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5 Players To Watch In Championship 2010/11 Season

Snodgrass: One to look out for

The start of the newly named Npower football league is almost upon us and it all gets under way on Friday night at Carrow Road when Norwich take on Watford. As well as a preview I will be writing on Thursday, I thought I’d pick out 5 players from this season that are worth keeping an eye on, I expect these five lads to really shine this season (let’s see how right I am when the Championship team of the season is announced next year – probably 0 right).

1. Nicky Maynard:

In my previous blog, I spoke about how Bristol City had one of their best sides in years and with a manager like Steve Coppell who has experience of success in this league with Reading, they have become a bit of a dark horse for promotion. David James aside, Bristol City fans will be hopeful that Nicky Maynard can build upon his 20 league goals from last season and be the spearhead of their attack. At only 23, Maynard is showing great potential and he is a proven goal scorer at this level. With the addition of more strength and depth in the Bristol City line up after a summer of signings (more to come!), Maynard is bound to have a chance to get even more goals this season. He is 14/1 on sky bet to be the Championship’s top scorer and he’s the player I’m backing to achieve that award. You may recognise Maynard from his goal against QPR last season, which even made its way into some journalist’s lists of “top European goals of the season” (never mind domestic!). Check it out below:

2. Robert Snodgrass:

Snodgrass – the unsung hero of Leeds United (by the media at least). For the past several seasons, Beckford has taken the plaudits for his goal scoring ability, but he often relied upon this man to provide the chances. Snodgrass is a gifted winger that can play on either flank and has great technical ability and patience on the ball. Now that Beckford has moved on to Everton, Leeds will be hopeful that Snodgrass can provide for whoever Beckford’s replacement is and he will be an important part of their bid for survival. He was one of League One’s best kept secrets and now he will have a chance to show what he can do at a higher level, I expect him to take many plaudits this season:

3. Kris Boyd:

Yes, it’s an obvious choice, but Boyd’s season will be an interesting one considering his reputation. Middlesbrough are the bookmakers favourites to gain promotion this season and much of that is due to the signing of the SPL’s top goal scorer of all time, if he picks up a bad injury than many may be reconsidering their choice (although ‘Boro do have a lot of strength and depth this season). He’s favourite to be the top goal scorer and he is all set to prove that he can be a prolific scorer in England just like he was in Scotland; failure to do this would be a disaster for Boyd, Scottish football and Middlesbrough:

4. Gylfi Sigurðsson:

Reading had a Jekyll & Hyde season last year. After selling off players in order to balance the books, Brendan Rodgers struggled at the club and was dismissed in December. Brian McDermott took temporary charge of the club and one of his first tasks was to play Liverpool in the F.A cup. The club got a respectable draw at the Madjeski, but few predicted that Reading would out play Liverpool at Anfield. Sigurosson was the star of the show that night and Jamie Carragher seemed frightened when he came running at him with the ball. At only 20 years old, he is one for the future and Reading fans will be glad that the Premiership hasn’t come calling for their 09/10 player of the season. I think we can expect more from Sigurosson this season and if you get the chance I highly recommend seeing him as he is a very exciting player to watch:

5. Connor Wickham:

It’s ironic really, Roy Keane spends loads of money on new recruits and a product of the Ipswich youth system ends up being the most capable. Wickham was recently rumoured to be the subject of a bid from Tottenham, with Spur’s apparently bidding £5m with an offer to loan the player back to the Tractor Boys. Ipswich are holding out for more money and you know you have something good if a Premier League team is offering that sort of money to a Championship club.  He may have only for four goals last season, but the 17 year old can expect to be more involved in club matters from start to finish this season. All the buzz about Wickham was started with his impressive performances at England U17 level where he helped his country win the U17 European Championship’s, some have even asked Capello if he would consider him for a full cap:

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  1. Shakira

    August 3, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    I agree about him needing to stay fit, he seems to be taking it seriously this season which would be great for Derby. I wouldn’t have forked over 2.4M for Hooper who has only one season at the CCC level. He isn’t proven, now I would have forked out the 1.3 for Billy Sharp that Doncaster did. I still think Derby can finish around 10th this season.

    • Rob McCluskey

      August 3, 2010 at 8:22 pm

      I agree, Donny got a great deal on Sharp, I’m surprised Sheff Utd didn’t take him back considering they’re struggling financially a bit!

      I wonder how many more times Derby fans are gonna be lied too, every transfer window its like the board promise signings and very little happens, desperatley need a right winger!

      • Shakira

        August 5, 2010 at 2:08 pm

        I don’t get the not having a right winger yet, all I can figure is that we will get one on loan. It seems that Brayford and Bailey have settled well which is good. I won’t be irked at the board until Sept 1st and the window closes. Looks like Derby will getting a young American Conor Doyle as well, at 18 he has had good reviews from fans who have seen him.

  2. Shakira

    August 3, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    How can you not mention Kris Commons for Derby? He has probably the sweetest left foot in the entire Championship. Maynard has come a long way, I used to watch him on Setanta when he played for Crewe.

    • Rob McCluskey

      August 3, 2010 at 6:12 pm

      He is great, but he needs to stay fit this season, he is a difference maker for Derby though, much like most of the 5 mentioned above, if Boro didn’t have Boyd I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be everyones favourite to be promoted!

      Commons is good, but I think as a whole he could be made to look better if Derby would actually properlly strengthening their squad, I would have personally forked out the money for Hooper as he is the sort of goal scorer that can get you promotion.

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