2015-16 Championship Review

_89627720_claretsjoy_rex-2

Whilst the Premier League provided us with incredible drama in 2015-16, the Championship reminded us why it remains one of the most entertaining leagues as well. Burnley, who were unbeaten in their final 23 league games dating back to December, romped to the title and returned to the top division at the first time of asking. Meanwhile, the battle for the other automatic promotion spot went down to the last day, with the two contenders Middlesbrough and Brighton facing off in the North East. A 1-1 draw meant Boro finished second on goal difference, securing promotion for the first time since their relegation from the Premier League in 2009.

The Seagulls went on to lose their play-off semi-final against Sheffield Wednesday, whilst Derby County were defeated by Hull City in the other tie. That meant it was The Owls vs The Tigers at Wembley, with Steve Bruce’s side winning 1-0 thanks to Mo Diame’s goal to also go straight back up.

At the bottom, ownership troubles meant former top tier sides Bolton Wanderers and Charlton were both relegated to League One without so much as a whimper, whilst MK Dons were the other unfortunate side, going straight back down to the third division.

Final League Table

championship table 15-16

Team of the Season (via PFA)

CglFCDiW0AAYzvW

Player of the Season

Andre Gray – Burnley

CREDIT: STEPHEN WHITE/CAMERASPORT
CREDIT: STEPHEN WHITE/CAMERASPORT

When Andre Gray joined Burnley for a club record £6 million from Brentford last summer, he had already scored twice in two games for the Bees. He would go on to net 23 more goals for Sean Dyche’s team, spearheading their charge to the Championship title. He ended the season with a plethora of awards. Not only did he have a gold medal round his neck, Gray boasted the league’s golden boot, PFA Player of the Year award and a place in the association’s Team of the Year. Quick and a clinical finisher, the 24 year old is every defender’s worst nightmare, and is ready to set the Premier League on fire next season. It will top a remarkable rise that echoes that of the likes of Jamie Vardy and Charlie Austin, as Gray was playing in non-league just two years ago with Luton Town.

2nd – Alan Judge (Brentford)

3rd – Joey Barton (Burnley)

Manager of the Season

Sean Dyche – Burnley

CREDIT: ACTION IMAGES
CREDIT: ACTION IMAGES

I know it’s predictable to give the manager of the year award to the man who set up the champions, but Sean Dyche’s Burnley side were considerably ahead of the rest of the division, and the ‘Ginger Mourinho’ has to take a lot of credit. He took the Clarets up two years ago, and despite relegation from the top flight 12 months ago, the Turf Moor board stuck with Dyche and rightly so. No other team won more games or lost more games than Burnley, who are currently unbeaten in the league in 2016 – not losing since the start of December against Hull, 23 games ago. That’s half of the season without defeat. They were also the league’s top scorers and only Middlesbrough conceded less goals, proving just how good Dyche’s men were. He’s proven himself as one of the best managers in the Championship, now his job is to keep Burnley in the Premier League.

2nd – Carlos Carvalhal (Sheffield Wednesday)

3rd – Chris Hughton (Brighton & Hove Albion)

Goal of the Season

Marco Matias vs Leeds United

 

Game of the Season

QPR 4-3 Bolton (Emmanuel-Thomas (13′minutes, 90+4′), Fer (44′), Chery (62′); Madine (8′), Feeney (11′), Wellington (85′))

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas curled in a 94th-minute winner against Bolton to end QPR’s four game winless run. Liam Feeney crossed for Gary Madine to head home the opener before adding a second, steering home the rebound after Robert Green saved from Darren Pratley. Emmanuel-Thomas immediately pulled one back, with Leroy Fer then stabbing in an equaliser and Tjaronn Chery put QPR 3-2 up from the edge of the area. Bolton’s Wellington Silva levelled late on only for Emmanuel-Thomas to win it. [Read the full BBC report here.]

 

Club-by-Club Player of the Season

Birmingham City: Jon Toral

Blackburn Rovers: Grant Hanley

Bolton Wanderers: Zac Clough

Brentford: Alan Judge

CREDIT: ACTION IMAGES
CREDIT: ACTION IMAGES

Brighton & Hove Albion: Dale Stephens

Bristol City: Jonathan Kodija

Burnley: Andre Gray

Cardiff City: David Marshall

Charlton Athletic: Johann Berg Gudmundsson

Derby County: George Thorne

CREDIT: PA SPORT
CREDIT: PA SPORT

Fulham: Ross McCormack

Huddersfield Town: Nahki Wells

Hull City: Abel Hernandez

Ipswich Town: Ryan Fraser

Leeds United: Chris Wood

Middlesbrough: Adam Clayton

CREDIT: CAMERASPORT
CREDIT: CAMERASPORT

MK Dons: David Martin

Nottingham Forest: Nelson Oliveira

Preston North End: Paul Gallagher

QPR: Massimo Luongo

Reading: Oliver Norwood

Rotherham United: Lee Camp

CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

Sheffield Wednesday: Fernando Forestieri

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Jack Price


The 2016-17 rebranded English Football League Championship campaign starts on 6th August. If you disagree with any of the awards, please feel free to let me know who you think deserved a mention in the comments below!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s