FOOTBALL IS BACK!!
4th August 2017
There’s no denying it. Weekends without football are rubbish. After a few months of insane transfers, managerial changes, pre season escapades, and the summer that will always be remembered for the Neymar saga, it’s finally time to rejoice. Tonight, the Football League is back, and then in a week’s time, it’s the return of the Premier League. Excited is an understatement.
The start of the EFL always brings a ridiculous amount of joy back to my life. I love the Championship. It’s tough, has a gruelling fixture list, and is one of the most competitive leagues in the world. It’s usually fairly unpredictable to say who will be challenging for Premier League football, but I’m gonna give it a good go now.
I’m not one of those people who assumes that whoever has just come down is most likely to go back up. However, on this occasion, I think Middlesbrough are my favourites to do just that. With Garry Monk in charge and the money he’s spent, I think they’ll be tough to beat. Their biggest issue in the Prem last year was their lack of goals, so if they keep their defence solid and find that finishing touch, they could be the Champions.
I’ve got a good feeling about Derby this season too. They feature in tonight’s first match in the EFL against Sunderland, and with another top Gary in charge, this time Rowett, having added to his squad with a couple of strong, solid, experienced players in Curtis Davies and Tom Huddleston, I think the play offs is the bare minimum they’ll achieve this season, and what their fans deserve.
Aston Villa have been so disappointing the last couple of seasons, and that’s being polite. But with the mighty Steve Bruce at the helm, a man experienced at taking clubs up, and with a leader like John Terry in the squad, mentally, this team should have a huge amount of belief that they can challenge for promotion.
Leeds had a poor finish to last season, but I fancy them, big scoring Fulham, the always up there Sheffield United, and Reading who will want to bounce back after play off disappointment, to also be up there. Harry Redknapp is likely to add more to his squad before the window closes, and Birmingham could be a bit of a dark horse this year too.
As for League One, I’ll be keen to keep an eye on Blackburn. What a story for a club with so much history. From Premier League Champions of yesteryear to now gritty League One football, the team will really need their fans behind them this year to support them in their journey back up. Charlton Athletic’s campaign last year was torrid. Multiple managers, pigs on pitch, anger at Duchatelet, it wasn’t pretty. But manager Karl Robinson has signed the sought after midfielder Ben Reeves, and the pair won promotion together at MK Dons a couple years ago, so could this be the turning point for the Addicks?
Forest Green Rovers are the talk of League Two. Whoever thought we’d be sitting here talking about an all vegan club with a famous lawnmower called MoBot. Not me, that’s for sure. But their play off victory at Wembley has taken them into the football league and they mean business. They intrigue me.
It all begins tonight. And then the glitz and glam of the Premier League gets underway next weekend, and myself and our BT Sport team will be back every Saturday bringing you ALL the live scores throughout the entire season on BT Sport Score from 2:30pm.
So, a new season is here. We’ve all been waiting for it. Fierce rivalries. Passion. Sorrow. Elation. Fasten your seat belts, the rollercoaster ride is about to begin.