2017/2018 Best Championship XI?

With the summer transfer window officially closed, we now know all the official squads in the Championship, before the clubs go through it all again in January. With that in mind we take a look at what we think is the best Championship XI on current form.

John Ruddy – Goalkeeper

The Wolves shot stopper made the switch to Molineux this summer after being released by Norwich City at the end of last season. Having kept 3 clean sheets in the opening 5 games of the Championship season, it is clear to see that Wolves have a safe pair of hands to call upon.

Sol Bamba – Centre Half

Having recently signed a new contract with the ‘Bluebirds’, Bamba and Cardiff have a terrific start to the season. Keeping 3 clean sheets and having chipped in with a goal Bamba has to take his place in this team.

Pontus Jansson – Centre Half

The Leeds man was pivotal to the club finishing just outside the play-offs last season, and has helped the club to the second best defensive record in the Championship so far this campaign. The Swedish centre half is proving to become a fans favourite at Elland Road and has been capped for his national team.

Paul Huntington – Centre Half 

The ever present centre half for Preston North End has helped the club to the best defensive record in the league so far this season and also to 7th place in the league table. At the age of 29 Huntington brings much needed experience to the back line and if Preston continue in this fine form of not conceding goals, they could sneak a play-off!

Ruben Neves – Defensive Midfielder

Perhaps the most bizarre transfer of the summer, as Neves completed his move to Wolves for a fee in the region of £15m. The 20 year has made decent start to life in England as he has scored his first goal for Wolves and helped the club to 4th place in the Championship table.

Bobby Reid – Central Midfielder

The Bristol City central midfielder is joint top scorer in the Championship with 4 goals and has 1 assist to his name which gets him a place in the side. Despite ‘The Robins’ drawing 3 successive games and falling to 14th in the league table, I fully expect them to have a good season and be in the promotion picture come May.

Jota – Right Wing

Making the move to St Andrews on deadline day could prove to be an astute piece of business for Harry Redknapp. Jota became the clubs record signing as he completed his move to the Midlands for fee in excess of £6m, and if he can capture the form he found last season at Brentford where he scored 12 goals and provided 5 assists for his team mates he will prove to a top quality signing for Birmingham.

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing – Left Wing

The Cardiff winger has certainly found his feet in the Championship as he has opened the season by scoring 4 goals. Making the switch from Rochdale in the summer, the versatile player who can play on either flank, has been in impressive form and has helped the ‘Bluebirds’ to top the Championship table.

Britt Assombalonga – Centre Forward

Guaranteed goals by this man! A Proven striker at Championship level, Assombalonga made the switch to the Riverside Stadium in the summer for £14m, showing that Boro certainly see him as a key figure in the push for an immediate Premier League return. Having started the season scoring. 2 goals in 5 games the Congolese international will be hoping to start firing on all cylinders after the international break.

Billy Sharp – Centre Forward (C)

The experienced striker has scored goals at every level and has proved his worth so far for Sheffield United in the Championship as he has found the net on 4 occasions so far. With the ‘Blades’ sitting in a play-off spot currently, they could certainly be dark horses this season, with Sharp guaranteed to score more goals.

Martyn Waghorn – Centre Forward

What a signing he has proved to be so far this season for Ipswich Town finding the net on 4 occasions also, and also having the best goal to minutes ratio in the Championship as he averages a goal every 62 minutes!

Manager – Neil Warnock

Having turned Cardiff around from a team that was struggling last season to table toppers there was no other manager I could have chose!

Do you agree this is the best Championship XI right now? Let us know in the comments section below…

 

 

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2017/18 Best Premier League XI?

With the summer transfer officially closed we now know the official squads for all the clubs until the window opens again in January. With that in mind we were thinking what is the best eleven in the Premier League at this moment in time based on current form? It’s not an easy task with there being so much talent in the Premier League but hopefully you agree.

 

Formation- 4-2-3-1

 

Goalkeeper- David De Gea, Manchester United

I couldn’t really look any further than the Manchester United shot stopper as I have the same opinion as many others that he is intact the best goalkeeper in the world. Having had a rocky start to life at Old Trafford the Spaniard has evolved into a truly great keeper which is reflected in the fact that Real Madrid have been trying to sign him for years.

 

Right back- Kyle Walker, Manchester City

There we go the fifty million pound man gets the nod from me for the right back position in the squad. Kyle Walker for me has everything you would want from a full back with his pace, strength, crossing and defensive capabilities. Walker has easily been the best right back in the league for a good three years and it’s no wonder City payed a big price for the England man.

 

Centre back- Toby Alderweireld, Tottenham Hotspur (Captain)

For me we have the best centre back in the Premier League in Toby Alderweireld. The Spurs defender is the definition of consistent as he can always be relied upon and his reading of the game is second to none. The Belgium centre-back has shone since joining Mauricio Pochettino’s side from Atletico Madrid in 2015 for £11.5million, helping them finish Premier League runners-up in May.

 

Centre back- Eric Bailly, Manchester United

Bailly was unfortunate last season with injuries just at the time when he made United’s defence look solid. He has started this season with real promise and it was a no brainer to include the Ivory Coast international as he hasn’t conceded a goal with The Reds this so far this season.

 

Left back- Marcos Alonso, Chelsea

Marcos was vital to the Chelsea team that won the title under Conte and he has started this season right where he left off. He fired Chelsea to victory over Spurs with two goals at Wembley and I make him the best left back in the Premier League at this moment in time.

 

Defensive midfielder- Paul Pogba, Manchester United

The man who lit up the footballing world in the summer of 2016 after becoming the then most expensive player of all time for an eighty-nine million pound fee from Juventus to rejoin the club he left for free. With United sorting out their defensive problems Pogba has started this season with an absolute bang and I would’t be surprised if a player of the year nomination comes his way at the end of the season.

 

Defensive midfielder- Emre Can, Liverpool

Can was often the scapegoat for Liverpool’s poor performances last year even though he scored an absolute blinder against Watford last season. This year Can has upped his game and Liverpool look genuine contenders for some silverware this season. With Lallana’s injury Can had to adopt a more energetic role within the team and it has served him well as he has already got an assist this season.

 

Right winger- Sadio Mane, Liverpool

Mane was the saving grace for Liverpool last season and they missed him when he went off to the African Cup Of Nations during last season. This season he sits as the joint top goal scorer in the league for this season with three goals only matched by Romelu Lukaku. If Mane stays fit I have no doubt he could be the top goal scorer for the season.

 

Central Attacking midfielder- Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City

No Premier League XI would be complete without the Ginger Prince that is Kevin De Bruyne. Kevin had a great season in 2016/17 as he finished as the assist king with 17 assists. De Bruyne has been integral to Manchester City for the past two seasons and i don’t see that stopping anytime soon. I wonder how hard Chelsea must be kicking themselves for letting him go?

 

Left winger- Raheem Sterling, Manchester City

Sterling is often criticised throughout the media for his lifestyle and also that he shouldn’t be in the England team. Raheem had a great season last year as he picked up the August Premier League player of the month for the 2016/17 season and he also ended it with ten goals and twenty one assists in all competitions. He has also cropped up with two very important goals so far this season and so he get’s into my XI.

 

Striker- Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur

This was the most difficult category as there are many players that have a case to be in this spot such as Aguero and Lukaku but Kane just edges it for me. Kane scored and impressive thirty five goals last season which includes twenty nine in the Premier League. Kane is up their with the very best and for me is the best Premier League striker at the moment even if he hasn’t scored yet.

 

Manager- Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham Hotspur

Without a doubt the best manager in the league for me. He does incredibly well with the budget that he has to work with and has produces some magnificent young talent.

 

A team fit enough to win the Champions League? Hopefully you can see my point of view with my XI let me know what your XI would be in the comments section below.

 

 

 

Birmingham City should look to sign this Welsh international free agent

Birmingham City completed 13 deals during this summers transfer window. The club broke their transfer fee record with the signing of Jota from Brentford with reports saying the fee was in excess of £6m. 

The ‘Blues’ haven’t had the best of starts to the new Championship campaign, picking up just one win in their first 5 games, and are currently on a run of 3 games without a victory.

With the all the new signings coming in, it is going to take time for them to gel as a team, but with such an experienced manager in Harry Redknapp at the helm the football club are in the right hands to ensure they turn around their current form and put together a good sequence of results to move themselves up the league table.

Despite making 13 signings this summer, Redknapp was reportedly in for former Arsenal and Barcelona man Alex Song on deadline day, but the move never materialised. With the Birmingham boss obviously looking for somebody who can play just in front of the back four, the club should turn their attentions to Joe Ledley.

Joe Ledley – The welsh international was released by Crystal Palace after the 2016/2017 Premier League campaign finished and is now a free agent. Over his career so far Ledley, has only played for 3 clubs (Cardiff, Celtic and Crystal Palace), making over 300 appearances in the process.

Ledley offers versatility to his game as he can sit in front of a defence as well as playing central midfield and can operate from the left side of the midfield.

If Redknapp was still in the market for another player he should look to sign Ledley as he would provide useful experience in the Birmingham ranks as he has clocked up a lot of games throughout his career and has played Championship football previously.

Birmingham City fans would you take Joe Ledley at your football club? Let us know in the comments below…

Upon This Rock: Grant McCann’s New Boys

It’s been a big window for Grant McCann and his Peterborough side after last season, losing the likes of Luke McGee, Micheal Boswick and Tom Nichols to name a few.

So it has been a summer of bringing in the talent at Peterborough and the key part is that if they can improve on the squad they had last season and on a budget as well.

So far key additions have been Jack Marriott, Johnathan Bond and Steven Taylor for the Posh this season, with the departure of both Luke McGee who left Tottenham for Portsmouth in the summer and Mark Tyler who retired to be a coach there was a huge void in the position and Bond has filled that well for the Posh already this season.

Jack Marriott so far is looking like a bargain for Posh getting him from Luton for £450,000 the 22 year old scored 22 times for the Hatters and has started off really strong for the Posh scoring six in his first four games, with the departures of Lee Angol, Tom Nichols and Paul Taylor Posh didn’t have much option up front coming into the year and McCann has got this huge buy, if Marriott keeps this up it could be signing of the season.

Big departure at the back for Posh fans as well, Micheal Boswick left for Lincoln City in the summer, Boswick has been in Peterborough for five seasons and became a huge player at the club, in my eyes at points he was the best player on the pitch most of the time, he could play anywhere at points, I’m surprised he wasn’t in goal for us at one point, with his departure we lost a huge voice and experience in the back line and the addition of Steven Taylor looks to have been a worthy replacement for a club icon.

Other arrivals to keep an eye on over the season are, Danny Lloyd, Micheal Doughty and Idris Kanu, Danny Lloyd has climbed up the ranks of the football league and had a great season last year for Stockport County which attracted the attention of McCann, from experience with Posh they like to pick players from the national league and turn them into great players and Lloyd could be another, this could be a learning year for him but i can see him starting to force his way into the first team this year.

Kanu is another who was picked from non-league football as he came from Aldershot, he has been getting some game time at the start of the year which is great to see especially for a player who’s only 17 years old he might be one to keep an eye on, Micheal Doughty has featured in everyone of McCann’s teams so far this year and looks to be a great fit in the middle of the park he has been jumping from team to team after loan spells all across the football league but he looks to have fit into the squad already and McCann is showing a lot of faith in him already.

Peterborough fans were you happy with your summer signings? Let us know in the comments below…

Portsmouth should look to sign this free agent

Portsmouth have started the League One campaign in indifferent form, picking up 4 points in their opening 4 games. Following promotion from League Two last season manager Kenny Jackett has added no fewer than 12 players to the Pompey ranks.

With a lot of the players that are at the club and that have been bought in fairly young, Jackett made sure that he added some experience as he bought in striker Brett Pitman and appointed him captain of the club. One area though that is still relatively inexperienced is the goalkeeping position, the club bought in Luke McGee from Tottenham Hotspur this summer and their only other choice for a goalkeeper is youngster Alex Bass.

Even though the club have only conceded 5 goals this season prior to their fixture against Rotherham United today, last season the club’s solid foundations at the back were built on the experienced David Forde been in net and this could be an area that they need to add experience to this season if they are to be successful.

With that in mind the club should turn to free agent Anders Lindegaard.

Anders Lindegaard – The Danish shot stopper left Preston North End at the end of last season, and is yet to find a new club. Having had previous experience with Premier League sides Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion respectively, Lindegaard could prove to be a useful addition to the Portsmouth ranks.

Starting his career at his local side Odense Boldklup, Lindegaard stayed with the club for six years before making the move to Norwegian club Aalesund in 2009, where he won the Norwegian Football Cup, before being named Goalkeeper of the year in both Norway and Denmark the following year.

Following his stint in Scandinavia, Lindegaard then made the move to England where he joined Manchester United but having only made 19 appearances in 5 years he moved onto West Brom in 2015 for regular first team football, but survived only a year at the Hawthorns before making the switch to Preston North End.

Portsmouth fans do you think Lindegaard would be a good addition to your goalkeeping ranks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…

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