Over a quarter of the way into the season, the Championship has once again has produced the goods. Back in August I had a go at making my predictions and have already been left red faced by the most unpredictable and competitive division in English football. Despite this there are so many games left to be played and anything can happen from now until May. However with the foundations set for the season ahead I assess each club’s start to the campaign. Links to the other parts can be found at the bottom of this article.
Leeds United – 6th – B
Despite 4 losses in their last 5 Leeds have set themselves up to go one better and make the play-offs this season. They started life under new boss Thomas Christiansen in excellent fashion and will have really fancied their chances with the new signings giving the club a real boost despite selling star striker Chris Wood. Over the 12 games you would have to say Leeds have done well, you would expect them to be contenders for the play-offs despite 4 losses in their last 5 so they are on par.
Middlesbrough – 11th – D+
A lot should be expected of Boro with their investment and what Garry Monk has at his disposal. Results have not been good enough though in my opinion, just four wins is under-performing and they’ve dropped too many points against sides that are outweighed with the Tee-side club in resources. They’ll be relieved more than anything that Britt Assombalonga has fired the goals in, scoring 6. I’m sure with a new set of players and way of playing under Monk that it could be a case of growing as the season goes on but up to this point Middlesbrough have been poor.
Millwall – 17th – B
Probably what you’d expect from Millwall. All 3 of their wins have come at home which is where the majority of points are expected to come from, conceding 3 and 4 to Barnsley and Ipswich respectively on their own turf would have been a big disappointment. They have been competitive on the road, losing by a two goal margin just once and picking up the odd set of points. Overall it’s been a productive start and I’m sure the fans will be satisfied if they carry on in this fashion because they should stay clear of the drop at this rate.
Norwich City – 8th – C+
The Canaries are another side to get themselves in the play-off mix 12 games in. They don’t seem a fancied side to do much damage this year and although there are justified reasons for that they should still be involved in the promotion shape up. If they are to be contenders they have to do much better at home where they’ve gained 9 points from a possible 18, usually Carrow Road has been a tough place to go in successful Norwich seasons, I think a fairly solid start though for Daniel Farke’s team gives them a chance.
Nottingham Forest – 14th – C
3 wins from their opening 4 gave Forest a new sense of hope after a nearly fatal campaign last time. But 4 defeats in their last 5 are starting to highlight the defensive frailties that were not addressed in the summer. Mark Warburton was always going to have a work in progress on his hands, I don’t think we should expect any fireworks from the club in the short term but I’m sure recent form will have frustrated the Forest fans. They will be pleased with Daryl Murphy’s start at the City Ground and they have picked up some very good results at home so a mixed bag but that’s probably what you’d expect from the Tricky Trees.
Preston North End – 5th – A+
After Simon Grayson departed Deepdale I don’t think many would have anticipated the start that Preston have made. The fact they have only lost one game is absolutely brilliant for Alex Neil and the club deserve a lot of credit for continuing to find the answers against some more free spending competitors. The only way you could pick holes in the season so far is to say they might have got a few more wins at home, arguably dropping points in matches against Barnsley, Milwall and Sunderland at home.
Do you agree with your clubs grade? Let us know in the comments below!
Part 1 Here
Part 2 Here