West Brom EFL Championship Tactical Analysis

England became the best team in the world again during the international break, but it was good to have a full EFL fixture-list back again this weekend.

With the Nations League fun on hold for another month, we saw a manager break his duck at Villa, the perfect recipe at Wigan and birthdays to remember at Brentford.

Here’s the EFL in numbers, with Goodbrand Stats.

Dean The Winning Machine 

Steve Bruce and Aston Villa were a match made in hell and the former Manchester United captain was finally put out of his misery at the start of October.

Bruce’s departure from Villa was topped off by one of the most bizarre incidents in living EFL memory, when a cabbage was thrown at him in the dugout.

Villa fans will now be hoping that they have found their new sweetheart in Dean Smith, who joined his boyhood club from Brentford during the international break.

He certainly got off to a good start.

The Villain’s 1-0 win over Swansea on Saturday was their 1st win inand only their 2nd in 10 games.

Smith also became the 1st Villa manager to win his opening game since Gerard Houllier back in September 2010.

Two peas in a pod? Only time will tell.

Cooking Up A Storm 

The same can certainly be said for Wigan Athletic and the DW Stadium.

The Latics have been cooking on gas this season in the Championship under manager Paul Cook, currently sitting 8th and 1 point off the play-offs.

Wigan’s amazing start to the season has certainly not been a flash in the pan, it all boils down to their remarkable EFL record at home.

On Saturday, their game against West Brom was on a knife-edge.

Thankfully for Wigan, Nick Powell put it on a plate for Josh Windass to score the winner late on.

This was Windass’ 1st goal for the club.

West Brom were left to stew on the fact they’d lost their 7-game unbeaten run.

For Wigan, the result means they’ve won 18 out of Paul Cook’s 30 home games in charge, drawing 10 and losing only 2.

The Latics are now unbeaten in their last 14 games at the DW, keeping 20 clean sheets in their last 28 games.

No half-baked ideas from Cook.

Jack In The Box

Like Wigan’s home form, Jack Marriot’s recent goal-scoring record is highly impressive.

Another goal from the forward on Saturday helped the Rams beat Sheffield United at Pride Park.

The Rams took the lead after just 19 seconds against the Blades through Craig Bryson. They were pegged back by Chris Basham’s goal just before half-time before Marriot’s winner.

He’s now scored 10 goals in his last 12 starts for Debry and Peterborough in the EFL.

His remarkable run of goal-scoring form doesn’t end there.

Since the start of 2017-18 season, Jack Marriot has been the top scorer in the EFL with 36 goals. Only Harry Kane and Mohammed Salah have scored more goals than the forward domestically during this time.

Marriot showing no sign of Jacking in the goals.

Little town blues for Bolton 

If you think I’m going to ignore the opportunity to slip in some Frank Sinatra references for a game at the New York Stadium, you’re absolutely wrong.

Bolton headed to Rotherham on Saturday hoping to make a brand new start of their woeful record away to the Millers.

The Trotters must have thought their little town blues were melting away when they were awarded a penalty at the start of the second half.

Regrets? Josh Magennis has had a few, and missing the spot-kick will be one of them.

Rotherham then took the lead through Will Vaulks. His superb long-distance strike made The Millers a number one again, but they did not finish the game top of the heap.

Bolton rescued a late draw thanks to Christian Doidge’s 1st goal for the club, but this was not enough to end Wanderers barren run in this part of South Yorkshire.

They’ve now not won a league game in Rotherham in their last 15 attempts, losing 10.

This is a record stretching all the way back to  August 1966.  To put that into context The Beatles were no1 with Yellow Submarine and England had just won the World Cup.

They think it’s all over… it still isn’t.

 Sean’s the Jewell of the Crown Ground 

Accrington Stanley have defied the odds again this season to occupy a League One play-off place.

John Coleman’s side were priced at 40-1 to win another EFL promotion this campaign, but have so far made a mockery of the bookies’ predictions.

Stanley’s rise in recent years has been in no small part down to the form of Sean McConville.

The forward has an amazing record since re-signing for the club in 2015.

The Stanley Captain has scored in 26 games for his side since his return. This has resulted in 22 wins, 3 draws and just 1 defeat.

The League 2 Champions haven’t lost since October 2015 when he’s scored.

Captain leading by example.

Birthdays to remember at Brentford 

Saving the best till last, Saturday was a timely reminder that the EFL really is all about the fans.

Brentford gave two of their loyal followers a birthday to remember in their Championship clash with Bristol City.

Bees’ supporters Brandon Kear and John Dean were celebrating their birthdays at Griffin Park, aged 13 and 93 respectively.

The club marked the occasion by making them both mascots.

Turning a teenager was a hugely significant moment for Brandon, who contracted Stevens-Johnson syndrome earlier this year. This is a rare but serious skin disorder.

This left Brandon in intensive care and his family, supported on social media by Brentford fans throughout his treatment, were told at one stage he may not survive.

Thankfully, he pulled through and recovered and his family were able to thank Bees supporters for their kindness at half-time.

Meanwhile, John remembers the good old days at Brentford.

The Bees were a First Division club when he attended his first home game all the way back in 1931 when he was just 6.

John is still a still a regular at Griffin Park and was on hand to wish new manager Thomas Frank all the best ahead of his 1st game in charge.

Even an 89th-minute winner for Bristol City couldn’t ruin an unforgettable day for the pair.