Written by Stephen Hopper
As we come to the end of 2016, who has been the shock team in the Championship so far and who has been disappointing for you this season? Huddersfield for me have shocked many so far this season with some great performances in 2016, the manager has them playing some flowing football at times and has deservedly been linked with the Swansea City job. Their most recent victory coming against 10 man Nottingham Forest. Terriers manager David Wagner has instilled a belief in the side that they can beat anyone put in front of them and have proven this already this year and I can see this continuing well into 2017. Firstly Town have to keep hold of manager Wagner and this may prove difficult having been as previously said linked with the Swansea job. German side Wolfsburg were also rumoured to have shown an interest in the terriers boss. Huddersfield have to keep the Gaffer at the club in my opinion to stand any chance of reaching the top table of English football. The January transfer window will be an interesting one for the terriers if they want to push on for automatic promotion surely squad investment is a must but where do they need to strengthen? Nakhi Wells plays a pivotal role in leading the line for the Terriers and his youth and talent are essential in a promotion push, but will Premier League sides look to test the resolve of the Terriers in respect to Wells?
credit Paul Hudson
Queens Park Rangers have been struggling and currently lie in 20th position in the EFL table, I like Ian Holloway as a manger but has he bitten off more than he can chew this time around? In recent years Rangers have invested heavily in failed signings and have had to release players who no longer fit, so funds my be limited for Holloway but the R’s should have enough quality in depth to pull away from the relegation fight and should end up finishing mid table, but I expected more from a team who have quality in numbers so why have the struggled so far this term?Who do the Rangers fans want to sign this coming window if anyone, although a lot of top players don’t like to move in January and lets hope QPR don’t panic buy this window. I expect to see a vast improvement in results in the new year and for them to move comfortably up the table in 2017. QPR still have a lot of time to turn things around and I’m confident this can happen should they invest very wisely and get rid of some of the negative elements around the club.
Derby County are creeping up the table and having watched them against Birmingham City recently life is looking good once again at the Ipro stadium, soon to be called Pride Park once more. Derby under Mclaren are playing some good passing football and are now beginning to come back in games when trailing where previously they were not. So what is the Mclaren effect, Ex Newcastle boss was unable to get results or get his team performing at Newcastle but at Derby he is getting the best out of a bunch of players who certainly do have talent and are are more than capable of gaining promotion.Derby look very impressive from front too back from Scott Carson to Richard Keogh, Will Hughes and veteran striker Darren Bent who is scoring goals as we all know he can. So Derby fans, can the club mount a serious promotion push this campaign ? I have every confidence that Derby can and once again will look forward to watching Derby this season.
I weekly write about my club Newcastle United but this week I think it’s only right we discuss some of the other clubs in the Championship as for me this is where some PROPER football is played and has been proven so far this season. Anyone can beat anyone and this coming Transfer Window I will be watching closely to see where each of the Championship clubs strengthen if needed. I must admit I’m not a fan of this window as it disrupts teams and can potentially destroy season’s through the sales of clubs star players.The Championship season in 2016 has been immense so I cant wait to see what 2017 has install for us all, my expectations for 2017 are very high for more quality football and more shock results, what are yours?.
Who are your surprise clubs this season? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Neil Turner