Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Seriously, now I've been following the English Second Division for a change. In the first division, it seems that Champions League places will eventually fall into the usual suspects, and relegation is waving very strongly to Watford, Charlton and West Ham, so the only race left is between Bolton - Spurs - Pompey - Reading - Blackburn - Everton for a Uefa Cup place - let's face it, not so thrilling.

In the Championship, on the other hand, things are much more contested.

First of all, only 8 points separate the top club now (Birmingham) from the 8th (Cardiff) - only 4 between 3rd placed West Brom and Cardiff.

Second, the season has seen many teams go up and down - though Birmingham and Derby have looked the most consistent (as also observed by Roy Keane), and Sunderland and Wolves are on the rise, in other times Preston, Cardiff and even Stoke and Colchester (now 9th and 10th) were the top tips.

Third, this season has seen some very exciting players - though I can only see hints of them at BBC Sport or at Cup matches, the most promising ones are David Nugent at Preston, Gareth Bale at Southampton, Steven Ward at Wolves, and four Arsenal academy graduates on loan: Larsson, Muamba and Bendtner at Birmingham, and Lupoli at Derby. Also worth mention are the experienced Trinidad pair of Dwight Yorke and Stern John at Sunderland.

Fourth, there are the "friendly managers" - it's always nice to follow Steve Bruce and Roy Keane venturing into coaches (though I'm not a United fan).

Well, to me, it is more interesting than the state leagues in Brazil this month. But many things are more interesting than state leagues. Not Big Brother, but many others.

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