Connect with us

EFL Championship

Leeds will surely rue the missed opportunity to sign this 33-year-old veteran in January

Published

on

Why Leeds United should have signed David Stockdale

As per a report from Birmingham Mail, EFL Championship side Leeds United were set to rekindle their interest in Birmingham City goalkeeper David Stockdale in the January transfer window. However, BBC recently reported that the player has joined Wycombe Wanderers on loan.

The 33-year-old was on the Whites’ radar in the summer window as well but no move materialized at the time. However, they are believed to be interested in making a move for the Englishman again come the winter window. (h/t Birmingham Mail)

Leeds have begun the season on a strong note and look capable of pushing for a title challenge under new manager Marcelo Bielsa. However, they need reinforcements to the squad in January to sustain their form from the start of the campaign.

A new goalkeeper is something that will have jumped at the top of the list for Bielsa and director Victor Orta after backup goalkeeper Jamal Blackman had his loan agreement with Leeds cancelled. The 24-year-old suffered a broken tibia last weekend while in action for Leeds’ U-23s and has returned to his parent club, Chelsea.

His unlucky departure has exposed the Whites in the goalkeeping department. While Bailey Peacock-Farrell has been the undisputed first-choice at Elland Road, the lack of a quality backup option to call upon could hurt them dearly over the course of the campaign.

And Stockdale would have proven to be a good fit at the club. The 33-year-old Englishman has been with Birmingham City since the summer of 2017 and has gone on to make 39 appearances for the team, all of which came in the 2017/18 season.

The former Fulham goalie was deemed surplus to requirements by manager Garry Monk and he was loaned out to Southend United for a brief period of three weeks, during which he made three appearances in the League One before returning to City Grounds. Since then, Stockdale failed to make the matchday squad even once for Birmingham.

At 33, Stockdale still has plenty left to offer and with over 230 appearances in the Championship and close to 40 games in the Premier League, he has volumes of experience that would have definitely benefited this Leeds United side.

Read More: Signing these two goalkeepers would help Leeds deal with Jamal Blackman’s absence – Agreed?

The Englishman was instrumental in Brighton & Hove Albion’s promotion in 201the 6/17 season, maintaining 20 clean sheets in 45 games in the second division. And his know-how of being an integral part of a promotion-winning side is something that Leeds could have truly utilized.

One might argue that Stockdale hasn’t played first-team football since September but he is someone with a proven pedigree at this level and would have certainly strengthened the Whites in a position that is a concern for them.

Aston Villa

Where will the 3 newly promoted teams finish this season? Can Norwich and Aston Villa beat the drop?

Published

on

PL prediction: Where will the 3 newly promoted teams finish this season?

Norwich City, Sheffield United and Aston Villa are the three newly-promoted teams that have come into the Premier League this season.

Only once in Premier League history have all three promoted teams dropped straight back down, and that was back in 1997-98.

Furthermore, there have been three instances when all three promoted teams have survived, most recently in 2017-18, when Newcastle United, Brighton & Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town all retained their Premier League status.

Image result for norwich city

All the three promoted teams this season – Norwich City, Sheffield United and Aston Villa, have had contrasting starts to the campaign so far. That being said, let’s take a look at who will finish where in the table.

1. Norwich City – 12th

Daniel Farke’s Norwich City took the Championship by storm and confirmed their promotion fairly early.

During the summer transfer window, the Canaries made some interesting signings in Sam Byram, Patrick Roberts, Josip Drmic and Ralf Fahrmann. Clearly, Farke relies on those players who served the club well last season.

Norwich’s opener against Liverpool turned out to be a heavy defeat for the visitors as they lost 4-1 at Anfield. It could have been worse than that but thanks to goalkeeper Tim Krul, as he made a couple of outstanding saves.

But Farke’s side have shown great character to come back from the disheartening opening day defeat at Anfield. They defeated Newcastle United 3-1 at Carrow Road in their first home game of the season, with last season’s star Teemu Pukki scoring a fabulous hat-trick.

If Farke can be flexible with his tactics and get Pukki firing every weekend, the Canaries can certainly enjoy a respectable mid-table finish.

2. Sheffield United – 16th

After conceding the joint-fewest goals and keeping the most number of clean sheets in the Championship last season, Sheffield United are the most impressive defensive unit among the promoted sides.

The Blades have returned to the top-flight for the first time since 2007 and the plans have been laid down in order to stay at the top for a long period of time.

Having snapped up experienced defender Phil Jagielka on a free transfer following his release from Everton, Chris Wilder focused on bolstering his attack in the transfer window, with the likes of Lys Mousset, Oliver McBurnie, Callum Robinson and Luke Freeman arriving at Bramall Lane.

And to everyone’s surprise, they have enjoyed a really promising start to the Premier League campaign, picking up four points from the first two games. Wilder’s men drew 1-1 with Bournemouth before beating Crystal Palace 1-0 at home at the weekend.

If Sheffield United can make the Bramall Lane a fortress, chances of them beating the drop would become higher.

3. Aston Villa – 17th

Aston Villa beat Derby County in the playoff finals at Wembley to become the third promoted side this season.

Upon their return to the top-flight since the rock-bottom finish in 2016, they were one of the biggest spenders in the summer window as Dean Smith signed as many as 13 players.

The Villans released a number of experienced stars including Alan Hutton, Micah Richards and Glenn Whelan in order to reduce the squad’s age and pump in some fresh, young talents.

Despite reinforcing the backline, Aston Villa have conceded five goals in the first two games. There is a lot to improve for Smith’s side, who are yet to open their account in the points table.

Villa’s massive summer spending is risky and reminds us of Fulham’s approach last season after their promotion. The plan backfired and the Cottagers now find themselves back in the Championship.

Certainly, it won’t be a similar case as far as Villa are concerned, with Smith being a smart tactician. He also has assistant coach John Terry to somehow help the club in difficult situations. It’ll be a close shave, nevertheless!

Continue Reading

Huddersfield Dragon

5 Talking points from Championship gameweek 3 including Leeds United and Jan Siewert’s sacking

Published

on

Five talking points from Championship game week three

The third gameweek of the 2019/20 Championship campaign offered a lot of thrills and spills throughout the weekend.

Hull City continued their unbeaten run, while Reading gave Cardiff City a 3-0 hiding on Sunday. But the biggest talking point of the weekend was Jan Siewart’s dismissal after Huddersfield Town fell to a 2-1 defeat to Fulham.

That being said, here are five talking points from the Championship gameweek three.

1. Luton Town 1-2 West Brom: Grady Diangana helps the Baggies to three points

After a miserable week that saw West Brom get eliminated from the Carabao Cup at the hands of Millwall, the Baggies managed to bounce back with a 2-1 win against Luton.

Substitute Grady Diangana scored twice within six minutes of coming on for his West Brom league debut to give Slaven Bilic’s side a crucial win.

West Brom are one of the five teams with seven points after three games, having come from behind to win 2-1 against Luton as they did on the opening day against Nottingham Forest.

2. Wigan Athletic 0-2 Leeds United: Patrick Bamford double sinks Wigan

Leeds United’s good start to the season continued at the weekend as they ran out 2-0 winners against a 10-man Wigan Athletic. Marcelo Bielsa’s side deserved a win, which saw them move back to the top of the Championship table.

If there was anybody in Leeds’ ranks who needed a goal to regain confidence, it had to be Patrick Bamford. With previous season’s top-scorer Kemar Roofe departing the club, the Whites desperately need Bamford to deliver the goods this term. And the former Chelsea man bagged a brace, sending the fans home on a happy note.

3. Barnsley 2-2 Charlton Athletic: The Addicks maintain their unbeaten start to the season

Charlton Athletic have enjoyed a solid start to the Championship campaign following their promotion this year. They are one of the five teams with seven points after three games.

A 90th-minute penalty from Lyle Taylor helped Charlton maintain their unbeaten start to the season in an entertaining draw with Barnsley at Oakwell.

Barnsley were 2-1 up, thanks to goals from Cauley Woodrow and Conor Chaplin, but a foul from defender Bambo Diaby on Conor Gallagher handed the Addicks a lifeline in the 90th minute.

And Taylor stepped up confidently to salvage a point from the spot for Lee Bowyer’s visitors.

4. Huddersfield Town 1-2 Fulham: Jan Siewert sacked by the Terriers

Jan Siewert was sacked after a defeat to Fulham which left him with a record of just one win in 19 matches at the John Smith’s stadium.

Only one point in the first three games has left the Terriers reeling in the relegation zone. It was all doom and gloom under Siewert and sacking him after a poor start to the season was perhaps the only decision the club’s hierarchy could take.

For now, Siewert’s assistant head coach Colin Bell remains a part of the coaching staff, and Mark Hudson will also be assisted by academy manager Leigh Bromby and under-19s manager Dean Whitehead.

5. Millwall 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday: The Owls’ unbeaten start to the season is over

Sheffield Wednesday’s unbeaten start to the new season was over as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to a 10-man Millwall in what was a very frustrating afternoon for the Owls.

Matt Smith gave Millwall the lead with a header from a corner but his teammate Jed Wallace was sent off in the first half. That gave Sheffield Wednesday a fantastic chance to maintain their 100% record. However, they struggled to create clear openings and lost at the Den.

Continue Reading

Chelsea

5 Talking points from Premier League gameweek 2 including VAR drama and Norwich masterclass

Published

on

Five talking points from Premier League gameweek two

Week two of the new Premier League campaign is now over, with Wolves and Manchester United settling for a 1-1 draw.

A victory for the Red Devils would have seen them become only the third side to record two straight victories this season so far, with Liverpool and Arsenal currently boasting a 100% record after champions Manchester City dropped points at home to Tottenham on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Frank Lampard is yet to win his first game as a Chelsea manager as his side were held to an exciting 1-1 draw by Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Here, we take a look at five talking points from the second week of the 2019/20 Premier League season.

1. Norwich 3-1 Newcastle United:  Teemu Pukki grabs the headlines

Teemu Pukki was a revelation in the Championship last season, guiding Norwich City to top-flight promotion. And he has taken the Premier League like a duck to water, scoring four goals in two games thus far.

The Finland international scored a fantastic hat-trick against Newcastle United at the weekend, which also involved a rasping pile-driver from inside the box that Martin Dubravka had no chance to keep out.

The 29-year-old has shown what he is capable of doing and Daniel Farke will expect his marksman to keep delivering the goods consistently.

2. Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham: VAR denies Man City a late winner

The battle between Manchester City and Tottenham produced some late drama once again, courtesy of the VAR.

For the second time in four months, City saw a decisive stoppage-time goal against Tottenham snatched away by VAR, leaving them with a 2-2 draw rather than a 3-2 victory.

VAR disallowed Gabriel Jesus’ goal two minutes into stoppage time after a hand-ball earlier in the move by Aymeric Laporte.

Given the stakes are high in the Premier League, these two dropped points for Pep Guardiola could be pivotal come May.

3. Southampton 1-2 Liverpool: Sadio Mane comes back to haunt the Saints

Liverpool seem to have a new talisman this season in Sadio Mane, who came back to haunt Southampton at the weekend.

After helping the Reds add the European Super Cup to the Champions League, Mane got the ball rolling for Jurgen Klopp’s men with a superb goal in first-half stoppage time before Roberto Firmino scored in the second half to hand the visitors a two-goal cushion.

A comedy of errors from Adrian in goal gifted Danny Ings his first goal of the season, but Liverpool saw the game out to earn two wins from their opening two matches.

4. Sheffield United 1-0 Crystal Palace: John Lundstram helps the Blades to three crucial points

Any team that takes Sheffield United lightly at Bramall Lane would simply be digging its own graveyard.

Chris Wilder’s men have been impressive in the first two games, earning their first victory of the top-flight campaign against a spineless Crystal Palace side via to a second-half strike from John Lundstram. The Blades also gave a glimpse of how difficult they are going to be at home.

5. Chelsea 1-1 Leicester City: Frank Lampard still waiting for his first win as Chelsea boss

It has been a tough start for Frank Lampard at Chelsea, although the 41-year-old will be encouraged with the displays in the last two games after the 4-0 thrashing against Manchester United.

Chelsea started strongly and were rewarded with an early goal through Mason Mount, however, they couldn’t double their advantage or bury the game in the first half when they had the chances to do so.

That gave Leicester a chance to bounce back in the second half and they did so, equalising through Wilfred Ndidi. The Foxes have only themselves to blame for not taking more than a point out of the Bridge.

Lampard has a lot to improve if his team is to make it to the top-four but for now, he remains without a win.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2018 MediaReferee.Com