One of the many advantages I have gained from writing for and editing an established blog is the opportunity it has opened up to connect with other sites. Overall, I've found a very generous community of individuals out there, regardless of which team they support, who have been happy to add to the content of this site and have hosted articles that I have also provided as a guest.

What started as an initial message, requesting if we could exchange links between our sites created an opportunity to introduce both a new writer and website to the readers of On The Ponty End.

This week, it is my pleasure to to be able to introduce Craig Wescott from the relatively new site "Jumpers For Goalposts"; a site that he describes as a blog built for football fans everywhere, who wish to express their views without fear of being ridiculed. So without further ado, here's Craig.


The dust has barely settled on the FA archive marked '2010-11' season and we're all sat here, as bored as Ryan Giggs in an all boys school, watching the U-17 World Cup on Eurosport to compensate for a lack of football. What? You mean you haven't been watching the U-17 World Cup? No, me neither...

Point is I'm incredibly bored of listening to stories of Chelsea's new manager, regardless of how handsome he is! All I want is to watch some good, honest football and what's the next best thing to watching football? That's right, talking about what the following campaign brings.

I'm going to talk about the Championship, the third best league in the world in my opinion, behind the Premiership and Bundesliga. Yes that's right, I rate the Championship above that rabble in Spain. I can't stand El Classico, where petty cheating undermines one of football's most glamorous fixtures. Call me English, but I'd much rather watch a Yorkshire derby. Come to that, I'd rather watch Scunthorpe slog it out against Hull City in the Humberside derby, a fixture which unfortunately for the connoisseurs amongst us, will not be available next season following Scunthorpe's relegation to League One.

So who will shine next year in a league as notoriously tight as a Duck's ar... I mean Violin string?! For one, I cannot see Blackpool pulling a rabbit out of a hat by winning themselves another promotion, that's for sure. Blackpool's squad was one made very much of good fortune; for example how often do you pick up a player possessing the quality of Charlie Adam for £500,000? Nor do so many players come into such good form at the same time, like DJ Campbell, a reject at Birmingham and Leicester, suddenly finds himself scoring in the Premiership. Luke Varney is another prime example, after he gained notoriety with Crewe Alexandra as a youngster, he's never replicated his form for Crewe elsewhere, Varney's career had stalled and unsuccessful spells with Sheffield Wednesday, Charlton and Derby County saw Blackpool pick him up for a pittance. Fortunately for Blackpool, Varney saw himself enjoy a rich vein of form and was playing regularly in the Premiership; quite remarkable for a player who only months before, found himself struggling to score goals in League One with Sheffield Wednesday. I feel Blackpool will finish up 13th, slipping back into mediocrity.

Barnsley F.C. logoImage via Wikipedia
What about Barnsley? Here's a fun fact for you Tykes fans; Barnsley conceded 66 goals last season, a figure only bettered by Coventry City, Portsmouth, Bristol City and Hull City from 11th downwards. While it's not fantastic, it's far better than many other sides in the bottom half of the Championship, so I'm surprised that to date in the transfer market, Barnsley have signed two defenders, a defensive midfielder, as well as 22 year old Rochdale midfielder, Matt Done, who scored 5 goals from midfield last season, not making an assist, in League Two.

That to me isn't where Barnsley should be looking to strengthen, it should be going forward where 33 year old journeyman, Andy Gray currently plays. Provided these forward areas are strengthened, then I could see a solid mid-table finish for Barnsley next year.

My tip for Championship domination next season, lies with Leicester City. The Foxes enjoyed an indifferent season last year, having been exciting to watch going forward, only to be let down by silly mistakes, such as forgetting how to defend (Leicester conceded 71 goals in the 2010-11 season, the same amount as relegation threatened Derby County) and in the end, Leicester ultimately surrendered a play-off position. It was a string of loan signings which ultimately cost Leicester promotion, with the first of these defensive loan signings being Miquel Vitor from Benfica on a season long loan, who was eventually joined by Patrick Van Aanholt, Jeffrey Bruma, (both Chelsea) Ben Mee (Manchester City) and Kyle Naughton. (Spurs) These loan signings were then met with the loan signing of Portuguese goalkeeper, Ricardo, (the same bloke who put us out of Euro 2004 on penalties) which was a very public affair, thus undermining the current goalkeeper, Chris Weale, who knew his face didn't fit, but had to play as there was no other option. To cut a very long story short, Leicester were a defensive shambles, something which looks to be being identified as last season's weak area, following a successful bid for Leeds United keeper, Kasper Schmeichel and Huddersfield Town right-back, Lee Peltier. Add that to Leicester's prowess when going forward, plus the return of highly rated midfielder, Jeffery Schlupp, 19, from Brentford and Leicester suddenly look a very exciting proposition next year in the Championship.

Follow Jumper For Goalposts on Twitter: @J4goalpostsblog

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