Quarter Season Report on Yorkshire’s Football Clubs
At the beginning of the season, we gave our predictions of how each of our clubs would fare over the coming months in their efforts to either stay in their respective divisions or gain promotion from them. With just over a quarter of the season gone, it is a good time to see how they have started the campaign. Are they on track, or are they exceeding (or struggling to live up to) expectations?
Predicted position – 19th
Current position – 8th
After a summer that saw some solid (but perhaps underwhelming) transfer activity, it looked like it would be a long, hard slog for United; but they have not only shown steel at the back, but have also managed to hurt the opposition and score goals. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but if Chris Wilder’s side continue as they have begun, Blades’ fans could be forgiven for considering the likelihood of qualifying for the Europa League as opposed to merely staying in the EPL.
Predicted position – 2nd
Current position – 3rd
The Championship table is incredibly tight, as is usually the case, and after a good start, Leeds have slipped slightly. In a league when every club can and does take points off everyone else, Leeds’ biggest concern is the likes of West Brom, Swansea and surprise package Preston getting too far ahead and consigning them to a play-off place—something no one at Elland Road would relish. They need to ensure they do not drop out of automatic contention, or those all-too-familiar doubts are bound to resurface.
Predicted position – 7th
Current position – 20th
The season started poorly for the Terriers, and it cost Jan Siewert his job. The highly-regarded Danny Cowley has replaced him at the helm and has a reputation for building successful teams. It will be a big step up for the former teacher—and a test of his abilities to manage at a higher level—but improvements have been evident, and Huddersfield may well be just the place for him and his brother to shine. Upper midtable would be an achievement—and is very possible.
Predicted position – 11th
Current position – 13th
It is difficult to know what the future holds for Hull. There is the real danger of them becoming just another perennial midtable team in the championship, when eventually a drop down becomes more likely than promotion. Another consolidation year is on the cards, but they need to start building something.
Predicted position – 8th
Current position – 5th
A turbulent summer has not helped, but in Monk they have a manager who knows the league. The Owls are in the mix to be in the play-offs and should be able to stay there or thereabouts for the campaign, providing they are not plagued with key injuries.
Predicted position – 6th
Current position – 22nd
From promotion or certainly play-off contenders, Middlesbrough are in real danger of becoming, like Hull, another side scrapping it out in the middle and lower reaches of the horribly-competitive Championship. There is the real feeling that they have missed their biggest opportunity to get back to the EPL, and now serious questions are being asked regarding the financial situation at the club. Surely, they are too good to go down, but the future does not look at all rosy.
Predicted position – 20th
Current position – 24th
It was always going to be a tough season for the Tykes, and it is proving to be just that. If they are not careful, they could very well be adrift by the turn of the year. It is a league where anyone can beat anyone—they just need to prove it.
Predicted position – 10th
Current position – 7th
The signs are that Doncaster could exceed expectations and challenge for, if not a top-two place, then certainly a high play-off position. They have dropped points where they perhaps shouldn’t have, but they have beaten and taken points against the best sides in the league. They are hard to break down and can score goals at the same time, which is a winning combination.
Predicted position – 3rd
Current position – 11th
Inconsistency has cost Paul Warne’s side this season. If they can manage to string a consistent run of results together, they should be at least around the play-off conversation. All too often, however, a great performance and victory is followed by a flat display and a missed opportunity, particularly at home.
Predicted position – 2nd
Current position – 6th
Bradford have had an OK start to the season, as compared to what they would have been hoping for or even expecting. Their best chance is to bounce straight back up, and, importantly, they are still in touch with the leaders in what is another very tight league. The loss to Port Vale was a disappointment, but they need to put that behind them and ensure that they are at least in the top four come the new year.