Peach’s Championship Round-up – GW 12

As Steve Bruce becomes the latest Championship manager to lose his job, Justin Peach of the Second Tier Podcast joins us to pick out the three biggest talking points and the three star performers from the latest Championship gameweek...

Justin Peach

So, Steve Bruce has finally been sacked, which now means we can finally stop talking about him needing to get sacked. 

That’s at least until the new West Brom manager gets six months down the line with an underperforming squad and terrible ownership.

With the unsurprising news out the way, let’s get going with some highlights of the latest gameweek.

It was a weekend that saw Preston score three goals in one game, Watford realise that perhaps the manager wasn’t the issue and of course QPR moving into title winning contention.

Right, let’s get right into it.

Blades gone blunt

Sheffield United are finally being proven to be a normal team after hitting a slump, losing their last two games.

The latest was a defeat away to Stoke who themselves had been struggling under Alex Neil with injuries a mounting issue for Paul Heckingbottom.

A back four was deployed as opposed to the usual back three and it was exposed by Stoke as they consistently found space in behind.

It was a disappointing defeat that failed to draw too many positives with Heckingbottom hoping that the 11 injuries throughout his squad will ease with a week long break.

Will it cost them promotion? Not at this stage in the season, but the amount of injuries the Blades have, along with the volume of games coming up, it could cost them later down the line.

Cardiff find their shooting boots

Cardiff have seemingly found a hot streak under Mark Hudson with the former Huddersfield and Bluebirds defender unearthing the team’s attacking potential.

They were shot-shy under Steve Morison but under Hudson, things are slowly improving in the final third, which was evidenced against Wigan on Saturday.

Creating six chances on the road is more than enough to give you a chance of winning the game but more interestingly, Cardiff looked aggressive in the final third.

They were a constant threat on the counter attack with the Sheyi Ojo goal a brilliant example of that.

Should Hudson get the job full-time? For me, it’s still too early but if he continues getting the best out of the team in the final third, then he deserves a chance.

Russell Martin

Swansea move into play-off contention

Swansea have been on fire recently and their four game winning streak has moved them into the top six.

They convincingly beat Sunderland at the weekend and that’s without playing in top gear.

With Joel Piroe not quite at his best and Michael Obafemi still yet to discover his form from last season, there’s only the argument to make that Swansea will get better as the season goes on.

The likes of Oli Cooper and Luke Cundle are thriving and Martin-ball is in full flow which is a scary thought for the rest of the division.

Star performers:

Emil Riis

The Dane had been struggling this season – alongside the rest of side – when it came to putting chances away.

So to go to a promotion favourite and bag a brace deserves plenty of praise. But not only that, the quality of his goals against Norwich showcase his ability and talent at this level.

His first was a guided header and his second a composed finish but his movement for both goals created space in a defence that left plenty to be desired from a Norwich perspective.

If he develops more consistency, Emil Riis has the ability to be one of the best forwards in this division, he showed it in spells last season, and again this season.

We just need it on a weekly basis, is that too much to ask?!

Jerry Yates

Another forward who has struggled this season is Blackpool forward Jerry Yates but he appeared to hit form at the perfect time against struggling Watford.

Similar to Emil Riis, Yates took his goals brilliantly, especially his second when he dribbled around the Watford back-line.

Playing out wide, it seemed to ignite a spark in Yates, giving him plenty of space to exploit in the channels.

If we see more of this sort of form from the former Rotherham forward, he can deliver the goals the Tangerines need to ensure a comfortable second season in the Championship.

Auston Trusty 

A centre-back has made the list but not because of his defending but due to his goalscoring exploits instead.

Better yet, the American could have had a hat-trick against Bristol City but sadly had to settle for a brace against a side who looked fairly disinterested.

With both goals coming from set pieces, Birmingham exploited several weaknesses in the Robins’ defence which Trusty was more than happy to gobble up.

What hasn’t been mentioned all to often is how impressive and consistent the Arsenal-loanee has been this season.

He is reliable defender and one that is showing plenty of potential.

Arsenal may well be keeping an eye on his development should he continue with such dominating, match-winning performances.

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