League Championship

Championship – teamtalk.com 27 Sep 18:21

Derby suspend Nigel Pearson ahead of internal investigation

Derby County have suspended manager Nigel Pearson amid of an impending internal investigation by the Championship club.

The move follows a meeting between Pearson and Derby owner and chairman Mel Morris at the club’s training ground on Monday afternoon, with the Rams releasing a statement just hours before their league fixture at Cardiff on Tuesday.

“Derby County can confirm that manager Nigel Pearson will not be carrying out his duties at tonight’s game at the request of the club,” the statement read.

“Assistant manager Chris Powell will take charge of the team for this evening’s Sky Bet Championship match at Cardiff City. The club will make no further comment at this time.”

Former Leicester boss Pearson has endured a poor start to life at the iPro Stadium, winning just once in the league so far after his summer appointment, though his suspension is not understood to be based upon the club’spoor performance this season.

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Championship – teamtalk.com 27 Sep 13:44

?Injury cost Aberdeen loanee Arsenal or Liverpool transfer?

Aberdeen star James Maddison was on the verge of signing for Arsenal or Liverpool last season, before injury denied him a transfer, according to Steven Pressley.

The former Coventry star has joined Aberdeen on loan from Norwich and was handed his chance in the game at the age of just 17 when Pressley was manager of Coventry.

The teenager was quickly identified by a number of England’s top clubs, with the player also featuring as part of Scout feature last year.

Maddison netted a long-range free-kick in the Premiership match against Rangers at Pittodrie on Sunday to ensure Derek McInnes’s side beat Mark Warburton’s team 2-1 and moved up to second spot in the league table.

His sensational effort, which was screened by Sky Sports, came as no surprise to former Scotland centre-half Pressley, who is still tipping the youngster to make the move to the Premier League in the coming seasons.

“It’s what James is capable of,” he told The Herald. “He was one of those players who was always staying behind at training to work his technical skills, free-kicks being one of them. It’s something he’s more than capable of doing. But he’s developed that ability through persistence and practice.

“He was 16 when I joined Coventry, but he was a player who we identified very early on as being a very special talent who had a big future. We worked very hard with him. He had to endure washing our cars, finding out what it took to be a successful player, to make your way in the world.

“But he was a young lad with a degree of belief about himself. He isn’t arrogant, but he has a confidence in his abilities. He comes from a good family and has very supportive parents. He is just a really good kid. I am delighted to see him beginning to do so well at Aberdeen.”

Maddison was signed by Norwich back in February for a fee believed to be in the region of £2million before being loaned back to home town club Coventry for the second half of the season by his new manager Alex Neil.

He played for Norwich in a 6-1 win over Coventry in the Capital One Cup last month. However, he sensed his first-team opportunities would be limited with Wes Hoolahan, Steven Naismith and Alex Pritchard all in the squad and jumped at the opportunity to move to Aberdeen on loan for the first half of the 2016/17 campaign in order to develop further as a player.

“That is James for you,” said Pressley. “He is a player who wants to play every week. The majority of top players like to play in every minute of every game. James is very much like that. He wants to play, he wants to win.”

The post ‘Injury cost Aberdeen loanee Arsenal or Liverpool transfer’ appeared first on teamtalk.com.

Championship – teamtalk.com 26 Sep 15:44

?Frightening? Villa can be Championship force ? Tshibola

Aaron Tshibola insists Aston Villa will be a “real force” this season in the Sky Bet Championship when they gel as a team.

Villa have so far struggled to adapt to life in the second tier following relegation from the Premier League, taking just nine points from their first nine matches.

But Tshibola, who scored a late equalising goal during Saturday’s 1-1 home draw against Newcastle, believes there are plenty of positive signs despite a seven-game winless league run – which includes six draws.

The summer signing from Reading will be hoping that Villa can take the next step to realising their potential when they take on a Barnsley team looking to bounce back from successive defeats.

Ahead of the trip to Oakwell, he told the club’s official website: “We are still developing as a team. We are still learning about each other every day. It’s coming. When it comes, I am sure we will be a real force.

“We have a frightening team. The quality is there for everyone to see. We proved that in the second half (against Newcastle).

“It’s like anything – it will take a bit of time to gel. But every day we’re on the training field, we are improving.”

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Championship – teamtalk.com 24 Sep 22:14

Toon miss chance to narrow gap as Villa level late

Aaron Tshibola rescued a point for Aston Villa as Newcastle blew the chance to close in on Sky Bet Championship leaders Norwich.

The midfielder headed in an 87th minute equaliser for the hosts to secure a 1-1 draw after Tommy Elphick’s first-half own goal looked to have won it for the Magpies.

Dwight Gayle and Mo Diame had chances to finish Villa off and the visitors paid the price late on, having been given let-offs when Mile Jedinak had a goal disallowed and Jordan Ayew hit the post.

The teams were relegated from the Premier League last season and both spent around £50million to try to win an instant return to the top flight.

But the draw left Newcastle four points behind Norwich, who they host on Tuesday, while Villa are only three points above the relegation zone despite a spirited comeback.

The fightback at least eased some of the growing pressure on boss Roberto Di Matteo after his summer spending was designed to arrest a slide which saw Villa win just three times last season.

The Italian was also forced to drop and fine Jack Grealish after a club investigation into his conduct following reports he partied at a Birmingham hotel last Saturday night following last week’s 0-0 draw at Ipswich.

Albert Adomah made his full debut to replace Grealish but had minimal impact as Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey went close after ex-Villa defender Ciaran Clark blocked Jonathan Kodjia’s early effort.

The Magpies had grown into the game with Villa failing to get a foothold and the visitors blew two fine chances to open the scoring after 25 minutes.

Comical Villa defending allowed Ritchie to nip in only for Pierluigi Gollini to save and then Diame fired the rebound over.

But Villa’s backline was breached in calamitous fashion four minutes later when Elphick turned into his own net.

Isaac Hayden found DeAndre Yedlin on the right and the United States international’s low cross was intended for Gayle but, as the striker prepared to pounce, Elphick deflected it across and past Gollini from four yards.

Newcastle went for the kill and Paul Dummett’s shot deflected wide before Nathan Baker was lucky not to concede a penalty after a clumsy challenge on Gayle.

The former Crystal Palace striker had caused the hosts problems and he should have doubled Newcastle’s lead nine minutes before the break after more awful defending.

Elphick’s turn landed him in trouble and Gayle pinched the ball to race through only to shoot straight at Gollini with just the keeper to beat.

Di Matteo replaced Baker with Tshibola at half-time as Villa went looking for more substance in midfield having been out thought and out classed in the first half.

The change helped Villa look more balanced but failed to stop the tide of Newcastle chances as Gollini parried Shelvey’s shot and Yedlin lobbed over after Leandro Bacuna’s mistake.

Then, the otherwise impressive Diame should have made it 2-0 after 63 minutes but managed to side-foot wide from 12 yards after good work from Shelvey.

Newcastle were almost made to pay for their profligacy when Jedinak looped a 68th-minute header in but the midfielder was offside, but it did at least spark Villa into life and Ayew hit the post four minutes later.

The visitors, after their previous control, began to live dangerously but Villa became increasingly desperate and Elphick headed wide with five minutes left.

But, with Villa’s momentum growing, Tshibola saved

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Championship – teamtalk.com 22 Sep 18:33

EFL rules out Premier League B teams or Old Firm entry

The English Football League has ruled out the possibility of including Premier League B teams or clubs currently outside the English system in its proposed restructure.

Plans for a revamp of the game below the top flight, which would primarily see the EFL change from its present three-division format to one of four leagues of 20, were announced earlier this year.

One of the key questions to be determined was where the additional eight clubs to bring EFL membership up to the required 80 would come from.

There were suggestions some Premier League B teams or Scottish giants Celtic and Rangers could be invited to join a new National League Three, but this has been dismissed following a meeting of the existing 72 clubs.

Clubs also expressed a preference to play through a winter break should one be introduced in the English game.

If introduced, the new structure – contained in a document entitled ‘Whole Game Solution’ – would mean five professional divisions at the top of the English football pyramid, all of 20 teams, headed by the Premier League.

The meeting made clear that, if the numbers are realigned, the preference would be for the additional eight clubs required to make up League Three to come from the National League.

However, the whole proposal will require further discussion ahead of a potential vote next summer. Another issue still be addressed is a proposition for the bottom two divisions to be regionalised.

A statement read: “EFL clubs have been collectively discussing the fundamental issue of reforming the structure of English league football for the first time since agreeing to assess ideas put forward by the EFL board at last summer’s annual general meeting.

“Those suggestions, which aim to improve the format of EFL competitions and the revenues received by clubs, posed a number of critical questions and these have been the subject of a consultation process with clubs during this past six weeks.

“All clubs, who will potentially vote on a final proposal in June 2017, have been considering the specific issues of regionalisation, the number of teams per division, divisional restructure, winter break and from where in the game the additional teams will come from.

“The majority of these issues, including how the funding redistribution model will work in the future, will continue to be assessed as the discussions are shaped over the next two months, but the option of sourcing additional clubs from anywhere but the National League has been withdrawn.

“In addition, the feedback has confirmed that clubs in League One, Two and the proposed League Three would want to play through a winter break if introduced.”

EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey believes the decisions already made will give greater clarity as consultation continues with all interested parties.

Harvey said: “The logical place for many was to source the additional teams for League Three from the National League but we felt it important that the debate was introduced at an early stage and an opportunity was provided for all club owners’ and executives’ to voice any opinions and, where applicable, table concerns.

“We will now continue our consultation with the National League with a little more certainty as to what any change could mean for them. These conversations will include the FA in their capacity as the governing body not a competition organiser.”

Harvey added “dialogue will continue with the Premier League” while fans’ groups and other stakeholders would be given “opportunity to register their views”.

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