Wolves and Derby? Or Villa and Cardiff? Leeds, Boro and Fulham for the playoffs? Bristol City and Sheffield United might say no.

Here’s a brief chance to give your view now that the transfer window has closed. The site will be busy soon, we’ll have views from Lars and Pete, plus Pete looking forward to Ipswich tomorrow, so this will only be around for the rest of today.

 

 

 

Read moreWolves and Derby? Or Villa and Cardiff? Leeds, Boro and Fulham for the playoffs? Bristol City and Sheffield United might say no.

Wolves, Sheffield United, Cardiff and Bristol City keep out Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday and Fulham (and don’t mention Sunderland)

The last time I reported in, Leeds were the only club from our readers’ pre-season choices to be in the top six positions. The other five – Cardiff, Wolves, Sheffield United, Bristol City and Preston, in that order – had together accumulated only 617 votes, about 7.5% of the total cast, and Wolves had had over half of them.

Four of our choices, it must be said, were queuing up on the boundary, ready to pounce on any slips from the leaders, and only one was languishing (with great languor) in the doldrums. That was just over a month ago, in which time there have been five games, potentially fifteen points, to contest.

With the arrival of another international weekend we have a chance to review the situation and see if the natural order  (as defined by our readership) has been restored in those five games.

Read moreWolves, Sheffield United, Cardiff and Bristol City keep out Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday and Fulham (and don’t mention Sunderland)

Leeds OK as Cardiff, Wolves, Sheffield United, Bristol City and Preston keep out Aston Villa, Fulham, Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday

Another international break, another chance to catch up on our favourites for the promotion and playoff places.

You might remember they were, in no particular order, Fulham, Leeds, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland. How have they done?

(If you’re new to this series, or if you want to catch up, you can trot over to Mccormick’s dodgy numbers, find the first post in the series (27th June) and work your way up the page).

 

Read moreLeeds OK as Cardiff, Wolves, Sheffield United, Bristol City and Preston keep out Aston Villa, Fulham, Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday

Cardiff, Ipswich, Forest, Wolves and Sheffield Utd leave Villa, Fulham, Wednesday, Middlesbrough and SAFC standing

Do we know owt about football?

That’s what I asked a couple of years ago, when I was comparing a pre-season poll with end-of season positions. And that’s more or less what the Mrs said  when I showed her the graph I’d done to compare the current championship placings with our readers’ pre-season expectations.

Just as the last time, the expectation is nothing like the reality,  although it must be said that this time around it’s still early days.

 

Read moreCardiff, Ipswich, Forest, Wolves and Sheffield Utd leave Villa, Fulham, Wednesday, Middlesbrough and SAFC standing

Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, Fulham, Sheff Wed, Leeds and Sunderland – the ones to watch

not long now.

As foretold, the poll we’ve been running slipped down the front page and then off it so, although it remained – indeed remains – live, it no-one has visited recently. Before it disappeared from view we’d had over 7,000 votes cast, with well over 1,200 people taking part, from all parts of the UK and beyond.

That’s enough to provide me with a guide as to which clubs we’ll report on as we try to get an idea of who’s heading out of the Championship in the right direction.

As the headline says, Sunderland’s in the mix, probably only because  of the loyalty of diehard fans.

Has that loyalty been strained too much by recent events? Or did they, perhaps, inject a dose of realism? The poll’s still open, perhaps Norwich will make that jump from seventh before the season starts.

Read moreMiddlesbrough, Aston Villa, Fulham, Sheff Wed, Leeds and Sunderland – the ones to watch

Can Simon Grayson’s ruthless streak help Sunderland back to the Premier League?

‘Lead us back to the top, John!’ Source: Sunderland AFC via Facebook

At Salut! Sunderland, we do not necessarily long to hear the thoughts of Leeds United supporters. Their lot aren’t especially keen on ours either. But one Leeds fan with more than a little to do with this article about Simon Grayson’s prospects at Sunderland strikes a happy note: ‘most of us consider him a quality manager at this level.’ That will do for us, too, won’t it?


It hasn’t been an easy ride
for Sunderland in the past year. Sam Allardyce left for the England job leaving the Wearsiders lumbered with David Moyes. Moyes failed to redeem his Manchester United and Real Sociedad failings and ended up taking the club down.

Read moreCan Simon Grayson’s ruthless streak help Sunderland back to the Premier League?

Birmingham, Wolves, Brentford, Forest, Cardiff, Preston, QPR and Ipswich go missing from our poll

John McCormick, seeking the truth

I have to say I’m a bit surprised by the poll results to date.

‘Boro being top is reasonable. They have proved they are capable of handling the Championship, have money coming and have a decent manager.

Sunderland in the top six is understandable. It’s a Sunderland site, and no matter how jaundiced the fans are, no matter how concerned over the owner, there will always be a loyal following willing to vote for them.

But last season’s form has gone out of the window with this poll. Villa, who finished bang in the middle of the championship, are up there in second place, while Hull and Derby are out of the running. What’s going on?

Read moreBirmingham, Wolves, Brentford, Forest, Cardiff, Preston, QPR and Ipswich go missing from our poll

Sunderland’s 10 relegations. Number 6: last game heartache again

Pete Sixsmith

John McCormick writes: we have a manager and the transfer window’s open. A new chapter in the SAFC story is about to begin. But we also have history, some good, some not so and we would do well to remember it. So here, with the hope that the players running up alps in Austria will find it when they when they plug themselves into their alternative worlds, is some of that history, courtesy of Pete Sixsmith.

Read moreSunderland’s 10 relegations. Number 6: last game heartache again

Middlesbrough, Villa, Fulham, Sheffield Wed, Leeds, Norwich top six. Bristol and Burton Albion – ‘nul points’

John McCormick: We're not bottom, so is it a Happy Christmas?
John McCormick. Going for a Burton

Should I be disappointed? Not with the goings-on at the offices and by the officers of Sunderland Football Club but with the response to my “who’ll be the top six” poll. In 2015 our “who’s going down” poll had over 7,000 votes cast, last year we had over 2,500.

This year it wasn’t until events at the club brought in new readers that we got past 1,000 votes. To date we have had perhaps 200-300 readers bothering to take part. What’s more, whereas in the past we have had interesting and entertaining comments from fans from other clubs this year we had had nothing. Is this what the championship’s like? Or is it the Ellis Short effect? I don’t know.

Read moreMiddlesbrough, Villa, Fulham, Sheffield Wed, Leeds, Norwich top six. Bristol and Burton Albion – ‘nul points’

Reading at last? Norwich perhaps, or Derby, Leeds, ‘Boro and Sheffield? What’s your fancy?

John McCormick:
John McCormick. Here we go again – but this time it’s different

I was away last week and didn’t log on much, on account of having a temperamental handheld device (a tip – don’t drop your computer onto a tiled surface) and iffy connections courtesy of a not-so-local bar.

But log on I did, twice.

The first time, it was to find three quarters of our readers thought our chances of immediate promotion were scuppered.

On my second log-in Colin’s poll had closed and the number had dropped to 70%. That’s still quite a damning figure.

Me, I’m not so pessimistic.

Read moreReading at last? Norwich perhaps, or Derby, Leeds, ‘Boro and Sheffield? What’s your fancy?