wednesday to add to their striker options. I still think selling Ince and Hughes will come back to bite them though.

Brentford were seen as dark horses for this season, but they've been taken apart by the noses down the road SMH. They usually have a good record in the market but they'll probably have to tread water until January now. And speaking of the noses, Jota, Gallagher and Boga could end up being very decent signings tbh!!!..and Harry is no mug. But having seen them getting ripped apart by Burton recently, not sure this will be enough to mount a serious challenge. They'll beat some of the better teams though because the three I mentioned above will cause problems for teams imo.

All in all, Bruce cannot have any complaints. Man for man we've got the best squad in this division imo. It's packed full of internationals, premiership experience, and top, young, prospects. We've got the best set of strikers in the league with three of them scoring 15 or above in this league before, a defense full of experience and many international caps, midfield options who are defensive, box to box, goalscoring and creative etc. What excuse do we have now? Whelan, Terry, Elmo, Snoddy and Onomah ALL played in the Premiership last season, so there simply should be none at all. COME ON VILLA!! Scarf Waving .
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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by AstonThriller on Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:05 pm

Just looked at the results of the teams who were promoted last season and found some interesting stats.

1. Brighton's first six games? Two wins, two draws and two defeats. Which would be the same as us if we win on Saturday. Although tbf Brighton then went eighteen games unbeaten after this (winning fourteen).

2. Newcastle had three great runs in the season. Won five games in a row after losing the first two games. Then won eight in a row after drawing with us, and lastly they won eleven out of seventeen in the middle of the season too.

3. Reading's best run of wins was five in a row, but they often won two to three games in a row quite a few times which all added up in the end. Ten away wins was also impressive.

4. Huddersfield had three big runs of wins. Won five in a row twice and four in a row once. Then chipped away with the odd win or two here and there.

5. Sheffield Wednesday won four and six in a row at one time and then fitted that in with winning two in a row a couple of times and one time they won three in a row aswell.

6. Fulham had a run of winning seven in twelve and six in eight. And much like Sheff Wed, they put on an impressive run towards the end of the season.

So the clear pattern is we've got to be able to put together three or four runs where we win four or more games on the spin. We have to win 22 to 28 games this season if we want a chance of promotion, it's that simple.
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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by achilles on Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:30 pm

The first winning run starts this month! Dancing Banana
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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by deadbuzzardalive on Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:11 pm

Sunderland appear to be in a mess, concede five tonight, and are in the relegation zone, also rumours of administration. I really thought Grayson would do well, in the sense that he'd have them mid table at least, with an outside chance of the play-offs.

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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by achilles on Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:50 pm

deadbuzzardalive wrote:Sunderland appear to be in a mess, concede five tonight, and are in the relegation zone, also rumours of administration. I really thought Grayson would do well, in the sense that he'd have them mid table at least, with an outside chance of the play-offs.

Basically no money has been released for players so I guess morale is pretty low and as we have found out ourselves it is very hard to get out of this downward spiral once entrenched in it!
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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by De Kuip on Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:45 pm

achilles wrote:
deadbuzzardalive wrote:Sunderland appear to be in a mess, concede five tonight, and are in the relegation zone, also rumours of administration. I really thought Grayson would do well, in the sense that he'd have them mid table at least, with an outside chance of the play-offs.

Basically no money has been released for players so I guess morale is pretty low and as we have found out ourselves it is very hard to get out of this downward spiral once entrenched in it!

Apparently they were shocking as well, the 2 they scored flattered them. I saw a sunderland forum who scored virtually all of their players no more than 1 out of ten, only McGeady got rated higher. Of course you've got the bar codes crowing all over the forums, but then again I suppose so would we if it was the snotnoses. I feel sad for Sunderland as my gran was from Roker and my nan from county Durham, so pretty sad to see the black cats in dire straits.
Tell you what though, I'm hoping this thread starts to discuss the top 6 or 7 as our rivals and not the bottom 6 or 7 as could have been the case had things not taken an upturn.
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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by VillaBill on Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:24 pm

I watched Cardiff v Leeds last night & Cardiff really impressed me, their first & especially their third goals were class
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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by De Kuip on Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:17 pm

VillaBill wrote:I watched Cardiff v Leeds last night & Cardiff really impressed me, their first & especially their third goals were class

Yeah I've got to be honest I keep expecting them to mess up but I think they are probably not going to. Shame as I fecking dispise Warnock.
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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by deadbuzzardalive on Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:21 pm

Wolves losing, if it stays that way, we'll have closed the gap on them to four points; they've got a tricky game away to Burton on Saturday as well.

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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by De Kuip on Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:31 am

Looking at the fixture dates I'm assuming there's another poxy international break between the Bolton game and the dog heads which I think is a disadvantage to us given our momentum. I can't stand international football at the best of times but I really resent it now. October is a much tougher proposition than September for different reasons, only 3 games but 1 is against wolves away, then Fulham at home then the mongs at the sty. We come through October unbeaten and I'll be a very happy bunny.
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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by achilles on Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:15 am

October will prove if our improvement is real and sustainable! Scarf Waving
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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by AstonThriller on Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:54 am

Alright lads

LOL I see "Benfica Wanderers" messed up last night? I guess it doesn't matter though as apparently, "they've already won the league" Very Happy . Word is Neves and Jota were shocking. And the doghead fans are already saying "they need a break". So if that is true then how on earth are they gonna cope in the winter months when the games come thick and fast?

Leeds messed up again which was nice to see. When a team allows them to knock it around they do look decent. But when a side really gets in their faces, like Millwall and Cardiff did, then they have fallen apart. That's something to take note of when we play them.

Reading and Sheff Wed continue to struggle. There's still plenty of time to get back into things but I think Sheff Wed may have just run out of ideas this season after two great runs over the last two years. Whilst Reading leave a lot to be desired tbh. I look at their first eleven and really wonder how Staam ever got a tune out of them in the first place.

Cardiff and Sheff Utd are certainly playing with a lot of confidence and cannot be taken lightly after what Huddersfield did last term. But I'm just not sure either have the squad depth to see the job through tbh. Especially Utd. The teams who have impressed me so far are Preston and Bristol. They have settled sides and are nicking win after win these days. I was shocked to see Preston have only let is FOUR goals thus far!!!..bloody excellent that is. And their manager has a promotion under his belt, and is guiding a side who was decent last season too.

Also have to keep a close eye on Fulham and Norwich. Norwich started off poorly but the bloke has found his mojo just like Steve has got us. Winning at Boro and Sheff Utd over the last few weeks look like very good results indeed. And as for Boro. Buying all them strikers had people wetting themselves over them. But still their goalscoring woes continue. And why? Because like us last season they packed the striker department and neglected the creativity stock. So it wouldn't surprise me to see them not make the top six tbh.

All in all we're doing alright. We MUST make another move forward on Saturday though if we have any intentions of really making this good run count come May.
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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by De Kuip on Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:18 pm

Wed. July 26th 2017
De Kuip wrote:I'd have to add Sheff U to that list as I think they'll carry on last season's momentum.

I forecast Sheff U would do well and they are proving to be pretty successful in the Championship so far, look a really strong set up. I'm hoping they will falter at some time but not so far.

There's enough competition from the established Championship sides, let alone upstarts from L1!
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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by achilles on Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:00 pm

The good thing is that this season no two teams stand out so it is a lot more open, therefore the two automatic spots are definitely up for grabs.
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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by AstonThriller on Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:47 pm

achilles wrote:The good thing is that this season no two teams stand out so it is a lot more open, therefore the two automatic spots are definitely up for grabs.  

We'll see how we do over the next four games. But if we get out of it with three or all four wins? Then I think we'd be on the verge of creating separation amongst ourselves and the others tbh. Early days and just a dream right now, but the way we've played in this 442 system makes me start to think we might be onto something special.
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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by Villa_Dan on Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:38 pm

If we get 7 points from October then I might start letting myself get excited
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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by Boldfinger on Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:11 pm

Villa_Dan wrote:If we get 7 points from October then I might start letting myself get excited
If we get 7 points from October I might let you get me excited
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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by De Kuip on Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:32 am

Sheff. Wed tonking leeds 3-0 is good for us, one of the early form teams starting to falter and Leeds still only 1 point in front of us. Would like Ipswich to lose that game in hand and that would leave us really in contention with top 4-6.
Problem is I still remain unconvinced we're close to Wolves/cardiff standard, much as it pains me to admit. Still, another result went our way so happy with that. If we have ambitions for promotion it's not just about putting wins together, it's also about beating rivals, so anything less than a draw with the dog heads will leave us quite a way behind them.
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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by Joppe84 on Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:18 am

De Kuip wrote:
VillaBill wrote:I watched Cardiff v Leeds last night & Cardiff really impressed me, their first & especially their third goals were class

Yeah I've got to be honest I keep expecting them to mess up but I think they are probably not going to. Shame as I fecking dispise Warnock.

They will. All teams will enter a rough patch, the question is really how long it lasts. Cardiff and Wolves haven't had theirs yet. We can only hope we are done with ours.

The championship season is a bloody long thing.
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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by De Kuip on Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:12 pm

Joppe84 wrote:
De Kuip wrote:
VillaBill wrote:I watched Cardiff v Leeds last night & Cardiff really impressed me, their first & especially their third goals were class

Yeah I've got to be honest I keep expecting them to mess up but I think they are probably not going to. Shame as I fecking dispise Warnock.

They will. All teams will enter a rough patch, the question is really how long it lasts. Cardiff and Wolves haven't had theirs yet. We can only hope we are done with ours.

The championship season is a bloody long thing.

I know I shouldn't base so much of my judgement on one game but I really do believe that Wolves is the litmus test for our progression or otherwise. Get a good result against them and i might allow myself to believe we could do something this season.
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Re: Championship rivals thread 2017/18

Post by DelboyVilla on Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:31 am

De Kuip wrote:
Joppe84 wrote:
De Kuip wrote:
VillaBill wrote:I watched Cardiff v Leeds last night & Cardiff really impressed me, their first & especially their third goals were class

Yeah I've got to be honest I keep expecting them to mess up but I think they are probably not going to. Shame as I fecking dispise Warnock.

They will. All teams will enter a rough patch, the question is really how long it lasts. Cardiff and Wolves haven't had theirs yet. We can only hope we are done with ours.

The championship season is a bloody long thing.

I know I shouldn't base so much of my judgement on one game but I really do believe that Wolves is the litmus test for our progression or otherwise. Get a good result against them and i might allow myself to believe we could do something this season.

I have a worrying feeling that Potato Head will get the shits and change to 5 at the back again for this game and wreck our chances of a win! I hope I am wrong!

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