Championship Season Preview (3/4)

by David Hall

In anticipation of the new npower Championship season, I am reviewing every club to be part of this unpredictable competition. We have moved swiftly down the alphabet to M and we will resume with Middlesbrough.

(Transfers correct as of 1st August)

Middlesbrough

In:
Nicky Bailey (from Charlton Athletic) £1.5m, 3-year deal
Kris Boyd (from Rangers) free, 2-year deal
Andrew Halliday (from Livingston) undisclosed, 3-year deal
Tarmo Kink (from Gyori ETO) undisclosed, 3-year deal
Stephen McManus (from Celtic) £1.5m, 3-year deal
Kevin Thomson (from Rangers) £2m, 4-year deal
Out:
Jeremie Aliadiere (unattached)
John Johnson (to Northampton Town) undisclosed
Emanuel Pogatetz (to Hannover 96) free
Chris Riggott (unattached) released

Gordon Strachan has one again raided Scotland in a second attempt of getting Middlesbrough back into the Premier League. You can not argue with Kris Boyd’s goalscoring record, signing him on a free is one of the better transfers of the season. Middlesbrough have all the talent to get promoted automatically. Making the same mistakes as last season will not be tolerated

Millwall

In:
Shaun Batt (from Peterborough United) undisclosed, 3-year deal
James Henry (from Reading) undisclosed, 3-year deal
Kevin Lisbie (from Ipswich Town) season-long loan
Steve Mildenhall (from Southend United) free, 1-year deal
Tamika Mkandawire (from Leyton Orient) free, 2-year deal
Liam Trotter (from Ipswich Town) free, 2-year deal
Out:
David Martin (to Derby County) free
Jason Price (to Carlisle United) free
John Sullivan (to Yeovil Town) 1-month loan

Millwall are back after a 4 year absence, Kenny Jackett has finally got the lions back into the Championship. It will be harder to keep them there. The signings of Mkandawire, Lisbie and Henry will add quality but it will be a season of hard work down at The Den.

Norwich City

In:
Andrew Crofts (from Brighton & Hove Albion) undisclosed, 3-year deal
David Fox (from Colchester United) undisclosed, 2-year deal
Simeon Jackson (from Gillingham) undisclosed, 2-year deal
John Ruddy (from Everton) undisclosed, 3-year deal
Steven Smith (from Rangers) free, 2-year deal
Andrew Surman (from Wolves) undisclosed, 3-year deal
Elliott Ward (from Coventry City) free, 2-year deal
Out:
Tom Adeyemi (to Bradford City) 6-month loan
Jamie Cureton (unattached) released
Gary Doherty (to Charlton Athletic) free
Danny Kelly (to Barnet) free
Damon Lathrope (to Torquay United) free
Cody McDonald (to Gillingham) season-long loan
Paul McVeigh (unattached) released
Darel Russell (unattached)
Michael Spillane (to Brentford) undisclosed
David Stephens (to Hibernian) undisclosed
Rhoys Wiggins (to AFC Bournemouth) undisclosed

Norwich were only away for one season, a change of manager last season worked wonders. Paul Lambert is one of the managers who will go on to bigger and better things, but he has the job of keeping Norwich in the Championship, and It’s a big task. One which he will relish, mid-table is where I would be aiming if I was Lambert.

Nottingham Forest

In:
Radi Majewski (from Polonia Warsaw) £1m, 3-year deal
Out:
Mark Byrne (to Barnet) 6-month loan
Joe Garner (to Huddersfield Town) 6-month loan
James Perch (to Newcastle United) undisclosed

There hasn’t been much news coming out of the City Ground, only the permanent signing of Radi Majewski being the only signing. Billy Davies happy with his squad to give it another go at promotion. With so many teams with the quality to fill 6 places, Forest may not find it as easy this time round.

Portsmouth

In:
Ibrahima Sonko (from Stoke City) season-long loan (tbc
Out:
Jamie Ashdown (unattached) released
Angelos Basinas (unattached) released
Nadir Belhadj (to Al Sadd) £3.5m
Florent Cuvelier (to Stoke City) undisclosed
Papa Bouba Diop (to AEK Athens) undisclosed
Steve Finnan (unattached) released
David James (to Bristol City) free
Omar Koroma (unattached) released
Lennard Sowah (to Hamburger SV) free

There is only one way Portsmouth are going, and it’s down. Whether it is in the courtroom or on the football pitch, Portsmouth’s stay in the Championship will be short. League 1 football beckons. A quick look at their squad page on their website is grim reading. 1 goalkeeper, 3 defenders, 5 midfielders and 4 strikers. A hard, hard season ahead. Bottom.

Preston North End

In:
Andreas Arestidou (from Shrewsbury Town) free, 1-year deal
Wayne Brown (from Leicester City) free
David Gray (from Manchester United) free, 2-year deal
Paul Hayes (from Scunthorpe United) free, 3-year deal
Matthew James (from Manchester United) year-long loan
Craig Morgan (from Peterborough United) £400k, 4-year deal
Out:
Liam Chilvers (to Notts County) free
Neill Collins (to Leeds United) undisclosed
Michael Hart (to Hibernian) free
Youl Mawéné (unattached)
Neil Mellor (to Sheffield Wednesday) season-long loan
Eddie Nolan (to Scunthorpe United) 6-month loan
Chris Sedwick (to Sheffield Wednesday) free
Veliche Shumulikoski (unattached) released
Ross Wallace (to Burnley) undisclosed

Another team in financial trouble. Out of the blue Preston North End failed to pay taxes. This has led to Trevor Hemmings planning to take over, only to make sure he gets the £15m back he has loaned the club. Despite the troubles, Darren Ferguson has tried to make a competitive squad, he has got rid of all the signings made by Alan Irvine and brought in players to suit his play. With a help from Daddy. Despite this, financial trouble does effect on -field performances, and I can see PNE fighting a relegation battle.

With only 1 more review to do I will take a look at Queens Park Rangers, Scunthorpe United, Sheffield United, Swansea City and Watford

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply