Derek Davis' Championship Chatter

ALTHOUGH he was pipped for the PFA Young Player of the Year Award by Wayne Rooney, there can be no one from this neck of the woods who doesn't want to see Darren Bent on the plane to Germany for the World Cup this summer.

ALTHOUGH he was pipped for the PFA Young Player of the Year Award by Wayne Rooney, there can be no one from this neck of the woods who doesn't want to see Darren Bent on the plane to Germany for the World Cup this summer.

With 21 goals to his name, the former Blues striker has an excellent shout.

But there is another former Blue who everyone is raving about at the moment, but one that probably won't be remembered with quite the same affection as Benty.

Marlon Harewood.

The West Ham striker whose goals helped them win promotion last season and pushed them up to 10th in the Premiership table but, more importantly, fired the happy Hammers into the FA Cup final against Liverpool.

Blues fans will never forget what was arguably the miss of the decade when Harewood, on loan from Nottingham Forest at the time, contrived to not just miss an open goal against Oxford United in February, 1999, but deflected a goal-bound shot against a post. Still Town won 2-1 that day and Harewood's less-than-successful stint ended with him scoring once in five starts and a substitute appearance.

Most Read

This game is full of what ifs and for those wondering what would have happened if Harewood had stayed at Portman Road rather than meandered on to Upton Park, the answer is simple.

Knowing Town's luck with strikers this season, he would have got injured.

Of course Harewood won't figure in Sven-Goran Eriksson's plans, nor will Dean Ashton, who some are pushing for, but if I were to take an in-form striker instead of Jermain Defoe, to go with Benty and co, it would be Robbie Fowler.

A born-again striker, who has a nose for goal and with proven international experience - Fowler could be a lethal surprise package.

Rooney won't care who he lines up with but will relish having the PFA Player of the Year Steven Gerrard in midfield, with runners-up Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and John Terry also on his side.

Liverpool captain Gerrard deservedly won the accolade ahead of his England colleagues and Thierry Henry.

After seeing Harewood and Co. at West Ham and fellow newcomers Wigan doing so well, the Premiership superstars will be looking at who made the Championship team of the season.

Not surprisingly Reading players figured high with five Royals listed.

The PFA Championship team: Hahemann, Sonko, Shorey, Sidwell, Doyle, all Reading. Kelly (Leeds) Lescott (Wolves) Jagielka (Sheff United), Koumas (Cardiff) Young and King (both Watford).

John Gorman's Wycombe Wanderers side has three selected in the PFA League Two select side: Hart (Shrewsbury) Senda, Johnson and Betsy (all Wycombe) Low and Taylor (Northampton Town) McAuley (Lincoln) Lockwood (L Orient) Jones (Wrexham) Hawley (Carlisle) Reddy (Grimsby).

Colchester United's Neil Danns and Greg Halford have been named in the League One side.

MANAGERIAL changes are as certain as queues at garden centres this time of year and Kevan Broadhurst, with one win in 11, paid the price for failing to save Walsall from relegation - even though he was trying to clear up the mess made by Paul Merson.

Former Colchester United and Charlton legend Mark Kinsella has been handed the reins for the final couple of games of the season when the Saddlers go to Gillingham, then are at home to Barnsley.

His former club in Essex could go up automatically on Saturday if they beat Rotherham at home and Brentford lose to Hartlepool at Griffin Park and Huddersfield can't beat Yeovil.

Come on you Mighty U's.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter