Lamouchi, Luton Town and a dash of Olise: The Second Tier Summary
We're into the second week of the Championship which has given us goals, red cards, choke slams and some more goals. And of course, that means The Second Tier Summary is back. is back ladies and gentlemen and that means all the football content your minds can digest.
This weekend drew up some lovely individual performances, big number 9's doing bits and Nottingham Forest and Derby County being confirmed as being in the Championship forever.. again.
So, let me take your through our summary of the top 5 performances and the worst 5.
Both teams and players will be looked at, so there certainly will be a mix. So, here's our first 5.
1. Blackburn Rovers and Adam Armstrong
It was a 5-star performance from Blackburn this weekend, giving Wycombe a glimpse of life in the Second Tier. A fruitful performance where just about everyone was on top form. Rovers barely gave Wycombe a chance of getting off the mat after laying glove after glove on them. 16 shots on target overall, to Wycombe’s 1 shows you just how dominating Blackburn were.
A star front three were the catalysts for Blackburn as Armstrong got the plaudits for a hat trick and debutant youngster, and free transfer from Preston North End, Tyreece Dolan dazzled Wycome with his quick feet. Without forgetting, Brereton was pivotal as well with his direct running.
Let’s not forget a well-structured midfield 3 of Bradley Johnson, Lewis Holtby and Joe Rothwell who dominated and created in this game.
Worth keeping an eye on Dolan this season after he dazzled the defenders with his quick feet, winning a penalty and scoring for Rovers. The youngster completed 4 dribbles-the most in this game-showing just how ready he is for first team football.
2. Kieffer Moore
A complete number 9 display against Forest at the weekend, scoring early on and banishing any potential for a barren spell for Cardiff City. A side like Cardiff complement Moore with their direct approach, and the more balls coming into the box, the more dangerous he will be.
He’s not a man that will dribble past 3 or 4 players to get a goal, but he gets it done in the box and works hard out of it.
He did the damage in the first half, worked hard for the team in the second and is starting to show exactly why he’s Wales’ first choice striker and why he could do well in a side competing at the top.
Big Kieff scores goals, that is all.
3. Luton Town
A great performance from Luton Town as they look to consolidate themselves as Championship regulars. With an absence of 13 years from the second tier, they’re certainly making up for lost time.
Many have fancied Derby this season, but Luton kept them at arm’s length throughout the game. Not only that, we’re seeing the best of what Jones put together 2 years ago in the League 1 promotion season. Attacking full backs and direct football that creates many chances.
They set traps for a pedestrian Derby, and hit them on the counter attack which is a clear weakness for the Rams already this season.
Joint top of the league, 1 defeat in 16 and Nathan Jones delivery good football, it should be all smiles down at Kenilworth Road this season.
4. Michael Olise
Big things are expected of young Michael Olise. A first team number was handed to him, so you might imagine him being heavily involved this season, especially after Paunovic confirmed his thirst for bringing youngsters through.
Now firstly, let’s talk about his goal. A delightful full volley with the ball dropping from height on the edge of the box, he had the composure of a player much his senior to drill it home.
Now his overall contribution. If defenders are sick of the sight of Ovie Ejaria putting the ball through their legs, there’s another man delivering. Olise completed 5 dribbles, only second to Ejaria (of course), and recorded 77 touches, only second to Omar Richards (another graduate of the academy) meaning he was as involved as anyone else on the pitch.
Big things are likely to be expected, but if this game is anything to go by, the future looks bright at the Madjeski.
5. Callum O'Hare
Such an exciting talent is Callum O’Hare, one that I’ve been looking forward to watching in the Championship this season. A productive spell on loan from Villa last season showcased his talent, and now we’re seeing it in the second tier.
It was a dimunitive display from O’Hare. He was very involved through, with 52 touches and 3 completed dribbles and he rounded his game off with a goal of high quality. We fully expect him to thrive at the Sky Blues this season and wouldn’t be surprised should him and some of their up and coming players move on later down the line.
A free transfer from Aston Villa, other clubs will be wondering why they didn’t take a look, and Villa might be cursing themselves at not tying him down to longer term deal.
A conveyor belt of quality is in motion at Coventry City and it looks to be an exciting season for them.
1. Sabri Lamouchi
A word of sympathy of Sabri.
We like Lamouchi, we think he’s been a breath of fresh air for Forest but even we're starting to question his tactics.
Firstly, being not very attacking is an understatement. The team this season has been terrible going forward, granted we’re two games in. But when you compare that to last season, they weren’t terrible, just not very attacking which made some sections of the Forest support nervous.
But the one thing they could rely on is a good midfield, and solid defence. Since that end of season capitulation, they don’t even have that now. So, what is the USP at Forest this season?
It’s a huge squad, that is only getting bigger and you have to think that it’s this season or nothing for Forest.
He's on borrowed time and needs to turn things around and do so quickly.
2. Derby County
Both Forest and Derby in The Bad this week, not a surprise.
Same as last season. Not creating enough ‘big chances’, and conceding far too many. Couple that with injuries galore through the side, and to attackers, Derby are looking blunt.
The best thing you can do is sure yourself up and be defensively solid.
Instead, Luton give them a lesson in defending properly and Derby are left looking at another avoidable defeat.
Cocu can only do so much, the players need to take more accountability on the pitch.
3. Stoke City
Stoke City have looked incredibly blunt since the start of the season. That has come as a surprise as O’Neil turned this League 1 destined side into good, well organised team. Fast forward to this weekend and Bristol City had Stoke all over the place.
The defence looked disorganised and the attack barely mustered a chance. Improvement is needed as slow start have cost Stoke over the last 2 seasons in the Championship under Gary Rowett and Nathan Jones.
O’Neil certainly will be looking for more over the coming weeks.
4. Michal Helik
The one thing everybody wants with a new job is good start. A quiet, unspectacular day. But up steps Michal Helik.
His first game in a Barnsley shirt, and in English football. Your team is edging the first half, it’s going well. *record scratch*
Long ball over the top, right in that awkward area where your keeper looks just too far away from it and the striker is first to the ball. Just don’t the opposition striker, keep a cool head, he’s still got a lot to do.
Helik reaches round, clips Joao and it’s an early bath. Your team then go on to lose and get another man sent off with an even stranger decision from Mads Andersen.
5. Huddersfield Town
Zero goals in 2 Championship fixtures thus far isn’t the worst thing. But with Karlan Grant injured, there just seems to be no threat up front for the Terriers. This has certainly show over the last 2 games.
Luke Daniels was a busy man for Brentford but they just couldn’t find a way through, with Schindler and Hogg with the 2 best chances of the game.
Where do Huddersfield go from here? It feels like a team still in transition, which after a year in the Championship under their belts is not good.
Improvement is expected and they have had a tough start, but with their track record over the last 2 and a half seasons, they rarely get out of a bad run of form.