Steve Morison hustles for the ball for Millwall
So we’re pretty much a quarter of the way through the football season here in the UK and that seems as good a time as any to have a look at how things progressing across the divisions.
Following a thumping 5-0 win over a lacklustre Tranmere Rovers on Saturday, Millwall are heading back in the right direction.
Our inconsisent form has seen us yo-yo around mid table but hopefully we can push on from here and aim for the top six.
Sadly for Tranmere, tipped for the playoffs preseason, things aren’t improving and they remain in the bottom four.
At the top of League One it’s no surprise to see Leeds and Charlton filling the top two spots. I expect Leeds to take the title but Charlton will need to keep their star players fit otherwise they may struggle to maintain the pace.
The main surprise has been Swindon‘s impressive start and it will be interesting to see if they can keep on track throughout the season.
Southampton goal machine Ricky Lambert – 7 goals for the season
At the bottom Southampton have taken a lot longer than we all thought to get out of minus points and along with Tranmere and Wycombe look to be falling away. I suspect the superb signing of Ricky Lambert will see the Saints march up the table though as the season goes on.
The Premier League has been up to it’s usual tricks – the top two look to remain unchanged but as strong as Man Utd have been, I still think Chelsea will take it this year. Their defence seems stronger and less likely to implode.
Tottenham and Man City currently occupy the other Champions League spots – I cannot see Spurs mantaining that however there is a real chance for Man City to break into the top four. Next season may see even more from City, as their defensive partnerships bond – Mark Hughes has made some very shrewd signings.
Joleon Lescott: Will come good for City when settled in
It will be interesting to see what Liverpool and Arsenal can do in response to all this. I suspect Arsenal may take third place but they are often so inconsisent that you can never tell.
There is a real battle at the wrong end of the table and with Portsmouth getting a (first) win at the weekend even they are in with a shout of staying up. If I’m gonna stick my neck out and say one team I think will drop that would be Hull, who seem to have lost all confidence in manager Phil Brown.
In the Championship it’s again as you would expect with the ‘big three’ of Newcastle, West Brom and Middlesbrough filling the top three spots. All three of these teams will be up there at the end of the season. Newcastle’s super start will see them, in my opinion, take the title but second place is up for grabs.
Middlesbrough’s Adam Johnson is in great form so far this season
Lots of great individual performances in this first quarter – Kevin Nolan seems to be on fire for Newcastle, likewise Adam Johnson for Middlesbrough and the standard of the Championship this year is very high.
With lots of teams including Preston, Cardiff and Sheffield Utd also looking strong it makes for an interesting promotion race.
At the other end Reading are a big shock to see so close to the drop zone but it’s early days and they still have time to turn it around. Likewise with bottom of the lot Ipswich. Roy Keane is obviously under pressure but performances have improved and it’s only a matter of time before the positive results come – but will it be enough?
Down in League Two the season was almost overshadowed by the whole Sol Campbell affair at big spending Notts County. In my opinion, disillusioned or not, Campbell’s behaviour has been unacceptable.
County seem to still be going well but have stuttered of late – probably as all their new signings gel together.
AFC Bournemouth have raced to the top of League Two
No shock to me to see Bournemouth top – after all their recent point deductions I fancied them to have a good run on a level playing field – and Rotherham have also been strong so far.
Another of my tips, Dagenham and Redbridge have been flying and it’s nice to see Aldershot up and around the playoffs, hopefully both of them can maintain that form.
Barnet are also doing well and while Bradford have struggled here and there they will be around the playoffs come the end of the season.
At the bottom it’s as you would’ve thought really, with Grimsby putting up more of a fight than I expected so fair play to them. Darlington really are a long way (8pts) from safety and lots of other clubs could be dragged into the relegation battle.
There is still a long way to go and only a few teams are in a position that requires any sort of panic but a lot of people always say you can tell what kind of season you are going to have by where you are after 10 games.
From a personal point of view after the injuries we’ve had I’m happy to see Millwall in 10th – with a bit of luck and some more consistency we can hopefully push on and make the playoffs again this season.