Adam Newson casts an eye around Watford's promotion rivals as the Championship season looms ever closer

Former Hornet Don Cowie has left Cardiff City and has joined Wigan Athletic. Picture: Action Images

Former Hornet Don Cowie has left Cardiff City and has joined Wigan Athletic. Picture: Action Images

First published in Watford FC News
Last updated
by

So the World Cup is over and Watford fans’ focus now turns to the 2014/15 Championship season. But those who were totally engrossed by the brilliant football spectacle in Brazil have missed a lot.

Signings have been completed, squads are being shaped and pre-season training and friendlies are well underway.

The Hornets have been busy. Matej Vydra has returned, Daniel Tozser is back on loan and Heurelho Gomes, Craig Cathcart, Gabriel Tamas and Lloyd Dyer have arrived on free transfers.

Watford have a strong squad and one that currently looks, on paper at least, capable of challenging for automatic promotion. But who will they be competing against for a place in the top two?

There’s a little under a month until the season begins and the transfer window is open until the start of September, so there’s time for teams to improve their squads.

But the framework at most clubs, bar Blackpool, has already been put in place for the forthcoming campaign.

What we can anticipate is there’s usually a side that launches a surprise promotion push. Some eventually falter but others, such as Burnley last season, can maintain their form and reach the Premier League.

The three clubs who were relegated from the top tier at the end of the last campaign – Fulham, Cardiff City and Norwich City – all look strong contenders for a place in the top two. But all three come with reservations. The trio don’t have managers who have experienced the rigours of the Championship. And they may suffer from a relegation hangover.

Fulham’s squad has changed dramatically. Experienced players such as Kieran Richardson, Steve Sidwell, Damien Duff, Brede Hangeland and John Arne Riise have departed.

Felix Magath has brought in Basle defender Kay Voser, Newcastle Jets’ Adam Taggart, Bayer Leverkusen’s Kostas Stafylidis, Motherwell’s Shaun Hutchinson and Schalke’s Tim Hoogland – five players who lack any Championship knowhow.

The Cottagers did purchase Ross McCormack from Leeds United, but for an inflated fee that could reach £11m. That looks like an expensive risk given the striker has only scored 20 goals or more in a season just twice in his career.

At Cardiff, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has added goals. Adam Le Fondre and Federico Macheda have joined while Kagisho Dikgacoi will add strength to their midfield.

The majority of last season’s squad has also been retained so it’s little surprise the Bluebirds are the bookies’ favourites to win the title. It’s a similar story at Norwich. The Canaries struggled badly for goals last season and that was arguably the reason they were relegated.

Neil Adams, who has yet to win a game since being promoted from Under-18’s coach, has added strikers Kyle Lafferty and Lewis Grabban, players who’ve scored goals in the Championship.

Their only major departure this summer has been Robert Snodgrass with the Scottish international signing for Hull City. So a promotion push is a possibility but it’s not always easy to bounce straight back up.

Last season’s beaten play-off finalists Derby County have kept hold of their key players and Steve McLaren proved throughout the previous campaign that he could make intelligent loan signings from Premier League sides.

The Rams were the highest scorers in the division last season but, without another striker yet signed, Chris Martin will again be relied upon to lead the attack.

Wigan Athletic boss Uwe Rosler has been shrewd in the transfer market and the Latics could challenge for a place in the top two.

They finished in the play-off places last season but were knocked out in the semi-final after going down 2-1 on aggregate to Queens Park Rangers.

Striker Oriol Riera, who impressed in La Liga last season for Osasuna, has been added whilst former Hornets Don Cowie and Andrew Taylor bring experience of winning the division to the Wigan side.

Creative players like Callum McManaman, Shaun Maloney and James McClean remain at the club and will create chances, although Jordi Gomez has departed for Sunderland.

As for that surprise package, well that’s difficult to choose.

Reading are yet to make a signing, Middlesbrough have lost three first-choice strikers, Nottingham Forest are an unknown quantity as Stuart Pearce embarks on his first club managerial role in seven years and Blackburn Rovers always seem close to a major drama behind the scenes.

Dougie Freedman at Bolton Wanderers, Eddie Howe at Bournemouth and Mick McCarthy at Ipswich Town are all managers who are capable of guiding a side towards the play-off positions, while Sami Hyypia is an intriguing appointment at Brighton and Hove Albion after mixed success in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen.

Leeds United are undoubtedly a sleeping giant but the surprise appointment of ex-Watford coach David Hockaday, who failed in the Conference at Forest Green Rovers, doesn’t inspire confidence that a promotion bid is likely.

The newly-promoted sides, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Brentford and Rotherham United, will be quietly confident of survival and, with Kenny Jackett in charge, Wolves have a strong chance of doing that.

Clubs who struggled last season will hope to improve. Birmingham City have recruited players from across the UK while Charlton Athletic have a new manager in Bob Peeters and he’s brought in two players from his native Belgium.

Huddersfield Town are yet to seriously strengthen but haven’t lost key players while survival is likely to be Ian Holloway’s target this season at Millwall.

Sheffield Wednesday have signed six players but Keiren Westwood is the only one of those who has more than a season’s experience in the second tier.

But with only eight first-team players currently on their books, one of the easier things to predict is that Blackpool will almost certainly struggle.

The Championship is one of the most unpredictable leagues in the world. It’s exciting, entertaining and engaging. Yet it’s a league that everyone wants to get out of.

This was first published in last Friday's Watford Observer. 

Comments (16)

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8:00am Tue 22 Jul 14

WatfordManiac says...

Very interesting report, however, if Watford cannot keep hold of Deeney it will be hard to find a replacement. Matej Vydra would be a different player if he hadn't been alongside Troy two seasons ago. He heavily relied on the knock downs and 1 2's with Deeney. As for competition, I believe Derby have got a real chance as the transfer window is still open and there are lots of strikers for them to sign.
Very interesting report, however, if Watford cannot keep hold of Deeney it will be hard to find a replacement. Matej Vydra would be a different player if he hadn't been alongside Troy two seasons ago. He heavily relied on the knock downs and 1 2's with Deeney. As for competition, I believe Derby have got a real chance as the transfer window is still open and there are lots of strikers for them to sign. WatfordManiac
  • Score: 0

8:37am Tue 22 Jul 14

thehornet35 says...

WatfordManiac wrote:
Very interesting report, however, if Watford cannot keep hold of Deeney it will be hard to find a replacement. Matej Vydra would be a different player if he hadn't been alongside Troy two seasons ago. He heavily relied on the knock downs and 1 2's with Deeney. As for competition, I believe Derby have got a real chance as the transfer window is still open and there are lots of strikers for them to sign.
So Watford would find it hard to replace Deeney yet there are lots of strikers for derby? Quite a contradiction there my friend!
[quote][p][bold]WatfordManiac[/bold] wrote: Very interesting report, however, if Watford cannot keep hold of Deeney it will be hard to find a replacement. Matej Vydra would be a different player if he hadn't been alongside Troy two seasons ago. He heavily relied on the knock downs and 1 2's with Deeney. As for competition, I believe Derby have got a real chance as the transfer window is still open and there are lots of strikers for them to sign.[/p][/quote]So Watford would find it hard to replace Deeney yet there are lots of strikers for derby? Quite a contradiction there my friend! thehornet35
  • Score: 8

8:37am Tue 22 Jul 14

The Skeptical Optimist says...

Well, this article has made me slightly less confident... Although to be fair, the Championship is like this every year. I am still overwhelmingly excited that our squad is so good this year. If we can finish 3rd with our 2012/13 squad (which don't get me wrong, was good, but not as good as this one), then we can finish 2nd with this one.
Well, this article has made me slightly less confident... Although to be fair, the Championship is like this every year. I am still overwhelmingly excited that our squad is so good this year. If we can finish 3rd with our 2012/13 squad (which don't get me wrong, was good, but not as good as this one), then we can finish 2nd with this one. The Skeptical Optimist
  • Score: 0

9:01am Tue 22 Jul 14

Harry's Bar says...

The Skeptical Optimist wrote:
Well, this article has made me slightly less confident... Although to be fair, the Championship is like this every year. I am still overwhelmingly excited that our squad is so good this year. If we can finish 3rd with our 2012/13 squad (which don't get me wrong, was good, but not as good as this one), then we can finish 2nd with this one.
In theory, yes.
[quote][p][bold]The Skeptical Optimist[/bold] wrote: Well, this article has made me slightly less confident... Although to be fair, the Championship is like this every year. I am still overwhelmingly excited that our squad is so good this year. If we can finish 3rd with our 2012/13 squad (which don't get me wrong, was good, but not as good as this one), then we can finish 2nd with this one.[/p][/quote]In theory, yes. Harry's Bar
  • Score: 1

9:25am Tue 22 Jul 14

Wimbledonhorn says...

Need to keep hold of Deeney for a top 2 finish. Really is that simple..
Need to keep hold of Deeney for a top 2 finish. Really is that simple.. Wimbledonhorn
  • Score: 3

10:24am Tue 22 Jul 14

WessexLad says...

Like most Hornet's fans, I'm hugely excited at the squad we've assembled for 2014/15. However, the bookies are more sanguine: only eighth favourite for promotion (13/2) and the same odds for relegation as for champion (16/1).

http://www.oddscheck
er.com/football/engl
ish/championship/win
ner
Like most Hornet's fans, I'm hugely excited at the squad we've assembled for 2014/15. However, the bookies are more sanguine: only eighth favourite for promotion (13/2) and the same odds for relegation as for champion (16/1). http://www.oddscheck er.com/football/engl ish/championship/win ner WessexLad
  • Score: 1

10:59am Tue 22 Jul 14

WatfordManiac says...

thehornet35 wrote:
WatfordManiac wrote:
Very interesting report, however, if Watford cannot keep hold of Deeney it will be hard to find a replacement. Matej Vydra would be a different player if he hadn't been alongside Troy two seasons ago. He heavily relied on the knock downs and 1 2's with Deeney. As for competition, I believe Derby have got a real chance as the transfer window is still open and there are lots of strikers for them to sign.
So Watford would find it hard to replace Deeney yet there are lots of strikers for derby? Quite a contradiction there my friend!
There aren't many strikers like Deeney, so he would be hard to replace. Derrby however are not looking for a specific type of striker, just someone who is going to score goals.
[quote][p][bold]thehornet35[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]WatfordManiac[/bold] wrote: Very interesting report, however, if Watford cannot keep hold of Deeney it will be hard to find a replacement. Matej Vydra would be a different player if he hadn't been alongside Troy two seasons ago. He heavily relied on the knock downs and 1 2's with Deeney. As for competition, I believe Derby have got a real chance as the transfer window is still open and there are lots of strikers for them to sign.[/p][/quote]So Watford would find it hard to replace Deeney yet there are lots of strikers for derby? Quite a contradiction there my friend![/p][/quote]There aren't many strikers like Deeney, so he would be hard to replace. Derrby however are not looking for a specific type of striker, just someone who is going to score goals. WatfordManiac
  • Score: -2

10:59am Tue 22 Jul 14

WatfordManiac says...

thehornet35 wrote:
WatfordManiac wrote:
Very interesting report, however, if Watford cannot keep hold of Deeney it will be hard to find a replacement. Matej Vydra would be a different player if he hadn't been alongside Troy two seasons ago. He heavily relied on the knock downs and 1 2's with Deeney. As for competition, I believe Derby have got a real chance as the transfer window is still open and there are lots of strikers for them to sign.
So Watford would find it hard to replace Deeney yet there are lots of strikers for derby? Quite a contradiction there my friend!
There aren't many strikers like Deeney, so he would be hard to replace. Derrby however are not looking for a specific type of striker, just someone who is going to score goals.
[quote][p][bold]thehornet35[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]WatfordManiac[/bold] wrote: Very interesting report, however, if Watford cannot keep hold of Deeney it will be hard to find a replacement. Matej Vydra would be a different player if he hadn't been alongside Troy two seasons ago. He heavily relied on the knock downs and 1 2's with Deeney. As for competition, I believe Derby have got a real chance as the transfer window is still open and there are lots of strikers for them to sign.[/p][/quote]So Watford would find it hard to replace Deeney yet there are lots of strikers for derby? Quite a contradiction there my friend![/p][/quote]There aren't many strikers like Deeney, so he would be hard to replace. Derrby however are not looking for a specific type of striker, just someone who is going to score goals. WatfordManiac
  • Score: -2

10:59am Tue 22 Jul 14

WatfordManiac says...

thehornet35 wrote:
WatfordManiac wrote:
Very interesting report, however, if Watford cannot keep hold of Deeney it will be hard to find a replacement. Matej Vydra would be a different player if he hadn't been alongside Troy two seasons ago. He heavily relied on the knock downs and 1 2's with Deeney. As for competition, I believe Derby have got a real chance as the transfer window is still open and there are lots of strikers for them to sign.
So Watford would find it hard to replace Deeney yet there are lots of strikers for derby? Quite a contradiction there my friend!
There aren't many strikers like Deeney, so he would be hard to replace. Derrby however are not looking for a specific type of striker, just someone who is going to score goals.
[quote][p][bold]thehornet35[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]WatfordManiac[/bold] wrote: Very interesting report, however, if Watford cannot keep hold of Deeney it will be hard to find a replacement. Matej Vydra would be a different player if he hadn't been alongside Troy two seasons ago. He heavily relied on the knock downs and 1 2's with Deeney. As for competition, I believe Derby have got a real chance as the transfer window is still open and there are lots of strikers for them to sign.[/p][/quote]So Watford would find it hard to replace Deeney yet there are lots of strikers for derby? Quite a contradiction there my friend![/p][/quote]There aren't many strikers like Deeney, so he would be hard to replace. Derrby however are not looking for a specific type of striker, just someone who is going to score goals. WatfordManiac
  • Score: -2

10:59am Tue 22 Jul 14

WatfordManiac says...

thehornet35 wrote:
WatfordManiac wrote:
Very interesting report, however, if Watford cannot keep hold of Deeney it will be hard to find a replacement. Matej Vydra would be a different player if he hadn't been alongside Troy two seasons ago. He heavily relied on the knock downs and 1 2's with Deeney. As for competition, I believe Derby have got a real chance as the transfer window is still open and there are lots of strikers for them to sign.
So Watford would find it hard to replace Deeney yet there are lots of strikers for derby? Quite a contradiction there my friend!
There aren't many strikers like Deeney, so he would be hard to replace. Derrby however are not looking for a specific type of striker, just someone who is going to score goals.
[quote][p][bold]thehornet35[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]WatfordManiac[/bold] wrote: Very interesting report, however, if Watford cannot keep hold of Deeney it will be hard to find a replacement. Matej Vydra would be a different player if he hadn't been alongside Troy two seasons ago. He heavily relied on the knock downs and 1 2's with Deeney. As for competition, I believe Derby have got a real chance as the transfer window is still open and there are lots of strikers for them to sign.[/p][/quote]So Watford would find it hard to replace Deeney yet there are lots of strikers for derby? Quite a contradiction there my friend![/p][/quote]There aren't many strikers like Deeney, so he would be hard to replace. Derrby however are not looking for a specific type of striker, just someone who is going to score goals. WatfordManiac
  • Score: -2

10:59am Tue 22 Jul 14

WatfordManiac says...

thehornet35 wrote:
WatfordManiac wrote:
Very interesting report, however, if Watford cannot keep hold of Deeney it will be hard to find a replacement. Matej Vydra would be a different player if he hadn't been alongside Troy two seasons ago. He heavily relied on the knock downs and 1 2's with Deeney. As for competition, I believe Derby have got a real chance as the transfer window is still open and there are lots of strikers for them to sign.
So Watford would find it hard to replace Deeney yet there are lots of strikers for derby? Quite a contradiction there my friend!
There aren't many strikers like Deeney, so he would be hard to replace. Derrby however are not looking for a specific type of striker, just someone who is going to score goals.
[quote][p][bold]thehornet35[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]WatfordManiac[/bold] wrote: Very interesting report, however, if Watford cannot keep hold of Deeney it will be hard to find a replacement. Matej Vydra would be a different player if he hadn't been alongside Troy two seasons ago. He heavily relied on the knock downs and 1 2's with Deeney. As for competition, I believe Derby have got a real chance as the transfer window is still open and there are lots of strikers for them to sign.[/p][/quote]So Watford would find it hard to replace Deeney yet there are lots of strikers for derby? Quite a contradiction there my friend![/p][/quote]There aren't many strikers like Deeney, so he would be hard to replace. Derrby however are not looking for a specific type of striker, just someone who is going to score goals. WatfordManiac
  • Score: -2

11:22am Tue 22 Jul 14

Glenn Roeder says...

WessexLad wrote:
Like most Hornet's fans, I'm hugely excited at the squad we've assembled for 2014/15. However, the bookies are more sanguine: only eighth favourite for promotion (13/2) and the same odds for relegation as for champion (16/1).

http://www.oddscheck

er.com/football/engl

ish/championship/win

ner
Exactly...Great to feel excitement but the bookies are no mugs and there are plenty of other good teams challenging.

QPR last season are the perfect example of how winning it on paper with names of squad members (however seemingly talented) only gets you so far.

Qualities like consistency, work-rate and generally being 'up-for-it' EVERY game will be far more important, I feel.

Leicester and Burnley had these qualities last season.
[quote][p][bold]WessexLad[/bold] wrote: Like most Hornet's fans, I'm hugely excited at the squad we've assembled for 2014/15. However, the bookies are more sanguine: only eighth favourite for promotion (13/2) and the same odds for relegation as for champion (16/1). http://www.oddscheck er.com/football/engl ish/championship/win ner[/p][/quote]Exactly...Great to feel excitement but the bookies are no mugs and there are plenty of other good teams challenging. QPR last season are the perfect example of how winning it on paper with names of squad members (however seemingly talented) only gets you so far. Qualities like consistency, work-rate and generally being 'up-for-it' EVERY game will be far more important, I feel. Leicester and Burnley had these qualities last season. Glenn Roeder
  • Score: 3

12:01pm Tue 22 Jul 14

The Skeptical Optimist says...

Glenn Roeder wrote:
WessexLad wrote:
Like most Hornet's fans, I'm hugely excited at the squad we've assembled for 2014/15. However, the bookies are more sanguine: only eighth favourite for promotion (13/2) and the same odds for relegation as for champion (16/1).

http://www.oddscheck


er.com/football/engl


ish/championship/win


ner
Exactly...Great to feel excitement but the bookies are no mugs and there are plenty of other good teams challenging.

QPR last season are the perfect example of how winning it on paper with names of squad members (however seemingly talented) only gets you so far.

Qualities like consistency, work-rate and generally being 'up-for-it' EVERY game will be far more important, I feel.

Leicester and Burnley had these qualities last season.
Because of course QPR didn't get promoted in the end.

Oh wait. :P

Yes, it's true that QPR didn't run away with it like many thought they would, but if you consider the squad that nearly got us promoted 2 years ago compared to what we have now. Consider also that the year afterwards we lost three major players in Vydra, Chalobah and Hogg. Consider also that we still would have probably gotten into the play offs if our player of the season, Abdi, hadn't been injured from September to April... We all complain at how badly we played for much of the season, but that bad luck must have been a part of it... The season before he'd scored 10 goals from midfield, assisted many more and had just been our main creative influence and playmaker. That was a bigger blow than losing Vydra, much as I am pleased to have him back now.

It's true that anything can happen in the Championship, that competition is tough and I'm certainly the last to be counting chickens. But we have a better chance than ever before. We've finally found a good replacement for Hogg in Tozser, we have our speedy star striker back in Vydra, we have a different, but equally capable midfielder in McGugan (can't argue with 10 goals from midfield in a mid-table team) to replace Chalobah, and meanwhile we've added and strengthened in every other part of the field, I think without exception.

If we don't at least put up a serious fight, then it's due to self-destruct. Yes, it could happen that we don't even come close, but something would have to go seriously wrong.
[quote][p][bold]Glenn Roeder[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]WessexLad[/bold] wrote: Like most Hornet's fans, I'm hugely excited at the squad we've assembled for 2014/15. However, the bookies are more sanguine: only eighth favourite for promotion (13/2) and the same odds for relegation as for champion (16/1). http://www.oddscheck er.com/football/engl ish/championship/win ner[/p][/quote]Exactly...Great to feel excitement but the bookies are no mugs and there are plenty of other good teams challenging. QPR last season are the perfect example of how winning it on paper with names of squad members (however seemingly talented) only gets you so far. Qualities like consistency, work-rate and generally being 'up-for-it' EVERY game will be far more important, I feel. Leicester and Burnley had these qualities last season.[/p][/quote]Because of course QPR didn't get promoted in the end. Oh wait. :P Yes, it's true that QPR didn't run away with it like many thought they would, but if you consider the squad that nearly got us promoted 2 years ago compared to what we have now. Consider also that the year afterwards we lost three major players in Vydra, Chalobah and Hogg. Consider also that we still would have probably gotten into the play offs if our player of the season, Abdi, hadn't been injured from September to April... We all complain at how badly we played for much of the season, but that bad luck must have been a part of it... The season before he'd scored 10 goals from midfield, assisted many more and had just been our main creative influence and playmaker. That was a bigger blow than losing Vydra, much as I am pleased to have him back now. It's true that anything can happen in the Championship, that competition is tough and I'm certainly the last to be counting chickens. But we have a better chance than ever before. We've finally found a good replacement for Hogg in Tozser, we have our speedy star striker back in Vydra, we have a different, but equally capable midfielder in McGugan (can't argue with 10 goals from midfield in a mid-table team) to replace Chalobah, and meanwhile we've added and strengthened in every other part of the field, I think without exception. If we don't at least put up a serious fight, then it's due to self-destruct. Yes, it could happen that we don't even come close, but something would have to go seriously wrong. The Skeptical Optimist
  • Score: 4

6:24pm Tue 22 Jul 14

ralear49 says...

pretty interesting and thorough analysis. Can't say I agree with the view that Wolves wil be working on survival though. I think they will be a far stronger contender than that. Their fans deserve at least Championship status and the stadium is worth the visit. As long as they finish below us...
pretty interesting and thorough analysis. Can't say I agree with the view that Wolves wil be working on survival though. I think they will be a far stronger contender than that. Their fans deserve at least Championship status and the stadium is worth the visit. As long as they finish below us... ralear49
  • Score: 0

8:58am Wed 23 Jul 14

Glenn Roeder says...

The Skeptical Optimist wrote:
Glenn Roeder wrote:
WessexLad wrote:
Like most Hornet's fans, I'm hugely excited at the squad we've assembled for 2014/15. However, the bookies are more sanguine: only eighth favourite for promotion (13/2) and the same odds for relegation as for champion (16/1).

http://www.oddscheck



er.com/football/engl



ish/championship/win



ner
Exactly...Great to feel excitement but the bookies are no mugs and there are plenty of other good teams challenging.

QPR last season are the perfect example of how winning it on paper with names of squad members (however seemingly talented) only gets you so far.

Qualities like consistency, work-rate and generally being 'up-for-it' EVERY game will be far more important, I feel.

Leicester and Burnley had these qualities last season.
Because of course QPR didn't get promoted in the end.

Oh wait. :P

Yes, it's true that QPR didn't run away with it like many thought they would, but if you consider the squad that nearly got us promoted 2 years ago compared to what we have now. Consider also that the year afterwards we lost three major players in Vydra, Chalobah and Hogg. Consider also that we still would have probably gotten into the play offs if our player of the season, Abdi, hadn't been injured from September to April... We all complain at how badly we played for much of the season, but that bad luck must have been a part of it... The season before he'd scored 10 goals from midfield, assisted many more and had just been our main creative influence and playmaker. That was a bigger blow than losing Vydra, much as I am pleased to have him back now.

It's true that anything can happen in the Championship, that competition is tough and I'm certainly the last to be counting chickens. But we have a better chance than ever before. We've finally found a good replacement for Hogg in Tozser, we have our speedy star striker back in Vydra, we have a different, but equally capable midfielder in McGugan (can't argue with 10 goals from midfield in a mid-table team) to replace Chalobah, and meanwhile we've added and strengthened in every other part of the field, I think without exception.

If we don't at least put up a serious fight, then it's due to self-destruct. Yes, it could happen that we don't even come close, but something would have to go seriously wrong.
Yes they did get promoted in the end but certainly the hard way.

Rewind to the start of last season and the general consensus was that, with the quality of their squad, they were going to walk the league no problems.
[quote][p][bold]The Skeptical Optimist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Glenn Roeder[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]WessexLad[/bold] wrote: Like most Hornet's fans, I'm hugely excited at the squad we've assembled for 2014/15. However, the bookies are more sanguine: only eighth favourite for promotion (13/2) and the same odds for relegation as for champion (16/1). http://www.oddscheck er.com/football/engl ish/championship/win ner[/p][/quote]Exactly...Great to feel excitement but the bookies are no mugs and there are plenty of other good teams challenging. QPR last season are the perfect example of how winning it on paper with names of squad members (however seemingly talented) only gets you so far. Qualities like consistency, work-rate and generally being 'up-for-it' EVERY game will be far more important, I feel. Leicester and Burnley had these qualities last season.[/p][/quote]Because of course QPR didn't get promoted in the end. Oh wait. :P Yes, it's true that QPR didn't run away with it like many thought they would, but if you consider the squad that nearly got us promoted 2 years ago compared to what we have now. Consider also that the year afterwards we lost three major players in Vydra, Chalobah and Hogg. Consider also that we still would have probably gotten into the play offs if our player of the season, Abdi, hadn't been injured from September to April... We all complain at how badly we played for much of the season, but that bad luck must have been a part of it... The season before he'd scored 10 goals from midfield, assisted many more and had just been our main creative influence and playmaker. That was a bigger blow than losing Vydra, much as I am pleased to have him back now. It's true that anything can happen in the Championship, that competition is tough and I'm certainly the last to be counting chickens. But we have a better chance than ever before. We've finally found a good replacement for Hogg in Tozser, we have our speedy star striker back in Vydra, we have a different, but equally capable midfielder in McGugan (can't argue with 10 goals from midfield in a mid-table team) to replace Chalobah, and meanwhile we've added and strengthened in every other part of the field, I think without exception. If we don't at least put up a serious fight, then it's due to self-destruct. Yes, it could happen that we don't even come close, but something would have to go seriously wrong.[/p][/quote]Yes they did get promoted in the end but certainly the hard way. Rewind to the start of last season and the general consensus was that, with the quality of their squad, they were going to walk the league no problems. Glenn Roeder
  • Score: 1

9:05am Wed 23 Jul 14

Glenn Roeder says...

Glenn Roeder wrote:
The Skeptical Optimist wrote:
Glenn Roeder wrote:
WessexLad wrote:
Like most Hornet's fans, I'm hugely excited at the squad we've assembled for 2014/15. However, the bookies are more sanguine: only eighth favourite for promotion (13/2) and the same odds for relegation as for champion (16/1).

http://www.oddscheck




er.com/football/engl




ish/championship/win




ner
Exactly...Great to feel excitement but the bookies are no mugs and there are plenty of other good teams challenging.

QPR last season are the perfect example of how winning it on paper with names of squad members (however seemingly talented) only gets you so far.

Qualities like consistency, work-rate and generally being 'up-for-it' EVERY game will be far more important, I feel.

Leicester and Burnley had these qualities last season.
Because of course QPR didn't get promoted in the end.

Oh wait. :P

Yes, it's true that QPR didn't run away with it like many thought they would, but if you consider the squad that nearly got us promoted 2 years ago compared to what we have now. Consider also that the year afterwards we lost three major players in Vydra, Chalobah and Hogg. Consider also that we still would have probably gotten into the play offs if our player of the season, Abdi, hadn't been injured from September to April... We all complain at how badly we played for much of the season, but that bad luck must have been a part of it... The season before he'd scored 10 goals from midfield, assisted many more and had just been our main creative influence and playmaker. That was a bigger blow than losing Vydra, much as I am pleased to have him back now.

It's true that anything can happen in the Championship, that competition is tough and I'm certainly the last to be counting chickens. But we have a better chance than ever before. We've finally found a good replacement for Hogg in Tozser, we have our speedy star striker back in Vydra, we have a different, but equally capable midfielder in McGugan (can't argue with 10 goals from midfield in a mid-table team) to replace Chalobah, and meanwhile we've added and strengthened in every other part of the field, I think without exception.

If we don't at least put up a serious fight, then it's due to self-destruct. Yes, it could happen that we don't even come close, but something would have to go seriously wrong.
Yes they did get promoted in the end but certainly the hard way.

Rewind to the start of last season and the general consensus was that, with the quality of their squad, they were going to walk the league no problems.
Not trying to be negative as I am feeling excited. Just decided to go into this season with a feet on the ground attitude after what has happened the last few seasons.
[quote][p][bold]Glenn Roeder[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Skeptical Optimist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Glenn Roeder[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]WessexLad[/bold] wrote: Like most Hornet's fans, I'm hugely excited at the squad we've assembled for 2014/15. However, the bookies are more sanguine: only eighth favourite for promotion (13/2) and the same odds for relegation as for champion (16/1). http://www.oddscheck er.com/football/engl ish/championship/win ner[/p][/quote]Exactly...Great to feel excitement but the bookies are no mugs and there are plenty of other good teams challenging. QPR last season are the perfect example of how winning it on paper with names of squad members (however seemingly talented) only gets you so far. Qualities like consistency, work-rate and generally being 'up-for-it' EVERY game will be far more important, I feel. Leicester and Burnley had these qualities last season.[/p][/quote]Because of course QPR didn't get promoted in the end. Oh wait. :P Yes, it's true that QPR didn't run away with it like many thought they would, but if you consider the squad that nearly got us promoted 2 years ago compared to what we have now. Consider also that the year afterwards we lost three major players in Vydra, Chalobah and Hogg. Consider also that we still would have probably gotten into the play offs if our player of the season, Abdi, hadn't been injured from September to April... We all complain at how badly we played for much of the season, but that bad luck must have been a part of it... The season before he'd scored 10 goals from midfield, assisted many more and had just been our main creative influence and playmaker. That was a bigger blow than losing Vydra, much as I am pleased to have him back now. It's true that anything can happen in the Championship, that competition is tough and I'm certainly the last to be counting chickens. But we have a better chance than ever before. We've finally found a good replacement for Hogg in Tozser, we have our speedy star striker back in Vydra, we have a different, but equally capable midfielder in McGugan (can't argue with 10 goals from midfield in a mid-table team) to replace Chalobah, and meanwhile we've added and strengthened in every other part of the field, I think without exception. If we don't at least put up a serious fight, then it's due to self-destruct. Yes, it could happen that we don't even come close, but something would have to go seriously wrong.[/p][/quote]Yes they did get promoted in the end but certainly the hard way. Rewind to the start of last season and the general consensus was that, with the quality of their squad, they were going to walk the league no problems.[/p][/quote]Not trying to be negative as I am feeling excited. Just decided to go into this season with a feet on the ground attitude after what has happened the last few seasons. Glenn Roeder
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