Tag Archives: Preston North End

Why have Sheffield Wednesday turned their fortunes’ around?

Carlos had a dream is a chant sang week in week out by Sheffield Wednesday fans all over the country but the 2017-18 season started somewhat of a nightmare for the Owls picking up 7 points in August.

It is a well known fact the side from Hillsborough have forked out massive amounts of money on new players over the past year and a half bringing in the likes of Steven Fletcher and Sam Winnall who they have since loaned to Derby County.

After an opening day defeat away at Preston the Owls then failed to win against QPR, Sunderland at home and away at Burton Albion.

There was a time that looked like Carvahal’s reign as manager was coming to an abrupt end after failing in the playoffs in the previous two seasons against Huddersfield Town losing on penalties where Jordan Rhodes refused to take one and in the final against Hull City in 2015-16 1-0.

With many Wednesdayites happy with the improvement in recent seasons failure when it matters the most has become a frustration for them and also not giving U23 star George Hirst a crack in the team after his sensational goal scoring run in the Premier Development 2 league winning side last season.

What has turned the fortunes around then?

With a win away at Fulham in late August thanks to a goal from Fletcher this is where fortunes changed and bringing the Scotsman back into the starting line-up has helped to as he netted in Saturdays convincing 3-1 victory over Nottingham Forest.

Tuesday night also saw the Owls gain a crucial victory over Brentford that was influenced by the impressive Barry Bannan who has stepped up his game dramatically of late and he has dictated games.

Saturday is another big test as the Owls go to Cardiff before going into the Steel city derby a week on Sunday .

 

 

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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…

 

 

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…