Derby weekend in the Championship did not disappoint as we had goals, red cards and plenty of controversies.
Blackpool and Preston played out a six-goal thriller, with the M1 and South Wales derbies both resulting in home wins and away red cards.
And we’ve not even mentioned Cedric Kipre’s ridiculous handball – a strong hand that even Paddy Kenny would be proud of.
There was also plenty of controversy at Bramall Lane once again, whilst Burnley managed four second-half goals against Sunderland to maintain their presence in the hunt for promotion.
But hey, do we ever expect any different from the Championship?
Here’s a round-up of the key talking points from this weekend and an explanation as to why Jerry Yates is the new Thomas Muller…
Here’s to you Mr Robinson, Swansea loves you more than you will know
Imagine you’re six minutes into your first South Wales derby, subject to some low-key sh*thousery from an opponent.
You’re experienced, it doesn’t matter, brush it off, and play it cool.
What do you do? You use your common sense, right? You don’t hit your opponent in the face with the ball, do you?
Sadly, Callum Robinson may well have cost his side any chance of getting points for the first time against Swansea since the 20/21 Championship season.
It could also have cost Mark Hudson a chance at a permanent role at the Cardiff City Stadium with his side now losing three games on the spin.
Cardiff’s situation has gotten slightly more precarious in recent weeks thanks to the resurgence of Coventry.
Add to the mix the imminent managerial changes – and possible bounces – at West Brom and Middlesbrough, a relegation battle isn’t off the table for the Bluebirds just yet.
Watford turn on the style, finally
In a result that completely caught everyone off guard thanks to recent form and off-the-pitch turmoil at Watford, the Hornets battered rivals Luton Town 4-0.
Whilst the result perhaps flattered the home side just a touch, it was positive to see Slaven Bilic’s side switched on from start to finish.
They stretched the game, making the pitch as wide as possible to ensure Luton’s shape was constantly tested and it showed with the goal scored by Keinan Davis.
Not only that, they were pressing high as a unit and with an intensity which forced errors for the final two goals.
It’s clear that there is quality and experience in this side, it just needs to be set up in the right way. And playing a high press with fast turnovers in possession is the way to do just that.
It was the same in the 4-0 win against Stoke and it would be foolish to play any other way, especially without midfield talisman Imran Louza, who will be out for a long period of time.
👏 “For them to be where they are now is a very good start.”
⤵️ “They arguably have a weaker squad than last season.”
— FansBet (@FansBet) October 22, 2022
It’s feasible that Blackburn could maybe – quite possibly – be a promotion contender… potentially.
This is an interesting one considering their current record stands at 10W, 0D and 7L.
It would be naïve to suggest right now that Blackburn are genuine promotion contender given the current imbalance of form.
Not only that, but there’s the need to ensure performances are better rounded as they are a side that gives away a lot of chances.
They sit behind the likes of Bristol City, Hull, Huddersfield and Blackpool – some of the worst defences in the league – when it comes to shots conceded per game.
And, they are ahead of only Reading, Huddersfield and Rotherham when it comes to shots taken per game.
Whilst they’re not the worst side in the division – far from it – there’s plenty of improvement that needs to be done for a more sustainable run of results going forward.
That being said, Jon Dahl Tomasson has achieved a lot in a short space of time.
He’s blooded youngsters from a talented academy and he’s had to put together a new-ish squad after a late summer of recruitment – all whilst getting used to a new league.
It’s short, positive steps for Rovers but promotion contenders right now seems a stretch.
Talk about in-form.
Yates now has six goals in his last four games, which is arguably his best run in the Championship.
Not only that, his eight goals this season means he’s equalled his tally from last season in just 16 games.
He’s become an incredibly dangerous forward and whilst his finishing has been great, his movement has been just as effective.
He’s sniffing out more chances and his tireless displays have helped the Tangerines considerably this season, especially over the last couple of weeks.
He’s become a sort of Raumdeuter, a space finder, a role in a team made famous by Thomas Muller.
For example, Yates had just 30 touches against Preston and scored with both of his shots on target from the right wing without doing conventional right-wing duties.
That ability is priceless in a side and will certainly grab him more goals throughout the season.
The Hamer-Badger is back!
A four-game absence wasn’t as harshly felt as many would have thought given Coventry won three and drew one of the games he was missing.
That being said, he adds so much to the midfield for the Sky Blues as showcased in their 2-0 win over Stoke.
Pressing, aggression, passing and just all round class with the ball will forever leave many scratching their heads as to why he hasn’t been snapped up for £15m+.
Greaves has had a tough season so far.
Hull have been the worst defensive side by a country mile this season, conceding the most from set pieces, the most chances per game and more.
This is after a summer of speculation with Middlesbrough making their interest of Greaves known to everyone who had even a vague interest in football.
Although he signed a new deal, that must’ve been unsettling for a young player.
That seems to be well behind him now and a shift to left-back against Rotherham seemingly has got the best out of the gangly defender.
Whilst he scored and created a goal against the Millers, Greaves was back to his best defensively, winning five tackles and five headers against a physical side.
He was ever-present in possession as well, with his 70 touches ensuring the Tigers always had an outlet outside.
Is it a turning point for Greaves and Hull? Maybe, but it’s certainly a performance worth building on at the very least.
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