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.

Advertisements

Did Celtic deserve to win the league?

Celtic have been crowned SPL champions again after a four year wait and they did it in spectacular fashion beating Kilmarnock 6-0.

Goals from Charlie Mulgrew, Glenn Loovens, Gary Hooper and Joe Ledley meant the title was coming back to Celtic. The result will also be sweet for the fans and players because they got beaten in the Scottish League Cup final by Kilmarnock when they were hoping to add more silverware to their fantastic season. Some people may argue that this league title should mean less to Celtic and because of Rangers’ current financial problems they shouldn’t celebrate it as much but I don’t agree with this and I believe that Celtic would have went on to win the league anyway. After being 15 points behind their rivals at one stage they pulled it back and to make it even better they actually beat Rangers to completely overturn the points deficit with a goal from Joe Ledley.

Looking at the team, they had the best in Scotland anyway and deserve the title, the only player that was possibly going to stop them would have been Nikica Jelavic who is proving in the English Premier League that he is a good goal scorer and may have made more of a difference. But we will never know because they were forced to sell him and they only have themselves to blame for that so why should Celtic be bothered. In goal Celtic have Fraser Forster who has a lot of potential and could one day be one of the best in Europe if he learns to keep his concentration up fully especially when defending set pieces but he is certainly a very good shot stopper and with more experience will get even better.

The defence is possibly the weakest part of the team but they do have a lot of potential in there with Adam Matthews at right back who is very solid defensively and adds a lot going forward with his pace. Two defenders actually scored three of the goals that secured the title and in Charlie Mulgrew they have a player that can play in a few positions and his versatility can be vital at times. He does also get a few goals and assists as well. Unfortunately one of the best players in the league couldn’t take as much part as he would have liked in the title win and that is Emilio Izaguirre who is a fantastic player and one that I want to see a lot more of.

The midfield is very hard working and committed and in Scott Brown they have a player who will do anything to win a game of football and will do anything for the cause therefore it is easy to see why the Celtic fans love him. Joe Ledley is very similar in that respect and he can at times just add a little extra quality too.

They also have some good attacking options and some very good finishers at the club in Gary Hooper and Anthony Stokes. They may miss a few chances but the bonus of being at a massive club like Celtic is that they will get the opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net. Georgios Samaras also chips in with goals and his six this season have been vital and he may infuriate some fans but he is always a danger and can always score an important goal for the team.

Lennon will be hoping for even more success in charge of Celtic

So well done to Celtic and I hope Neil Lennon enjoys this moment as much as he should because this could be the first of many and Celtic will probably go and dominate Scotland for a long time to come. They were the best team for most of the season and for that reason I believe that they did deserve to be SPL champions of 2012.