Tonight was a very emotional night in Lille. The Champions managed to see off Rennes 3-2 – Moussa Sow with his third hat-trick of the season which saw the Senegalese striker pick up the Trophee du Meilleur Buteur for Ligue 1’s top scorer. Near the end of the game midfielder Yohan Cabaye was replaced by Stephane Dumont. This wasn’t due to a bad performance or a tactical decision it was a chance for Cabaye to say his goodbyes.

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My good friend and podcast colleague Gav Stone runs the wonderful website “Les Rosbifs” tracking the movements and achievements off all the English players that ply their trade outside of the English border. For the last month voting has been going on to give the public a chance to decide who deserves a place in the Les Rosbif Hall of Fame.

Less from me and more from Gav:

It seems only right to celebrate the achievements of the best of England’s footballing exports to the rest of the world. We have had a few since the modern game was developed in the country. From the pioneers, teachers and early workers who left English shores to spread their enjoyment of the game in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, to the more recent successes…the list is endless.

This is where Les Rosbifs Hall of Fame has developed from. The ‘Most Influential’ lists have been popular articles, but just who have been the  great, most successful, most influential players, coaches and administrators in world football, out of all of those who have worked overseas?

You have had the opportunity to nominate who you feel are the Englishmen worthy of a place in the Hall of Fame. Now is your chance to vote for them. All of the nominations below qualify for entry to the Hall of Fame. What you must do now is vote for those you feel deserve their place. You can vote for 1, 2…however many you see as worthy!

 

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A very tough season lays ahead for all 24 Championship teams, looking through the lineups I am struggling to pick upright favourtites, plenty of Play-off contenders, most teams stuck in limbo and a few tipped for the bottom, let’s meet the contenders

PROMOTION CANDIDATES

Leicester City

The only team that I think has the greatest chance of promotion this year, although they have lost Manager Nigel Pearson they have kept star striker Matty Fryatt a goal machine in the past 2 seasons, to gain promotion from this league you need a goal scorer, and Fryatt guarentee’s 15-20 goals a season, add to that the like of Richie Wellens, lloyd Dyer, Robbie Neilson and Dany N’Guessan and you have the makings of a strong team. Manager Paulo Sousa did a good job at Swansea, it is a tough ask to follow in Nigel Pearson’s footsteps however Paulo has the ability to not only follow him, but take Leicester one step further.

Other candidates – Middlesbrough, Swansea, Ipswich

PLAYOFF CONTENDERS

Bristol City

Another new manager at a potentially massive club boosted by the signing of England International David James in goals, also keeping the likes of Nicky Maynard, Damion Stewart and Gavin Williams they have a strong squad with lots of potential. I expect them to have a very strong season and with time still left to add that little bit more quality, they will be a team to beat.

Cardiff City

Dave Jones announced today that the transfer embargo had been lifted, this should be the catalysty Cardiff need to bring in some good players, added to an already talented squad the potential to have a good season is there, Jason Koumas has already signed more should follow. Joe Ledley has gone to Celtic, Chopra is constantly linked with a move away, they still have Peter Whittingham, Ross McCormack and Jay Bothroyd to fire them into play-off contention. It will take all of Dave Jones managerial nouse to pick the team up from last years play-off defeat to get them a good start to the season, if he does Cardiff’s new groud could be a hard place to visit.

Coventry City

My last team picked for the play-offs is a little bit of a long shot, however all the ingredients are there, talented manager who’s done it before, exciting players and a good home crowd, Gary McSheffrey returns to where he once cause so many problems, young Irish players Stephen O’Halloran and Roy O’Donovan, the experience of Lee Carsley and a really exciting player in Lukas Jutkiewicz who showed his class on loan at Motherwell last year a remarkable goal in the memorable match against Hibs. Aidy Boothroyd will need to gel the players quickly, helped by the likes of Freddy Eastwood, Michael Doyle and Martin Craine good times could return to Coventry and the Ricoh Arena.

Other Candidates – Sheffield United, Leeds United

RELEGATION CANDIDATES

Scunthorpe United

It must be hard being a Scunthorpe fan constantly punching above your weight, plucking strikers either from the scrap heap or obscurity, watch them score tons of goals, to then watch them be sold again to the highest bidder, Billy Sharp saved his career at Glanford Park only then to move onto Doncaster, and this year it was Gary Hooper’s turn 50 goals for The Irons and then the big move to Celtic, so again Scunny fans have to look for their next savoir, Chris Dagnall has been brought in from Rochdale on a free and given the number 9 jersey, hopes will be pinned on him, too many players have left, I think it will be a long old season, and it could have a horrible ending.

Portsmouth

It’s easy to pick on Portsmouth, the club is in a real mess, minutes away from non-existence 14 players in the squad, 2 of them due to leave at some point, there needs to be heavy rebuilding in the squad to give them any chance, the players they have can only be described as journeymen, Tommy Smith, Michael Brown, Danny Webber all players that will not strike fear into any team, Kevin-Prince Boateng and John Utaka will surely leave, maybe even Aaron Moekena would leave, a grim job for Steve Cotterill lies ahead.

Other Candidates – Millwall, Derby County

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