Molineux Stadium Wolverhampton

Midlands Championship Season Review 17/18

It has been a mixed season for the Midlands in the Championship this season. The only universal theme was that bar Nottingham Forest, all teams had something to fight for entering the final weekend of the season. It was a season that saw Wolves win the league title at a canter. In the case of Birmingham City and Burton, it was a fight for survival at the foot of the league, while for Derby and Villa, a season-long pursuit for promotion is still on going via the Play-offs.

Eventmasters Midlands Season Awards

Player of the year: Ruben Neves (Wol)
Young Player of the year: Ruben Neves (Wol)
Rising Star Award: Che Adams (Bir)
Club of the Year: Wolves (Wol)
Coach of the Year: Nuno Esparito Santo (Wol)
Midlands Team of the year:TOTY Formation


*Stats before the final game of the season*
2017/18 Championship Winners.

Points: 99
Goals scored: 78
Clean sheets: 22
PPG: 2.2

Best wins:
• Cardiff 0 Wolves 1
• Wolves 5 Bolton 1
• Wolves 2 Fulham 0
• Derby 0 Wolves 2

Top Scorers:
• Jota (18)
• Bonatini (12)
• Cavielero (9)

It’s fair to say it’s been a whirlwind few years for the Black and Gold. The takeover by Chinese consortium Fosun group, headed by chairman Jeff Shi in the summer of 2016, did not garner instant success for the club. The managerial stints of the Zunga and Paul Lambert were brief and unremarkable, so credit must go to Nuno (who arrived this summer), for turning around the fortunes of Wolves. High prolife signings this summer have certainly made their mark, the 18 goals from winger Jota (who is on loan) and the sheer class of former Porto player Ruben Neves in midfield have taken their football to a whole new level. Wolves were confirmed as champions with 3 games to spare and have sat at the top of the table virtually all season. Congratulations are in order for this all-conquering Wolves side, who will surely fancy their chances in the Premier League given the incredible campaign they have had this year.

Future Superstar?
In Ruben Neves, Wolves seem to have a genuine future superstar at their disposal. The Portuguese sensation arrived from Porto this summer for £16m. as the youngest Portuguese player to score in the Champions League, its fair to say he is not your average Championship player. At the age of 21 Neves still has a lot more room for improvement, a scary proposition when you consider he already bolsters exceptional shooting and passing ability in what is a dynamic repertoire. Numerous reports have linked him with a big move away, with virtually all of the big 6 Premier League sides rumoured to be interested. The future is bright for Wolves’ midfield maestro, and If they can fight off the circling vultures, he could be the difference maker for wolves in what will be a long Premier League season.

Aston Villa
*Stats before the final game of the season*

Top Scorers:
• Adomah (15)
• Hourihane (11)
• Hogan (9)
• Grabban (8)

PPG: 1.84

Games against playoff opponents:
• Darby (H) 1-1
• Cardiff (H) 1-0
• Fulham (H) 0-2
• Boro (A) 0-1

Aston Villa - Football Hospitality

There will surely be a slight sense of regret amongst Villa fans that they just couldn’t bridge the gap to Cardiff and Fulham. But they head into the playoffs, after finishing 4th, with some good recent form, and as the team with arguably the best record against the top teams. Victories at Villa Park against Cardiff and Wolves will surely give the fans some belief that their team can step up on the big occasion. Buoyed by a recent surge in attendances at home games, and by the goals scoring form of Lewis Grabban, Villa seem to be well placed going into the lottery that is the playoffs. We wish them the best of luck in the weeks to come.

Derby County

*Stats before the final game of the season*

Top scorers:
• Vydra (21)
• Nugent (8)
• Winnal (6)

PPG: 1.60


Best Wins:
• Derby 5 Hull City 0
• Middlesborough 0 Derby 3
• Derby 2 Villa 0
• Derby 3 Cardiff

Qualifying for the playoffs is very least fans would have expected this season, especially as they just scraped in by finishing 6th. But entering the playoffs, Derby will no doubt be quietly confident, as your finishing position in the playoffs is scarcely relevant. The playoffs are the ultimate equaliser, the more relevant factors will possibly be their experience at this level, and their good recent form against potential opponents. Victories against Middlesborough away (3-0) and Villa at home (2-0) will prove to the Pride Park faithful that they can go all the way. We wish Derby all the best in the weeks to come.

Wembley Stadium - Championship Play-off Final - Football Hospitality

Who will make it to this year’s Championship play-off final at Wembley?

Birmingham City

*Stats before the final game of the season*

Top Scorers:
• Che Adams (8)
• Gallagher (7)
• Jutkiewitz (5)
• Maghoma (5)

PPG: 0.96


Best wins:
• BCFC 1 Cardiff 0
• BCFC 3 Hull City 0
• Bolton 0 BCFC 1
• Sheff Wed 1 BCFC 3

Much like Burton Albion, at one stage of the season it looked as if relegation was all but confirmed for Blues this year. An admirable, albeit futile performance at Cardiff saw them slip to a 3-2 defeat, extending a 7-game losing streak. And with just 8 games remaining it seemed as if all hope was lost; but they were able to rally with three back to back wins, the last of which being a crucial relegation 6 pointer against strugglers Bolton.

That victory, alongside a recent home win against Sheffield United, almost assured them of Championship football next season, but it wasn’t until this weekend that their status in the second tier of English football was confirmed with an impressive 3-1 win at home to promotion-chasing Fulham. Credit must go to Garry Monk, who played a vital role in turning the club’s fortunes around, to the players, for grinding out the big wins, and to the city fans, who sold out St Andrews this weekend, and turned it into a real cauldron of noise. Congratulations to everybody at Birmingham City Football Club.

Burton Albion

As many people’s pre-season favourites for relegation, Burton Albion knew they would be in a battle for survival. Under the stewardship of beloved manager Nigel Clough, arguably as revered at Albion as his father was at Forest, at times this season it looked like he would achieve the impossible for the second year in a row and somehow keep them up.
In the end, Burton weren’t quite able to rescue themselves from the drop, but the fight showed this season against all the odds, indicates they’ll hopefully be back sooner rather that later.

Nottingham Forest

It has been a quiet season for Nottingham Forest. While they did flirt with the idea of relegation at one stage this season, for the most part it has been a task to consolidate a midtable finish. In a disappointing campaign, the performances of some of the youngsters at the club will go down as one of the biggest positives. The youthful nature of the side under the guidance of Aitor Karanka, will give Forest fans hope that they can put the turbulent last few years behind them, and kick on next season.

If you are looking to book football hospitality next season, then Eventmasters is the only place to go.

Call our hospitality specialists on 0121 233 6500 for further details.