Former Newcastle United Striker Antoine Sibierski Signs For Norwich City

With the transfer window slamming shut yesterday, there were many deals going through involving Championship clubs. One of the highest profile players to be arriving to play in England’s second tier is former Manchester City player Antoine Sibierski who has signed on loan for Glenn Roeder’s Norwich City.

The Canaries have been in desperate need for a striker with a physical presence. Darrel Russell – who normally operates in midfield – has been forced to move up front in recent weeks to partner either Jamie Cureton or Arturo Lupoli. Now that Antoine Sibierski has arrived, the Norwich fans will be hoping they can pick up their first win of the season against Plymouth Argyle in their next game.

So what type of player are Norwich getting? Well, as with any 34-year-old moving down a division, he will bring experience to what is a relatively young Norwich squad. He will also provide Glenn Roeder with the ‘target man’ he has been craving since the departure of Dion Dublin at the end of last season. It is the second time Glenn Roeder has signed the Frenchman, he brought him to Newcastle United on transfer deadline day in August 2006.

In terms of some other moves involving Championship clubs yesterday, there were two others that stood out to me. Blackpool have made a good loan signing by securing Rangers midfielder Alan Gow until January. The 25-year-old – who could sign permanently in January – is an attacking midfielder and should excel in the Championship.

Then there is departure of Coventry midfielder Julian Gray to Premier League side Fulham. This is a strange transfer really and I’m not sure why a loan deal was agreed as opposed to a permanent transfer. Regardless though, it will be a huge loss for Chris Coleman at Coventry. He is one of their better players and considering they have lost their last two games, it isn’t ideal that he is leaving. They will be searching for a replacement in the loan market I’m sure.

One of the most significant factors of the whole transfer window though, in my view, is that fact that Reading have managed to hold onto prize assets Kevin Doyle and Stephen Hunt. With reference to Championship football odds, they remain one of the promotion favourites having kept these two players.

As ever, it will be interesting to see how the players that have moved to the Championship – such as Antoine Sibierski – will adapt to playing in what is a very physical and competitive league.

John Madejski complains of ridiculous footballers wages

John Madejski complains of ridiculous footballers wages
John Madejski complains of ridiculous footballers wages

Self-made millionaire and Reading chairman John Madejski has once again stated his disproval of players wages. He told BBC Radio Berkshire they were “obscene in the extreme”.

He is adamant not to pay over-inflated wages to attract new signings to the club, in the quest to seek automatic promotion back to the Premier League.

Adding a certain balance to his bold statement, he went on to say:

“I’m pleased they get good salaries – that’s only right – but it’s gone off the Richter scale.”

I visited the Madejski Stadium before Reading were promoted to the Premier League and was impressed with the staduim. Alot of work and money has been pumped into the club and much of their financial stabilty has been put in place by John Madejski’s calm and resonable financial judgement.

Madejski explained the difference between the Premiership and being a Championship football uk team is a £22m deficit and Reading now face the problem of retaining a large squad of players.

He said Reading have tried to do what they can with a solid business model, but even selling a whopping 14,000 season tickets is not as fantastic as it seems, compared to last season.

In these times of outrageous footballer wages, television money and foreign billionaires using English football as a play thing, I like John Madejski’s honest and sensible approach to running a football team with a good manager that plays exciting football.

John Madejski has commercial interests in property, media, hotels, restaurants, publishing and football. According to The Sunday Times Rich List 2007 he is in the top 200 wealthiest people in the UK with a net worth in the region of £400 million.

Derby Must Be Favourites For Promotion To The Premier League

With the start of the Championship season less than three weeks away, there is much discussion as to who will be fighting for promotion this time around. As ever, you would be brave to bet on Championship football, given the unpredictability of the last couple of seasons. However, one team who are almost certain to be there or there abouts are Derby County.

That is my opinion anyway. It is never easy to bounce straight back to the Premier League, but the amount of signings Paul Jewell has made cannot go unnoticed. The have brought in Martin Albrechsten, Kris Commons, Rob Hulse, Nathan Ellington, Przemyslaw Kazmierczak, Jordan Stewart, Ruben Zadkovich, Paul Green, Liam Dickinson, Paul Connolly and Steve Davies. They also have former Reading midfielder John Oster on trial and are by far the busiest team in the Championship this summer.

Considering these players are being added to a squad which already contains players such as Giles Barnes, Robbie Savage, Gary Teale and Emanuel Villa – Paul Jewell is certainly putting together a strong set of players. The former Wigan boss has admitted that he wants at least two players fighting for each position. If this becomes a reality – like it is shaping up to be – the biggest challenge for Jewell will be keeping all of his players happy.

After the abysmal attempt at Premier League survival last time around, a good start to the season is crucial for Derby. They start with games against Doncaster, Bristol City, Southampton and Barnsley, meaning they will fancy their chances of topping the table come the end of August to ignite their promotion push.

So, who else will push Derby for promotion? Well, Reading and Birmingham will be fighting it out for an instant return. However, in my view, Birmingham are extremely unpredictable and Reading, having lost Dave Kitson and John Oster could struggle early on. A lot will depend on who they buy with the £5.5m they received for Kitson from Stoke.

Elsewhere, I think that Sheffield United will be strong. They finished the season excellently and will look to continue this at the beginning of this season under Ian Blackwell. Greg Halford and Sun Jihai have been brought in and I expect them to occupy a play-off spot.

Then, of course, there is the likes of Wolves, Watford, Bristol City and Crystal Palace that will be looking to go one better after just missing out last season. It is set to be another fascinating season that’s for sure. Bring on the 9th August.