Championship 2012/2013 Season Preview


I’ve asked a few different Championship fans to answer some questions previewing the new season.

Firstly my answers for Derby County

Theo Robinson Theo Robinson of Derby County is tackled by David Meyler during the pre season friendly match between Derby County and Sunderland at Pride Park Stadium on August 8, 2012 in Derby, England.

What do you make of your club’s transfer activity this summer?

Obviously selling Jason Shackell has not been great, last season he was such a consistent rock in the back four and for him to leave is devastating. Richard Keogh, who has essentially replaced him, looks very good but is he Shackell quality? Only time will tell but I think he can be, he’s also younger than Shackell so we may have him a bit longer. Michael Jacobs is a good addition, a lot of other clubs were interested in him. Paul Coutts looks like he’s a bit of a bargain for £150,000, after impressing in pre-season. James O’Connor’s versatility is much needed and new signings Michael Hoganson and Valentin Gjokaj (close to a deal, been on trial) will probably feature more in the new under-21 development league than the first team. Nigel Clough’s signings mostly seem to consist of players that can play in more than one position. We’d like Steve Davies’ future resolved sooner, but I think that may be in January. Overall the players bought in have all been good additions, I think. We just need a striker now!

How do you think the season will pan out for your club?

With the squad we’ve got I can’t see it being much better than last season. There’s not enough Championship quality to challenge for promotion although we’ll probably have a month or so in and around the promotion places and than fall back down, like usual. The top 10 would be very good based on who we’ve got but I think we’ll be somewhere between 11th and 15th. Anything could happen though, this could be one of the most wide open Championships ever.

Predictions:

Derby V Sheffield Wednesday: 1-1

3 Promoted clubs: Bolton, Leicester, Wolves.

3 relegated teams: Peterborough, Bristol City, Charlton.

Top Scorer:  Jermaine Beckford

Sheffield Wednesday, answered by Sheridon Scott

Gary Madine - Sheffield Wednesday v Preston North End - npower League One

What do you make of your club’s transfer activity this summer?

I think we’ve pulled off some of the best signings i’ve seen at wednesday, retaining the services of Antonio, who could easily cut it it the premier league, Chris Maguire, not given a chance at Derby and has looked awesome in pre-season. Pecnik who was pretty much unknown to wednesday fans and english supporters looks to be a great bargain.

How do you think the season will pan out for your club?

I could see anything happening, I think we’ll be pushing for play-offs, and remain high mid-table through out the season.

How do you think Derby County will fare this season?

I think Derby will finish mid-table at an absolute push.

Predict:

Derby V Sheffield Wednesday: 1-1

3 promoted clubs: Blackburn, Wolves, Sheffield Wednesday.

3 relegated clubs: Huddersfield, Barnsley, Bristol City.

Top scorer: Gary ‘Goal Machine’ MADINE.

Another Sheffield Wednesday fan, Hugh Wragg contacted me.

What do you make of your club’s transfer activity this summer?

Solid, if not spectacular so far: Dave Jones has so far strengthened all necessary areas for a season of consolidation. Anthony Gardner, Joe Mattock and Chris Kirkland I believe will be prove to be good signings for the strengthening of the defence while the arrivals of the Slovenian Necj Pecnik, who has looked promising in pre-season, and Michail Antonio (who was so instrumental in the 14 game unbeaten run that saw us sneak promotion ahead of our fiercest rivals) will hopefully add a touch of pace and flair on the flanks. Personally I would still like to add three/four players – a centre-back, central midfielder, another winger, and striker – but for this to take place four/five players may first have to leave the club. Players such as Julian Bennett, Daniel Jones and Giles Coke look set to leave as they have been told they do not figure in Jones’ plans.

How do you think the season will pan out for your club?

Many Wednesdayites have discussed the possibility of back-to-back promotions but, at the moment, the side looks set for a mid-table finish. Obviously the medium/long-term ambition is to make the Premier League but after ten years of instability both on and off the pitch, most Wednesdayites would be happy with a few years of sensible and steady progression.

 How do you think Derby County will fare this season?

Derby are certainly a club with Premier League infrastructure and there is a great potential. However (once again) I feel there hasn’t been enough investment in the playing staff and so another season of mid-table obscurity beckons.

 Predict:

3 promoted clubs: Wolves, Birmingham and Cardiff

3 relegated clubs:  Barnsley, Peterborough, Milwall

League top scorer: The toughest question. Could be any one of 30 players. Nuno Gomes at Blackburn is my pick.

Nottingham Forest, answered by Jack Goodband.

What do you make of your club’s transfer activity this summer?

I think we are spending wisely and bringing in much needed players, mostly defence, and a creative midfielder, such as Guedioura. Its good we arent buying players for stupid prices as that could increase pressure on them to perform to their price, and sometimes they could turn into flops.

How do you think the season will pan out for your club?

If we bring in a few more players, then i think we could get into the play offs and maybe push for an automatic promotion place. SoD (Sean O’Driscoll) is making the players play football instead of playing hoofball in what we played most of last season, and that didnt get us anywhere. So with playing good football, hopefully we can get near the top of the table.

How do you think Derby County will fare this season?

I could be bitter and say I think they’ll get relegated, but I’m not. If they play good football like they did in some spells of last season, then they could easily be in top half of the table and maybe get a play off place.

Predict:

3 promoted teams: Nottingham Forest, Bolton, Sheffield Wednesday.

3 relegated clubs: Peterborough United, Millwall, Chartlon Athletic.

Top scorer: Ross McCormack

Huddersfield Town, answered by HTFC Hub

What do you make of your club’s transfer activity this summer?

Grayson has brought some great players in to Huddersfield Town. A mixture between experienced Championship players, ones with points to prove as well as players with tons of potential. Norwood & Clayton are top captures by the manager and things are looking very good for Huddersfield Town in The Championship next season. We need just another striker now to partner Rhodes and we are ready!

How do you think the season will pan out for your club?

Personally think we will have a shaky start as the team continues to gel with each other however once we get used to Championship football we will do fine. A strong mid season and end to the season will see us push up the table and remain safe from relegation. Grayson will guide us well with the experience he has in this league.

How do you think Derby County will fare this season?

You are in a similar position to ourselves but have the Championship experience. Losing Shackell wasn’t a good thing for yourselves but players are always going to move on. Nigel Clough is a good manager and his additions to date have a lot of potential to become very good players indeed and you should be looking at getting a play-off position but with it being such a tough league I worry that you may just struggle to break into that elusive top six. Good luck!

Predict:

3 promoted clubs: Birmingham, Wolves, Leeds
3 relegated clubs: Barnsley, Peterborough, Millwall
Top scorer: Craig Bellamy/Ross McCormack

Ipswich Town, questions answered by Mark Wright.

What do you make of your club’s transfer activity this summer?

Paul Jewell seems to have learned from previous mistakes, taking a far more cautious approach, so far only signing 2 x players on a Bosman, 1 x low cost highly rated youngster and 1 x highly rated loanee. ITFC have demanded youth or players committed to our cause and this has been the guiding principal over and above quantity. Our squad is still several player short cove wise.

How do you think the season will pan out for your club?

Mid to higher table position finish. Would like to think there is an outside chance of competing for the play offs but realistically that is a stretch this season.  ITFC need a consolidation year and a few final jigsaw pieces next season to build a real squad that compete. I might be proven wrong if key players stay fit!!

How do you think Derby County will fare this season?

Cannot see them competing for play offs!

Predict:

3 promoted clubs: Bolton, Wolves, Blackpool.

3 relegated clubs: Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday, Millwall

Charlton Athletic, answered by Luke Morgans.

What do you make of your clubs transfer activity this summer?

Charlton had a frustrating start to the transfer window, with no real activity whilst most championship clubs were well into their dealings. However we have now signed Laurie Wilson from Stevenage and Young Jordan Cook from Sunderland as well as former rangers man Salim Kerker. We haven’t sold any players yet but strikers paul Hayes and Leon Clarke are for sale.

How do you think the season will pan out for your club?

As an optimistic fan, I’m hoping for a flirt with the play offs and a 5th or 6th place finish. The teams that got relegated with us from the premier league (Southampton and Norwich) have their own stories of success which every promoted club have ambitions of emulating.

How do you think Derby County will fare this season?

I predict another flirtation with the Play offs and a strong top 10 finish. Some young promising talent coming through but need a goal scorer! I also expect a high tempo style to be played by Clough and if everything clicks and you get a goalscorer, Derby could be a real force in this tough league.

Predict: 

3 promoted clubs: Wolves, Blackpool and Derby.

3 relegated clubs: Watford, Blackburn and Barnsely.

League Top scorer: Steven Fletcher if he stays or Benik Afobe

 

Peterborough United, answered by Owen Skinner

What do you make of your club’s transfer activity this summer?

I’ve been very happy with who the club has signed. For seasons now we needed a tough tackling, box – box midfielder and we finally got one in Michael Bostwick from Stevenage. Many said we needed a left back but with the signing of Knights Percivel and the emergence of youth team player Kgosi Nthle I don’t feel that would be neccesary. The chairman has backed the club fantastically since he has got here and that has changed over the summer with him splashing well over a million on the club. Overall I feel the club has done well regarding transfers considering our budget and size.

How do you think the season will pan out for your club?

I think we will build on last year and start making our way up the league towards mid table. With big clubs coming up and down it’s important we don’t fade away like we did last season, towards the end of the season. We’ve only improved from last year so I can’t see us going backwards. I think we should be looking for mid table.

How do you think Derby County will fare this season?

I think Derby will finish in the top half of the table but I don’t think they will be challenging for promotion but could be near the play offs. They’ve lost their captain but have signed some young decent players like Michael Jacobs (who posh wanted to sign). I think they will finish 9th.

 Predict:

3 promoted clubs: Blackburn, Cardiff, Wolves.

3 relegated clubs: Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield.

Top scorer: Tyrone Barnett

 

Leeds United, answered by Russ Vernon.

What do you make of your club’s transfer activity this summer?

I think Neil Warnock has made some good quality signings so far with the likes of Lee Peltier, Paddy Kenny, Jason Pearce etc adding a bit more to the defence than last season also I believe our midfield for this season is much stronger, our midfield 2011/12 (Snodgrass, Clayton, Howson, White) This season (Green, Norris, Austin, Varney).

How do you think the season will pan out for your club?

I think we’ll be in and around the top 2 area this season with the signings we’ve made so far, if we add maybe 1 or 2 more to the squad I can see us winning the league but at this moment in time top 2 for Leeds United.

How do you think Derby County will fare this season?

I think Derby may just finish outside of the play-off positions this season they have some quality players and deserve to be in and around the play-off mixture.

Predict:

3 promoted clubs: Leeds, Wolves & Birmingham

3 relegated clubs: Charlton, Barnsley, Nottingham Forest

League Top scorer: Steven Fletcher or Ross McCormack.

If you’re a fan of a Championship club not covered above and would like to answer the questions please email me on mail@nathanmorley.co.uk or tweet me @NMtherams

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One Response to Championship 2012/2013 Season Preview

  1. Andy says:

    I think you have been way too optimistic about the standard of our signings. Sure all our signings have been good/ok but that means absolutley nothing, and i mean nothing, without a new striker. To hear we are bidding for Conor Sammon is just ridiculous, he had a 1 in 4 record in the SPL, one of the poorest leagues in the world in my opinion, and scored 1 goal at wigan. 1.2 million?? Ridiculous. So I hope I am proved wrong but for me, the Yanks have to go, we will never get anywhere with their money-grabbing ways.

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