NUFC 2016/17 EFL Championship Season: January

2017 started with a bang! The FA Cup Third Round; still one of the most anticipated weekends in the English footballing calendar saw the big boys of the Premier League and Championship enter the fray. Teams also had the opportunity to strengthen their sides with the transfer window being open and while some strengthened, others didn’t and some had their squads ravaged; here’s…

10 developments in football: January 2017

A Dele Alli header brace dowded Chelsea's unbeaten run [Image from The Independent]
A Dele Alli header brace dowded Chelsea’s unbeaten run [Image from The Independent]
Chelsea’s unbeaten run in the Premier League ended at unlucky 13; 1 short of matching Arsenal’s record of 14 set in 2002 following a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane and a tremendous individual performance by Dele Alli.
Graham Taylor (1944-2017)
Graham Taylor (1944-2017)

Football was saddened by the death of former England Manager Graham Taylor at the age of 72.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo won FIFA Best Player of the Year award 2016 in January [Image from FIFA]
    Cristiano Ronaldo won FIFA Best Player of the Year award 2016 in January while Claudio Ranieri (below) won best Coach [Image from FIFA]
    After the Ballon d’Or being awarded in December, FIFA held their own awards in January with Cristiano Ronaldo predictably winning the Best Player award.
  • Claudio Ranieri won the best coach of 2016 award after leading Leicester City
    to that memorable Premier League title last season fending off competition 2863538_full-lnd
    from the likes of Zinedine Zidane who
    jumped into the Real Madrid hot seat mid-season and won the Champions League.
  • We now know who’ll be contesting the EFL Cup final; the first major piece of silverware in the English season; Southampton did fantastically well to defeat Liverpool both home and away to reach it and they will face Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United who did just enough to see off Hull City.
  • Shane Long's goal at Anfield put Southampton into The EFL Cup Final [Image from Sky Sports]
    Shane Long’s goal at Anfield put Southampton into The EFL Cup Final [Image from Sky Sports]
    In my look ahead to 2017 post, I predicted there would be shocks in the FA Cup Third Round. My examples might have been well off but the shocks were there. Plymouth Argyle of League Two went to Anfield and held Liverpool to a 0-0 draw; non-league Lincoln City defeated Championship side Ipswich Town in their replay 1-0 thanks to a late Theo Robinson goal while Millwall of League One defeated Premier League Bournemouth 3-0!
  • Lincoln City got into the Fifth Round of the FA Cup after defeating Ipswich Town and Brighton & Hove Albion [image from Sky Sports]
    Lincoln City got into the Fifth Round of the FA Cup after defeating Ipswich Town and Brighton & Hove Albion [image from Sky Sports]
    The shocks kept on coming in the Fourth Round as Lincoln City were at it again, this time coming from behind to defeat Championship high-flyers Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 while Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers travelled to Anfield and defeated Liverpool 2-1 in the early kick-off and the next day, non-league Sutton United defeated Championship side Leeds United 1-0!
  • Surprisingly, Everton were the biggest spenders in the Premier League this January transfer window with a spend in excess of £33 million on the likes of Ademola Lookman and Morgan Schneidlerlein while one of the best deals had to be Gabriel Jesus joining Manchester City and hitting the ground running.
  • Ex-Liverpool, Real Madrid, Spanish International and current Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso announced his retirement from football; he retires at the end of the season.
  • Manager casualties by League

    Ten managers left their roles in January with the most high profile departure being the sacking of Mike Phelan at Hull City. The total of managerial casualties this season is now 34 (at the end of January) and the most recent of them Andy Edwards left League Two side Leyton Orient searching for their fourth manager of the season after he departed for a Youth Coaching role with the FA.

  • January 2017’s managerial departures
    NUFC News: January

    Former Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton re-joined Burnley after his adventures in Scotland with Rangers and proved himself on his second debut for Sean Dyche’s side by scoring the only goal of the game against Southampton. read more

    January Transfer Window 2017: NUFC

    The January Transfer Window. It comes and goes every year, Jim White get his yellow tie out and while some managers love and loath it, it is an opportunity to strengthen their squads. Newcastle United did not get that memo.

    It is thought Rafa Benitez desired to bring in a central midfielder and a winger to strengthen his side for the Championship run-in. Neither came and the manager in charge of ‘all footballing matters’ does not know what happened. Newcastle recruited no new faces in an underwhelming January window but then that does not come as a surprise. However, six faces left the club on loan. read more