Championship - 2022/23

Discussion in 'The Hornets' Nest - Watford Chat' started by StuBoy, May 10, 2022.

  1. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Early days I know, but here is a list of who's in and who could be in the Championship next season.

    Interesting that out of all the teams, only 6 have not been in the Premier League league before (in bold), and if Wycombe don't get promoted and L**on go up, there will only be 4 non former Premier League teams in the division (of course I know football did exists before 1992, but just saying...). Premier League 2 is here.

    Going to be a tough old season I think in the Champ, which won't be a surprise. Usual suspects like Norwich, WBA, Middlesbrough will probably be in the mix, along with those not going up through the playoffs and the other team coming down with us too. Wouldn't surprise me to see Swansea or Stoke improve on this seasons efforts and depending on who they get in, QPR as well. Dark horses? Coventry??

    Obviously with a transfer window to come and some time until the start of the season (we begin in July actually because of the World Cup break), lots can change and opinions will differ.

    Thought I'd look ahead to something, rather than keep getting bogged down in our current depressing situation! Of course saying that, we're going to end up 15th.

    Blackburn Rovers
    West Bromwich Albion
    Queens Park Rangers
    Coventry City
    Preston North End
    Stoke City
    Swansea City
    Bristol City
    Cardiff City
    Hull City
    Birmingham City
    Norwich City
    Wigan Athletic
    Rotherham United
    Huddersfield / Nottingham Forest / Sheffield United / Luton
    Sunderland / Wycombe Wanderers
    Everton / Leeds United / Burnley
    SkylaRose likes this.
  2. reids

    reids First Team

    Swansea have no money and could have to replace several key players if they leave and potentially even their managers, I think they'll do better than they have this season but not sure they'll break into the top 10. Stoke have been slowly shifting big earners off their books for a few years and have been much smarter about replacing them as well so would expect to see them break into the top 10 this season. Coventry as well have a superb recruitment team and have overperformed their budget for the last couple of seasons.
    lutonh8a and HeiaWatford like this.
  3. lowerrous

    lowerrous First Team

    Which of the sides in the playoffs would it be better for us if they got promoted (i.e. will provide the toughest opposition in the Champ next season if they don't go up this time around)?

    Which has the strongest squad, the most funds, and the most key players they're likely to hold on to?
    SkylaRose likes this.
  4. a19tgg

    a19tgg First Team

    Last season we had everything in our favour to go up, we aren’t going to have that this time around. If you consider we had Sarr and players like Hughes and Chalobah, and that we’ll lose Sarr and have already downgraded our midfield as a PL club, let alone as a championship one, this season is going to be the real test.
  5. a19tgg

    a19tgg First Team

    Considering what Cooper has done since he took over I’d say Forest all day long. He seems like a very pragmatic manager considering how well he did at Swansea and where they are now. I think it would be best if he isn’t in the division managing someone, unless it’s us.
  6. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Yeah I tend to agree. If Forest don't go up through the playoffs next season they'll be a real danger. I just hope the defeat to Muff hasn't knocked it out of them now.
  7. lowerrous

    lowerrous First Team

    A reasonable enough conclusion, though they'll definitely lose Djed Spence this summer given he was only on loan, and he is arguably their best player. They'll also probably lose Zinckernagel if they don't go up and will also sell Johnson (though selling Johnson might give them some funds).

    It seems either them or Sheffield Utd, considering Sheffield Utd still would have parachute payments, and if they keep Berge - it seems they've started to hit form with him back fit.
    a19tgg likes this.
  8. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever Administrator Staff Member

    A lot of long mid week trips potentially- hopefully we’ll have a squad that can cope so that isn’t most of this seasons !!
  9. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team Captain

    Probably a bit early for an accurate prediction. It depends on who goes down with us. If it’s Leeds or especially Everton, they should dominate and win the league comfortably. If it’s Burnley then there won’t be any obvious favourites.

    For us, it all about who we retain. The quality to compete will almost have to be found from what we already have.

    Player trading will be used to service debt. Not a bean will be spent on incoming transfer fees, I suspect.

    I think once Dennis, Sarr, King and Sissoko go, we’ll be stripped of obvious Premier League talent who are a cut above the Championship.

    I think we’ll try to keep the likes of Pedro, Cucho, Louza and Kamara. They will be key.

    I’m heartened that the sh1tty defence is actually really good in the Championship. It’s bizarre how effective and strong these players are in the second tier. Kiko is real quality. The CB’s are all strong and I think Kamara will be different gravy.

    Okoye I’m not too convinced about, and I still hope we keep Foster. He’s still got a lot to give IMO.

    Midfield is the big problem area for me. Cleverley is ok in the Champ but I’d prefer if he was mainly a rotational option. I’d like to keep Kucka. I think he’d be very strong in that league. Louza should be class. But then we’re looking at Gosling. Hmmm. TDB should be ok though, but maybe not strong enough to play all the time. Would love to keep Etebo, but he’s never playing now, which makes me think they won’t sign him.

    Up front we look quite exciting but without a goal scorer. We need this. I was hoping we’d get Vydra but the ACL has put pay to that. Not sure Pedro and Cucho will score enough, but who knows. Maybe they will.

    Really like Hungbo. Not sure about Baah. Kalu is anyone’s guess. Sema solid but not exciting. Zinc could be used and we have the Asprilla wild card.

    I think we have enough to cause plenty of teams problems. Whether we’ll be top two, I’m not sure. But if Luton can make the play offs, then we would have massively underachieved if we fail to do that.
  10. Burnsy

    Burnsy First Team

    It’s about this time some fans start giving us A+ for our business isn’t it? And stating the defence is good enough…
  11. RS2

    RS2 Squad Player

    We've got this in the bag, finally we'll get a trophy.
  12. SkylaRose

    SkylaRose Administrator Staff Member

    I agree with @a19tgg in that it's going to be a season of struggle. We will not have a strong squad, and compared to other sides like Middlesbrough, West Brom, Norwich and whoever else goes down, I really feel top two is going to be beyond us. Playoffs is a more realistic aim unless we go on great run of wins like the back end of last season. Manager is also going to be key - and KEEPING HOLD OF HIM if it seem to be doing well in general but hit a bad run.

    We are not going to win every game, we are certainly going to win more home games than this season (I hope!!), and I think once Roy has gone, including who else we let go, we will have a more settled squad (hopefully including some new signings) that we can begin to build around. If we make the playoffs but don't go up but retain the manager, and have a good overall season, compared to this season I would call that a success. We will probably need to go up within the next two seasons regardless as not doing so will be quite damaging financially.

    Let's also hope their is an overall change in attitude from the players we have got rid of our useless CEO.
  13. The undeniable truth

    The undeniable truth First Team Captain

    We all know L**** are going up. It's not clear yet who they will beat in the final.
  14. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Keyboard Warrior Staff Member

    Good points there are going to be established teams that have just missed out on promotion. Norwich however will be weaker probably. They overspent last summer with no good outcome. They need to sell 2-3 regulars and are looking to bring about 3-4 through directly from their youth set up. Im not sure they are aiming to go straight up but to consolidate and build
    SkylaRose likes this.
  15. LeedsOrn

    LeedsOrn Reservist

    I think Leeds will be a far stronger proposition than Everton or Burnley should they go down. A lot of Burnley’s loans come due if they get relegated so they won’t have much spending power and they don’t have too many saleable assets either.

    Everton could romp to the title. But on the other hand their wage bill would be three times higher than any relegated side, and they will no longer have any Usmanov cash due to sanctions. They’ve been flying pretty high to the FFP sun so I’m not sure they’ll have too much financial wiggle room even if they sell Calvert-Lewin, Pickford and Richarlison for big money.
    SkylaRose likes this.
  16. lowerrous

    lowerrous First Team

    I'm definitely wanting Burnley to go down.

    Leeds will get loads of dosh to partly reinvest from selling Raphinha and Phillips and will also likely be able to keep a fair amount of other decent players. Them and Everton would both easily win the division.

    As you point out Burnley are in a very precarious position already and would earn less from player sales. They'd also not be as attractive a proposition for new signings either compared to Leeds and Everton. They were crap when we played them recently anyway and a manager who had us playing with a bit of confidence would have won that game for us.
    SkylaRose likes this.
  17. Lloyd

    Lloyd Squad Player

    Next season will be a long joyless grind with the added irritation of a 6 week pause for the world Cup that every right minded person will be boycotting in the middle of it. Its going to be 5h1te
    Doc0075 and UEA_Hornet like this.
  18. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Keyboard Warrior Staff Member

    Itll be Leeds going down. The worst of both worlds. Will easily win the league and we dont get to laugh at Everton or watch Burnley implode. Brilliant

    I hate this **** timeline we have stumbled into
    a19tgg likes this.
  19. Hogg-DEENEY!!!

    Hogg-DEENEY!!! Squad Player

    The only thing in our favour this time is that we won't have the wages of players like Deeney and Gray acting as a millstone around our necks, I'd like to think that we won't be left with such gaping holes in the squad next season like the first half of last season without Masina and Hughes, but that remains to be seen
  20. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    Isn’t this just a function of how long the PL has now been in existence? I don’t think it denotes Premier League 2 at all. It’s now much easier to get promoted than it was years ago because of the play-offs but even back then the 2nd division was populated by a lot of teams who had once been in the first.
  21. Steve Leo Beleck

    Steve Leo Beleck Squad Player

    Louza is the only central midfielder I would want to be starting regularly and think it'll be a struggle to keep hold of him. We need two new first choice midfielders alongside him, three if he goes. Not Gosling, not Cleverley, not Kucka, not Dele-Bashiru, not Quina. They are all either pedestrian, lightweight or not good enough on the ball (some a combination of all three).
  22. Steve Leo Beleck

    Steve Leo Beleck Squad Player

    Just looked back at our squad that got promoted in 20/21 and was struck by how utterly shiiiite it was. I thought at the time that we were lucky to get promoted and looking back now, even more so.

    The defence and keeper were good enough for the Championship but Hughes is the only good midfielder we had and he only played half a season (Chalobah did have a decent couple of months towards the end though), and we had terrible forward options other than Sarr and a very green Pedro.
  23. Malteser2

    Malteser2 Reservist

    I’m with you Steve. I never understood why Xisco’s detractors always used to say that anybody could have got us promoted with the squad we had. It wasn’t as strong as I think some imagine.

    I posted elsewhere on here last week too that the side he had at his disposal to start the season v Villa consisted of Bachmann, Cathcart at right-back, Masina, Troost-Ekong, Kabasele, Etebo, Kucka, Cleverley, Sema, Dennis, Sarr. Deeney and Gosling both came on as subs. Hardly a decent side either.
    Hornets81 likes this.
  24. Chumlax

    Chumlax Squad Player

    Because he did his very best not to, in fairness, and because he had the most expensive attacker in the division ever at his disposal.

    Even taking that into account, it was as much, if not more, the clear lack of tactical idea or ability to affect the game in terms of switches or substitutions that made people think anyone could/should have got promoted with that squad - literally, because with all that in play, he did.
  25. lowerrous

    lowerrous First Team

    It's because the Championship is crap, and as we were reminded this season the gap between the Championship and Premiership is a large one.
  26. Abdi

    Abdi Academy Graduate

    We'll be absolute dog shiit, but looking forward to some decent away days. Just a shame we have to play at home as well.
  27. SkylaRose

    SkylaRose Administrator Staff Member

    As long as we do not start like this:


    We should be alright. Scott Fitzgerald, he was something else.
  28. LondonOrn

    LondonOrn Squad Player

    The omens don’t look good as you have Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United who have never won the play-offs, losing them a grand total of TWELVE times between them - Forest have never even got to the final in their four failed attempts, for good measure losing to the losing finalists twice (like against Sheffield Utd in 2002/03, who capitulated 3-0 in the final to a Wolves who finished bottom of the Prem the following season). Huddersfield have quite a mixed record in the play-offs, with four successes in nine attempts, and only one final during their unsuccessful ones, so you never know which Huddersfield side will turn up. On the other hand, Luton are another side with a 0% success rate in the play-offs, with five attempts and only two finals (both of them in non-league LOL), plus I have maintained they are the weakest side in the play-offs (final league table proves that) without a particularly good record against the teams around them this season. So given Huddersfield finished 3rd, that makes them slight favourites at least but you never know…
  29. LeedsOrn

    LeedsOrn Reservist

    I’m not sure looking at how these sides performed in the 2003 playoffs is particularly helpful. Brennan Johnson was in nappies then.

    In fact, have any players played for their club previously in Championship playoffs?
  30. LondonOrn

    LondonOrn Squad Player

    Funny you say that, Brennan’s father David played for the same club in those 2003 play-offs - scored in both legs as well before Forest threw away 1-0 and 2-0 leads:
    LeedsOrn likes this.
  31. LondonOrn

    LondonOrn Squad Player

    He was quite good at setting up the team and making adjustments when we had key players out, and he made some useful substitutions to see out games we were winning narrowly or in danger of letting slip away from us (like Reading at home) - I don’t think it was as easy as you make out. He didn’t need to make changes much during games because we were hardly ever losing them!

    That said, it seems his limitations have been exposed at Huesca who’ve not even made the La Liga 2 play-offs with three games to go (his run has been very QSF-like, lots of draws and not many goals) but he took over after they’d had a far worse start than us last season under Ivic (no idea how their side compares to the 2020/21 Watford side in quality) and assuming they keep him on I’m willing to see how he does over a full season (the first he’ll have had in a major European league to really build a side, if not altogether) before writing off his managerial credentials.
    Wilzybilz1234 likes this.
  32. Doc0075

    Doc0075 Academy Graduate

    I'm hoping we will ditch a few of our pensioners such as Cleverly, Cathcart, Gosling, Foster (why do so many want him to stay?), Kucka, Kabasele, Kalu (lol), Sema and Sissoko and replace them with younger talent otherwise our team will spend the majority of matches chasing shadows. Also bring the big Chilean back in from the cold, what he's done to be ****-canned this season I have no idea.
    Hornets81, luke_golden and lowerrous like this.
  33. The undeniable truth

    The undeniable truth First Team Captain

    Everything goes out of the window in the play offs. It’s a lottery. Case in point, Wycombe who finished 6th just knocked out MK who finished 3rd and had beaten them 3 times (twice in the league and once in the cup) during the season.
  34. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    And of course they lost to them a fourth time in the second leg.
  35. Chumlax

    Chumlax Squad Player

    You and I have discussed Xisco at length before, so I'll just say that I honestly don't remember a lot of either of those scenarios, in terms of substitutions being effective when holding on to games, and I'm not really sure that's a great attribute in anything like the same way as changing a game you aren't already winning via coaching. What were the adjustment for key player absences that you are thinking of, specifically?

    Fundamentally, also, we almost never actually played particularly 'well' - I think there are few who would honestly say they could determine a genuine tactical ethos or style. The fact that we won so much (eventually, after a fair amount of not and random unavoidable circumstance finally resulting in him playing the correct team, having been forced on him) is, again, largely because he had several USPs that won them for him/us via expressions of individual skill.

    Not entirely sure La Liga 2 counts as a major European league, either, in fairness!

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