Who will win League 1?

League 1 ended in spectacular fashion last year and hopefully this year will have an equal amount of excitement.

There are once again some very big teams in the division and it is tough to call as they do not always adjust to the league as quickly as they should. Sometimes it is the littler teams that triumph and end up in the promotion picture, just look at Yeovil Town last year, who would have bet on them at the start of the season.

Wolves are the clear favourites to win the title and they should challenge because they have suffered two consecutive relegations and still actually have some Premier League players in their squad. I like new manager Kenny Jackett he has come in and it seems like he got rid of the negative vibes around the club and will be successful. So far he has not had the opportunity to sign many players but Sam Ricketts at the back could be crucial and the returning Leigh Griffiths will surely score a lot of goals.

Another relegated team are also one of the favourites and this one is not surprising as Peterborough United have been in this situation before and returned to the Championship swiftly. However it has not been as champions so it makes me think that second place or the playoffs may be their best bet. They haven’t signed many players either but they were very unfortunate to get relegated on the final day so why change anything? Dwight Gayle has left for Crystal Palace and they will need to replace his goals.

Brentford were probably the most unlucky team in League 1 last season and in all honesty should already be in the Championship so it is no surprise to see them as one of the favourites. Manager Uwe Rosler really wants promotion this season and the players he has brought in should help them achieve that. Loan signing Ben Nugent should be good enough for League 1 and striker Will Grigg showed that he knows where the back of the net is for Walsall last season. I also think the signing of experienced player Alan McCormack is very good and he may not get the headlines but is always reliable.

The final relegated team Bristol City cannot be discarded either though because Sean O’Driscoll is a great manager and he should never have to drop down to League 1 to have a job in my eyes. He should still be manager of Nottingham Forest really. But he is at City and he has a tough job, he lost two of his best strikers In Jon Stead and Steve Davies and will be hoping that some of his signings can step up like Jay Emmanuel Thomas and Marlon Harewood. I also think that Marlon Pack and Scott Wagstaff are great signings and they will be brilliant under O’Driscoll who likes to play football the right way.

The final pick is Sheffield United but I am a little unsure about them as their new manager David Weir has no experience of being a league manager and they really needed someone that knew the league and how to get out of it in my opinion. But saying that they still do have a great chance of winning the league as they have not lost anyone from last season’s squad that should be in their starting 11 and bringing in players like Febian Brandy and Stephen McGinn are positive moves. Weir will also have a lot of contacts so they may use the loan market very well this year.

It is tough to back against Wolves but I just feel that it could be Bristol City that take the title.

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Wolves in League 1

Wolves suffered their second relegation last season from the Championship and will now be hoping to stop the slump.
Wolves
To do this they have hired Kenny Jackett and this is a fantastic appointment and although I don’t think Dean Saunders was to blame fully for their relegation he should have never got the job in the first place. But I am much more confident that Wolves will finish towards the very top of the table next season under Jackett. He did a very good job at Millwall winning 130 games and during his time their winning promotion to the Championship through the playoffs. He may not be the biggest name or even the most adventurous appointment but he is exactly what Wolves need right now, a steady and consistent manager that may not excite the fans but he will certainly get the points on the board. I was surprised to see him leave his last job but sometimes managers do need a change and I really do hope it works out for both himself and Wolves. In my opinion it would not be a surprise if at the end of the coming season Millwall get relegated and Wolves get promoted.

Jackett does not have it easy because there are still a lot of players at the club that were there in the Premier League and they will be on high wages and need to leave the club. Karl Henry, Stephen Ward, Roger Johnson and Jamie O’Hara have all been transfer listed. Looking at the players that are still at the club and will stay they should still have a good defence with Danny Batth already experienced in League 1 after a loan spell with Sheffield Wednesday and new signing Sam Ricketts a capable player that can do a job in any of the four defensive positions.

Batth has only played 15 times for Wolves

Batth has only played 15 times for Wolves


The midfield is another story though and is looking a little light of experience so they will have to look towards David Davis who has played quite a lot but has maybe not quite shown his true potential. Anthony Forde is another that will have to play to his potential next season because there could be a reliance on him to create chances. He has played 31 times in his career and I would expect him to at least double that number next season. David Edwards will also be crucial to the team if as expected he stays at the club.
Davis has got 1 career goal in 87 games

Davis has got 1 career goal in 87 games


Next season Wolves could play with a young but exciting strike force with Leigh Griffiths coming back from his loan spell at Hibernian. Griffiths should be very confident after hitting 28 goals in 40 games last season. League 1 will be a different challenge but I think he could replicate this form and fire Wolves to promotion. He could be partnered by Jake Cassidy who has played in League 1 before at Tranmere Rovers and over two loan spells scored 16 league goals in 36 games. Kevin Doyle is still at the club but it may be better for both if he left because he has not had a great time and has not lived up to expectation.
Griffiths has only played in one cup game for Wolves

Griffiths has only played in one cup game for Wolves

Millwall win 1000th league game in honour of Barry Kitchener

The Lions were founded 126 years ago and against Hull City they won their 1000th home league game which is an amazing accomplishment.

Millwall are currently 19th in the Championship

Not only was it a historic victory but also a much needed victory with the current team struggling at the wrong end of the Championship, they needed to try and pull themselves away from the relegation scrap. It was a long awaited victory at home too as they had been waiting for quite a while to reach this landmark, this is their first home win in 2012 which just shows the problems manager Kenny Jackett has had this season. Maybe the players and staff had this record playing on their mind and it needed something else to give them the inspiration to go out and perform which they did. It was a very emotional day at The Den with the club paying tribute to former centre back Barry Kitchener who sadly died at the age of 64 last week. Kitchener, was a fantastic servant to the club and he himself must have seen many home wins and he was the record appearance maker for the club which most certainly makes him a club legend.

The home side must have wanted to win for him and the club as a special tribute to him wore a special white kit, this clearly inspired the players to perform as the defended brilliantly and looked like they could have scored more goals than they should have done in the game. Harry Kane and Andy Keogh grabbed the goals but Paul Robinson at the back was immense and there was no chance he was going to let an opposition striker score.

Looking to the future and Millwall could have a bright future, if given the time to grow because they have a fantastic and sometimes underrated manager in Kenny Jackett who has kept calm even when the club were right in the thick of the relegation battle. They have a very strong captain in Paul Robinson who on his day could possibly be playing in the Premier League but has been very loyal to Millwall and the fans seem to love him too.

They do have a lot of talent in the midfield too with Liam Feeney a winger that possess real quality and has pace to burn and in the centre they have Liam Trotter who for a player that may be seen as more of a holding midfielder can grab the odd important goal.

Darius Henderson is one of their main strikers and he isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but there is no doubting his effort and commitment when he goes onto the pitch. Add this to his 19 goals this season and you have a player that is very useful at this level and if they can get it right at the back next season they maybe outsiders for the playoffs.

The fans at Millwall do get a rough ride for their reputation but in recent years there has been a massive improvement and they show all their passion every week to support their team. Football hooliganism does need to be stamped out of the game but in the match against Hull in memory of Barry Kitchener, both sets of fans were amazing and they gave the great man an honourable send off.