All posts by Connor West

The Chairboys flying high

Gareth Ainsworth and his Wycombe Wanderers are enjoying their 2019/20 campaign in League One so far, with the Chairboys five points clear at the top of the table.

Wycombe have only lost one game so far this season and they are looking very comfortable at the top of League One.

Wycombe manager, Gareth Ainsworth

However, it is going to be a very difficult winter period for Ainsworth’s men as they face Burton Albion, Oxford United, Portsmouth, Coventry City, Ipswich Town, Peterborough United and Sunderland; who are all aiming for promotion this season.

The real test starts for the Blues with the toughest fixtures of the season all coming at once.

If they manage to stay in the play offs or even the automatic places, after the upcoming fixtures, then Wycombe fans will deserve something to cheer about come the end of the season.

With the Chairboys having the third lowest budget in the league, it just goes to show the brilliance of Ainsworth, his staff and his players.

The underdogs are starting to show the big boys like Ipswich, Coventry and Sunderland; that they are a team who needs to be taken seriously.

Derby County skipper, Richard Keogh sacked for gross misconduct

Republic of Ireland international, Richard Keogh has been sacked by Derby County over his involvement in a drink driving crash, that’s resulted in two of his team mates arrested.

The 33 year old sustained a serious knee ligament damage that has ruled him out for up to 15 months after midfielder, Tom Lawrence crashed into a lamppost.

Both Lawerence and forward, Mason Bennett pleaded guilty to drink driving.

Keogh started his career off at Stoke City but failed to make an impact and went to Icelandic side, Víkingur on loan before moving to Bristol City; after only 40 appearances and four loan spells at Wycombe Wanderers, Huddersfield Town, Carlisle United and Cheltenham Town.

The defender was sold to Carlisle United for an undisclosed fee, where he went on to make 95 appearances.

After an impressive spell in League One, he was sold to Championship side, Coventry City, where he became a real fans favourite. He played every minute of every game for the 2010-11 season and scored his first goal for Coventry on the last game of the season against Norwich. He was voted Players’ Player of the Year at the end of the 2010–11 season awards for Coventry City.

Keogh played every game for Coventry since signing for the club, until his unfortunate dismissal in the game at home to Doncaster Rovers on 21 April 2012, which brought an end to a run of 91 consecutive games played.

Despite Coventry City’s relegation from the Championship, Keogh won the Player of the Year award for the second consecutive season at Coventry’s end of season awards. He also won the Players’ Player of the Year awards.

After a brilliant two year spell at Coventry, Keogh had to be sold for ongoing money problems the Sky Blues faced.

Keogh was sold to Derby and went on to make 355 appearances for the Rams. Where he won six individual awards as Player of the year, Players’ Player of the year and Supporters’ Player of the year.

In a statement regarding Keogh leaving Derby, the Championship club said that they had “completed the disciplinary hearing regarding Richard Keogh in respect of his involvement in the events of Tuesday 24th September” and that his contract had been “terminated with immediate effect”.

“As we have said from the outset, the club will not tolerate any of its players or staff behaving in a manner which puts themselves, their colleagues, and members of the general public at risk of injury or worse, or which brings the club into disrepute,”

However, Keogh was not driving either car and was just a passenger. Lawerence and Bennett, who were both driving, were fined six weeks’ wages by the club, while Derby magistrates’ court ordered the players to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work, gave them a 12-month community order and banned them from driving for two years.

Is Olivier Giroud’s time up at Chelsea?

After Chelsea forward, Giroud spoke out about his frustration with the lack of game time, it has sparked rumours that the Frenchman will leave Chelsea in January.

The 33 year old spoke to Le Pelerin and said, “You do not have to be fatalistic in certain situations. I have always been respectful and humble. Even if I do not agree with the coach, I do not criticise him.

“But in myself, I cannot accept it because I know what I’m worth on a pitch. Last year, when I felt that I deserved to play, I asked the coach for explanations.”

Giroud performed well for Chelsea in the Europa League last season, scoring 11 goals in 14 appearances; leading the side to glory after scoring and beating his former side, Arsenal 4-1.

Giroud had a phenomenal Europa League campaign last season

However, Giroud doesn’t regret joining Chelsea from London rivals, Arsenal, “I want to have fun and play more games. Chelsea is my priority but afterwards if in the end I am forced to make a choice, I will do it like when I left Arsenal.

“He (Frank Lampard) will almost certainly watch the matches [I just played for France]. In any case, I am going back to Chelsea pumped up.

“It was not easy to leave Arsenal for Chelsea two years ago. I loved Arsenal,” added Giroud, who scored the only goal in France’s 1-0 win over Iceland on Friday.

“But it was a progression because Chelsea is the English club that has won the most titles, with Manchester City, in ten years.

“I had competitors in attack – [Alvaro] Morata, [Gonzalo] Higuain, who ended up leaving. I won at the end: I played the final of the FA Cup in 2018 and the [Europa League] final in 2019.”

Despite Chelsea having a transfer embargo, if Giroud was to leave, Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard still has Premier League joint top scorer, Tammy Abraham and Belgian, Michy Batshuayi to use if Giroud was surplus to requirements.

Chelsea face Newcastle United at the weekend and it is more than likely Giroud will be sitting on the sidelines yet again with the in form, Abraham expected to start and Batshuayi on the bench.

The Three Invincible’s

With the new football season in full swing, the tables are beginning to take shape.

The 92 teams are experiencing the highs and lows of English football; from the thrill of winning to the shared spoils of a draw and to the heartache of defeat.

However, three teams have only experienced the thrill of winning and the shared spoils of a draw so far this season as Liverpool (Premier League), Ipswich Town and Coventry City (both League One) still remain unbeaten.

Liverpool

Liverpool started off the campaign with a load of confidence after comfortable wins against Norwich City, Arsenal, Burnley and Newcastle United. With the formidable trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino in their usual form.

Two of the dynamic trio (Firmino, left and Mané, right)

The question is; will Liverpool remain unbeaten this season? The simple answer is, no.

Since the poor display in their 2-0 UEFA Champions League defeat to Napoli, Liverpool have scrapped wins against Chelsea, MK Dons (in the League Cup), Sheffield United and Red Bull Salzburg (in the Champions League).

It seems like Liverpool have been worked out by teams and thanks to Adrian in goal they have managed to keep an unbeaten record this season, but the signs are showing that a league defeat is on the horizon.

Ipswich Town

Ipswich Town are another team unbeaten this season and are enjoying themselves at the top of League One.

With goals coming in thick and fast from star signing, James Norwood, the Tractor Boys look to dominate League One this season.

James Norwood enjoying his first season at Ipswich

With Paul Lambert’s side facing third place, Fleetwood Town, it could put an end to a terrific unbeaten start to the campaign; but that won’t distract them staying at the top of the table for the majority of the season.

Coventry City

This is the second best start to a season Coventry City have had in their history and are just five games away from the record which was set in 1937.

Under their manager, Mark Robins, the Sky Blues look like a force to be reckoned with.

Mark Robins has put the faith back into the Coventry faithful

Their temporary home, St Andrews is becoming a fortress and already having 11 different scorers in the league so far, City are definitely the team to beat.

The Sky Blues face a tough task away to Rotherham United tomorrow afternoon, if they lose then it would be an end to a brilliant start to the campaign, with all the ongoing issues off the pitch, the players have stayed focussed and now look like real favourites to go up this season.

How is the League One table looking so far

As we approach week eight of the League One season, there have been a few surprises up and down the table.

Flying high

Wycombe Wanderers have been the surprise package under Gareth Ainsworth this season, as the Chairboys sit top of the table, unbeaten this season.

Defender, Joe Jacobson has been the stand out performance so far as he has managed to grab four goals already this season.

Second place, Coventry City are level on points with the Chairboys, but sit behind them through goal difference.

Another side unbeaten this season, Mark Robins’ men have been producing eye watering football at their temporary home, St Andrew’s.

Coventry City’s temporary home, St Andrews Trillion Trophy Stadium

Ipswich Town are currently sitting in third place, a point behind the top two, but with a game in hand.

New signing, James Norwood has looked like signing of the summer in League One so far this season, as he currently has five goals in six games for the Tractor Boys, who will be fighting for promotion under Paul Lambert this season.

Facing the drop

However, Portsmouth, a team who looked to be fighting for promotion, is struggling in 18th place with only one win this season. No one would’ve predicted this start from Kenny Jacket’s side.

Kenny Jackett is feeling the pressure at Pompey

Another side struggling is Southend who are second from bottom, losing six out of six.

The Shrimpers have only scored four goals this season and conceded 17, which is the joint most amount. The Seasiders have a lot to do if they want to stay in League One this season.

Bottom of the table, Bolton Wanderers currently have -11 points, but with a new owner and an addition of 10 new signings, the Trotters will be hoping to pick up more points to try and get out of the relegation zone.