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dont_do_it_doug.

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Who do we think our main challengers are going to be? 

Obviously at the moment it is difficult to predict who will be staying down here, but I think there's a clear divide between Newcastle, Brighton and the rest. Leeds are getting a lot of love but whilst they're well organised and physically dominant, I think they have been lucky to a degree this season. Maybe that luck will carry them all the way through. They are the side I would be happiest to be rid of anyway. 

I've seen Wednesday a few times and whilst they have a lot of natural ability in Bannan, Foristieri, Wallace, Winnall etc they do lack something extra. They can be physically dominated, much like Huddersfield who I also like, but question their sustainability. I think their manager is getting an awful lot from some very average players. Reading are a strange one, don't know what to make of them. Also very lucky and lucky with injuries. They've little depth. Same goes for Fulham. Derby are a mess. 

Sunderland will be coming down and unless there is massive upheaval at their club they will be staying down. They other two spots are still open, though Boro look extremely likely. They did a Villa last summer - signed 134 players and crossed their fingers.

Basically, I fancy us. Hardly an earth shattering prediction I know but as a gabbling man I'd find it hard to look past us. Thoughts? 

Edited by dont_do_it_doug.
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I can see Newcastle, Brighton and Fulham going up. 

To be honest, with probably the exception of Newcastle, I think when we play well we could beat any side in the league. Sheffield Wednesday are supposed to be a good side but we we beat them fairly comfortably and I'm sure we still have a lot of improvement in us. 

Next year I expect us to have clicked and think we should expect automatic qualification. 

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I think it's a bit premature to make predictions at this stage as we have no idea who is going up or down, squads new managers etc.

I think we will start alot better than this year though

Edited by Demitri_C
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We should certainly be in the mix for top 6 with what we have now, let alone what we'll add.

This season if you add the two terrible runs together it's something like 1 win in 19 games so practically one win over half a season.

Yet if you added ten more points to our tally I'd massively fancy us to finish in the top 6.

We need to sort the keeper situation out and get in another CB but beyond that I don't really see the need for main other signings unless we lose Kodjia and then another striker is needed.

I think the championship will be a lot weaker next season, Newcastle were always going to be top 2 certs but I don't see that from the three that are likely to come down unless one of them is Palace which could still happen.

Sunderland are in as big a mess as us coming down, I reckon if they don't sell the club they'll be in a relegation battle to league 1.

Hull have looked good but Silva will probably be snapped up by someone else and their squad is full of loan players so difficult to predict what they'll be lining up with.

Boro are probably best bet to challenge properly again but I wouldn't be losing any sleep over them given they hardly score. Last time they were relegated it took them 7 years to bounce back.

Of course they'll always be surprise teams like Reading and Huddersfield.

I'm actually looking forward to next season much more than this one. I fully expect us to get off to a good start and be in the mix all season. It's about time the team started delivering, it's been long enough now and we don't have many excuses left now.

 

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1 minute ago, Demitri_C said:

I think it's a bit premature to make predictions at this stage as we have no idea who is going up or down, squads new managers etc.

I think we will start alot better than this year though

Football is in a constant state of flux. Managers coming and going, players breaking metatarsals.

It's always premature to make predictions. The thread will be a bit more 'general' than that I'm sure. 

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3 minutes ago, Demitri_C said:

I think it's a bit premature to make predictions at this stage as we have no idea who is going up or down, squads new managers etc.

I think we will start alot better than this year though

That's the most important thing for me, we get some good wins early on particularly away from home which will breed confidence.

Get 10 points from our opening 5 games in August, that would do me and would mean we'd equalled our total from what we had when RDM was sacked on October 3rd 2016.

I still think people underestimated how much that poor start killed off any top 6 challenge there and then. The odd team still makes the play offs from a poor start but it's very difficult to recover.

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19 minutes ago, VillaChris said:

That's the most important thing for me, we get some good wins early on particularly away from home which will breed confidence.

Get 10 points from our opening 5 games in August, that would do me and would mean we'd equalled our total from what we had when RDM was sacked on October 3rd 2016.

I still think people underestimated how much that poor start killed off any top 6 challenge there and then. The odd team still makes the play offs from a poor start but it's very difficult to recover.

Of course any loss/draw contributes, but I think the run over January/February was more damaging than the start.  2 points in 9 games was a shocking return and absolutely killed off any playoff hopes - RDM's start was poor but he picked up, what, 10 points in 11 games or something?

If we had managed to win just 2 games over the start of the year instead of 0, we'd have a long shot at a playoff spot.  As it is, we're done.

For next season, I'm not as confident as people are here.  I think we'll be in the mix for a top 6 finish, though.

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2 minutes ago, bobzy said:

Of course any loss/draw contributes, but I think the run over January/February was more damaging than the start.  2 points in 9 games was a shocking return and absolutely killed off any playoff hopes - RDM's start was poor but he picked up, what, 10 points in 11 games or something?

If we had managed to win just 2 games over the start of the year instead of 0, we'd have a long shot at a playoff spot.  As it is, we're done.

For next season, I'm not as confident as people are here.  I think we'll be in the mix for a top 6 finish, though.

I agree it was a very poor run and I'm certain if SB had the time again he'd have got in a loan striker on January 1st....why he thought Gabby and McCormack could fill the Kodjia void is beyond me and it cost us big time.

At the start of Cardiff away when the run started we were still 7 points I think off top 6 so even with the good run it wasn't like we were on the brink of top 6, we were still well adrift.

I just think in whichever division it's vital to get off to a good start, we saw Huddersfield win their first few games and it's just continued from there.

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Gonna be at least 10-12 teams competing for the top 6, as there is every year. The three teams that come down this year will be the first to come down earning more money than half of europe's top division winners! All will be capable of getting back up first time of asking. None of them look in the kind of shape we were in last year....apart from possibly Middlesboro...as they have half of our crap from last year :-)

Sunderland will be at the top end under Moyes you would think, and Hull proved last season they are capable of getting up. Keeping that managar will be key for them.

I expect Rowett to have Derby at the top end of the table, Leeds, Huddersfield, Reading, Norwich, Preston, Fulham will be up there again (apart from whichever one of them wins the play offs). I expect Warnock will get Cardiff very competitive.

Sheffield Utd coming up will always be a tough game for people, and with the likes of Bolton and Millwall looking like possibly coming up too....I think next years championship will definitely be harder than this years. 

I think two teams romping away at the top all season proves this year is a sub-standard championship. I expect both Newcastle and Brighton to struggle in the prem unless they strengthen considerably.

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No chance Moyes will be at Sunderland after relegation.

Bar Defoe and Pickford they also have a terrible squad. They wouldn't be getting automatic promotion with John O'Shea, Djibojil and Seb Larsson.

People overplay the money thing, we came down with the 7th highest wage bill after all but players on big money get demotivated at having to play in the championship so better to get rid unless they really want to stay.

I really don't see Sunderland challenging at all next season....they'll probably win their last 7 and stay up like they usually do in any case.

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12 minutes ago, ViewFromT2 said:

Gonna be at least 10-12 teams competing for the top 6, as there is every year. The three teams that come down this year will be the first to come down earning more money than half of europe's top division winners! All will be capable of getting back up first time of asking. None of them look in the kind of shape we were in last year....apart from possibly Middlesboro...as they have half of our crap from last year :-)

Sunderland will be at the top end under Moyes you would think, and Hull proved last season they are capable of getting up. Keeping that managar will be key for them.

I expect Rowett to have Derby at the top end of the table, Leeds, Huddersfield, Reading, Norwich, Preston, Fulham will be up there again (apart from whichever one of them wins the play offs). I expect Warnock will get Cardiff very competitive.

Sheffield Utd coming up will always be a tough game for people, and with the likes of Bolton and Millwall looking like possibly coming up too....I think next years championship will definitely be harder than this years. 

I think two teams romping away at the top all season proves this year is a sub-standard championship. I expect both Newcastle and Brighton to struggle in the prem unless they strengthen considerably.

Sorry I can't agree. This year you a hve Newcastle and Brighton who are in my eyes premier league class. I would say both are better than the likes of Hull and Sunderland 

If defoe goes Sunderland will be in massive trouble if they come down Nd don't get taken over

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I think we'll add a gk, cb and dm and be very hard to beat

There should be no one currently  in this league who will be there next season who should be able to hold a flame to us. I expect big things next season.

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Assuming we can now keep who we consider to be our best players, and maybe get a couple of other squad fillers to give us actual strength in depth, then I see no reason why we can't push for the top two next season. Toon and Brighton deserve promotion on the back of their respective seasons, and I'd like to see the back of Leeds this time... but in a knock out playoff competition any one of them could go up of course. Of those coming down, Boro would be the ones I fear most, and kind of Leicester too - though I see them dragging their bottoms off the relegation step.

We are going to be in the mix, that's for sure. And if we aren't, well... we'll flunk. For a long time. It's kind of do or die next season - will be a good ride and if you have the means, crazy not to get a season ticket for it.

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9 minutes ago, Jareth said:

Mods close the thread, we are going up this year....

Obviously - maybe he means promoted to the Champions League via winning the prem - ddid pls clarify

Edited by a m ole
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51 minutes ago, Demitri_C said:

Sorry I can't agree. This year you a hve Newcastle and Brighton who are in my eyes premier league class. I would say both are better than the likes of Hull and Sunderland 

If defoe goes Sunderland will be in massive trouble if they come down Nd don't get taken over

I respect your opinion.

By saying they are premier league class are you suggesting both teams will stay up next year with the squads they have?

I don't think the championship is all that great to be honest. The two teams running away with it are really no that good, and certainly will struggle in the prem unless they strengthen considerably. ...as we proved down at Brighton by outplaying them for large parts. Also, Sheffield Wednesday have been up in the van all season....and I thought they were awful on Saturday!

There is a huge gulf opening between the championship and the Premier League....and despite what you say about the likes of sunderland, I expect them to be competitive in the championship if Moyes remains in charge. Just my opinion

...time will tell!

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16 minutes ago, Jareth said:

Mods close the thread, we are going up this year....

if we win the last 9 we finish on 75 points....75 points gets you a play off place!

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1 minute ago, ViewFromT2 said:

if we win the last 9 we finish on 75 points....75 points gets you a play off place!

You would be inclined to think so, but looking at the points tally of the SIX it looks like it will be higher.

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