Date: 16th May 2013 at 3:50pm
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You make your mind up which is which

So, now we know the three new threats to our promotion campaign next season. Two of them, QPR and Reading, have been known to us for several weeks, but on Tuesday night at the Emirates, Wigan’s grip on the glory days finally slipped. They will join QPR and Reading in the Championship next term.

What do you make of our three new inmates? We know only too well how the drop effected us at the start of last season. Was that because of over-confidence? Maybe our Premier League institutionalised players were shocked at how difficult it would be to acclimatise to their new surroundings? Maybe it was both…

Queens Park Rangers will be the team most affected by the fall. Mr Fernandes not only spent 10’s of millions on players, he also spent a king’s ransom on a manager’s salary whose C.V would guarantee survival from an almost impossible situation. Unfortunately for them, it would seem, money has it’s limits. It’s easy to assume, QPR’s immediate return to the top tier, rests at the feet of their star-players remaining loyal to the predicament they were largely responsible for. But with salaries reportedly £80,000 a week on the wage bill, the future of the club may rely on getting said players off the books completely. I, for one, will be watching their plight intently…

It’s hard not to feel empathetic towards Wigan’s drop. No, not sympathetic… empathetic. After 8 seasons in the V.I.P rooms of the Premier League, the pie-munchers will be slummin’ it in the Championship for the immediate future, at least. Similar to Bolton last term, their manager has stated, they’re in a fortunate position where they need not sell their ‘best’ players. Financially speaking, the statement is more than likely correct, but the big difference with Bolton’s situation last season, Wigan’s manager is in demand. If Roberto Martinez moves on this summer, some of the ‘best’ players will almost certainly move with him… Probably to the same club. Next season, we may be seeing a completely different team that relegated the club this week, which may be detrimental to their promotion chances. However, if a new man is at the helm for week one of the new season, unlike Bolton, they may hit the ground running. Again, I’ll be watching their ongoings intently…

Reading, the final new-fish to fall, will be the team best equipped to make an immediate return to the Penthouse. Whether sacking Brian McDermott before the season-end was a good idea or not, The Royals executed what aussie mike thinks Wanderers should have done near the end of last season. With hindsight, mike was correct and if nothing else, Bolton would have had their new man in charge all summer to plan their Championship attack… Exactly the thing Reading are doing as we speak. Not only has Nigel Adkins got promotion to the Premier League on his C.V, it will be as fresh in his memory as the unwarranted sacking served up from his previous club. Household name players and their agents wanting big-money moves will not be blighting Adkins this transfer window. His solid Championship cast will be chomping at the bit to get another taste of seeing their faces on Match of the Day. With nothing much for me to watch intently over the summer, Reading are the team from the fallen three I fear most next season.

What do you think?


5 Replies to “BWFC: The Good, The Bad And The Downright Ugly”

  • the financially endowed players at QPR will either sit tight and play or be farmed out on loans, with QPR subsidising their wages. All 3 relegated teams are capable of doing well and dominating the championship next season, at least occupying a spot hovering the top places, whether they do or not remains to be seen. I suspect most of the teams from this season who finished in the top ten, ourselves included, will do likewise next year, although a couple who failed to meet expectations this season should do much better, i.e. Blackburn, Middlesbrough, etc. Much depends on getting a flying start as it boosts early confidence and can give you a valuable points cushion for when you hit the inevitable dip in fortune, i.e. Leicester this year. My pre season concern is those clubs with money can bring in quality players to strengthen their chances, it looks like we will be operating to some extent on a wing and a prayer, entirely dependant on the astute ability of our management to turn over a couple of gems as they scour the pebbled beach for new players, together with the likes of Holden, Wheater & Mavies coming good. How we need the latter to happen – it could make all the difference.

  • Could not agree more. I think Reading are by far the most stable of the relegated clubs, they have a manager with experience of the task ahead and do not have bloated egos on board. QPR is a hard one to call; they have a lot of players on mega-salaries, some of whom they will look to ship out although that will depend on contractual obligations. They have a manager who will not be happy with managing in Division 2 and has previous for jumping ship when it suits and as Mike intimates have lots of TF’s dosh to throw at promotion. Spend to accumulate; it failed this year but it could work next. Wigan should do well but I can’t see Martinez staying or a few players who could well follow him. However, they will be contenders. Then you look at Watford, Brighton, Boro, Leicester, Charlton and Forest who will probably challenge. Plus, if they can sort out their problems, Leeds and Blackburn. Throw us in the mix and that’s a dozen clubs with a good chance of promotion back to the Promised Land. The Premier League has been an easy league to call since Sir Bert Microchip’s craven capitulation since it contains three sub-layers; the haves, the have-somes and the have-littles. Division 2 (now called the Championship) does not have that; it has clubs who can and clubs who can’t. Fortunately we are a club-who-can and lots of that is due to having DF at the helm. Zaha would be a brilliant addition to our squad; maybe a loan signing from United? There does also seem to be another player called Davies on the market – Simon of Fulham – let’s get him so we can have Davies’ in all positions (shame SKD is off – maybe we should give him some managerial role). Or get all the players to change their names by deed-poll to Davies to confuse refs (better than Sunday league practise of saying “M.Mouse”).

  • I think Muur’s on to something there, unless Wigan crash out of Europe early doors (highly possible) it’s going to be difficult for them to juggle the extra league and cup games.

    I’m most scared of Reading, they’ve got a real Championship pedigree and most of the side that went up, could be a real force next year!

  • Wigan’s players not only their manager will be in demand and I would expect a few of them to be snapped up, in contrast to the complete lack of interest in our lot last year. We were tipped close season to be champions elect due to keeping our ‘strong’ squad together, though I and many others never quite saw that happening. Over confidence and complacency was our undoing pre-Dougie. I don’t expect that to be the case with the pies, but they may suffer from a close season pillage of their core players – despite the talk of not needing to sell.

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