The Five Most Impressive Teams Across the EFL So Far This Season

Right now in the Premier League, there is a lot of talk about the form of clubs like Everton and Aston Villa. The pair, who topped the Premier League before in international break, have been in excellent form, but only time will tell whether they can sustain it across an entire season. Further down the football ladder, however, there have also been some surprise packages, as well-prepared clubs capitalise on early-season turmoil and rustiness.

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Below we are going to look at five teams that have impressed us the most. Not all are table-toppers, as some have simply punched above their weight. But all share in common a strong start to the season that is showing signs of better things to come. This quintet have impressed us the most across the early days of the EFL season:

Luton Town

There is a handful of clubs above The Hatters in the Championship table, but none of them were languishing in the Football Conference just a few seasons back as Luton Town were. Luton’s transfer spend is a tiny fraction of clubs like Stoke City and Middlesbrough, so it’s all the more impressive that they have started the season with just one defeat from four. Will they be challenging for promotion? Most likely not, but Luton were a stalwart of top-tier football during the 1980s, and it would be nice to see them in the big leagues again.

Bristol City

At the time of writing, Bristol City are sitting pretty at the top of the EFL Championship. While the early season good form is down to a number of factors, Chris Rivers, writing in Mbet’s Bristol City blog, was quick to point out that boss Dean Holden should be given a lot of the credit. Holden managed to bring a couple of decent players through the door on loans and free transfers, and he has generally galvanised the team into a hard-working but slick unit. Can they keep it up? Or will they run out of steam like previous seasons?

Ipswich Town

It might sound a bit boring to cite Ipswich Town as being one of the stories of the season so far. After all, the Tractor Boys were among the favourites to win the league at the start of the season. But Ipswich, under the guidance of Paul Lambert, have really looked like they mean business this season, whereas fellow promotion hopefuls like Sunderland and Peterborough have struggled at times. Ipswich, backed with goals from the likes of Gwion Edwards and Teddy Bishop, look like they will be in the Championship next season.

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Lincoln City

Like Luton Town, Lincoln City were a non-league club in the middle of the last decade. And, like Luton, it feels like they are punching above their weight sitting as they are in the League One automatic promotion spots. Jorge Grant has replaced Tyler Walker as the main goal-getter up-front, but if the likes of Tom Hopper and Harry Anderson can pitch in with a few more, then Lincoln could be contenders for a playoff spot at least. It’s a long season, but the early signs are good for the Imps.

Cambridge United

Three wins, a loss and a draw might not seem like the kind of scintillating form needed to win a league title, but there has nevertheless been something impressive about the U’s so far this season. Cambridge have been excellent at the back and even better in front of goal, where Paul Mullin looks to have finally found his scoring form. The 25-year-old looks like he will be crucial to Cambridge’s hopes this season, and he has started the campaign in impressive fashion. Cambridge are longshots at 22/1 to win the League Two title, but those odds will tumble if they continue on this track.

Colin Viljoen

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Factfile:

  • Full Name: Colin Viljoen
  • Position: Midfield
  • Date of Birth: 20.06.1948
  • Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Nation: England
  • Club Career: Ipswich Town
    • Period: 1966-1978
    • League Games, 305
    • League Goals, 45
    • Previous Club: –
      • Transfer Fee: –
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The psychological aspect, Manchester United

You can talk as much as you want about quality and players doing this and that, but you should never underestimate the psychological aspect in the game. It’s the real reason behind the problems at Manchester United, and not player material.

Bruno Fernandes is a great example. When he first arrived at the club he had been playing with great optimism and had loads of self confidence, the same to be said about Aaron Wan-Bissaka, one of the best full backs around, but in a strange way not really seeing him getting better in a Manchester United shirt, and the progress has stalled.

It’s a difficult job to be manager at Manchester United and to follow Sir Alex Ferguson is somehting that few or no one can handle in a way that the maestro did, so it’s time for a new life and system at this football club, and as we did see at Liverpool when Kenny Dalglish left it took even a short new period for Sir Kenny before Jurgen Klupp after a 30 year wait could life the top league trophy again.

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Since Sir Alex left Manchester United they have not managed to lift the league title trophy, but finished runners-up and all credit to Ollie last season winning a Champions League ticket by ending third, which is not bad at all.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did the total opposite of Sir Alex Ferguson, playing almost the same team week in and week out getting his short term success, but will he long term be able to keep just eleven players happy, not at Manchester United.

This is how Sir Alex Ferguson never got punished as he managed to keep a load of players happy and never get so many dips in results as we can see today, and instead of trying to get the best out of players like Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, and then also keep Paul Pogba fresh and happy to play in the games he should be involved in.

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The squad at Manchester United is today in a bit of unbalance as you have a group of players who looks a bit away from perfect harmony and especially players such as Chris Smalling (sold to Roma) and Phil Jones looked a bit away from being themselves and a shamble really as they two are in that age that should see them top of their careers and not shipped out or left behind.

You also lack the type of players that could win you a Premier League trophy and keeping the ship steady as you are moving along, instead you get strange results as being defeated by Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace at home, not acceptable.

So why are almost every player at Manchester United underachieving and not playing to their best level. Psychological aspects surely as the manager might have difficulties to keep a steady line and not really easy to understand to understand what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is talking about at times.

If he talks the way he do in interviews also to his players, it will be boring over a period of time as he often use floskels and always talking about how great Man Utd are. Sir Alex just focused on answering questions directly and not having this “glory hat” on his head. Ollie is a bit like a priest at times talking about Man Utd as it should be Jesus. He has led Man Utd to a Champions League spot, but he needs to stop slipping up so much then he will annoy pundits and fans with his heavy up’s and down’s and he has to be more direct in his talk.

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Over time, to be a great manager and being at a football club such as Manchester United, you will need to deliver great tactical acts and also having a plan in training that works well towards the strategy you are building, but for OGS it’s that long term plan and not these heavy dives that his team suddenly goes into, and of course if he is able to bring home a Premier League trohpy, he will be the man, that special one, that Man Utd have looked for. So how can Man Utd solve their problems, by sacking the manager again, it doesn’t work does it, but there are a few names out there that would be interesting to look at, with the two Germans Thomas Tuchel and Julian Nagelsmann both candidates that would be exciting to see in this seat, and the man currently coaching Everton FC might be the best object as he has everything that would suit him to be the Manchester United manager.

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