A pleasant welcome back: The Second Tier Summary
Updated: Sep 21
The Championship is back ladies and gentlemen and that means all the football content your minds can digest.
This weekend we saw some surprising wins, some less than average performances and some pretty decent goals. So, why not take you through our summary of our top 5 performances and of course our worst 5.
Both teams and players will be looked at, so there certainly will be a mix. So, here's our first 5.
It may be a surprise but this was a complete performance from Veljko Paunovic's men. Now, Derby didn't put up much of a fight, but on paper it really should have been a drab 0-0 draw. However, the players were switched on tactically, up for it and could have hit 4 or 5 without reply against The Rams. Let's also take into consideration the length of time he's had with the players (less than most managers in the division), as well as the form of Lucas Joao over the last two games. Lucas Joao certainly takes player of the weekend.
Certainly raises expectations, but an exciting few weeks lies ahead for The Royals.
2) Jamie Paterson
What a turn around for this guy. Having only been around for half of the 19/20 season, he was quite easily the best player for Bristol City last season. He most definitely carried that on into the 20/21 season, scoring after just 20 seconds. Playing centrally against Coventry City, he managed 4 key passes throughout the game, 3 successful dribbles and an assist for Kalas.
It was a complete midfield display and he is going to be the man for The Robins this season.
3) Birmingham City defence
Deja vu for The Blues as they managed an opening day win over Brentford for the second season in a row. A 'herculean' effort as described by the local media and goalscorer Jeremie Bela, and it's hard to disagree.
A solid display from the the back 5 was instrumental in Birmingham City picking up the three points. Special mentions go to Maxime Colin and Kristia
n Pedersen who managed 6 tackles, 5 interceptions, 9 clearances and 4 blocks between them.
An extra special mention goes to Zach Jeacock, 19 year debutant goalkeeper who kept out one of the most feared attacks in the division, making 4 key saves.
4) Sheffield Wednesday
Imagine having to plan for a season while having to chase 12 points. Not only that, you're playing away at a much fancied team for promotion. The cliche of 'party poopers' comes to mind.
But are we going to ignore the quality in this Sheffield Wednesday side? I don't think we should. We tipped them from relegation and while there's still 45 games to go and 9 more points to make up to hit the big zero, there's still a long way to go.
Not only that, Sheffield Wednesday were very good value for the win. Let Cardiff have the ball (just 38%) and created 8 chances, 4 on target and forcing Smithies to 2 saves. More performances like this and that gap will soon close.
5) Jamal Blackman
This guy deserves immense credit. Having been injured for the best part of two years since breaking his leg in an under-23s game for Leeds United, the loanee from Chelsea was instrumental in Rotherham United picking up their first three points of the season.
He almost certainly would have been Leeds' number one under Bielsa, but the leg break was a huge setback. Fast forward two years in the 6'6 goalkeeper has showcased his ability. Making 3 big saves, helping The Millers deliver an important 3 points on their return to The Championship.
Could seem harsh chucking Brentford in. But games like this last season were the reason why Brentford could not bridge that gap between the play offs and the automatics. Plenty of chances were created, posts were hit, shots were blocked but they were still on the other end of a 1-0 defeat.
There needs to be improvement, Frank knows that. But will a slow start cost them again?
2) Huddersfield Town
It's always going to be difficult coming up against a side recently relegated from the Premier League, but only having 1 shot on target is not ideal. Lacking in creativity and goals, Carlos Corberan has his work cut out and they are in desperate need for additions.
3) Mark Travers
A team full with quality, Bournemouth will be pleased with the three points to kick start their season. But they were made to work hard for it in perfect Bournemouth fashion. After going 1-0 up, Bradley Johnson picks up the ball from deep and fires a powerful shot toward the goal that should've have been easy to pick up. Instead, he fluffs his save and the ball is palmed into the goal.
I would imagine Bournemouth will be in the market for a goalkeeper, but for now Mark Travers needs to banish that mistake and go again.
4) Jack Marriott
Just 20 touches all game. 20. Half the amount of his opposition striker Lucas Joao who bagged a goal and an assist. Now, Marriott has had his injury problems granted. But to barely be in the game is not good enough for a player who cost £5m.
Some sections of the Derby support will say he doesn't get the service, but unfortunately he needs to adapt his game to fit Cocu's system or move on. Come deep for the ball, get involved in the game, link the play up. Be the striker Derby need, not the one the fans want you to be (this is definitely a film quote and there are no apologies for it).
5) Nottingham Forest
The pressure is on Lamouchie to hit the ground running after a disaster end to the 19/20 season. A 2-0 away defeat is not the start you need.
Couple that with 0 shots on target and less than 80 touches between Grabban, Lolley and Costa, there's so much more work to be done.
Stats provided by WhoScored.