Written by Harry Martin
The Championship is without a doubt the most exciting league in English football, throwing up all kinds of results, meaning anybody can beat anyone on any given day. Next season promises to be possibly the best yet, with the arrival of Aston Villa, Newcastle and Norwich from the Premier League and Barnsley, Burton Albion and Wigan Athletic rising from League One. All Out Football has identified three teams in which to look out for next term.
Last season’s joint-top scorers, The Bees will be looking to progress under manager Dean Smith, who will now have his first full campaign in charge of the West-Londoners and will look to bring in his own players, and add to the array of talent at his disposal. The former Saddlers boss is someone who likes to see football played the ‘proper way’ , instilling a possession based game in to his teams and I think towards the end of last season we were starting to see that, with key players such as Alan Judge, Scott Hogan and Sam Saunders buying in to the brand. Unfortunately for them, Alan Judge will be missing for the start of the 2016/2017 season after suffering that horrible leg break and although he is a massive player, I don’t see this hindering Brentford’s chances. Dean Smith will be looking at bringing in a similar type of player to Judge, and one that fits the bill perfectly would be a raid of his former club and Romaine Sawyers. With a few signings to foil the once again fit Scott Hogan and Lasse Vibe, they will once again be a threat. Players such as Alan McCormack and Ryan Woods offer that midfield protection as well as starting attacks and this is what Dean Smith wants from his players, to be comfortable in possession and to look after the ball. With all of these points put together, Brentford will be in and around the top 6 in my eyes. (photo credit Eamon Curry)
credit Dan Ferrimond
Wigan bounced back to the second tier in incredible fashion, picking up a staggering 87 points along the way. In Gary Caldwell The Latics have a young, enthusiastic manager who is keen to impress, and that he certainly has. The signings of Yanic Wildschut and Will Grigg last Summer have proven to work wonders and these type of players will continue to flourish in the Championship. Players such as Sam Morsy and Max Power will again be crucial as they are very clever footballers and still young. With the money Wigan will have, backing Caldwell shouldn’t be a problem and they could build a team that has potential to attack the Championship and hopefully for them, steer well clear of the drop zone this time around. If they hold on to the spine of the team, and add a bit of Championship know-how, The Latics can make a real mark on the league.
The Blues have had two very good campaigns under Gary Rowett, who in my eyes is becoming one of the best young managers in the English game. Not only does he seem very approachable but also tactically aware when up against those who may have more financial power. His 4231 or 451 system works a treat, especially away from home, he gets results. Kieftenbeld and Gleeson will once again be integral by sitting in front of the centre halves, providing that screen. Rowett’s capture of Jon Toral on loan last season was nothing short of superb, with the Spaniard picking up the Player of the Season award. If they can bring in another number 10 permanently to supply the ever present Clayton Donaldson then they will for me, finally attain that play-off spot they have been desiring and most probably deserve. Under the former Burton boss, they are n very good hands, and I for one are looking forward to seeing a very resolute and dangerous Birmingham City next term.
Do you agree with these three teams? Who are your ones to watch next season? Let us know down below!
featured image by Dan Ferrimond