That was nice, wasn’t it? Just a lovely weekend of Championship action before a completely unnecessary mid-season World Cup gets underway.
Yes, I’m disappointed that I won’t be seeing any second-tier action for a few weeks but it was a great way to see it off before the action returns in a month’s time.
With another gameweek full of twists and turns, the picture for promotion, relegation and of course, mid-table obscurity became all the more difficult to predict.
Here I digest what happened over the weekend…
Burnley make a statement
The Clarets made a massive statement by beating their rivals Blackburn 3-0 in the East Lancashire derby on Sunday.
It was one of the most one-sided matches of the season so far with Blackburn managing just one shot on target all game.
Beating your fierce rivals in a first meeting since 2017 – and also defeating the side sitting third – so convincingly should give Kompany confidence heading into the second half of the season.
More importantly, though, they provided a much-needed reaction after a terrible second half against Sheffield United last weekend.
We know how good Burnley have been this season but this game really did showcase what they can do and how their style of play can be effective.
For reasons only known to Jon Dahl Tomasson, he opted for a possession-first style which played in Burnley’s hands because they’re simply better at it.
— Wigan Athletic (@LaticsOfficial) November 13, 2022
Wigan bounce back
It’s been a tumultuous few weeks for the Latics who reportedly failed to pay wages on time, were rumoured to be listening to offers for the club and have been on a bad run of form.
Add to that list the fact that they have just sacked manager Leam Richardson in somewhat surprise circumstances only 16 days after he signed a new three-year deal at the club.
So, to beat Blackpool, who are in a poor run of form themselves is a testament to the team’s character.
They had to be resilient and dig deep against the Tangerines who, despite being down to 10 men at the break, looked relatively comfortable.
But the Latics kept pushing and knocking on the door that eventually gave way, providing supporters with the chance to cheer a win at home for just the second time this season.
Is it a step in the right direction? Results-wise absolutely, but it could be a huge mistake to sack a manager who is highly rated and is likely to find another job sooner rather than later.
Their next steps on the appointment will undoubtedly define their season.
Coventry on a roll
Coventry City looked like relegation candidates at one stage this season but have since turned into play-off contenders.
Their most recent win against QPR was their seventh in 10 games, which is remarkable given the issues they’ve been through this season.
Not only that, but the amount of clean sheets they’re keeping is incredible and they’re well worth them as well.
They’re limiting opposition and taking chances when they come their way, which are solid building blocks for what should be a smoother season from now.
That being said though, are things ever simple with Coventry City?
The beautiful Swede now has nine goals this season, making him the joint-top scorer in the Championship with about 30 other players it seems.
That shouldn’t take anything away from this achievement though as he’s been paramount in helping Coventry push higher up the table.
His double against QPR won the Sky Blues all three points and interestingly, he’s scored the winners in five games this season as well as equalisers in three others.
Not only does it show how important Gyokeres is for Mark Robins, but how good the team are at managing games.
Should Robins get lucky with some additional funds this winter, he could potentially take this team very far.
Sadly, there’s perhaps a bigger chance of me seeing Santa than that happening but we can all hope.
The young winger is always a target for the usual big-followed football accounts who poke fun about the fee that was paid for him.
But let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, he’s looking very much like the player who can fulfil that fee with every passing game.
The World Cup break has perhaps come at the wrong time for Diallo, as his form has rocketed in recent weeks.
His goal and assist in Sunderland’s win against Birmingham City showcased his talent brilliantly.
Talk about audacity.
The young winger bullied Blackburn in the second half, and not in a physical way. Every time he got the ball, he would jink and dip his shoulders leaving whoever was defending against him guessing.
Funnily enough, he took his game up a gear after Dominic Hyam put him into the advertising boards and said some choice words to him, which was a big mistake.
He obviously fed the beast and after that incident, Zaroury was unplayable.
His cross for Ashley Barnes for the first was inch perfect and he took his goal brilliantly with a composed finish off a Barnes rebound.
He was unplayable in a huge game against their local rivals – not bad for a 22-year-old playing in his first Lancashire derby.
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