Championship 2012/13 Preview Teams M-W

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 18/08/2012
This part the teams included are Millwall, Nottingham Forest, Peterborough United, Sheffield Wednesday, Watford and Wolverhampton Wanderers.Championship 2012/13 Preview Teams M-W

Millwall

Millwall looked as though they could fall through the trap door but with the goals of Andy Keogh and Harry Kane the Lions finished a respectable 16th, 17 points clear of the relegation places the challenge for Millwall now will surely to aim for the top half of the table. Players in Maik Taylor (Leeds, free), Scott Malone (Bournemouth, player exchange), Chris Taylor (Oldham, free), Karleigh Osborne (Brentford, free), Danny Shittu (free)

Last Season - 16th - Top Scorer - Darius Henderson (15)

Prediction - 21st
With so many good teams in the league this year I think Millwall will keep their head about water.

Fans view with Samuel Johnson. You can follow Sam on Twitter @johno1567

How did you fare last season? Best moment, worst moment etc.

We could of done a bit better last season, picked up towards the end, but for the majority of the season we under performed.

Who was your best and worst performer last season?

Best performer was Darius Henderson. 19 goal season, which is good. Individually there wasn't one person who performed poor past season.

How do you think you'll do this season? Hopes, final position?

hopefully we will be able to improve on last seasons position of 16th, maybe push for a 10-11th finish, I'll be happy with that.

What's your squad like, new signings, etc?

Our squad is decent, it's got some good quality players in there, good enough to stay well clear of relegation but not to sure whether it's good enough for playoff. To achieve that Kenny needs to bring in more players who have got good experience at championship level.


Which player would you happily get rid of?

There isn't really one player I'd happily get rid of, the squad is good in quality and I think it's alright the way it is.

Which player do you think will make the biggest impression in your team this season?

I'm hoping the defence improves this season, let in a lot of cheap goals last season that could of easily been avoided, and effectively got us more points

Fans favourite?

Fans favourite is definitely Darius Henderson for me.

Any player impressed you during pre-season?

No player has individually stood out in ore-season however none have really under performed which is good.

What is your manager Kenny Jackett like?

Kenny is a decent manager. This is his make or break season for me, last chance to prove himself to the board and the fans.

What advice would you give to Jackett?

I'd tell him to play a more attacking style of football that would attract more people to the club and increase our chances of a better finish in the Championship. However that's easier said than done.

Are you happy with the Chairman/Backroom staff?

The chairman could pump a bit more money in to the club but apart from that he's good.

Which team do you want to beat the most and why?

Well it was West Ham but now that the scum have been promoted I wouldn't mind a couple of victories over crystal palace.

Any opposition player you admire?

Quite like Marvin Emnes at Middlesbrough, good skills and scores a few goals.

Predict your champions and runner up, the four Play-Off teams and the three to go down

Champions: Blackburn

2nd: Wolves

Playoff: Leicester

Leeds

Middlesbrough

Bolton




Nottingham Forest

Was a rollercoaster of a season for Forest with Steve McLaren taking over from Billy Davies and after a disastrous start being shown the door and former owner Nigel Doughty suddenly passed away in February. Steve Cotterill took over and kept Forest's head above water but new rich overseas owners gave Cotteril his p45 and have now gave the job to Sean O'Driscoll. Forest have lost some key player in Gareth McCleary, Chris Gunter and Paul Anderson but Chris Cohen is on the mend which is good news for Forest fans. The signing of Simon Cox looks a decent acquisition. In come Adlene Guedioura (Wolves, undisclosed), Danny Collins (Stoke, undisclosed), Greg Halford (Portsmouth, free), Dan Harding (Southampton, undisclosed), Simon Gillett (free agent), Daniel Ayala (Norwich, season-long loan), Simon Cox (West Brom, undisclosed

Last Season - 19th - Top Scorer - Gareth McCleary (7).

Prediction - 12th
Don't write off Forest to challenge for the play-offs but I think they just may fall short.

Fans view with Rodrigo De Triana who is on Twitter @RodrigodeTriano


How did you fare last season? Best moment, worst moment etc.

Best moment of the 2011/12 season had to be beating Leeds 7-3 away (laughs) Neil Warnock!!! Worst moment well there was loads of low points losing 1-0 at home against Bristol City was worrying!

Who was your best and worst performer last season?

My best performer over last season going to go with Andy Reid big players perform at the right time and he was one of the contributing facts of us staying up. There wasn't many of Steve McLaren's signings that performed at all last season so anyone of the following could fall into the bracket of worst performer... Derbyshire, Miller, Greening, Boeteng

How do you think you'll do this season? Hopes, final position?

I think we will do ok this season the Championship is unbelievably competitive so if we finish around 10th I would think that would be realistic and achievable.

What's your squad like, new signings, etc?

The squad is shaping up well considering the players that have left. The new faces seem to be settling in and are sensible signings who have performed well at this level before.

Which player would you happily get rid of?

I would happily get rid of Ishmael Miller, don't really like singling out players but he just hasn't come close to showing the potential he has.

Which player do you think will make the biggest impression in your team this season?

Biggest impression on the team will be Adlene Guedioura if he produces the form he showed when coming on loan last season we will be awesome. He would walk into any Championship team.

Fans favourite?

Looking forward to getting Chris Cohen back in the team really missed him last season.

Any player impressed you during pre-season?

Dan Harding looks like a player been impressed with him in pre-season.

Do you think the sacking of Steve Cotterill was harsh?

The new owners have their own ideas, their own plans and their own man in charge so think the sacking of Steve Cotterill came with the new territory

Happy with the appointment of Sean O'Driscoll?

Quite made up with SO'D appointment. With all the high profile names banded about who were linked with the job think SO'Ds appointment was a very sensible indeed. He likes to play football, knows the league, hasn't made rash signings and seems to bring a calmness to the place. Also doesn't come with the pressure and expectations of a high profile manager

What advice would you give to O'Driscoll?

SO'D doesn't need any advice from me just keep us competitive and let's all keep the faith.

Are you happy with the Chairman/Backroom staff?

Which team do you want to beat the most and why?

Team to beat are The Sheep (Derby County) doesn't need a reason

Any opposition player you admire?

Opposition player I admire is Stuart Holden for Bolton he's going to have a big influence this season.

Predict your champions and runner up, the four Play-Off teams and the three
to go down

1) Bolton
2) Blackburn
3) Birmingham
4) Leeds
5) Wolves
6) Cardiff
Three to go... Barnsley, Peterborough and Derby


Peterborough United

Peterborough lost talisman Craig Mackail-Smith last summer but the Posh avoiding the trap door by finishing 10 points clear. Some decent amount of money has been spent this summer with Tyrone Barnett signing for £1.2 million from Crawley but it appears top scorer Paul Taylor sees his future elsewhere. Transfers in Tyrone Barnett (Crawley, £1.2million), Shaun Brisley (Macclesfield, undisclosed), Nathanial Knight-Percival (Wrexham, free), Danny Swanson (Dundee United, free), Robert Olejnik (Torquay, undisclosed), Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Wolves, undisclosed), Michael Bostwick (Stevenage, undisclosed), Jonson Clarke-Harris (Coventry, free)

Last Season - 18th - Top Scorer - Paul Taylor (12)

Prediction - 22nd
- I think the Posh "we'll score one more than you" style of football may cost them dear this season and I just think they don't have enough goals in them to save them from the drop this time.

Fans view with Tom Lea at Peterborough.vital football.co.uk


How did you fare last season? Best moment, worst moment etc.

We did well to survive, however we simmered out towards the end of the season, a lot of players were tired, and with the Championship getting stronger, the players' fitness needs to improve for sure, especially if we're involved in a battle right at the end of the season. The best moment was beating Ipswich Town 7-1 at home. The atmosphere was fantastic that day. The other would be centre back Ryan Bennett's storming run down the line (in his last game for us), putting a perfect cross in for Tyrone Barnett (on his debut) to head home a last minute equaliser at Doncaster. The worst moment has to be the 3-0 home defeat by Millwall.. It was a cold evening, and to be outclassed like we were, just made it worse for everyone.


Who was your best and worst performer last season?

We had a couple of good performers last season. Gaby Zakuani was easily our player of the season, but Paul Taylor also had a brilliant second half to the season too. The worst performers would have to be both of our former goalkeepers - Joe Lewis and Paul Jones. They were both very dodgy, and fans were glad to see them both leave.


How do you think you'll do this season? Hopes, final position?


I think it'll be a massive struggle, but we'll survive, possibly one or two places above the relegation zone. I think there will be as many as 6 or 7 teams involved in a relegation fight.


What's your squad like, new signings, etc?




It's stronger than last seasons. Danny Swanson and Michael Bostwick look like very good players, as well as our new goalkeeper, Bobby Olejnik. He commands his area very well, and he's extremely vocal, you could hear him a mile off! I think keeping Grant McCann has also been a good decision, he's had a good pre-season. But Tommy Rowe is a big loss, he's injured and out until around September, which is a shame as he became a big part of our team, playing in the left back role. The full-back positions are the ones that are worrying. Most fans think that we're too short of depth in the positions, but there have been rumours that we're in the market for a left back. The return of Matthew Briggs on loan from Fulham has been mentioned.



Which player would you happily get rid of?

It's not because he's a bad player, but it's because he wants to leave - Paul Taylor. He's a great player, and I'd love to see him sign a new contract. But while he's only got a year left, and he has his heart set on a move, I'd like to see us cash in on him, rather than let him go for free. We'd be able to further strengthen the squad with the money his sale would bring in.




Which player do you think will make the biggest impression in your team this season?

If Paul Taylor stays, I think he will. Along with Danny Swanson and Gaby Zakuani. They're all fantastic players, and as long as they stay fit, I think they'll have good seasons for us.


Fans favourite?

It has to be our captain, Gaby Zakuani. I dont know a Posh fan that doesn't like him! The majority of fans have got his name on their new shirts, and the decision to make him captain proved very popular indeed.


Any player impressed you during pre-season?

I think Michael Bostwick looks like a good player, he's very strong and I believe he'll go on to be a very important player for us.




What is your manager Darren Ferguson like?

He's brilliant. He knows what he wants from his players, and he usually gets the tactical decisions correct. He's been good at taking players out of the lower leagues and improving them immensely. The most notable are Ryan Bennett, Craig Mackail-Smith, George Boyd and Aaron Mclean. He's also bee a great influence on players that maybe were close to ruining their own careers, for example, Paul Taylor. He struggled with drug problems, and was released from teams in lower leagues. Posh fans are hoping that Jonson Clarke-Harris will be the next success story.

What advice would you give to Ferguson?

I wouldn't. I, and the majority of Posh fans have faith in Fergie, and we trust that the decisions he makes, will be the right ones.

Are you happy with the Chairman/Backroom staff?

Darragh MacAnthony has been a big part in getting us to where we are today. He came in when we were a mid-table league 2 side, and he's helped take us to the championship. He's also put Barry Fry in his place... As most fans saw him as a loose cannon when he was in charge...


Which team do you want to beat the most and why?

Besides Huddersfield (haha), I'd like to see us beat the relegated premiership teams, as no one is giving us a chance this season, so it'd be amazing to prove the critics wrong. But it would also be nice to have a repeat of that brilliant day at Old Trafford, that saw us beat you 3-0, haha.


Any opposition player you admire?

He may not play football this season, or ever again. But if he did, It has to be Fabrice Muamba. To have come back so strong from the cardiac arrest he suffered, he's an inspiration to everyone, and I have endless amounts of admiration and respect for him. But another would be our former striker, Craig Mackail-Smith. He did a lot for us while he was here, and he'll always be known as a Posh legend.



Predict your champions and runner up, the four Play-Off teams and the three to go down



Champions: Bolton

Runner Up: Birmingham

Play-Offs: Wolves, Blackburn, Hull, Leicester

Relegation: Millwall, Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday.



Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday pipped arch rivals Sheffield United to the second automatic spot last season in League One at Hillsborough against Wycombe Wanderers. The 37,000 Wednesday fans that turned out shows the potential The Owls have but the club have been yo-yoing between the second tier and third tier for the last ten years. The sacking of Gary Megson in favour for Dave Jones proved in the end the correct decision as soon as Jones joined the club went on an unbeaten run and flew into 2nd place behind runaway leaders Charlton. In Jones they have a manager who knows the Championship inside out and has made some shrewd moves in the transfer market bring in former Liverpool goalkeeper Chris Kirkland on a free, Anthony Gardner on a free and brought back the loan star Michail Antonio. Chris Kirkland (Wigan, free), Kieran Lee (Oldham, free), Joe Mattock (West Brom, free), Anthony Gardner (Crystal Palace, free), Chris Maguire (Derby, undisclosed), Diogo Amado (Uniao Leiria, free), Nejc Pecnik (CD Nacional, free), Rhys McCabe (Rangers, free), Michael Antonio (Reading, undisclosed)

Last Season - 2nd (League One) - Top Scorer - Gary Madine (18)

Prediction - 14th
- Could be an outside tip for the play-offs but I think a mid-table finish would be nothing to be ashamed of.

Fans view with Sarah Poole and Paul Middleton. You can follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahx1867


How did you fare last season? Best moment, worst moment etc.

SP - The obvious answer is promotion party 5th May. Amazing day!! But i can't help but say Antonio's winning goal in the last few seconds of "Fergie time" against Carlisle was the best moment. Fans were leaving, as a draw meant that Sheffield United would be able to clinch onto automatic promotion. With literally seconds left Antonio scored. Hillsborough erupted!! Without that goal who knows... Maybe we wouldn't have for promoted.

PM - We got promoted – and I suppose if you ask any Owls fans, 99% of them would say the best moment would be the final game of the season when promotion was clinched against Wycombe at a full to bursting Hillsborough. The fact that it was done at the expense of our porky neighbours from down the road after their complete capitulation towards the end of the season made the champagne taste that much sweeter. Worst moment? You're having a laugh, right?


SP - Worst moment when we sacked Megson. Although it turned out for the best, can't help but feel it was unfair.


Who was your best and worst performer last season?

SP - Best performer - Antonio without a shadow of a doubt!
Miguel Llera, Ryan Lowe and Chris O'Grady also performed well last season.
Worst Performer - Julian Bennett

PM - I wouldn't like to single out worst performers from last season. Even our bad players played their part. Best performer? Take your pick. Our loan stars Ben Marshall, Danny Batth and Michail Antonio were all inspirational, the goals of leading scorer Gary Madine (goal machine) were invaluable, the steady defensive performances and indeed goal contributions from the likes of Reda Johnson, Rob Jones, Lewis Buxton and Miguel Llera can't be overlooked, but what can you say about Jose Semedo? Just a presence in the centre of the park. Tough tackling, good distribution, fans favourite, cult hero. The Championship doesn't know what's going to hit it. You'll never get past him.


How do you think you'll do this season? Hopes, final position?

SP - Would love automatic promotion... However, the Championship is a tough league so would be more than happy to finish in top half.

PM - The last time we got promoted to the Championship we had an unprogressive board with nothing to invest in the team and a side which, even if we wouldn't admit it at the time, we knew would struggle to hold their own back in the second tier. This time, I see no reason why we can't challenge in a division where, let's be honest, everyone can beat each other on their day, so a good start is vital. I think if DJ can add the final 4 pieces to the jigsaw that he's after, we can mount a serious play off challenge. So let's say 6th.


What's your squad like, new signings, etc?

SP - After being on loan from Reading we finally signed Antonio. A vital player to help us to do well in the Championship, and a player who loves the Club.
Chris Kirkland was also another good signing for us.

PM - The squad is good but as indicated above, DJ needs to add four more players just to give it that extra bit of strength in depth to take it from potential mid table mediocrity to serious play off challengers. Chris Kirkland and Anthony Gardner are experienced heads who if they can stay injury free could prove to be inspired freebies. Chris Maguire, Joe Mattock and Kieran Lee already have a wealth of league experience under their belts despite all still being very young. Diogo Amado and Rhys McCabe are a little more in the 'unknown quantity' bracket but again are young and come highly recommended and could take the division by surprise, whereas Nejc Pecnik is an established Slovenian international and has shown touches of class in pre season. And of course the signing all Owls wanted – the permanent acquisition of Michail Antonio from Reading after what seemed like a Twitter stalking campaign throughout the summer. With more signings promised, a young squad is being built at Hillsborough. Exciting times to be an Owl!


Which player do you think will make the biggest impression in your team this season?
SP - Michail Antonio

PM - Hopefully Michail Antonio as at time of writing he's the player we've invested the most money in but we already know from last season what type of player we're getting and I think he will be a major player in the Championship. I also have a sneaky feeling that Nejc Pecnik is going to be a real find.


Which player would you happily get rid of?

PM - We're in the process of getting rid of all the players who aren't going to be able to cut it at Championship level but I wouldn't say I am happily getting rid of any of them because they've all played their part. In fact I'm sorry to see some of them go, such as Ryan Lowe, who I believe deserved his crack at the Championship and will fire MK Dons to automatic promotion in League One this season.




Fans favourite?

SP - Michail Antonio and Jose Samedo

PM - Still Jose Semedo. League One couldn't get past him. The Championship won't get past him. You'll never get past him. He's magic you know.

Any player impressed you during pre-season?

SP - Chris Kirkland & Pecnik.

PM - At a time when people have constantly been checking Twitter and the internet for news of new star striker signings and when he might have been worried about being shown the door, Chris O'Grady has got his head down, weighed in with a few goals and solid performances in pre season, culminating with a game changing performance in the Capital One Cup at Oldham on Monday night. He might have forced his way back into DJ's thoughts and saved us a bit of money in the process


The sacking of Gary Megson for Dave Jones proved in the end to be the right choice but what did you make to Manderic sacking of Megson at the time?

SP - I was devastated at the time. As the saying goes "If it's not broke don't fix it" I really couldn't understand what more they wanted from Megson. We were in a good position and had just won the Steel City Derby.

PM - I genuinely thought it was the right decision. Yes we had just beaten the Blades, yes we were third in the League, but we were on the slide and performances were poor. To have any chance of automatic promotion and avoiding play off lottery (nod to United) we had to go on an unbeaten run from then until the end of the season, winning more or less all our games (and hope things the other side of the city went our way). With Megson's cagey brand of football, we simply couldn't guarantee that. Yes we would win games, but there would have been the odd draw here and the odd disastrous defeat there. We needed a change, a spark. And most importantly, all out attack.


What is your manager Dave Jones like?

SP - He has the club and fans best interest at heart, which he has proved since being at Sheffield Wednesday.

PM - Passionate. Doesn't suffer fools. And at the moment doesn't lose games. This is good.


What advice would you give to Jones ?

SP - Carry on as he is doing.... Maybe ask him to bring back Danny Batth though :)

PM - Carry on not losing games.

Are you happy with the Chairman/Backroom staff?

SP - Yes. Milan Manderic has shown that he listens to the fans (by signing Michail Antonio) he is bringing in good young players, who have the ability to get us into the Premiership.

PM - Delighted. He's coming under a lot of pressure from a minority of fans to 'splash the cash' but fans have short memories. This is how we got into our previous difficulties and led to about 15 years of abject misery, stagnation and ridicule. We're now a club on the up, developing a young up and coming squad with fans who enjoy coming to the game again and don't see it as a chore. If I knew how to build statues I'd make one of Milan.


Which team do you want to beat the most and why?

SP - Leeds!!!!! Because we all hate Leeds scum. Ha

PM - I say this every season, all of them.



Any opposition player you admire?

PM - If we had a striker like Jordan Rhodes to compliment our more targetman-esque Gary Madine – with the supply he'd receive from Michail Antonio and Jermaine Johnson, I genuinely believe we could be promotion contenders.


Predict your champions and runner up, the four Play-Off teams and the three teams to go down
SP - Champions - Blackburn
Runner Up - Leicester
Play-Off Teams - Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds, Blackpool and Hiddersfield
Relegated Teams - Barnsley, Watford and Hull.

PM - Winners – Bolton - Runners up – Wolves, Play offs – Cardiff, Hull, Leicester, Wednesday. Down – Millwall, Peterborough, Barnsley



Watford

An interesting time at Watford this past year. Malkay Mackay left for Cardiff City taking Don Cowie with him and two other key players in Danny Graham and Will Buckley were sold. Sean Dyche was given the task and led the Hornets to a respectable top half finish last season. But this summer saw the Pozzo family - the owners of Spanish side Granada and Italian team Udinese - take over at Vicarage Road and the first thing they did was to shove Dyche out of the door and bring in former West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola. The owners have been quick to use their links with the clubs mentioned and a host of loan signings from these clubs have made their way to Vicarage Road. Zola has brought in former Arsenal goalkeeper Alumina in on a free and QPR defender Fitz Hall to replace star defender Adrian Mariappa who left for Reading. Manuel Almunia (Arsenal, free), Fitz Hall (QPR, free), Almen Abdi, Matej Vydra, Steve Leo Beleck (all Udinese, free), Daniel Pudil, Ikechi Anya (both Granada, season-long loans), Alex Geijo (Udinese, loan)

Last Season - 11h - Top Scorer - Troy Deeney (11).

Prediction - 15th
- Optimism around the Hornets this season but goals have been a problem.

Fans view with Tom Bodell of Watford.vital football.co.uk


How did you fare last season? Best moment, worst moment etc.

Last season was a pleasant surprise to be honest. It looked for the first couple of months like we would really struggle and that this could be the year we were finally sucked into a relegation scrap. However, with some superb additions (often on loan), including the likes of Michael Kightly, Nyron Nosworthy and Tomasz Kusczack, plus the revitalised Troy Deeney adding goals to his game at last, we survived comfortably and even had a brief, and slightly optimistic, flirt with the Play-Off's.


The best moment was probably the 2-1 win at Millwall on transfer deadline day in January. We won 2-0 thanks to goals from Deeney and Joe Garner (to date his only goal for the club), the very same night rumours were abound that star defender Adrian Mariappa would be off, whilst top-scorer Marvin Sordell was being sold to Bolton Wanderers. It was a really gritty, 100 per cent display and an important result in terms of the season as a whole.


Worst moment would be hard to say, there were a number of poor results in the early part of the season however I'm going for a series of off-the-field incidents (if that's allowed) - the continuing incompetence of now-departed owner, Laurence Bassini. His failure to make two fan's forums, as well as managing a public spat with club legend Graham Taylor was extremely poor management. Pleasingly, he's no longer involved.


Who was your best and worst performer last season?

The best performer of last season was unquestionably the man crowned 'Player of the Season', Mariappa. The centre-back was in imperious form once more and but for a harsh sending off at home to Blackpool he would surely have recorded another season as an ever-present. He's since joined Reading and good luck to him; definitely good enough for the Premier League, it will be good to see how he fares in Berkshire.


Worst performer was David Mirfin. Whilst he scarcely played, there were no redeeming features to his careless performances at the back, unlike fellow disappointments Mark Yeates, Craig Forsyth, Chris Iwelumo & Joe Garner.


How do you think you'll do this season? Hopes, final position?

With the change of ownership and the arrival of the Pozzo family, (owners of Udinese & Granada), there's understandably a lot of excitement. New manager Gianfranco Zola has the squad keeping the ball on the deck and has been able to bring in a number of additions with good credentials too. However, Saturday's 1-0 League Cup win over Wycombe Wanderers showed that we certainly aren't the finished article yet and that a romp to promotion is just wishful thinking.

I hope we continue to play nice football but develop it so that we play with slightly more urgency, as identified by Zola himself after the cup win. If the raft of new signings bed in well and Zola can put his ideas across with some success I think an improvement on last season's 11th-place finish would be about right. About 9th or 10th and I'd be very, very pleased.


What's your squad like, new signings, etc?

Thanks to our new links with Udinese and Granada we've been able to add six players on loan from both clubs in strikers Matej Vydra, Steve Leo Beleck and Alex Geijo. Midfielders Almen Abdi and Ikechi Anya, as well as left-back Daniel Pudil. Beleck has featured very sparingly during pre-season, i.e. once, at Cork City, whilst Geijo only signed on Thursday so is not yet up to speed. Anya was an unused substitute against Wycombe, but Vydra played and impressed along with Abdi who has been excellent through pre-season. Pudil has also impressed during the friendlies but sat out the cup match following a slight injury.


Former Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia and QPR defender Fitz Hall have both signed on one-year contracts too. Hall is clearly very unfit and is no-where near the first-team at the moment whilst Almunia has played twice and impressed on both occasions.


The first-team squad now consists of 30 players, which as Zola admits, is too many. It's expected that some more players will be moved on, the likes of Ross Jenkins and Garner surely under threat with the sheer volume of players in their positions. However, with several players unfit and a further two signings seeming likely, they might not leave immediately.


Which player would you happily get rid of?

There's two: Yeates & Garner.


Winger Yeates was actually our top assist maker last season with 11 in all competitions, but having been in charge of all set-pieces it's hardly surprising. He has tendency to do too much, his attitude is terrible at times and his awareness, concentration and work-rate are all appalling. Striker Garner has one goal for us since signing a year ago. He works hard but spends more of his time on the floor or outside the penalty area. With a number of similar forwards on the books I expect he'll be off one way or another before too long.


Which player do you think will make the biggest impression in your team this season?

Udinese loanee Vydra - if his showing against Wycombe is anything to go by. He's just 20 years old and has recently returned from a serious knee injury but he looks a really good young player. He scored two in our final friendly at Gillingham on Tuesday and completed 120 minutes vs. Wycombe and was undoubtedly our brightest spark. He wants the ball, and he wants to run at his marker, which is always exciting for fans. He plays wide of the front three but is happy to play more centrally too.


Fans favourite?

John Eustace. Captain, hardman, and midfield lynchpin. Even with all the exotic additions this summer he is by far and away our most important player. If you took Eustace away, it would all fall apart. At 32 he probably doesn't have all that long left but his experience in the middle of the park, dictating the play as well as passing on some of the darker arts, is invaluable. He's fought back from nearly being binned two of the last three managers and we're all grateful he's stuck around!

Any player impressed you during pre-season?

The first two loanees to arrive on trial - Pudil and Abdi.

Pudil, a 22-cap Czech Republic left-back looks, like Abdi, a cut above. Comfortable defensively as well as being prepared to bomb on down the left, he's joined from Granada for the season and immediately looks to have dislodged last season's number three, Carl Dickinson. Playmaker Abdi has joined on-loan from Udinese where he's made 42 first-team appearances as well as winning six full Swiss caps. Good on the ball and always looking to exploit his range of passing, he adds balance against the defensive minds of Jonathan Hogg and Eustace.

Was the sacking of Sean Dyche harsh?

Incredibly, but Sean leaves on a crest of goodwill which will ultimately paper over some of his short-comings during the early part of his tenure. No-one wanted to see Dyche go but virtually to a fan, we all understand that the Pozzo family are backing Zola as their man and it has to be better that the Italian is in charge from day one, rather than going through the ridiculous charade of knowing Dyche is not the owner's man and only one poor result away from the sack.

What did you make to the appointment of Gianfranco Zola?

On paper, a good appointment. He has a very clear style and utilised the 4-3-3 system at West Ham effectively during his first season. He knows what he wants and the 4-3-3 makes a nice change from the rigid and outdated 4-4-2. We have the flexibility needed now, and once the players are fully up-to-speed with the way he wants to play football, he has a good squad on his hands. He at least arrives with experience and has an enviable contact book which could be exploited too.

What advice would you give to Zola?

Having harped on about all the excellent new additions the new system, I'd say don't change too much! We've seen numerous times in this division what happens when a load of over-paid 'star' names are put together, and the result is rarely pretty. Heed the lessons learnt by the likes of Leicester City last season.

What do you make to the new owners?

Great for the club. They come with a pedigree for running successful clubs, have a superb scouting network which the club can tap into and of course, as already mentioned, we've taken advantage of the Watford-Udinese-Granada brotherhood to borrow some players. The main thing on the side of the Pozzo family is that they know how to bring success to relatively small clubs with little money and no history of success. That and the fact they aren't Bassini!


Which team do you want to beat the most and why?

Cardiff - whilst I'm not too fussed about Malky Mackay moving there last summer, he has acted pretty poorly since, signing our targets, attempting to sign our players, and whining about Hogg's tackle on his winger Craig Conway last season, which their player himself insisted there was nothing wrong with.


Any opposition player you admire?

Adam Hammill at Wolves. We could do with another winger and I think he is obtainable on the basis Stale Solbakken just transfer-listed him. Get involved Gianfranco!


Predict your champions and runner up, the four Play-Off teams and the three to go down

1. Wolves.

2. Bolton.

3. Cardiff.

4. Leicester.

5. Blackpool.

6. Leeds.




22. Barnsley.

23. Bristol City.

24. Millwall.




Wolves

Last season was a season to forgot for Wolves fans. The rot had set in and Mick McCarthy was shown the door only to be replaced by his assistant Terry Connor after a long list of managers rejected the job. But out of the darkness comes the light and the club have made a clever move in bringing in Stale Solbakken, former manager of Copenhagen where he won five titles and led them into the Champions League. Wolves have a squad to bounce back but it seems star striker Steven Fletcher and winger Matt Jarvis are getting itchy feet.

Last Season - 20th (Premier League) - Top Scorer - Steven Fletcher (12)

Prediction - 2nd
- Even if Fletcher and Jarvis do leave before the transfer window shit I still think they have the squad to challenge.

Fans view with Quirkafleeq and Lycanthropist of the Wolvesforum.co.uk

How did you fare last season? Best moment, worst moment etc.
Q - We were dog $#@!, whipping boys a big steaming pile of donkey poo. The best moment in a poo season was Fulham at home first home game. We were brilliant what happened after is a mystery. Obvious worse moment was losing to The Sh1t 5-1, then sadly saying goodbye to Mick who had been a wonderful servant to the club

L - We were $#@!e. Best moment was getting beat 3-2 by Wigan on the last day of the season because at least then it was all over. Worst was being beaten 1-5 at home to our biggest rivals.

Who was your best and worst performer last season?
Q - Steven Fletcher scored plenty of goals for us and was a shining light in a dull season. The worse was probably Roger Johnson, such high hopes were dashed in a alcoholic frenzy at times

L - Fletcher and Jarvis played well in patches. The rest were pretty terrible to be honest.

How do you think you'll do this season? Hopes, final position?
Q - I think we'll go back up, was hopefully of a top 2 finish and that's not a distant though, we'll start off slowly with the 'turmoil' at the moment, but when Stale gets it right I'm sure we'll figure. Possibly a play off place 3rd or 4th placed finish.

L - It'll be a rebuilding season for us but I still think we've got the squad to mount a play-off push. I just want to have some fun and watch us win some games after 3 very depressing seasons in 'The best league in the world'.

What's your squad like, new signings, etc?
Q - Still up roar at present with Kightly leaving, Fletcher and Jarvis unhappy. Players brought in only Tongo Doumbia has figured the most, Still waiting for Sigurdarson to shake off injurys and Pezza (cor be arsed to Google it) to play his first game as Kightly replacement. Stale is still actively looking for a defender so watch this space.

L - Our squad is very big. That'll help us with the hectic schedule of the championship but we need to move on 4-5 if we're to have a balanced squad. Sigurdarson and Doumbia both look like fantastic signings, both of whom could have joined much bigger teams if they wanted to push for more money or Premier League football.

Which player would you happily get rid of?
Q - Ronald Zubar. I personally think he's sh1t but still gets above Kevin Foley for some strange reason.

Berra/Milijas/Hammill/Hunt/Mouyokolo/Edwards.

Which player do you think will make the biggest impression in your team this season?
Q - I'm hoping Tongo Doumbia and obviously Bjorn Sigurdarson can shine. But for me Id love to see SEB (Ebanks Blake) get back to his best, Wolves fans have turned on him in there masses lately saying he's sh1t and fat....

L - Tongo Doumbia. Could be huge for us this season.

Fans favourite?
Q - My favourite is SEB still but the fans I'm sure will be impressed with Tongo Doumbia who already has showed what quality he has in the centre of midfield.

L - No idea. Doumbia might be?

Any player impressed you during pre-season?
Q - I'm like a broken record here but Tongo Doumbia has really impressed me, from the first glimpse of him at Shrewsbury through to Aldershot game, he has showed he can be the main man in midfield for us. And him being in the side has lifted the likes of Karl Henry as well...

L - Over the moon. One of the most highly rated young managers in Europe. Won 5 titles in 6 years with Copenhagen (or something like that).

Happy with the appointment of Stale Solbakken?
Q - Very happy with the way he's going about his business at present, he seems a focused manager, quickly sorting out the mess being left on his doorstep with transfer requested folk. He may take a few months to gel but Im sure he will be a success.

L - Over the moon. One of the most highly rated young managers in Europe. Won 5 titles in 6 years with Copenhagen (or something like that).

What advice would you give to Solbakken?
Q - If Terry Connor buys him a clipboard for Xmas just smile and thank him, then quickly put it in the bin.

L - Don't play Stephen Hunt.

Are you happy with the Chairman/Backroom staff?
Q - Jez Moxey and Steve Morgan took a hell of a lot of stick last season, but have come through it intact. Opening early bird season tickets in the summer helped a lot of fans pockets. Appointing a decent manager so quickly another. And there hardball approach to rejecting transfers and getting the best money for Wolves.

L - Very happy. Moxey is great at his job and Morgan is throwing millions of his hard earned at the team/facilities.

Which team do you want to beat the most and why?
Q - Birmingham. I despise Blose as much as The Sh1t, there fans are worse then there lot down the road. There fans think there piss the league, some of owners do as well but hey we all hate cocky sh1ts don't we.

L - Birmingham City because they're absolutely vile.

Any opposition player you admire?
Q - George Boyd could turn me you know. Sexy bastard.

L - Matt Phillips and Tom Ince at Blackpool.


Predict your champions and runner up, the four Play-Off teams and the three to go down

Q - Bolton
Middlesbrough
---------------
Wolves
Birmingham
Blackburn
Blackpool

Derby
Bristol City
Watford

L - M'boro and Bolton. Wolves, Blackpool, Birmingham and Watford.
Relegation: Barnsley, Huddersfield and Bristol City.

Thank you to everyone who took part I really appreciate it and all the best of the new season.

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