Southampton’s 3-0 crushing of Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon was a fantastic result for Nigel Adkins’s side, as they continued their outstanding home record for 2011 with an 18th straight win.
The south coast side, who were automatically promoted alongside Brighton and Hove Albion from League One last year, now lead the Championship by three points from West Ham United, and are already six points clear of third place Crystal Palace.
This all points to a very impressive start for the Saints and credit must go not only to the players but the manager in particular, who has taken them to heights fans would only have dreamt of just a few seasons back following their relegation from the Premier League in 2005.
However, the result did make me think about the how good the Championship really is in terms of quality. Sure, it’s right up there on entertainment value, despite some remarkable Premiership results in recent weeks.
But how can a side who finished second in League One so easily dominate the league above – the supposed ‘higher’ level?
Evidently, the Saints are still on a high from promotion, but the way they are steamrolling teams in the Championship indicates that there is scarcely a gap between the two divisions.
The 3-0 victory by all accounts could well have been more, while Birmingham, who were in the Premier League last year were seen off by four goals to one, and Ipswich were thrashed 5-2 in front of their own fans.
There are few signs that Southampton’s run at the top will come to an end anytime soon and Premiership football could well be on the cards in a very short space of time.
But it doesn’t really say much about the rest of the teams in the Championship, and for English football in general for that matter.
Lots of credit will go to Southampton, and rightly so because they are simply making supposedly better teams very ordinary. I am just not sure how good they really are. Despite being a Pompey fan I have nothing against them, I would just like to see more of a challenge put up by the bigger teams to really see what they are made of!
I’d like to point out that I am not making a complaint regarding the quality of football on offer. Football is about entertainment and the more, the better. If that means less quality then so be it.
What makes the Championship so entertaining is the fact that many of the teams are of an equal standard, it’s just that the standard is not that high so anyone can beat anyone else.
So I’m not expecting many of the division’s players to make a top international side in the next couple of years; just hoping that the sides will strive to improve all the time, so we have a division known for its class rather than its average sides…
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