"The thing is, ipsh1t fans banging on about the UEFA cup is unfair as in the 80s Norwich qualified for Europe several times, but due to there being a ban on English clubs playing in Europe at the time they weren't allowed to play, so ipsh1t were no better than Norwich for winning that cup, they just managed to qualify before the ban".
Yeh, it totally doesn't count, I suppose going 30 odd games without losing a home game in Europe is a fluke also :p
Gerken is solid enough, Loach is more than adequate backup (Our goalkeepers are alright, they're neither brilliant nor awful)
We have three decent centre backs at this level in Berra, Smith and Chambers. I suppose we could see Smith move on also but we may have Bramble to come in as a replacement?
We have the best left back in the division in Cresswell although he may move on at the end of the season. We need to replace him with someone like Rhoys Wiggins at Charlton imho. Mings looks like promising backup but is he quite ready to step up next season?
We are lacking at right back, hopefully Veseli or Hewitt will step up next season but we'll need a quality right back to come in also. (The defence on paper is decent at this level)
In Skuse and Hyam, we have two solid midfielders who are more than capable of stopping opposition sides playing. Whatever you want to say about them, they're a decent partnership but we do rely on our wingers contributing to our side, if we're playing the holding midfielders together.
In Anderson and Skuse, we have two average to good wingers who add a bit of quality but ultimately aren't good enough for us if we have aims of promotion. They're both useful squad players but we need a little more.
Jay Tabb seems to be suffering from Bullard syndrome, not that he was ever in the same class as Bullard but he's not having a great season. That's not to say he's been terrible but he's not been particularly awesome either. (the midfield needs work)
David McGoldrick is different class
Daryl Murphy is a decent targetman
Paul Taylor is talented but still unproven, it would be a shame to see him move on but it wouldn't be surprising if he does go
Frank Nouble is an enigma, he's an athlete with a high work rate, we need to mould him into Kuqi. Where this ever happens remains to be seen.
Jack Marriot is an up and coming young player, who may end up being a beast. Obviously he's promising
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is a proven player at this level, the big question more than anything is whether he fully recovers from that injury. (Our Strike force is more than adequate for this level and hopefully will grow into next season)
We have the decent foundations of a side, we've potentially got a decent defence, a solid central midfield pairing in Skuse and a decent strike force.
It needs to be augmented with some quality, whether that's with some developing youth players or some good free transfers/bargain bucket signings or a mixture of the two. I suspect we should be vastly improved next season and hopefully a promotion contender.
with or without McGoldrick can you see us bettering Reading by six points?
The Championship in fairness is a funny old League, the one thing you could guarantee having dropped points against Blackpool was that QPR would surrender against Reading. It's that kind of league. When you're relying on sides to do you a favour, you're in big trouble imho.