The Latest Championship News, Views and general gossip.

  • Fri, 21 Jun 2024 14:54:21 +0000: Sunderland in talks to finally appoint new manager who relegated club last season - EFL Championship News, Features, Opinion - talkSPORT

    Sunderland are in talks with recently relegated Lorient head coach Regis Le Bris over managing the side next season, talkSPORT understands.

    The Black Cats have been without a full-time head coach since February when they sacked Michael Beale.

    STRASBOURG, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 18: Lorient Head Coach Régis Le Bris gestures during the Ligue 1 Uber Eats match between RC Strasbourg and FC Lorient at Stade de la Meinau on February 18, 2024 in Strasbourg, France. (Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
    Le Bris was relegated with Lorient but will be hoping for better luck with Sunderland
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    Since then Mike Dodds has been operating as the club’s caretaker manager, but the side haven’t been able to nail down a full-time hire in over 120 days.

    It looks like Le Bris will take that role, though, with Sunderland currently negotiating a compensation deal with Lorient.

    The 48-year-old former defender has been with the side for a number of years since retiring as a player, coaching up through the youth ranks before taking over the first team for the 2022/23 season.

    However, the following campaign Lorient were relegated from Ligue 1 under Le Bris’ stewardship, finishing 17th out of 18 teams.

    In his debut season he became the first French coach in Ligue 1 history to record 25 points after ten games, but after reaching a club high of second in the table, they eventually ended up tenth.

    Lorient are also owned by Bournemouth’s American owner Bill Foley.

    Sunderland’s coaching search has been largely France based, with the club regularly linked to Belgian-British talent Will Still, even before parting ways with Beale.

    However, Still, who was at Stade Reims at the time, has since decided to stay in Ligue 1 by accepting an offer to coach RC Lens next season.

    Sunderland has a disastrous campaign despite boasting the highly rated Jobe Bellingham in midfield
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    On the pitch Sunderland had a very tricky campaign, eventually finishing 16th in the Championship, finishing the season with three straight defeats.

    Just a year earlier the former Premier League regulars made the play-offs under Tony Mowbray, but lost to eventual promoted side Luton Town in the semi-finals.

  • Sat, 15 Jun 2024 08:14:32 +0000: Millwall announce tragic death of first-team goalkeeper Matija Sarkic aged just 26 - EFL Championship News, Features, Opinion - talkSPORT

    Millwall have announced the tragic death of goalkeeper Matija Sarkic at the age of 26.

    The eight-cap Montenegro shot-stopper made 33 appearances in all competitions for the Lions last season.

    Goalkeeper Matija Sarkic has died at the age of 26
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    It is the second tragedy to hit the London outfit in the last 12 months following the death of owner and chairman John Berylson last July.

    Sarkic is understood to have fallen ill while on international duty with Montenegro in the town of Budva.

    He played only last week for Montenegro in a 2-0 defeat to Belgium, where he was named as his side’s man of the match.

    A club statement read: “Millwall Football Club is completely devastated to announce that Matija Sarkic has passed away at the age of 26.

    “Sarkic, The Lions’ number one goalkeeper, made 33 appearances for the club since joining from Wolverhampton Wanderers in August 2023.

    “A Montenegro international, Matija proudly represented his country on numerous occasions.

    “Everyone at the club sends their love and condolences to Matija’s family and friends at this immensely sad time.

    “The club will make no further comment at this time and asks that the privacy of Matija’s family is respected.”

    Sarkic played 33 times for the Lions last season
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    He made eight appearances for Montenegro’s national team
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    Montenegro then released their own statement, which read: “The date and time of Matija Sarkic’s funeral, as well as the commemoration, will be announced later.

    “The Football Association of Montenegro hereby expresses its sincere condolences to the Sarkic family.”

    Tributes have been quick to flood in, with Millwall’s Supporters’ Club posting: “What horrendous news to wake up to this morning that our goalkeeper Matija Sarkic has died at the young age of 26.

    “Devastating news for his friends and family and for all of us associated with Millwall. Once a lion, always a lion.”

    His ex-Aston Villa teammate Viljami Sinisalo said: “RIP Matija Sarkic, Shocking news to wake up to this morning, World such a cruel place sometimes, an amazing person and a great friend!

    “Huge condolences to all his family and close ones.”

    Meanwhile West Ham showed their class towards their rivals, as they commented: “We are saddened to learn of the passing of Matija Sarkic.

    “Our condolences to everybody at Millwall as well as Matija’s family and friends.”

    Tributes have poured in for Sarkic following his shock passing
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    As for former employers Wigan, they said: “We join the footballing world in mourning the loss of our former goalkeeper, Matija Sarkic who has sadly passed away.

    “Our thoughts are with Matija’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

    Birmingha, who Sarkic represented during the 2021/22 season, posted: “Everyone at Birmingham City is shocked and saddened to learn of the news that our former goalkeeper, Matija Sarkic, has passed away at the age of 26.

    “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and all those that knew him.”

    Sarkic came up through the youth ranks at Villa, who shipped him out on loan to Wigan, Stratford Town, Havant & Waterlooville and Livingston.

    After failing to feature for the Villans, he joined their rivals Wolves in 2020, who loaned him out to Shrewsbury, Birmingham and Stoke.

    He made three appearances for the Molineux outfit during his three-year stay, before linking up with Millwall last summer, where he established himself as the club’s No.1

  • Mon, 10 Jun 2024 13:29:00 +0000: Why does Jobe Bellingham have his first name on his shirt? Jude’s brother doesn’t go by surname but England star does - EFL Championship News, Features, Opinion - talkSPORT

    The Bellingham brothers have both made waves in 2024, but only England superstar Jude is doing it with his surname on his back.

    The 20-year-old England international named his younger brother as one of three players who could follow him in winning the Golden Boy award this year.

    Jobe was at Wembley to watch his brother Jude win the Champions League
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    Bellingham crowned a historic first season in Spain by lifting the Champions League this month to cement his name as one of the best around.

    The midfielder’s surname will now be adorned on England fans’ shirts across the country during Euro 2024 in Germany.

    However, his sibling, who is currently starring for England men’s Elite League Squad across Europe in Croatia, is a talent in his own right.

    Jobe, two years Jude’s junior, signed for Sunderland from the family’s boyhood club Birmingham City last summer.

    His form has been so impressive that he has already attracted interest from the Premier League.

    However, should he make the jump to England’s top-flight, his new club will be expected to sell shirts without the Bellingham name on the back of his shirt.

    Why Jobe doesn’t have Bellingham on his shirt?

    Jude’s younger brother currently wears the No.7 shirt at Sunderland with his first name on the back.

    The Black Cats star opted for a shirt change as he wants to create his own identity rather than being compared to his older sibling.

    The teen has a different name on the back of his Sunderland shirt
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    The Bellingham brand has taken over European football
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    Jobe made his debut for Birmingham’s senior side as a 16-year-old with the Bellingham name in January 2022.

    However, he decided to rebrand upon his switch to Sunderland in June 2023, just over a week after his brother Jude joined Real Madrid.

    The move, which required approval from the English Football League, was seen as an attempt to lighten the load of the Bellingham name.

    Tony Mowbray, who was Sunderland’s manager at the time, explained: “I think he’s trying to create his own identity.

    “He doesn’t want to live off the back of his brother’s name; he wants to be the footballer that he is and show people what he can do.”

  • Fri, 07 Jun 2024 08:00:00 +0000: Jude Bellingham and Conor Gallagher battled in feisty Championship clash with controversial red card – now stars can lead England to Euro 2024 glory - EFL Championship News, Features, Opinion - talkSPORT

    Jude Bellingham and Conor Gallagher showed they had what it takes to be England’s next stars in 2019.

    Both midfielders have made Gareth Southgate’s final 26-man squad for Euro 2024.

    BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND - MARCH 24: Conor Gallagher and Jude Bellingham of England run during a training session at St Georges Park on March 24, 2022 in Burton-upon-Trent, England. (Photo by Eddie Keogh - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)
    Gallagher and Bellingham are now England teammates but were opponents not long ago
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    Rewind to just five years ago, though, and the pair were facing off in a feisty game in the Championship.

    Two weeks prior, Bellingham became his boyhood club Birmingham’s youngest ever goalscorer at 16 years 63 days old as he came on as a substitute in a 2-1 win over Stoke.

    He was then handed his full league debut in a trip to recently promoted Charlton, who had the chance to go top of the table following an unbeaten start to the season.

    There were plenty of familiar faces in both line-ups at The Valley, with Burnley’s Josh Cullen in midfield for the Addicks and Luton’s Tom Lockyer in defence.

    Not to mention ex-Birmingham midfielder Lee Bowyer was in the dug out for the Addicks.

    Gallagher, who had signed on what was set to be a season-long loan from Chelsea, started for Charlton that day.

    The Blues academy product had hit fine form right from the beginning of his first ever loan, firing in three goals and bagging two assists in his opening six games for the south Londoners.

    It was 16-year-old Bellingham who really stole the show at The Valley, though, as he bagged his second ever professional goal in front of a raucous Birmingham away end.

    Bellingham ran into Charlton’s box undetected and fired in what went on to be the winner
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    The youngster pulled out his now iconic celebration
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    The Addicks had their chances throughout the game, but Bellingham made them pay seven minutes into the second half.

    Kerim Mrabti burst into Charlton’s box before sending a cut-back to the future Real Madrid superstar, who had floated into the box undetected.

    Bellingham made no mistake as the ball fell to him, hitting the ball first time with a clean right-footed effort and firing into the bottom left-hand corner past Dillon Phillips.

    The 16-year-old pulled out his now-trademark celebration, standing with him arms outstretched as the Blues fans went crazy behind the goal.

    He then received a standing ovation from the away fans when he was later substituted.

    Gallagher tried to rescue the game for the Addicks, but his low drive in the closing stages was saved by Lee Camp

    Former Blues and England midfielder Bowyer was sent off
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    In the end, Bellingham’s second ever senior goal was enough for the Blues to win the game.

    Tempers flared throughout a frustrating afternoon for the Addicks, with four bookings dished out on the pitch and Charlton manager Bowyer even sent off for throwing a ball at the Birmingham dug out.

    “Someone from their staff threw a ball onto the pitch to try and waste time, which I’ve never seen before,” Bowyer said after the game. “The ball then ended up next to me. I don’t know how, so I pick it up and start walking towards their bench shouting if it was their ball.

    “I threw it back, and because the referee said I left my technical area and throwing the ball that was a red card. I’ve never heard of that rule in my life. I think it’s disappointing because me and the players don’t like losing games, especially ones where I don’t think we deserved to lose.”

    As well as dismissing the idea his side were timewasting, Birmingham boss at the time, Pep Clotet, hailed match-winner Bellingham.

    He said: “Jude is proof that we trust what we do with the academy, in that you cannot buy in football the feeling our fans have.

    “The feeling we have for Jude to come in now, that’s something we’re very proud of. I want to remind him of the importance of this chance. It’s not only me giving the chance but the team.”

    Gallagher also earned high praise whilst on loan at The Valley, with manager Lee Bowyer hailing him a few months into his deal.

    Gallagher was a hit for the Addicks
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    Speaking to talkSPORT in October 2019, he said: “He’s a good player. For us it was a bit of a gamble; he had never been on loan anywhere before and is only 19 so he’s still learning the game.

    “But he’s hit the ground running. Whatever you tell him he does and I just keep encouraging him to get in the box, and things are falling for him at the moment.

    “His willingness and work rate are unreal, so he’s fitted in really well.

    “He’s still learning though – he needs to learn – but he’s been a great addition for us.”

    Gallagher ended up having his Charlton loan cut short the following January, with the midfielder signing for fellow Championship side Swansea instead. He faced Bellingham again that July in a 3-1 win.

    Loans with West Brom and Crystal Palace followed before he broke through at Chelsea.

    Now, talkSPORT understands the Blues will demand a fee of more than £50million to sell him this summer.

    Bellingham, meanwhile, left Birmingham at the end of that season, with the Blues retiring his no. 22 shirt as he signed for Borussia Dortmund.

    Bellingham spearheaded Madrid to LaLiga and Champions League glory in his first season in Spain
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    Chelsea midfielder Gallagher is facing an uncertain future at Stamford Bridge and could be sold for £50m
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    He then signed for Real Madrid last summer for a deal worth up to £115million.

    Birmingham and Charlton will meet in League One next season, with the Blues sinking to the third tier for the first time since 1995 following their recent relegation.

    Meanwhile, their former midfield maestros are set to represent their country on Europe’s biggest stage, proving just how vital the EFL is when it comes to producing England’s top talent.

    The Three Lions play their final game before Euro 2024 on Friday as they go head-to-head with Iceland.

  • Thu, 06 Jun 2024 15:45:40 +0000: Birmingham appoint Tottenham coach Chris Davies as sixth Blues manager in under a year - EFL Championship News, Features, Opinion - talkSPORT

    Birmingham have announced the appointment of Tottenham coach Chris Davies as their new manager.

    The 39-year-old rejected the chance to manage his former employers Swansea last season, but has now made the step up to being no. 1 at St Andrew’s.

    Davies will be the next man in the dug out at St Andrew’s
    X:@SportsPeterO

    Davies has signed a four-year contract and joins with immediate effect from Tottenham after the two parties agreed compensation.

    The Watford-born coach was senior assistant at Spurs having joined the club to work with Ange Postecoglou last summer.

    After retiring from playing football at the age of 19 due to an arthritic condition in his foot, Davies went on to get his coaching licences.

    He enjoyed spells as an assistant at Swansea, as well as holding jobs at Liverpool, Celtic and Leicester – all under Brendan Rodgers – as well as being a first team coach at his former club Reading.

    Birmingham City Owner and Chairman of the Board, Tom Wagner, said: “I am delighted to welcome Chris to Blues. He is widely respected in the game and fulfils our goal to appoint an ambitious, progressive coach.

    “He is motivated to help redefine the club, the culture, and the
    playing identity. From our first meeting, it was clear we were aligned on values and shared the ambition for Blues.

    “Chris will thrive in the high-performance environment that is being created at the club. He wants to be at Birmingham City and is committed to winning.

    “I would like to thank both Tom Brady for his support and involvement, and the Football Leadership Team for their diligent approach in identifying our next Manager. They have conducted a robust process and we have appointed a top operator to take us forward.”

    Birmingham have found a replacement for Mowbray
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    Birmingham have made their sixth managerial change in eight months.

    John Eustace was controversially sacked for Wayne Rooney in October.

    The former England star’s tenure saw Birmingham sink from sixth in the table to 20th, leading to his dismissal in January.

    Steve Spooner then came in on a temporary basis.

    Rooney’s permanent replacement, Tony Mowbray, was then taken ill, leading Mark Venus to step in as caretaker.

    Former Blues manager Gary Rowett then came in until the end of the season.

    He was unable to save Birmingham from relegation to League One – a division they have not played in since 1995 – going down third from bottom on the final day of the season.

    Mowbray then announced he could no longer continue in the role come the end of the season due to his ongoing health issues.

A Basic list of recent teams in the Championship

Barnsley
Birmingham
Blackpool
Bristol City
Brighton
Burnley
Cardiff City
Coventry City
Crystal Palace
Derby
Doncaster
Hull City
Ipswich Town
Leeds United
Leicester City
Middlesborough
Millwall
Nottingham Forest
Peterborough
Portsmouth
Reading
Southampton
Watford
West Ham

More Information on each Football Team will be duly added shortly, along with Daily Motion details on the latest Videos.