In the Championship ? Aidy's still looking up

Last updated : 22 May 2006 By Tony Scholes
Kevin Blackwell - tactically inept
That's taking nothing away from Watford, they finished third in the league, hammered play off favourites Palace in 45 minutes at Selhurst Park, and deserved their reward yesterday. I still can't help though recalling the incident at Vicarage Road when Brian Jensen was down injured, the fact that they played on and worse still the words of Boothroyd after the game.

Still, no grudges, I wish him luck, but what about Leeds. They have just committed long term to probably the most inept manager in this league, who along with his trusted right hand man Sam Ellis didn't seem to have a clue yesterday. Leeds were again tactically inept, and you wonder just what a decent manager might have achieved with what is probably as good a squad as there is in the Championship.

The Leeds squad will be interesting next year, the parachute payments have gone and some cloth may well have to be cut, particularly if the attendances were to take another drop as they have done this season.

It means a third successive season for them in this division and another trip to Elland Road for us, and there could be a further visit to Yorkshire if Barnsley come through the play off final next week. They eased past a poor looking Huddersfield side and now meet Swansea City at the Millennium Stadium. So a short trip or a new ground for us.

Elsewhere and the fun is about to start at Stoke with news that chairman Gunnar Þór Gislason will be standing down today as the club will no longer be Icelandic. It looks as though former chairman Peter Coates will be taking over and Gislason had some words for the fans.

He said this morning: “I fear that some vocal supporters will be less than thrilled with the new regime but I want to urge all supporters to give it time to prove itself. Even if you don't agree with the way the new regime wants to take the club forward your duty as supporters is to withhold criticism until there is tangible evidence that things are not improving.”

That way of taking the club forward looks almost certain to mean a move to bring back former manager Tony Pulis to replace Johan Boskamp who has spent most of the last year falling out with people.

Tony Pulis - could be on his way back to Stoke
Nothing has been said at Plymouth regarding Pulis, other than he is trying to persuade Vincent Pericard to sign a permanent deal, but the fans seem to believe their manager could be heading back to the Potteries where it is no longer important to sign foreign players.

There could be other managers on the move too although one of them will not be the Legend Peter Taylor who opted not to go to Charlton. I really wonder, I suspect it was Charlton who eventually decided he wouldn't be going there and he's worming his way back into favour at Hull.

The midget in the suit is there today. He made it fairly clear last week that he was looking for a move out of Deepdale after their latest play off exit, and chairman Derek Shaw was quick to say it was in his club's best interests to let him talk to Charlton.

Mind you, some of the national media have Iain Dowie down for the Valley job, whilst others on Fleet Street suggest he will take over at Middlesbrough. The remaining papers expect him to stay at Palace where, according to Clinton Morrison who has had plenty to say, he's fallen out with Simon Jordan.

One manager not going to Charlton is Colchester's Phil Parkinson, the Premiership club have been refused permission to speak to him so that will probably make it a waste of time should Ipswich try to get him.

They had decided on Tony Mowbray, but the former central defender now in charge of Hibs in the SPL will not have forgotten being overlooked by the Tractor Boys four years ago following the departure of George Burley. He took over temporarily and looked set to get the job before it went to Joe Royle.

Derby have delayed announcing their new manager because they have now received some further applications whilst there will be no vacancy at Birmingham where Steve Bruce has been given a vote of confidence despite relegation.

Bryan Robson is staying at West Brom but he's come under attack in the last week from former striker Robert Earnshaw who is now at Norwich. The Welsh international said he didn't want to talk about his former boss but then gave a long interview on him saying that he never spoke to him other than to criticise him and added that he would have had to turn water into wine to win him over.

Jason Koumas - could miss out on a move to Cardiff
Robson is also causing Cardiff some problems. The Welsh club thought they would have little difficulty in getting Jason Koumas permanently after his season long loan at Ninian Park, but the West Brom boss wants Cameron Jerome as part of the deal and also values Koumas higher than the young striker and wants money too.

Koumas wants to go to Cardiff surprisingly, but the deal looks set to be called off unless West Brom change their valuations of the two players.

It's duck shooting season down on the south coast again where once more Rupert Lowe's position as Southampton chairman is under threat. Major shareholder Michael Wilde has called an EGM to try and oust Lowe.

There are no such board room problems at Carrow Road where Delia has everything organised, including the half time pep talks, but manager Nigel Worthington is looking to strengthen his staff with the appointment of Brian Kidd, now thankfully recovered from cancer.

Sheffield Wednesday are the only club this week to dip into the transfer market with the capture of Wade Small and Madjid Bougherra. Small has been playing for Franchise whilst defender Bougherra turned down the chance to stay with Crewe.

There's bad news at Leicester where they have had to deal with the shock return to the club of Mark de Vries. They thought they had seen the end of him when he went back to Holland and Herenveen but the Dutch club have decided against taking him full time. I wonder why.

Finally, and sadly, is the shocking news from Loftus Road where young player Kiyan Prince was stabbed to death at school. Our thoughts are quite rightly with Kiyan's family and friends and with QPR at this dreadful time for them.