Championship Season Preview (1/4)

by David Hall

After the twists and turns from the 2009/2010 season, the npower Championship is shaping up to be one of the best yet. 17 out of the 24 clubs have played in the Premier League so it is set up to be a competative season once more. I will be taking a look at all the clubs taking the field in 6 days time, in 4 installments.

(all transfers were correct as of 1st August)

Barnsley

In:
Diego Arismendi (from Stoke City) season-long loan
Michael Bulding (unattached) free
Liam Dickinson (from Brighton & Hove Albion) undisclosed, 2-year deal
Goran Lovre (from FC Groningen) free, 2-year deal
Jay McEveley (from Derby County) free, 2-year deal
Jeronimo Morales Neumann (from Estudiantes de La Plata) free, 1-year deal
Jim O’Brien (from Motherwell) free, 2-year deal
Jason Shackell (from Wolves) undisclosed, 3-year deal
Out:
Anderson de Silva (unattached) released
Daniel Bogdanovic (to Sheffield United) free
Michael Coulson (to Grimsby Town) free
Simon Heslop (to Oxford United) free
Robert Kozluk (to Sheffield United) free
Jon Macken (unattached) released
Darren Moore (to Burton Albion) free
O’Neil Thompson (to Hereford United) season-long loan

After finishing 18th last season, Barnsley are looking to improve on that. Under Mark Robins last season, he steadied the ship after Simon Davey was relieved of his duties. Leading them from the wrong end of the table. This season they won’t be challenging for promotion but should be well clear of relegation.

Bristol City

In:
Albert Adomah (from Barnet) undisclosed, 3-year deal
Kalifa Cisse (from Reading) undisclosed, 2-year deal
Nicky Hunt (from Bolton Wanderers) free, 2-year deal
David James (from Portsmouth) free, 1-year deal
Damion Stewart (from Queens Park Rangers) undisclosed, 3-year deal
Out:
Frankie Artus (to Cheltenham Town) free
Steve Collis (unattached) released
Ashley Kington (unattached) released
Jamie McCombe (to Huddersfield Town) undisclosed
Bradley Orr (to Queens Park Rangers) undisclosed
Tristan Plummer (unattached) released
Lee Trundle (to Neath) free
Brian Wilson (to Colchester United) free

Two big stories coming out of Ashton Gate this season. First up Steve Coppell is manager, a fantastic appointment and in my view, the right man to take the robins where they want to be. The second big story is the signing of David James. Yes he may be 40 years old, but he is England’s number one and the type of player Bristol City need to sign to take them where they want to be. It could be a interesting season down at Ashton Gate. Play-off contenders.

Burnley

In:
Lee Grant (from Sheffield Wednesday) undisclosed, 3-year deal
Chris Iwelumo (from Wolves) undisclosed, 2-year deal
Dean Marney (from Hull City) undisclosed, 3-year deal
Ross Wallace (from Preston North End) undisclosed, 3-year deal
Out:
Robbie Blake (to Bolton Wanderers) free
Steven Caldwell (unattached) released
Steven Fletcher (to Wolves) undisclosed
Ben Hoskin (unattached) released
Stephen Jordan (unattached) released
Adam Kay (unattached) released
Jonathan Lund (unattached) released
Nicky Weaver (unattached) released

After getting promoted, taking the money and running all the way back to the Championship – Burnley are back, and it is hard to rule them out as contenders to go straight back up. Brian Laws has been flexing their new found wealth on bringing in Championship quality players. Steven Fletcher going to Wolverhampton Wanderers is a bow, but if they bring in another striker they should be chaenging to be top dog.

Cardiff City

In:
Daniel Drinkwater (from Manchester United) season-long loan
Tom Heaton (from Manchester United) free
Out:
Tony Capaldi (unattached) released
Darren Dennehy (to Barnet) free
Peter Enckelman (unattached) released
Warren Feeney (to Oldham Athletic) free
Mark Kennedy (to Ipswich Town) £75k
Joe Ledley (to Celtic) free
Josh Magennis (to Aberdeen) free
Aaron Morris (unattached) released
Riccardo Scimeca (retired)

A pre-season dominated by more financial worry, un-paid taxes at the beginning of July has meant that a transfer embargo has hampered Dave Jones in strengthening the squad, only 2 in and the loss of Joe Ledley for a free will hurt both the boardroom and the changing room. But like the previous seasons, Cardiff will be flirting with the play-offs all season.

Coventry City

In:
Lee Carsley (from Birmingham City) free, 1-year deal
Lukas Jutkiewicz (from Everton) undisclosed, 3-year deal
Richard Keogh (from Carlise United) undisclosed, 3-year deal
Gary McSheffrey (from Birmingham City) free, 1-year deal
Roy O’Donovan (from Sunderland) free, 3-year deal
Stephen O’Halloran (from Aston Villa) free, 1-year deal
Clive Platt (from Colchester United) undisclosed, 1-year deal
Out:
Ashley Cain (to Mansfield Town) free
Marcus Hall (unattached) released
Dimi Konstantopolous (to AO Kerkyra) free
Clinton Morrison (to Sheffield Wednesday) free
Elliott Ward (to Norwich City) free
Stephen Wright (unattached) released
Curtis Wynter (unattached) released

A change of manager, hopefully a change of fortune for Coventry City, Aidy Boothroyd is the latest manager to be intrusted in turning Coventry from Championship strugglers to challengers. The players he has signed has improved the squad. If he can do for Coventry what he did for Watford, he would make himself a legend at the Ricoh arena. They should be clear of relegation this season, and build slowly to challenge in 2011/2012.

Crystal Palace

In:
Adam Barrett (from Southend United) free, 2-year deal
Andy Dorman (from St Mirren) free, 3-year deal
Lewis Price (from Derby County) free, 3-year deal
David Wright (from Ipswich Town) free, 2-year deal
Out:
Michael Abnett (unattached) released
Hakeem Adelakun (unattached) released
Danny Butterfield (to Southampton) free
Nick Carle (to Sydney FC) free
James Comley (unattached) released
Shaun Derry (to Queens Park Rangers) free
Johannes Ertl (to Sheffield United) free
Clint Hill (to Queens Park Rangers) free
Matt Lawrence (unattached) released
Jack Randall (to Aldershot Town) undisclosed
Matthew Wright (unattached) released

After survivng relegation on the last day, and the cub surviving when it looked like there would be no more Palace, they are still here against all odds, as a takeover by Martin Long is in the pipeline. New manager George Burley hasn’t got alot to work with. If the takeover is compete and money is made available. They should be in for a better season than the last. If the takeover doesn’t happen, I can see a season of struggle.

Look out for part two where I cover Derby County, Doncaster Rovers, Hull City, ‘Roy Keane’s’ Ipswich Town, Leeds United and Leicester City.

1 Response

  1. Kevin Coleman Kevin Coleman says:

    Thanks for this, David.

    There’s a shameful lack of Championship coverage on here, despite it being one of the most exciting and competitive leagues around. You’ll struggle to find a more unpredictable competition, and I don’t blame David from avoiding the predictions route on this one.

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