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A merry christmas at your club?

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Paul Fletcher | 10:45 UK time, Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Rochdale might be perennial Christmas turkeys but I reckon their supporters might just be the happiest in the Football League right now.

The Dale have been in the basement division since 1974 but it has been a cracker of a season so far, with Keith Hill's side top of League Two and 10 points clear of the play-off zone.

Hill has done a terrific job and, after reaching the play-offs for the last two seasons, his team are well placed to go one better this time.

Their fixture against Shrewsbury last weekend was the only League two match to survive the weather and plenty of rival managers were at the chilly surrounds of Spotland to watch Rochdale's 4-0 demolition of Shrewsbury.

Hill sounded bullish afterwards, throwing down the classic 'catch us if you can' challenge - but much could depend on what happens during the January transfer window.

Chris Dagnall, for example, has 12 league goals and could yet become a belated present for a club from a higher division.

Rochdale's Chris O'Grady celebrates scoring with team-mates Rochdale have had plenty to celebrate so far

I know what Bournemouth want for Christmas - the Football League to lift their transfer embargo. Eddie Howe has worked wonders with his threadbare squad, and the Cherries are second in the League Two table. However, their 5-0 thrashing at Morecambe suggests they might be running out of steam.

Rotherham fans can celebrate Christmas confident that the loss of Mark Robins has not derailed their promotion push, while I reckon Dagenham & Redbridge, Chesterfield, Morecambe, Aldershot and Accrington (still in business after a major scare) should all be delighted with their current standings.

The football club that forgot to take the turkey out of the freezer this year is undoubtedly Darlington.

I still cannot work out why they jettisoned Colin Todd, an experienced and wily manager, for Steve Staunton. Not another vanity appointment by a young and inexperienced chairman seduced by a relatively big name?

Darlo have eight points and a goal difference of minus 35 after 21 games - and are 11 points from safety. I fear that next season they can look forward to showcasing arguably the finest stadium the Blue Square Premier has ever seen.

And how full is Santa's sack at Notts County? Not very, I suspect.

Their supporters must feel a bit like a child who was promised a bike but given a crayon set. (It happened to me once and I still haven't really recovered). Certainly the big talk of the previous summer has started to sound extremely hollow.

No such problems for supporters of Leeds, who look to be marching ho, ho, ho the way to promotion from League One.

Leeds look like absolute, total, complete, cast-iron certainties for promotion from League One. There is absolutely no chance that they will not be playing Championship football next season. Top young manager, quality squad and plenty of good revenue streams.

What could possibly go wrong?

This season's battle to get out of League One is shaping up to be a ferocious contest, with more than the normal number of big boys hoping to take a sizeable step towards where they 'belong'.

Full credit to Phil Parkinson, who has kept Charlton firmly on the heels of Leeds, while Paul Lambert has ensured the early-season shambles at Norwich is a fading memory.

Huddersfield are busy trying to prove that you can win things with kids, and it will be interesting to see how well their young and inexperienced side lasts as the lengthy campaign wears on.

And who would write off Southampton, who started the season on minus 10 and failed to win for seven League One fixtures but have hit top form over recent months and the play-offs are now just nine points away.

Rickie Lambert's scoring ratio - 16 goals in 21 league appearances - is starting to suggest he might be worth £1m Saints paid for him.

Brighton manager Gustavo Poyet still has a lot of work to do if he isn't to end up looking like a budin ingles. His tenure started with victory at Southampton but his team have lost five of their six league matches since and spend Christmas Day in the relegation zone.

Brighton boss Gus Poyet has plenty to think about this Christmas There is plenty for Poyet to think about this Christmas

Their situation is nowhere near as perilous as Stockport County, who are rock-bottom, nine points from safety and in administration. They are so short of money that their bench is nowadays packed with youth-team players and they face losing their key assets in January. What's more they face losing their training ground.

Going bust is a real possibility and they, more than any other Football League club, are in need of some festive charity.

There will not be any festive concerns about the busy yuletide programme for Brian Laws (Sheffield Wednesday), Paul Sturrock (Plymouth Argyle) and Brendan Rodgers (Reading) this year. The trio can all tuck into turkey at their leisure after recently receiving the heave ho.

Supporters of quite a few Championship sides will spend Christmas mulling over how the first half of the season has been underwhelming.

Ipswich have had a campaign to forget so far, while the appointment of Gordon Strachan at Middlesbrough has hardly revitalised their season. Boro were one point off top when they sacked Gareth Southgate. They are now 20 behind Newcastle.

Given that most soap operas put on a festive special, QPR supporters could be forgiven for expecting more dramatic developments at their club, while Watford fans have already received their not insubstantial Christmas gift after Lord Ashcroft shelled out £4.88m to stave off the threat of administration.

Newcastle supporters might want a self-help book that helps them to come to terms with good news. After what seems like years of chaos, they are riding high in the Championship, while West Brom are also looking a strong candidate for an instant Premier League return.

I saw Nottingham Forest demolish Preston on Saturday and reckon they may well finish the season promoted. They have so many attacking options, a solid defence and in Billy Davies a manager who knows all about succeeding in the Championship.

The lofty status of Cardiff and Swansea should ensure a happy Christmas in Wales while Leicester fans must surely be pleased to be sixth.

But I reckon Blackpool fans should rejoice as much as any other Championship supporters.

In an era of largely bland managerial comments, boss Ian Holloway is always great value, with his steady stream of one-liners, mixed metaphors and convoluted analogies. If his time at the club turned sour, he could always get a gig doing stand-up at the Winter Gardens.

But it is not just his chat. His first season in charge has seen the Seasiders reach their highest league position since the early 1970s and the former Bristol Rovers, QPR, Plymouth and Leicester boss has breathed new life into a club that reaches far into the past for a glimpse of its glory days.

Blackpool sit just three points off the play-off zone this Christmas, and for that I think their fans should be truly thankful.

I would like to take this chance to wish you all a happy Christmas - and feel free to let me know what football-orientated presents you would like.

You can follow me throughout the season at twitter.com/Paul__Fletcher

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Would be nice for Chesterfield to leave Saltergate with a promotion, taking League One football to the b2net next season.
    http://sportales.com/soccer/english-premiership-correct-score-predictions-week-17-261209/

  • Comment number 2.

    Merry Christmas Paul and, as an AFC Bournemouth supporter, I can confirm that you are absolutely right about what present we would like. The Football League allowed us a squad of 20 at the start of the season, but one player left the club and another (Mark Molesley) is likely to be out for the season after playing with a fractured foot and making it worse! The FL should be ashamed of themselves as many of our players have been forced to play when unfit, thus risking their careers. They should let us maintain a squad of 20 by replacing absent players. They seem to be making up the 'rules' as they go.

  • Comment number 3.

    I don't think Rochdale will hold out at the top. My money is on Rotherham for the title. Rochdale will however still get promoted, there is no doubt about that. Darlington sacking Todd and Windass was very silly in my opinion, as both know the lower leagues very well. When you're down in the dumps Windass is definately the sort of person you want around the club.

    Like most fans in this country I really hope Leeds hit some bad form, would love to see Huddersfield go up, think Lee Clark has done wonders there, and their fans deserve some success. Although I think the other promotion spot will be taken by Charlton or Norwich. Norwich are really looking a strong outfit at the moment however, i'd much rather see Charlton get it, as I think Parkinson has done an outstanding job.

    As for where the championship is concerned I think the Gareth Southgate sacking was just unbelievable. He wasn't really underperforming, and why didn't they just sack him when they first got relegated from the premier league?
    I'm hoping that Forest get back to the promise land this season, along with Newcastle. Then would love to see Sheffield United make it through the play-offs, there's not many better away trips for a Hull fan than Bramall Lane. Providing we're still in the Premier League, if we get relegated then Forest and Sheffield United can stay exactly where they are in the championship.

  • Comment number 4.

    As usual, a good blog Paul, however just a couple of small points about Stockport County.

    We haven't sold our training ground, we currently pay rent on it to one of our ex-owners Brendan Elwood. This time last year he gave the club an ultimatum, carry out substantial repairs or be evicted. County fans rallied together and a group called Help The Hatters was set up to try and get the work done for as little as possible.

    They performed brilliantly, with local business donating or selling at trade cost, a lot of the fixtures and fittings, while County Fans did a large amount of the work in their own time.

    Now, with that work complete, Mr Elwood has decided the time is right to sell the training ground from under us.

    With regards to the Administration issue, approximately 250 County fans are marching from Edgeley Park to Leonard Curtis' offices in Manchester in protest at the way the administration is being handled and the massive fees the administrators are charging. That march is taking place right now!

  • Comment number 5.

    Oldham Athletic to get rid of Dave Penny...and reinstall that plastic pitch.

  • Comment number 6.

    Rob Reckless - I've tweaked the sentence about the training ground, just to make it clear the club don't own it. Thanks for that. I hope that the march goes well as the club's fans really do deserve some good news. Do you think you can stay up this season?

  • Comment number 7.

    All I want for Christmas is a goal!! From a Wednesday fan whose team hasn't scored in six and host Newcastle on boxing day followed by a tricky visit to Blackpool....might be waiting til the New Year for that goal!!

  • Comment number 8.

    It's not going to be a great Christmas at Bury, we're resigned to losing Stephen Dawson when the window re-opens as he's turned down a new contract offer. He's been one of our best players all season and I'm hoping his departure will not lead to an exodus.

    If there's one thing I'd love most for Christmas for us, it'd be to have Danny Nardiello back until the end of the season. He's been amazing for us in the 6 games he played and the skill and class he has was in full evidence. We've had too many injuries to strikers, and the fit ones are aging and inconsistent. When we get Andy Bishop back and fully fit I'm sure our league form will start to come back to us. This Bury squad is good enough for promotion and I hope we can do that automatically and not via the play-offs!

  • Comment number 9.

    Well i am a Sheffield Wednesday fan and i am happy???

    Don't Know why?
    a) we are still in debt
    b) we are in Championship relegation zone
    c) we have no manager (hurry up Curbishley LOL)
    d) well....it's just dire...

    But the reason i am happy...because i a real football fan and follow my team through thick & thin and of course it's Chrimbo...

    Things can only get better in the New Year! Can't they?

    Deano the Blue&White Owl

  • Comment number 10.

    "What could possibly go wrong?" you mean apart from having secret owners and a senile chairman, apart from players looking to move on rather than be part of a team mentality (Beckford, Robinson), apart from injuries, suspensions, bad luck and the Elland Road gipsy curse, oh and the last 9 years, yes apart from all that we are stick on for promotion.

    Sorry but no real Leeds United fan is going to buy that stuff, until we are home and hosed experience tells us EVERYTHING can still go wrong!

  • Comment number 11.

    Chuffed to bits for Keith Hill and Rochdale from a Bolton fan. Me and the missues have known Keith's wife for a number of years and this is no overnight success. He put in all the legwork with the youth team and impressed his bosses enough to get the main job over far bigger names. Hopefully, he'll win the promotion him and his back room staff have worked so hard for.

  • Comment number 12.

    What could possibly go wrong at Leeds?

    Pretty much everything. It usually does.

  • Comment number 13.

    I've reckon freddy_dingo has hit the nail firmly on the head....and I'm a Leeds fan!

    The fact that everyone keeps talking of us been "certainties" for promotion, worries me a lot. I must admit that we are looking pretty good bets at the moment, though. I am just waiting for us to push that self destruct button.

  • Comment number 14.

    Paul: Thanks for the tweak!

    As for staying up, that largely depends on coming out of Administration quickly. If we can, and if we can get some experienced players in, then I feel we can. There is a lot of talent at the club, but a lot of it is raw and shouldn't be being asked to play week in week out just yet.

    There is also the issue of losing our star performers. In Carl Baker, we have a magician, he is capable of anything and in a team doing well, he would shine. Owain Fon Williams is a good keeper, again, he is only young, but he is a very good shot stopper. He needs to improve his kicking and his command of the area, but it wouldn't surprise me to see him move on.

    If, by some minor miracle, we can keep hold of them and add some much needed experience, then we could stay up. That is the biggest of big if's though!

  • Comment number 15.

    Thankful is not the word. This is a great time to be a Blackpool fan. Let's just see what 2010 brings. The future's bright, the future's tangerine...

  • Comment number 16.

    "What could possibly go wrong at Leeds?
    Pretty much everything. It usually does."

    Yeah that would be about right! Hopefully we will keep the good form going and finally get the job finished, oh and an upset at Old Trafford on 3rd January would be great too!


  • Comment number 17.

    Surely it's a bit lazy to dismiss Ipswich's campaign as one to forget. Granted it hasn't been fantastic but we are currently 10 unbeaten and there's only one way we're going. Added to that we've obviously got a new manager, new players and a new Chief Excecutive; that upheaval was bound to have an effect and it's certainly making things interesting. I've got my money on a late run to the play-offs. Merry Christmas.

  • Comment number 18.

    Myself and the rest of the Doncaster Rovers fans have reason to be very happy this Christmas.

    Our League position is so surprising the local paper spells it after it's been written- 'Rovers are 11th (eleventh) in the Championship'.

    I don't care that the division is so compressed there's only 16 points between 22nd and 6th, nor do I care that the man who's getting all our goals (Billy Sharp) is on loan and we'll never be able to afford him.

    I'm enjoying it while it lasts!

  • Comment number 19.

    still cannot work out why they jettisoned Colin Todd, an experienced and wily manager, for Steve Staunton. Not another vanity appointment by a young and inexperienced chairman seduced by a relatively big name?
    -----------------------------------------------------
    You are talking about the number of letters in his name right? I mean when you say relatively big, Steve Staunton.....it's a bigger name than john smith granted, but not sure what decade you are talking about....Mr Clueless is probably more apt.

  • Comment number 20.

    Looking outside of the Football League, it's a very happy Christmas for my hometown club, Newport County. Top of the Blue Square South, 12 points clear with a game in hand. Dean Holdsworth got off to a shaky start last year and at one point it looked like we were going to go down, but thanks to his excellent recruitment choices and the enormous hard work of the club's background staff and supporters, the Exiles are on course to not only end the season with promotion, but be debt free when they get there. Newport's dream of League football could be closer than we think!

  • Comment number 21.

    As a Port Vale fan, what I'd like is to stay where we are. Relegation to the BSP would be a disaster; promotion would probably be worse, as we'd be in the BSP within 3 years anyway, probably with a points deduction. What I'd like even more is for that Williams eejit never to darken Vale Park's turnstiles again & stick instead to Man U or Liverpool or whoever it is he really supports.
    From our division, I hope Dale & Rotherham go up; from Div 1 I'd love to see Leeds get rid of the big baby Beckford to some Prem suckers for ££££ & still go up [which they definitely would]; from the Champ I'd love to see Donny make the play-offs; from the BSP I'd dearly love it if Oxford United [the most arrogant team in the UK outside the Prem] fell flat on their faces...again...
    Messy Xmas to all fans!

  • Comment number 22.

    Henry Cowen - that is why I wrote 'so far'. We all know crazy things can happen in the Championship. And lets be honest, Keano provided us all with some truly scary entertainment when he took to task the man who would not turn off his mobile.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/8370710.stm

    collie21 - Did most Darlo fans think it was a terrible appointment at the time?

    50scarrow - I always believe it is important for fans to understand when they are in the midst of the good times, instead of always wanting and expecting more. Too often fans don't realise how good they have had it until the decline has started.

    And to all the Leeds fans out there - come on, lighten up. Surely they won't mess it up this year under the steady stewardship of Simon Grayson?

  • Comment number 23.

    Knew Strachan was duff. Boro can expect nothing from him this season.

    Knew Keane would turn things around at Ipswich. Good luck to him and that club.

    Know Cardiff will fail again to go up. Probably at the last hurdle.

    Good luck to Rochdale! You surely deserve to go up. As are Leeds. (And I'm glad for them too!)

    And lift that ridiculous embargo on Bournemouth. What a bunch of tÖ55ers they are at the FA/League whatever.





  • Comment number 24.

    I've got to say, that this year has been so depressing, it's made me turn to the great Kipling for poetical inspiration.


    If you can keep your shirt clean when all about you
    Are dirtying theirs and blaming it on you;
    If you can trust yourself (to miss) when all men cheer you,
    But make allowance for their jeering too;
    If you can wait for a goal and not be tired by waiting,
    Or, being lied about players signing, don't deal in transfers,
    Or, money being spent, do giveaway your best players
    And yet don't look, nor sing too much;

    If you can dream—and not make them come true;
    If you can think—and not make winning your aim;
    If you can meet with players and disaster
    And treat those two imposters just the same;
    If you can bear to see the truth you've payed for
    Twisted by owners to make a ticket for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your weekend to broken,
    And stand and drink bovril with wornout faces

    If you can remember none of your winnings
    And still risk it on one game of toss,
    And lose, and restart again at your conceding
    And never breathe a word about your ground;
    If you can force your overpriced hat and gloves and scarf
    To serve your chill long into the Winter months,
    And so keep warm when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: "Get off you useless *****!";

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your sanity,
    Or walk with fans—nor lose the common negativity;
    If foes and loving friends can thrash you;
    If all men laugh at you, but none with you;
    If you can fill the 90 minutes
    With bugger all worth of distance run -
    Yours is the Sixfields and everything that's in it,
    And—which is more—you'll be a Cobbler my son


    From 12th in League One, to 20th in League Two. Fairly impressive, even by our suicidal standards. I'd be surprised if anyone can match that in terms of places dropped. Ah, football. Gotta love it. Here's to a similarly oppressive 2010. Conference here we come! Merry Christmas from all us happy folk at NTFC.

  • Comment number 25.

    As a York City fan, my Christmas wish is to keep hold of Richard Brodie and Michael Ingham!

    Outstanding performances from both have prompted a great deal of higer division interest!

  • Comment number 26.

    Hi Paul
    You say "Brighton manager Gustavo Poyet still has a lot of work to do if he isn't to end up looking like a budin ingles.".
    I went to the link, understand Spanish and, frankly, don't get it. Why might Gustavo Poyet end up looking like a cake?

  • Comment number 27.

    I think one of the biggest achievements of the season would be if Forest got promoted. Considering our position last year and how well we have done up to now is just astonishing.

    Leicester - false position, sorry!

    you reds

  • Comment number 28.

    Paul Parker - I was reliably informed that it is the Spanish version of a Christmas pudding.

  • Comment number 29.

    Nah, that's a "Rafa Benitez".

  • Comment number 30.

    . . . or a Maradona?

  • Comment number 31.

    Forest have spent a lot of money...a lot of people had them up there in their predictions for this season (although most of them were told to pipe down by Forest fans who not in their wildest dreams expected such a turn around in a short period of time).

    Another team that should be happy is Crewe. What a job Dario's doing there since he's taken back over.

  • Comment number 32.

    I think that your exactly right about saints and that we've done so well despite not having the best of starts to a season

    But i would like to see saints in the play - offs as a chirstmas to us

    Happy Christmas and come on the saints

  • Comment number 33.

    Dario Gradi at Crewe is also worth a mention. One, if not 'the' manager with the current most league games as manager under his belt.

    Crewe have now gone 5 games undefeated including 2 great away wins at Chesterfield and Barnet. Next up is Rochdale!

    The Alex are now only 5 points off a play-off position. Good Luck...

  • Comment number 34.

    As a lifelong Rochdale fan, I'm delighted at their current league position, well deserved. Full credit is due to the management duo, Hill and Flitcroft. For proof, look no further than some of the other clubs you mention and their leading goalscorers. Rickie Lambert [ex-Rochdale]; Grant Holt [ex-Rochdale]; Adam Le Fondre @ Rotherham [ex-Rochdale]. I'm just hopeful the 'Dale can hang on to some of their star players through the January transfer window - and that includes the injured Will Buckley who was recently named in the top 50 young players in the World!!!

  • Comment number 35.

    The last 2 years Leeds have been "dead certs" to go up at some point during the season, hit a shocking patch, limped into the play offs and the rest is History. Leeds don't do finals.

    I do feel this year will be different, but who knows.

    Thanks to the few fans who have wished Leeds luck on here, we don't get many neutrals uttering those words, so i hope you have particularly merry xmas'!

    A perfect late gift would be to beat the red filth from across the hills on January 3rd. PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE! Not holding my breath mind.

    MOT

  • Comment number 36.

    Good to hear Rochdale supporters are so happy with the state of their club. I fully agree that Keith Hill has done a great job so far.

    I watched images of Stockport's protest on the television and must say that I wish them all the best as well.

  • Comment number 37.

    At man utd. For our defenders to be fit!

    Also David Villa would not too bad either

  • Comment number 38.

    Obviously its not been a good first half of the season for my team (Sheffield Wednesdsay), but it really cannot get much worse. Get Akpo Sodje back from Charlton and offer Jim Magilton the managers job and I predict we will move on to a comfy mid table finish! Also i'm keeping my fingers crossed for a much improved 2010 for Hereford United and Portsmouth!

  • Comment number 39.

    As a Plymouth fan everything at the club is topsy-turvy and I don't like that.

    We seem to have no stability at the club with the board acting like everythings fine, when being botom at christmas is not fine. I like Paul Mariner but he's been rushed into the job too quickly and we need to go after someone who we know for sure can get out of this mess and with Paul you just can't be sure as of yet.

    So nothing's fine down here, and none of the board will be getting a christmas card from me for sure!

  • Comment number 40.

    I feel that the worst christmas of all is for the Luton Town fans here! I know we technically aren't a football league team, but after a history of league seasons our first experience of the BSP is going horribly wrong and it looks like we'll be stuck here for another year!

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    A small mention for Leicester.
    Surely we deserve a bit more of a mention.
    We went down the other season, came back up last season (showed Leeds how its done) and we are 6th under Nigel Pearson.
    Everyone predicted we could struggle after coming back up and we have done very well.
    If we go up via the play-offs to the Premier League, it would be surreal.
    But thats Manadric, the 3 year plan is slowly coming together.
    For now, Im happy with the Play-offs.

  • Comment number 43.

    forest have spent money but lets face it they needed to. last season their squad was not good enough for championship football. the signings billy has made have been spot on, good enough to go up and stay up. leeds however are scraping wins every week, which is fine in league 1 but will not work in the championship. things will go wrong at some point in leeds, maybe the xmas period could do it.

  • Comment number 44.

    Our (Leeds) promotion hopes could rest on Beckford, Snodgrass and other key players not having the game of their lives at Old Trafford on January 3rd! We should do it this year. And those who question Beckford, if Simon Grayson plays him I would too. He is far more qualified than any Leeds fan to keep who he wants.

    And a message to Forest fans, you won't fill that proposed new stadium. I think Alan Green raised this point on 606 when clubs like Coventry get a big stadium (Forest's will be a lot bigger than Coventry's) and then don't get enough fans in to make money on it ending up with financial problems. That plus all these expensive signings only leads one way...administration. Trust me I'm a LEEDS FAN - I should know!

  • Comment number 45.

    As a West Brom fan, with my main attension fixed on the Championship. I would say the four teams I would give a mention from our Division are, Leicester, Nottm Forest, Blackpool and Newcastle.

    Leicester and Nottm Forest both only just came up, and are both currently flirting with Automatic Promotion / Playoffs. Our East Midland neighbours are both playing some good football, and are working hard. I'm damn pleased for Nigel, he always did great at Albion - I doubt our great escape would of happened without him as our number two at the time.

    Personally, I'd love to see a Forest v Leicester playoff final this year, that'd be magic - and that'd hopefully mean neither of the two teams would pip Albion to second place.

    Blackpool are playing some great football, and the win at home against Newcastle last month confirmed their status as a good Championship team, one not punching above their weight. I was damn happy our game against them was at the weekend was called off, with our recent performances I was expecting to drop points.. hopefully we'll be playing better football again once the rearranged fixture comes around.

    And, as for Newcastle. Well.. me, most pundits, most my friends.. infact almost everyone could see a second season of collapse comming. Even with the squad they have, many thought they would faulter again this year. They have done a number on the rest of the league so far this year - I hope their fans are managing to enjoy it after such a dissapointing relegation last term.

    As for Albion, overall I am happy as we've shown ourselves to be able to play football which could prove to be good enough to match a number of Premiership teams.
    However, I must say I am also dissapointed with the two slumps we have had, as I cannot understanding the reasons behind them.
    Earlier in the year we had beat Plymouth and Doncaster (back-to-back) 3-1 at home, and then stuffed Middlesbrough 5-0 away, scoring 11 goals and letting in 2 in 3 games.. to suddenly slip to conceeding 6 and scoring 1 in the next three games, loosing all of them.
    And it's happened again, after another great run of results with us alongside Newcastle looking to create some distance between us and the playoff placed teams we've let it slip again letting in 6 goals in three games and picking up two points.
    The odd bad result happens, but to have runs of great - and fairly poor performances is something I cannot quite get my head around.

    So, for Christmas I'd like Albion to not repeat these awful slumps. For a team to look so potent and clinical and create a great run of results.. to then suddenly look inept and clueless is not cool.

    It's a mental battle we must win.


    I also think it's worth mensioning that at present all three of last years promoted (championship) teams are currently outside of the Premiership relegation zone, credit to all three of them - yet more of our Midland neighbours doing well.
    I hope Blues and Wolves can both stay up, and for Albion to again be promoted. I'd love to see all four of the West Midlands big teams in the top flight.. even if only lasted one year..

  • Comment number 46.

    It would be nice to see Norwich get promoted to the Championship and Paul Lambert is doing a fine job there.

    Does anyone know if a side has ever been promoted or even won a title the same season as they have conceded 7 at home?

  • Comment number 47.

    @ 46

    I have no idea if that's ever happened, but I am damn sure it's never happened when you throw into the pot that the manager of the team that stuffed them to 7 then master-minded their turn around.

  • Comment number 48.

    Ian Holloway's about as funny as having your neck broken. I don't know how anybody can think otherwise.

  • Comment number 49.

    I think it would be great to see Cardiff or Swansea in the Prem
    Does anyone think it will happen??
    Also, I'd like to see Peterborough stay in the Championship, but that doesn't look likely...
    Also, from Comment 24, Luton have made a bigger drop, from Championship to Blue Square Premier over 3 seasons! Now thats a drop!

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 51.

    I am damn sure it's never happened when you throw into the pot that the manager of the team that stuffed them to 7 then master-minded their turn around.rolex replica

 

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