The Championship is a great league with some of the most passionate fans, best stadiums, and most dramatic games in the world. At the end of the day though, it is the players that determine if the clubs can reach the ultimate goal of reaching the Premier League. With the new season fast approaching, it is time to put some players under the microscope. We asked all of our writers at Read Championship to vote in a poll of the best players in the Championship. In this two part series, we will look at the results of this poll by position. In this article, our team of writers selected one back up goalkeeper, two defenders, two midfielders, and two attackers that just missed the cut for our starting eleven.
Goalkeeper- Keiren Westwood
Keiren Westwood- Finishing second place in the goalkeepers category of our poll and the backup keeper of our all Championship team is the man between the sticks at Sheffield Wednesday. Westwood started 43 out of 46 games for the Owls last season, helping them to the fourth best defensive record in the Championship. He also has 17 caps for the Irish national team. He will be hoping for more attacking support this season.
Defenders- George Friend and Lewis Dunk
George Friend– After signing on Teesside in the summer of 2012, the ‘Boro left back has quickly become a fan favorite. After winning player of the season during his first season with Middlesbrough, he has continued to improve. He has cemented his place as the starting left back for the best defense in the division, and hopes to lead a promotion charge in the upcoming season.
Lewis Dunk– Despite playing for a Seagulls side that had a very disappointing campaign last season, Dunk was brilliant. He commanded the Brighton defense, and even lead the team in goals with seven in all competitions. His passing was very strong, and it is no surprise other clubs were looking to sign him. Rumors said that West Ham, West Brom, and Everton were all looking to sign him. He is going to be a vital part of Brighton’s upcoming season.
Midfielders- Tom Cairney and Ahmed Elohamady
Tom Cairney- Cairney just signed for Fulham from Blackburn, and it is not hard to see why the Cottagers wanted him. The midfielder has lots of Championship experience. He is also a very well rounded player. He can score wonder goals, such as this screamer against Norwich last season. He also tracks back very well for a midfielder, and won Blackburn player of the season in 2013-14. Fulham have a great player on their hands.
Ahmed Elohamady– A player of Premier League quality as shown during his time at Sunderland and Hull City. He is regarded as a Premier League quality player with West Brom and Stoke looking to sign him. The holding midfielder is brilliant at controlling the game as well as shutting down opponents when Hull have late leads. These are both things that he will be doing a lot, as the Tigers figure to be winning a lot of games this year. He could certainly do a job in the Premier League, but remains a Championship player for now.
Strikers- Andre Gray and Ross McCormack
Andre Gray– The Brentford striker helped lead the Bees to a surprising season that saw them land in a playoff place. Gray led the line with 16 goals in the Championship and 18 in all competitions. These goals included some big ones such as a goal on the final day of the season, and Brentford’s only goal in their 5-1 playoff semifinal demolition at the hands of Middlesbrough. Gray will be a huge piece of the Bees puzzle as they look to go one step beyond and gain automatic promotion.
Ross McCormack– Completing the West London duo on the bench is Fulham striker Ross McCormack. He also led his club in goals, with 17 in the league and 19 in all competitions for the Cottagers. With seven seasons under his belt in the Championship he has the know how to get the job done in this league. Fulham were not a bad side last season, they just had a horrible start. If McCormack is on top form, I could see Fulham making a run at a return to the top flight.
Those are the picks of our writers for the bench players in our all Championship team. Did we miss anybody? Or maybe you think one of the players on this list should have been in the first team. Leave a comment below with your thoughts on our selections, and be sure to stay tuned as we unveil our starting eleven tomorrow.