Five Championship clubs needing to improve next season
The Championship has lived up to expectations this season. There have been shocks, dramatic moments and enthralling promotion/relegation battles. Along with the excitement, however, comes several teams which will be disappointed after a poor campaign and hope for better next season. Here are five examples.
After such a promising start to the season under Thomas Christiansen, Leeds have once again fallen below expectations in the Championship. The Whites made a few decent signings last summer such as Ezgjan Alioski, Samu Saiz and Pierre-Michel Lassogga. All have made a positive impact at Elland Road. However, the team as a whole has been too inconsistent. The appointment of Paul Heckingbottom has failed to produce an improvement.
Next season Leeds can improve if Heckingbottom is allowed to sign his own players and put his own stamp on the team. One key problem is that the club's fans demand success, meaning there is a lot of pressure on the manager to get results immediately. They have to be patient. The players can then lift them up the table next season.
They have been a strange team this season. Daniel Farke has come in and been given time, which is good to see. The Canaries are 13th in the league but have drawn too many games. Nevertheless, they do have some good players. Norwich will be up there next campaign should they get their summer recruitment right.
It has been a season of transition at Carrow Road, with a new calibre of player coming through the door. They have opted to sign talent from Germany such as Onel Hernandez and Mario Vrancic. These players need time to adapt to English football. Once they find their feet, Norwich will improve.
After being Championship promotion contenders in the past two seasons, Sheffield Wednesday have had a very poor campaign. They reached the Play-Off final in 2016 but lost to Hull City before losing out to Huddersfield Town in the 2017 Semi-Finals.
The Owls have hung on to the core players who got them within touch distance of the Premier League. With Fernando Forestieri, Kieron Lee and Barry Bannan, they should compete at the Championship's top end next season under Jos Luhukay. If not, expect another managerial change.
The Royals have not got over their play-off final defeat to Huddersfield last May. It's led to a relegation-threatened season. They spent a lot of money in the summer on players such as Modou Barrow from Swansea City and Fulham's Sone Aluko, but they have still struggled to hit top form. Paul Clement is at the helm now after Jaap Stam was sacked. Reading fans will demand they improve next term.
It has been a season of disappointment at the KCOM Stadium. It is hard to put a finger on why the Tigers have struggled, especially with some of the talent they have in the squad with players such as Kamil Grosicki, Nouha Dicko, Fraizer Campbell among others. Despite showing inconsistency, at least the side have done enough to stay up. They can now look to build.
It will be interesting to see how Hull line up next season considering a few key players are out of contract in the summer, including Abel Hernandez and David Meyler. Nigel Adkins' team should be competing at the top end of the Championship; however, who knows what the club's owners have up their sleeve. Will they even add to the squad this summer?