Here's a look at big Championship teams that aren't in the best of form, as well as their ability to turn things around
Hopefully everyone is beginning to enjoy the Championship by now – and certainly things are starting to take shape. This article won’t be saying anything that ground-breaking as we look at some of the big clubs in poor form right now.
Of course this is fairly obvious by now, but this one is geared towards those Championship fans of big clubs. Nevertheless, it’s still a matter of debate about which of these clubs is truly a big one. Therefore, I’m expecting plenty of debate as always.
So, now we have that out of the way – let’s get stuck into it…
1. Birmingham City
Birmingham City are certainly a big club in the Championship, but one that has fallen on hard times. Last season started well enough for them but ended with a relegation fight that they were successful in. It’s always hard to know what the expectations would have been for them this season.
However, the Blues would have at least been hoping to stay clear of the relegation zone this season. Unfortunately, things haven’t started too hot for them. I mentioned in an earlier article that Harry Redknapp was a man feeling the heat. Little did I know that he would be sacked nearly immediately after the article was published.
I remain unsure how good or bad that particular decision will prove to be, but that is really a different story. In terms of current form, Birmingham have lost four of their last six games and conceded 13 goals in the process. Therefore, a big improvement is required if they can avoid relegation for a second consecutive season.
Sunderland were relegated from the Premier League last season – and it’s unclear what their expectations for the Championship are. Even the most optimistic of fans would have felt an immediate return would have been a tough ask. However, relegation to League One would certainly not have been expected.
The other factor here is that the club are massive with a rich history and a big stadium. It’s likely that Sunderland will have one of the highest average attendances in the Championship and that brings its own expectation. As we have seen so often in football, pressure does strange things to people. So, Simon Grayson is struggling in the same league he did well in last season with Preston.
In terms of current form, the club have not won in their last nine games – and have picked up only two points from their last six. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that their current form could lead to relegation. Therefore, things must improve quickly if Sunderland will avoid dropping down the football league further.
Reading were one of the Championship teams to watch last season with Jaap Stam making an instant impact. In the end, the Royals lost in the play-offs – and similar things would have been expected of them this season. Of course, it’s still early days and anything is still possible.
There have certainly been positives for Stam’s team this season as they have been one of the leading teams for passing accuracy. However, the club currently find themselves in the bottom half of the table – and have a lot of work to do if they will yet finish in the top six.
In terms of current form, Reading have lost three of their last five games – and sit only one point above the relegation zone. It’s certainly true to say that their defensive record could improve – but it’s the attacking side that is the biggest problem. In fact, the Royals are currently averaging less than a goal a game.
4. Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest are another one of those teams that had a poor ending to last season. Of course, that meant that they only just managed to avoid relegation. It’s hard to know what the expectations for them this season would be – but certainly they would be hoping for an improvement on last season.
There have certainly been positives for the club this season such as a positive start earlier on in the campaign. Another big thing going for them is the form of attacking midfielder Barrie McKay. The Scot’s early season form has put him in a great position to be one of the leading assist makers in the Championship.
Forest’s form though has started to go in the wrong direction as they have slipped into the bottom half of the table. Some of those key stats have included three defeats in their last four games. However, a win in their last game has shown some encouragement – and they will be hoping to build some new form from that.
5. Ipswich Town
A season of struggle was expected by many for Ipswich Town this season, but they defied that expectation during the early part of the campaign. There were certainly a lot of good things going for them including being one of the long ball teams to watch this season.
There have also been plenty of goals in the team as Ipswich are currently in the top three for goals scored so far this season. However, things defensively have started to go wrong for the club – and that has been a contributing factor in their recent poor form.
The grim facts of the matter is the club have now dropped outside of the top six – and it might be difficult for them to rediscover their form. Further stats include losing two of their last three games – and being in the bottom half of the form table. Considering expectations for Ipswich were modest; it seems unlikely that will regain their place in the top six.
6. Leeds United
Leeds United had a good season last year with Garry Monk leading the team to a top half finish. In fact, they only just fell short of a place in the play-offs. Clearly, Leeds would have been hoping for more of the same this season. However, there have been significant changes to the coaching team and players.
So, it’s often unknown how that sort of thing will play out. The Whites certainly made a strong start to the season – but things have started to change. One of the major problems they have had is that strong defensive record has shown signs of faltering over recent games.
This is just part of the general decline that the club have encountered, which runs through the whole team. In terms of current stats, Leeds have lost three of their last four games – and conceded twice even in the game they won. The club are still maintaining a play-off place – but that won’t last long if they fail to arrest the decline.
This completes the end of the content section for this article as we looked at big clubs that are currently in awful form. So, did we get it right? Or maybe you think that we have been overly harsh on these clubs and their current form.
If you enjoy Championship content like this, then keep an eye on my profile page for all the latest updates. Shortly, I will be looking at managers that are set to be sacked – and some of those teams that are in the best form currently.