The Championship is a funny old division. Week after week teams that are supposedly in form are turned over in their next match and the form book is constantly thrown out of the window. Nothing seems to be predictable, except that Newcastle look set for a quick return to the Premier League, although you’d be stupid to think that their promotion was a forgone conclusion. Now, QPR manager Jim Magilton has had a sensational bust-up with Akos Buzsaky, which could cost him his job. So what will happen next in the Championship, the league that continues to surprise and never disappoints?
Let’s start with some of the constants in the Championship so far. Newcastle manager Chris Hughton has done a magnificent job at St James’ Park and even though the Toon may not being playing great football all the time, they are winning matches, which is the most important thing. Elsewhere Blackpool have had a great season to date, largely because they have turned Bloomfield Road into a fortress and their manager Ian Holloway continues to bring much-needed humour to the world of football.
Nottingham Forest are also showing that they are a team who will be there or there abouts at the end of the season. The same can be said of West Brom, who look like nailed on promotion candidates and have the quality in their squad to go all the way. Then there is Swansea, a team that continues to punch above their weight and play arguably the most attractive football in the division. It’s nice to see that the good work laid by Roberto Martinez is being continued by Paulo Sousa, and the Swans bring a continental feel to the Championship as well.
Ipswich continue to struggle and have still only won 2 league games this season. But credit to them, as they continue to stick with Roy Keane in the hope that the Manchester United legend can turn their fortunes around. One manager who may not receive the same backing is Sheffield Wednesday boss Brian Laws, as the Owls’ terrible run of form has led to the board and the fans losing patience. But will he be the next Championship casualty?
Then there are the many unpredictable facets of the Championship, starting with the goings on at QPR. Manager Magilton has been suspended after he had what he called a “difference of opinion” with Buzsaky, although I’m guessing that it was slightly more than that. Magilton now faces the axe after allegedly head butting his player, allegations he denies, whilst on the pitch QPR continue to fall short of the expectations set by their owners. Things aren’t as rosy at Loftus Road as they were a month ago.
Cardiff are the definition of unpredictability themselves. They have some of the best players in the division in Michael Chopra, Peter Whittingham and Joe Ledley, yet they lack the consistency to go with their talent and performances when on form. Middlesbrough fans will be disappointed by their team’s showing to date. I thought their youngsters would excel in this league, but once again they lost at the Riverside yesterday when it looked like they had the perfect springboard.
So in the Championship you have to expect the unexpected and you can be sure that there will never be a dull moment. The only possible prediction you could make is that Newcastle will be playing in the Premiership next season, so long as promotion contenders such as Leicester are unable to string a run of victories together and continue to lose handsomely now and again. While the quality may not be the best, you can’t help but love the unpredictable entertainment that the Championship serves up every week!