Tales from not-the Top Flight

No. That’s the answer to the article title but you have to say that it’s been an impressive start from the aforementioned duo, and one that nobody really predicted. In pre-season, everyone was raving about the big spending of Jorge Mendes FC and the like but this weekend proved that it doesn’t matter how much Chinese investment you have nobody is getting past ‘Our Neil.’ Yes, Warnock is incredibly old school, painfully at times, but his track record in this division really speaks for itself. He’s turned Cardiff City around since he joined the club last year, and while I expected the blues to be upper mid table, we may well have a proper promotion push on our hands.

Ipswich Town’s hot start to the season has arguably been even more surprising. I predicted the Tractor Boys to have another bland lower mid-table season where they don’t really do a whole lot and continue their endless slog in the Championship, they are the longest-serving team in the division after all. Big Mick McCarthy has been manager at Portman Road for 5 years, which in terms of Championship managerial spells is an Alex Ferguson like tenure. Town’s new signings Joe Garner and Martyn Waghorn were both purchased from Rangers for a combined fee under £1 million and have scored a hatful of goals already this season. Can Ipswich sustain this form? It’s too early to tell, but they’ve given themselves a great chance.

Aston Villa, remember them? Well, they have only gone and decided to win a game as they defeated Norwich City in a 4-2 thriller at Villa Park. Still no clean sheet from everyone’s favourite footballer John Terry. Did you know he signed for Aston Villa by the way? I just feel this has not been mentioned enough. Villa’s rivals Birmingham City had a disappointing weekend as they lost to the mighty Burton Albion, although Harry Redknapp had some great quotes post-match. He dug his own players out multiple times and even accused them of ‘ruining Zola’ and then complained that the board had not made enough signings.

Elsewhere last years losing playoff teams continue with their indifferent start to the season as Fulham and Reading both lost while Wednesday clocked their first win of the season over the West-London based club. Finally in the grudge match of clubs that no one really likes Leeds United won away from home as they defeated Sunderland 2-0. Oh and Bristol City and Millwall played out a 0-0 draw in what will undoubtedly be a game of the season contender.