Championship team of the season so far
Despite the fact that it feels like the championship only started a few weeks ago, we are approaching the mid-season of the season, with the table finally begins to take shape.
That said, you can still throw cover for most of the league, with most teams still able to string together a streak of results and get into the promotion mix.
As we’re almost halfway through, we thought we’d take a step back from the most frenetic league in the world and assess who deserves to be named to our Championship squad of the season so far.
You absolutely agree with each of our choices, we absolutely promise. Well, maybe.
Even at 37, many tipped Ben Foster to be stopped by a Premier League club following Watford’s relegation from the top flight.
The former Manchester United goalkeeper was one of the highlights of a miserable season for the Hornets last year, proving he still has what it takes to cut him at the top level.
However, he stuck with Watford and he is proving to be one of the best goalkeepers in the league.
Only one team has conceded less than Xisco Munoz’s team this season and that is largely thanks to the veteran shooter.
In all fairness, Anfernee Dijksteel has played a right-back three at Middlesbrough this season, although he is understandably a right-back so he can fit well here.
It would be criminal to leave the former Charlton man out of our XI after his performances so far. Having struggled to adjust to life in the league last season, Boro’s man has been great this campaign and is nothing like the player he was under Jonathan Woodgate the last campaign.
Neil Warnock strikes again.
At just 20 years old, Ben Cabango has excelled as Swansea’s center-back this season.
The youngster could easily have collapsed under the pressure on the Swans after being tasked with filling the huge void left by Joe Rodon and Mike van der Hoorn this summer.
However, he has proven he has the character to defend his team in their hour of need and has looked for a quality prospect this season, helping Steve Cooper’s side concede the fewest goals in the division.
Having two Boro players in the back row may seem overkill, but the Teessiders are sitting in the play-offs after looking destined for Ligue 1 last season.
Warnock completely transformed the club and their success has been built on a quality defensive unit, with Paddy McNair at the center of it.
The former Sunderland man has been a rock for Middlesbrough this season, using his midfield ability to help him carry the ball out of defense and look defensive-minded.
Comfortably one of the best players in the league this season.
Many expected Brentford to struggle this season, being so close to promoting the latest campaign and seeing a number of their stars depart this summer.
Thomas Frank’s team seemed a little shaky at times, but overall they did well, and Rico Henry was at the heart of their decent form.
The England Under-20 international was eager to follow the likes of Said Benrahma and Ollie Watkins out of the club this summer, but he has stayed put and is proving he should play at a higher level.
Expect him to be in the Premier League next season – whether with Brentford or not.
Another man who appeared to be heading to the Premier League this summer.
Norwich kept Emiliano Buendia – probably thanks in part to the fact that they lost all of their last ten top-flight appearances last season and turned off any potential contenders – and they’re reaping the rewards.
The Canaries midfielder has registered six goals and six assists in 16 league appearances and is pushing Daniel Farke’s side for another promotion.
When Coventry stepped up to the championship this summer, they chose not to spend the money to help their survival bid – we say they “opted” against, they didn’t really have much of a choice.
However, one man they spent money on was Gustavo Hamer from PEC Zwolle, and they had clearly done their homework.
The young Dutchman looks like an absolute gem, providing energy and a touch of class to the Sky Blues midfielder, and if they are to survive the fall he will be the key to their efforts.
Nick Powell has had an eventful career.
From one of the best play-off goals you’re likely to see at Wembley for Crewe before signing for Manchester United, to relegation to Ligue 1 with Wigan – all that and more and he’s still only 26.
After many loan deals, the midfielder seems to have finally moved to Stoke and they are starting to see the best of him. Powell looks like a threat going forward and appears to be returning to the form that saw him sign for United in 2012.
There isn’t much that hasn’t been said about this boy already.
From the league’s biggest secrecy last season to a player courted by some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs – the word is well and truly out now.
Olise has four goals and seven assists in 20 league appearances this season, and with Reading looking well positioned for a promotion tilt, he could well be in the top flight with the Royals next season.
As a forward playing in a Tony Mowbray team, you will always have chances, especially with Harvey Elliott passing balls to you.
But let’s stop doing it a disservice and talk about its shine. Adam Armstrong started the season on fire, scoring five goals in his first three games!
Its purpose does not have enough has continued at that pace ever since, but has always been impressive, scoring 15 in 19 league appearances.
Blackburn is struggling for consistency this season, but this man’s goals could inspire a play-off push in the second half of the season.
One of the reasons Brentford hasn’t struggled so much without Ollie Watkins is this man.
Ivan Toney reached the championship like a duck in the water and sits atop the 16-goal pile.
His movement and work in the chains means Brentford has barely had to change his style of play since Villa caught Watkins this summer, and he has been a great addition to an already stellar squad.