Football Expert & Columnist @chris_kammy
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Kammy reckons West Brom will be real contenders this season, despite playing a bit too open at times.
Last Updated: 12/11/07 7:49am
I still maintain that there's only one automatic promotion place up for grabs in the Championship, but West Brom are very capable of claiming it.
I said in this column two weeks ago that Watford will win the league and the rest are playing for second place.
I still think that's the case, but West Brom should be up there with them - they showed that when they went to Vicarage Road last weekend and won 3-0.
There is no doubt that on their day, West Brom are a match for any team in the Championship and you know they are going to be there or there abouts at the end of the season.
I've seen them twice at home and once away at Southampton this season. They play some great football and Tony Mowbray likes his sides to play with an open style.
Albion take people on wherever they go, but because they play that way away from home they are always going to give the opposition a chance.
The problem Tony has - and he knows it's a problem - is that he has a lot of attacking players in the team, so they always risk letting goals in. Goals change games and it's hard to get back into a match when you concede, no matter how good your forwards are. He will be hoping that the away form is sorted out after that result at Watford.
However, The Hawthorns is a fortress. They were denied a victory by a controversial last-minute goal against Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday, but they won't lose too many games at home.
I see them as a strong team and Tony has added to the squad well. Even though he let the likes of Jason Koumas, Diomansy Kamara and Nathan Ellington leave over the summer, he has bought some good players and I would think Tony is as close as he's ever been to getting his best team together.
Kevin Phillips has been a big player for them so far and it would be a massive blow if he is out for a while after picking up a knee injury against Wednesday.
In the Championship, the senior players who are fit enough to play are the best players.
Someone like Phillips has the experience and the know-how to score goals in that league. I mean no disrespect to the younger players coming through in the game today, but it won't be until they get to Phillips' age that they'll have that knowledge.
He has that experience and he has the legs too, so that makes him formidable. Teddy Sheringham has done it year after year and Phillips is proving he can read situations quicker than anyone else, even though he's half a yard slower than he was in his Sunderland days. It would be a massive loss if he was injured.
The other key man for them is Ishmael Miller, who they've got on loan from Manchester City.
He's a beast. He is playing week-in-week-out for the first time in his career and he's frightening the life out of a lot of defenders in the Championship.
I'd compare him to Kenwyne Jones at Sunderland. He's not as good as Kenwyne in the air, but he's got all of the other attributes.
Tony has got to make that move permanent and I suspect there may be a deal in place already. I bet Sven Goran Eriksson knew nothing about Miller when he first went to Man City, but I'm sure he's seen what he has been doing and he wouldn't mind keeping him.
Struggling to adjust
They've also got Craig Beattie, who signed from Celtic in the summer, but hasn't really done much. He'll have to step up to fill in for Phillips, although we've seen a lot of players come down from Scotland and struggle to adjust.
Stilian Petrov and Shaun Maloney at Aston Villa are good examples and we're seeing the same thing with Beattie. The adjustment from Scottish football is similar to the problems some foreign players have when they come over. The pace of the English game is very different.
But Beattie has been there for a while now and Tony will want him to go and play alongside Miller and start scoring some goals in the absence of Phillips.
West Brom have got some good players throughout that squad though. Jonathan Greening is having a great season and I really like Zoltan Gera. He was linked with Premier League clubs in the summer, but he's still there and he hasn't sulked. He's got on with the job.
Albion have a team full of footballers, so we can expect a great game when they travel to Coventry on Monday night.
You look at Coventry's results and Iain Dowie has done tremendously well having not spent a bean. It's no wonder that a lot of big clubs are chasing him.
I still don't understand what went on at Charlton because I think he would have turned out to be a very good manager for them - he's certainly proving that at Coventry.
He's a clever manager and he knows his stuff, so it's a great game to look forward to. I'll make no predictions - it's going to be one to sit back and enjoy.
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Kammy answers your questions...
Hi Chris, I'm a Carlisle fan and I'm really excited by our start to the season. John Ward has got us playing really well and we got a brilliant win against Leeds last week. I'm not sure we'll hold on at the top of the league, but I reckon we're certainties for the play-offs. What do you think? Glenn Mitchell, Carlisle.
KAMMY REPLIES: Carlisle broke Leeds' unbeaten record last weekend and that is an achievement in itself. They were top of the league and were there to be shot at, but they got a fantastic result. John Ward has got a decent team together there and they've only lost one game since he became their manager. Clearly they have got a lot to look forward to, but it's still too early to describe them as play-off certainties. There are a lot of good clubs in that division, so I wouldn't like to call it yet. From the position that they find themselves in now though, it would be very hard for them to accept falling out of the top six.
Kammy, I'm a depressed Millwall fan and I'm not sure what to make of Kenny Jackett's appointment. I'm not sure he's the man to turn us around after a terrible start to the season. Do you know much about him? Chris, London.
KAMMY REPLIES: Be depressed no more. Kenny Jackett has taken over there and they got a good 2-2 draw against Swansea on Tuesday night. I heard that he'd been given the job three weeks ago, but it was denied by Millwall and Manchester City said he'd be staying on as reserve-team manager. Low and behold he's suddenly got the job - there's rarely smoke without fire. Good luck to him. He did a great job at Swansea and he knows that division very well. I think it's onwards and upwards for Millwall and their fans can stop panicking. He'll get you out of your slump.
Blackpool haven't won a game in the Championship since the start of September. Do you think they've got a hope of staying up this year? Nick Portus (Blackpool fan).
KAMMY REPLIES: Blackpool did very well at the start of the season and Simon Grayson knew they were punching above their weight. He needed some funds in the summer and wasn't given them, but he's done a great job anyway. He's a very understated manager and I can see why he's been linked with the Leicester job. But basically, he can't continue with virtually the same squad that took them up last season. He needs to add a bit more quality to the squad and unfortunately funding didn't allow him to do that in the summer. It's only when they've gone through a bad patch that the board have realised that they need to give him some better tools to work with. But I think they'll be safe by the end of the season.