NOT quite, ‘as you were 12 months ago’. But not far off.
The football season will kick-off this weekend with Yorkshire clubs making up a quarter of the Championship and an eighth of League One.
READ MORE – Huddersfield Town fan’s view HERE
Throw in Huddersfield Town as the county’s only Premier League representative and the landscape has hardly changed from this time last year.
Rotherham United have swapped places with Barnsley, of course, but otherwise it is a case of ‘as you were’ within the Broad Acres.
READ MORE - Hull City fan’s view HERE
READ MORE – Leeds United fan’s view HERE
READ MORE - Middlesbrough fan’s view HERE
Except that is not really the case at all. Not with seven of our clubs having changed managers since the start of a 2017-18 campaign that, barring Rotherham’s promotion and Huddersfield’s survival, proved to be something of a letdown.
At the turn of the year, so much was promised. Leeds United and Sheffield United welcomed in 2018 handily placed in the play-offs and dreaming of a top-flight return. Those hopes, though, would be dashed, spectacularly so in the case of Leeds, who displayed relegation form from January 1 onwards.
READ MORE – Rotherham United fan’s view HERE
READ MORE – Sheffield United fan’s view HERE
READ MORE – Sheffield Wednesday fan’s view HERE
Bradford City fell apart in a similar fashion as a fifth-placed standing in League One on New Year’s Day eventually gave way to rancour and recrimination as fans turned on a board who had sacked Stuart McCall just seven months after leading the club to Wembley.
Still, all those travails are now firmly in the past as supporters across Yorkshire look forward to the big kick-off. Nowhere is this more the case than in Huddersfield, even if the locals will have to wait an additional week for Town’s opening Premier League fixture at home to Chelsea.
David Wagner, having worked wonders to keep the Terriers up last term, has been busy this summer and the signs are encouraging. Terence Kongolo’s club record £16m capture was a huge statement of intent, while Alex Pritchard has the talent to become a key figure at the John Smith’s Stadium.
READ MORE - Barnsley fan’s view HERE
READ MORE - Bradford City fan’s view HERE
READ MORE - Doncaster Rovers fan’s view HERE
Marcelo Bielsa, in becoming the eighth different manager to start a season at Elland Road in the past eight years and 12th overall, is the headline act in the Championship. Leeds has resembled a madhouse in recent years so watching how ‘El Loco’, his nickname translates as ‘Crazy One’, fares will be fascinating.
Of Yorkshire’s other second-tier representatives, Middlesbrough under Tony Pulis look well equipped to challenge once again. Sheffield United, a well-drilled a team in the Championship last term, should also be up there once again, while Wednesday need Fernando Forestieri and Barry Bannan at their best to make any sort of challenge.
Elsewhere, Hull City under Nigel Adkins are still rebuilding and mid-table seems to beckon but Rotherham could find it tough following promotion.
As for League One, Barnsley are strongly fancied to challenge in a division that, once again, is likely to provide rehabilitation for a former Premier League team fallen on hard times. Looking beyond Sunderland for the title is hard but the Reds should be in a mix for automatic promotion that is likely to be beyond Bradford and Doncaster Rovers, two of those seven White Rose clubs under new management this term.
Fan interviews by Richard Sutcliffe & Leon Wobschall.