The first month in the campaign to win promotion to the BPL is over and here are my thoughts on the CCC season so far and lord knows it will probably change by the end of the season. The relegated teams from the BPL last year are having solid seasons minus Derby County. Birmingham are in 3rd position with 10 points and is only out of an automatic promotion spot via goal difference behind Preston and Wolves. Reading are in 6th position with 7 points and playing well while Derby County are at the foot of the table with a meager 1 point. There dreadful form from last season has carried over and despite Paul Jewell bringing in 14 new players, wins are still something that Derby County can not conjure up.
The promoted teams from League One least season are having solid starts. Swansea City are sitting in 7th with 7 points and adapting well to the CCC, so are Doncaster who are in 10th with 7 points as well. Nottingham Forest are 16th with 4 points. If all three clubs keep up this form they will survive this season and miss an automatic return to League One which is what they want to avoid. Other teams that have stormed to a good start are table topping Wolves followed by Preston North End. Bristol City are continuing thier good form from last season as well no faltering one bit. Sheffield United are sitting in the final play-off place and are looking like they may challenge for promotion. Blackpool who won promotion last season from League One and barely avoided relegation last season are sitting mid-table and look to have adapted to the CCC. Charlton is having a rough start sitting in 11th place with 6 points. They along with Watford and Sheffield United are in the last year of the parachute payment a club gets when relegated from the BPL for two years if they are not automatically promoted. These three clubs need to get promoted back to the BPL this season or that extra money runs out and it becomes increasingly hard to gain promotion.
One thing that has been fun is there have been more then a couple of high scoring matches this season in a division that is known for its physical play and route one football. In 4 match weeks we have had two matches end 4-1, two matches end 4-2, three matches end 3-0, and one total demolition of 5-1. While the CCC has high scoring matches, it is known for grinding out the 1-0 result more then prolific scoring. This is an evenly matched division from top to bottom. As last year showed with both Stoke City and Hull City gaining promotion, you never know from week to week what is going to happen or who will get the coveted promotion spots. As my fellow blogger Dominic Mather said, this is the most competitive league in England with any team having the chance to beat another team. The table is going to change many times over the season and teams will rise and fall all season, this is the beauty of the Coca-Cola Championship.
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