English Championship sponsor Sky Bet has gone up with the first set of relegation odds for next season and one thinks that the bookmaker has made mistakes with its odds about Huddersfield and Reading exiting England’s second tier.
Huddersfield finished 19th in the English Championship at the end of a campaign in which it had two managers. Chris Powell led Huddersfield until November when the Terriers decided that he was not the man for the job. Huddersfield appointed David Wagner as Powell’s successor and, while he managed to keep the Terriers in the English Championship, they ended the term one rung lower on the ladder than the position that they occupied before Powell’s departure.
Wagner played in the same Mainz team as Jurgen Klopp during the early 1990s. Wagner and Klopp reunited in Dortmund five years ago, the former coaching Dortmund II and the latter more famously leading Dortmund. The football world thought that Wagner would follow Klopp to Liverpool but, in a turn of events that stunned most observers, the former breezed into Huddersfield rather than rocking up at Anfield.
Dortmund II won the German Regionalliga West in Wagner’s first season at its helm but that fourth-tier championship was as good as it got for him during his four and a half years managing BVB’s reserve side. Dortmund II finished 16th, 14th and 18th in the German 3. Liga and BVB were unable to bounce back out of the German Regionalliga West, ending up a whopping 20 points adrift of Sportfreunde Lotte.
Wagner’s coaching record is not great and one suspects that Huddersfield would not have appointed him as it not been for his connection to Klopp. The English Championship is a tough league and Wagner does not strike one as the ideal manager to steer Huddersfield towards the English Premier League.
Under Wagner, Huddersfield was 10-6-15 in the English Championship and it bowed out of the English FA Cup to Reading after a third round replay. Huddersfield did not beat an English Championship team ranked higher than 10th, accruing just three points from its 18 divisional matches against the top nine sides. And Huddersfield lost its last two English Championship games by an aggregate of 1-9. It would be fair to say that Huddersfield supporters hated how their team performed versus Brentford and Bristol City, hardly two of the English Championship’s finest sides.
SkyBet is offering odds of +550 that Huddersfield slides into English League One and the bookmaker may also regret quoting odds of +1000 about Reading experiencing the drop.
Only two of the English Championship’s relegated teams – Bolton and Milton Keynes – collected fewer points than Reading in the final 20 rounds. Reading was 4-6-10 in its last 20 English Championship matches, while the Royals were 6-7-12 in their 25 divisional games under Brian McDermott.
McDermott led Reading into the English Premier League in 2012 but a run of four consecutive divisional defeats cost him his job during the following season. McDermott is back at Reading after an unsuccessful stint as Leeds boss and one does not like sides that appoint former coaches – seldom does it end in anything other than flood of tears.
The manner in which Reading wrapped up its latest English Championship campaign – one point from its last seven matches – was alarming and, if it was not for the fact that the Royals are a fairly rich club by second-tier standards, surely their relegation odds would be shorter than +1000 .
Burton is the obvious English Championship relegation favourite because the Brewers did not impress many English League One fans with the way that they secured automatic promotion. But Huddersfield and Reading may keep Burton company near the foot of the English Championship ladder.
Huddersfield to be Relegated
Championship Season 2016/17
Reading to be Relegated
Championship Season 2016/17
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