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Luseth

EFL Championship 2018/19 - All aboard the rollercoaster

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I might as well get a new thread kicked off as no one else has done it. Maybe it's because everyone's left the championship for greater heights! That or because no one is allowed to sign anyone at present....

 

I'll start with the final post from last seasons thread in that football highlights for this season will no longer be on channel 5 but on Quest TV (It's going to take me the next few weeks figuring out what channel number it's on!) Anyway the intention is for them to have a 90 min show every Saturday at 9pm (so it might be tough luck for anyone waiting patiently for the Sunday games, you will have to just go and find them on youtube or something!)

 

I think odds are down for top 3 places looking like the below at present -

 

Stoke

Middlesborough

West Brom

 

Though I wouldn't write off a sneaky Nottingham Forest title win this season.

 

From what I can tell it's been a quiet transfer window for most clubs as I think half the league are under a transfer embargo of some sort or other but as ever I'm expecting it to be a season full of surprises and to be close at both ends of the table, I don't see anyone running away like Wolves did this time around.

 

As for us Birmingham fans, we don't know how our season will go or even if Monk will still be here come Christmas. He's still waiting for some money to spend (which ffp and all that).

 

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I would say Stoke have the best squad on paper, but it will be interesting to see if Gary Rowett really is all that.  He's done a bit of a Paul Lambert / Owen Coyle in previous jobs and kind of moved on very quickly before things hit the fan.

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35 minutes ago, Plissken said:

I would say Stoke have the best squad on paper, but it will be interesting to see if Gary Rowett really is all that.  He's done a bit of a Paul Lambert / Owen Coyle in previous jobs and kind of moved on very quickly before things hit the fan.

 

Yup.

 

I do wonder if Rowett's not all that (admittedly we loved him whilst he was at the Blues). But can he stick a job out and do it until the end.

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I'm going to enjoy watching the Championship as a neutral!!  It's always such a tough league to predict.  I have to make Stoke favourites - they've kept some players I was convinced would leave and have added some good quality - obviously I know a lot about Afobe and at this level he'll score plenty.  Good signing.  However, signing shitehawks like James McClean and Ashley Williams isn't ideal.

 

Otherwise, a few thoughts:

 

Middlesbrough - think they'll do well as Pulis will instill his putrid brand of nonsense into his squad in his first full season.  I think it'll be effective, unfortunately (I have nothing against Middlesbrough - I just don't want Pulisball stinking out the PL again!!)

 

Brentford - I'd really like them to do well because every time I see them play, they try and get the ball on the floor and play attractive football.  They were a bit naive in certain fixtures last season so I hope they can gain some experience from that and give it a good go.  Would be awesome to see them make the top 6.

 

Albion - fuck knows.  I still think appointing Darren Moore based on the fact the squad didn't hate him was a fucking huge risk.  It might go tits up and is one hell of a welcome into the world of management for him.  They need to get rid of the deadwood in the squad ASAP - I can't see them troubling the automatic promotion places and I fear that Moore will find it very tough indeed trying to turn around a sinking ship.  

 

Villa - they aren't going to be better than they were last season, and they weren't good enough then.  I'd be amazed if they kept hold of Grealish but even if they do, he's not consistent enough and they don't have enough quality around him to make up for that.  Bruce isn't suddenly going to turn into a world beater of a coach so what they expect him to do with a weaker squad and no money to spend (due to FFP - the immediate threat of further financial problems fortunately seems to have gone for now) is beyond me.  I can't see them troubling the top 6 whatsoever.

 

Stoke and Middlesbrough to finish top 2.  

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Yeah, can't see past Stoke at all for the title. Be surprised if they don't win it. 

 

Birmingham will be in for a tough ride if they can't get any players in and Monk won't hang around if they have a bad run. 

Villa will do well to finish mid-table, can't see them scoring enough goals. 

WBA will probably do better than I thought, frustratingly, but I can see Jones taking over from Moore before the season is out. 

 

Forest could go either way. Talk of them 'doing a Wolves' is premature - they don't have Nuno or Neves. 

Derby should be interesting under Lampard. Though they've taken the bait and signed a free scoring striker from Peterborough for big money. How many others down the years have they had that haven't cut the mustard at a higher level?!

 

'Boro will bore the pants off everyone with Pulis at the helm but will challenge the top 6. 

Swansea are making noises that this season will be a consolidation year but should be up there for me. 

Leeds will be fun to watch under Bielsa - either top 2 or 18th for them. I think he's had his day as a coach and his forward thinking ideas from ten years ago are the norm nowadays.

Norwich - meh. 

 

Looking forward to it kicking off this weekend. Always a great watch, even more so when your club managed to get out of it the previous season. 

 

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Not particularly optimistic as a Middlesbrough fan.

 

Best I can hope for is shit Pulis football gets us promoted and then we sack him, try and bring someone who will play football and then probably get relegated because we then have a squad that has been built for Pulis football and cant play any other way.

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@Steely What do you make of all this Traore stuff?  Putting aside the injury, I genuinely can't decide whether I would want him or not.  He really gave our left side a tough time at the Riverside last season (when we had eleven players), more than any player I can remember, but his decision making is shocking from what I've seen.

 

If he sorts that out then #18m will be very cheap, but i just don't know.

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Be interesting to see how the Jacks do.

 

The msart money is probably on a return of the South Wales Derby next year, but in the Championship rather then the Prem.

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10 minutes ago, dr_manhattan^ said:

@Steely What do you make of all this Traore stuff?  Putting aside the injury, I genuinely can't decide whether I would want him or not.  He really gave our left side a tough time at the Riverside last season (when we had eleven players), more than any player I can remember, but his decision making is shocking from what I've seen.

 

If he sorts that out then #18m will be very cheap, but i just don't know.

 

I don't live in Middlesbrough so I don't see many games, but from what I did see, I'll be massively disappointed to see him go, even at 18M.

 

His decision making has improved massively over the course of the season particularly since Pulis has come in, if that continues to improve, at 18M you have a weapon of a player which may even be considered a bargain in the current climate. :lol: I don't think there is a full back who can handle him 1 on 1. Aston Villa realized this in the play off, Hutton kicked lumps out of him and they surrounded him with players and even then he still provided the threat.

 

It would be season breaking for us if we lost him now.

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Stoke should win it. James McClean could be a steal at £5m, if he plays like he does for Ireland he’ll tear up the league. 

 

I’d like to see Brentford, Villa and the Baggies to go down. 

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1 hour ago, Steely said:

 

I don't live in Middlesbrough so I don't see many games, but from what I did see, I'll be massively disappointed to see him go, even at 18M.

 

His decision making has improved massively over the course of the season particularly since Pulis has come in, if that continues to improve, at 18M you have a weapon of a player which may even be considered a bargain in the current climate. :lol: I don't think there is a full back who can handle him 1 on 1. Aston Villa realized this in the play off, Hutton kicked lumps out of him and they surrounded him with players and even then he still provided the threat.

 

It would be season breaking for us if we lost him now.

 

Most of my mates don't want Traore at Wolves but I think he'd be a good buy. Choosing 2 from Jota, Costa, Cavaleiro and Traore for the wide positions is a tasty prospect - they're such key areas for the way we play. 

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I can't see us (Stoke) making a quick return and suspect we'll languish around mid-table. Keeping Butland would be a massive bonus. We've just got to hope that Afobe and Ince will bring some much-needed goals to the team.

 

I suspect West Brom will do the best out of the 3 teams relegated from the Premier League. and I reckon Derby and Forest will do well. Middlesborough should be up there as well (especially as Pulis usually gets a result against us so there's a guaranteed 6 points)

 

I'm actually looking forward to the season, there's some good teams in the Championship.

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On 01/08/2018 at 16:59, LoGoWolf said:

Derby should be interesting under Lampard. Though they've taken the bait and signed a free scoring striker from Peterborough for big money. How many others down the years have they had that haven't cut the mustard at a higher level?!

 

Conor Washington - Not really

Assombalonga - Big yes

Dwight Gayle - Big yes

Paul Taylor - Big no

Makail-Smith - Not really

 

Could go either way.

 

I'm excited about this season, we've looked great in friendlies against full strength Southampton and Wolves. Only friendlies, yes, but still. It could go horribly wrong but Lampard has made all the right noises so far.

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On 01/08/2018 at 12:58, Luseth said:

 

I'll start with the final post from last seasons thread in that football highlights for this season will no longer be on channel 5 but on Quest TV 

 

Cheers for the heads up, I missed this. Fucking Quest?! Surely Disney/Discovery own a more obvious channel than that to show it on?

 

Anyway looks like Colon Murray is still the host so I'll be recording and fast-forwarding. 

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On 01/08/2018 at 16:59, LoGoWolf said:

Birmingham will be in for a tough ride if they can't get any players in and Monk won't hang around if they have a bad run.

 

Surprisingly we have just announced we can potentially bring in up to 5 more players, downside being we can't pay a fee and there's a wage cap of I think 11k a week but it gives us chance to strengthen a little with a couple of loan signings and a freebie or 2 (not that there are many good players out of contract currently).

 

That said our pre-season's going well and we have 3 or 4 youngsters that are giving the senior team a run for their money. As the squad's short on numbers it could be a chance for some of them to break through, who knows. I think personally we need a central midfielder and a more experienced keeper, Connal Trueman is a bit too young and Stockdale and Kuszcack look set to be leaving us in some fashion (who knows maybe getting them both off the books are part of the deal with the EFL).

 

I'm quietly optimistic, I don't think we will be scrapping around the bottom again this time around (unless the owners cock it all up and Monk does walk). I'm going with just under mid table so 12th / 13th maybe come seasons end.

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Bamford gone, Traore and Gibson looking like they might leave, looks like we are doing our best to flog all of our best players before the season starts. :lol:

 

I don't begrudge Gibson leaving, he deserves another crack at the highest level, but please. Not. Burnley. And not for 13M.

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3 hours ago, Steely said:

Bamford gone, Traore and Gibson looking like they might leave, looks like we are doing our best to flog all of our best players before the season starts. :lol:

 

I don't begrudge Gibson leaving, he deserves another crack at the highest level, but please. Not. Burnley. And not for 13M.

Totally agree...

 

Traore for £18m? You have to say that's good money, especially if they get a sell on clause. He's £70m of talent with the brain of a Sunday league youth player.

 

Bamford for £10m? You also have to say that's good business, assuming we get a decent replacement. He wasn't getting a fair crack of the whip and we made a profit based off his form from 4 years ago. 

 

Gibson for £13m? Burnley, as always, are taking the piss. Had he jumped to the PL last season, I would have put money on him pushing for the England squad. He was easily worth £25m+ last season and before; he had a few bad patches since and we weren't as solid but anything less than £20m is an insult considering the prices flying round for Stones, Maguire etc. 

 

This time last season I thought we would comfortably hit top 6, I didn't want to get carried away with the demand for promotion. This season, as above, I reckon we'll do well to finish top 8. The squad isn't any stronger and 3 of our best players are in the sights of other clubs with Bamford already gone.

 

1 - Leeds

2 - Stoke

 

After that it could be a free for all!

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Villa fan checking in.  Still not sure what to make of our chances this season, we've had the most turbulent summer I can remember which is saying something as Villa have been a club who have spent a decade specialising in turbulent summers.  Given that Tony Xia wrote a load of cheques he couldn't cash and it was looking like we would be entering administration then just getting to the opening weekend with the squad as intact as it is gives me some hope.  We've got a new majority owner who seems to be incredibly rich, whether that money makes it onto the pitch remains to be seen but I'm not holding my breath.  Still, I think Jack Grealish is the best player in the Championship and James Chester is as good as a central defender as we could hope to have at this point so I've got a glimmer of hope. Difficult to see where the goals will come from, maybe Kodjia is over the injury which basically destroyed his 2017/18 season and we go back to seeing a guy who is good for 20 goals a season.  If he can find the back of the net regularly then we have a shot, if not then I'll just have to write this off as the season where we had a really nice kit. 

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14 hours ago, Charliemouse said:

Fuck me,  Reading aren't as terrible as I was dreading.

Sadly, our goalkeeper was.

 

Still, we looked far better than I had expected, especially as the preseason had been dreadful, so maybe we might just about avoid relegation again.

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1 hour ago, Charliemouse said:

Sadly, our goalkeeper was.

 

Still, we looked far better than I had expected, especially as the preseason had been dreadful, so maybe we might just about avoid relegation again.

 

The result was harsh on Reading.  I don't think Derby did enough to deserve the win.

 

What's happened to Dave Edwards, injured or out of favour?

 

I thought JDB attacked that header really well.  It's more of what you want from him.

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