Some brief thoughts on some Championship teams:
1) LEEDS UNITED
This is a team flying high where all it seems it needed was the right manager to gel all the players together. Almost like ingredients in a cake, previous managers (Garry Monk and Thomas Christiansen) have added their players and current boss Marcelo Bielsa has pulled them together. Monk threw Kemar Roofe, Pablo Hernandez, Pontus Jansson and Luke Ayling into the mix, Christiansen added the foreign influence of the likes of Samu Saiz, Ezgjan Alioski and Mateusz Klich, and Bielsa added Barry Douglas and just brought all the players together. Leeds could be called a work in progress, it seems, or a team effort of the last few managers. If anything, it shows that, much like Rome wasn’t built in a day, it sometimes takes more than one manager to build a team capable of challenging for promotion.
Just a brief point from the Bees’ performance on Saturday. Their first-choice striker Neal Maupay was suspended, and they didn’t have the clinical edge that they normally possess in great amounts. It shows that every team in the Championship needs to have at least two, preferably three top strikers in their squad to ensure that they always have a goal threat, because in the Championship, if you don’t, then you will struggle for a match or two.
3) NORWICH CITY
Norwich have gone international in the recent few transfer windows, with Daniel Farke bringing in lots of German and other foreign players he knows from his time coaching there before moving to Carrow Road. The likes of Christoph Zimmerman, Mario Vrancic, Moritz Leitner, Emi Buendia, Marco Stiepermann, Tom Trybull, Teemu Pukki (once of Celtic), Felix Passlack, Onel Hernández and Dennis Srbeny have all joined since Farke took over, but the trouble is that this season none of them look to have settled yet, and time is something that they need but that Norwich don’t have. Farke needs to get them firing on all cylinders quickly or they will lose ground and will have another disappointing season that peters out into nothing come May.
4) IPSWICH TOWN
They made a very good managerial appointment in Paul Hurst (and his assistant Chris Doig), but the recruitment was for a team that is in League One, not the Championship. They lost Bersant Celina, David McGoldrick, Joe Garner and Martyn Waghorn this summer, and those four contributed around half of the Tractor Boys’ goals last season. Bringing in League One players as their replacements to a team that wants to be challenging for promotion to the Premier League just doesn’t seem to make sense. It has proven to be an interesting window for that reason, because Ipswich have yet to win this season. However, there is time for them to turn it round, and it is widely expected that they will soon. Once Janoi Donacien, Gwion Edwards, Kayden Jackson, Ellis Harrison, Jon Nolan and Toto Nsiala all get used to the intense physicality of the Championship, they will start picking up points.