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Why unfashionable Millwall deserve far more Championship respect

Milwall are on the rise under manager Neil Harris.

Greg Whitaker

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Photo: Getty Images

Those traveling fans brave enough to visit the Den are greeted by the now famous battle cry of ‘No one likes us, we don’t care!’ – the unofficial anthem of Millwall FC. While the chant has its roots in the dark days of 1980s football hooliganism, today it is sung by a united and proud fan base.

However, despite what some refer to as the sanitisation of English football over the past two decades, Millwall still appear to be a club tarnished by its past reputation. In a city in which most of its football clubs are unrecognisable from their 1980s or 90s selves, Millwall remain a widely unfashionable and often derided club, seemingly unable, or perhaps unwilling, to change its image.

Could this be why the Lion’s remarkable form has gone so unnoticed this season?

After victory over relegation-threatened Barnsley last time out, the Bermondsey outfit find themselves 10th in the Championship, just four points off the play-off positions. Neil Harris’ side are now 12 games unbeaten and can be found 2nd in the Championship form table following a club record-equalling sixth successive away win last Saturday.

This is made all the more impressive considering Millwall only secured their Championship status after sneaking into the League One play-offs on the final day of last season.

While some managers like their team’s good form to go under the media’s radar, Millwall manager, and club legend, Harris has called-out the press for ignoring his side. The former striker, who celebrated three years in charge last week, recently told local radio, “We’ve gone on this run and every TV programme, radio station and newspaper you look at don’t give Millwall a mention.”

He added, “My players are a bit cheesed off to be honest that they’ve not had more recognition. It’s not because they’re egotistical, but that’s just football.”

Indeed, Millwall are not getting the recognition they deserve for their recent form.

When looking at not only performances but also other contributing factors such as net spend, division competition, and where they came from last season, it would surely not be out of place to take this a step further and argue that, Neil Harris should already be considered for the Championship Manager of the Year award for the largely unsung work he has done at the Den this season.

A dark horse, maybe, but Millwall’s all time leading goalscorer must be part of the conversation.

With fixtures against Nottingham Forest, Ipswich, Bristol City and Bolton – all ‘winnable’ games – coming up over a busy Easter period, there is a real possibility the unfancied Lions could have the play-offs firm in their sights as we approach the final few weeks of the regular season.

Despite their impressive recent form, most bookmakers still have the Lions at a rather large 11/1 to make the play-offs this season – more evidence still that this Millwall side isn’t receiving the respect it deserves.

Of course, they may well be right and the play-offs might just be one step too far for Millwall this season. But one thing is for sure. It may not be a fashionable football club, but Millwall, under the stewardship of a club legend in Neil Harris, are once again on the rise.

Greg is a freelance writer and broadcast journalist who has previously worked as a sports journalist at the likes of the BBC, Yahoo Sports UK, and the Hull Daily Mail. A long-standing Hull City supporter, Greg has also spent time as a Director on the Board of the Hull City Supporters' Trust. Follow him on Twitter - @Greg_Whitaker

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Paul Gladon may need to change his thinking to seal Wolves exit

The Dutch striker has no chance of regular football at Molineux this season.

Mathew Nash

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In the summer of 2016 Wolverhampton Wanderers snapped up Dutch striker Paul Gladon from Heracles Almelo. The striker had a good scoring record in the past with the likes of Sparta Rotterdam and FC Dordrecht.

However, the £1 million signing has struggled in England.

Gladon featured just three times in his debut season and was cast aside by Paul Lambert after his arrival in November 2016.

Then the Fosun era got into full flow and with the influx of new players Gladon found himself out of favour. He was loaned back to Heracles last season where he made minimal impact.


“He’s just not part of it. I’ve got so many players here. Paul has maybe found it hard himself. I think it’s maybe thrown him as well, how hard it is. I’ve just got to go with ones I think can do it, week in week out.”

– Former Wolves boss Paul Lambert on Gladon’s struggles


The signing of Gladon seemed puzzling at the time and now, with Wolves in the Premier League, his chances of playing for Wolves again appear incredibly slim.

Gladon, like Joe Mason, Dominic Iorfa and Michal Zyro to name a few, has become one of Wolves’ outcasts and he needs to be shifted before the end of the month. Roda JC and FC Twente came knocking in July but, as reported by Tribal Football, he does not wish to play in the Dutch second-tier.

With time running out to find a new club he may want to revisit that stance or spend a season in the reserves.

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Aston Villa

After finally starting first Aston Villa game, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy must take chance

Aston Villa will hope Hepburn-Murphy can thrive at Villa Park.

Mathew Nash

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Aston Villa faced Yeovil in the League Cup this week. A solitary goal from Conor Hourihane gave the Championship side the win and advancement to the second round. It was also a game which saw Steve Bruce give a chance to several young talents.

One such player was forward Rushian Hepburn-Murphy. The 19-year-old may have made his debut under Tim Sherwood way back in 2015, but this was actually his first start for his hometown club.

Hepburn-Murphy has been in and around the first-team for some time. His goalscoring record with the development team is a testament to his talents and Aston Villa fans are backing him for success.

(Photo by Peter Haygarth/ActionPlus/Corbis via Getty Images)

He currently has a chance in the first-team and, he needs to take it now.

With Scott Hogan injured and Aston Villa not making big transfer moves so far this summer, suddenly Hepburn-Murphy has a chance to cement his place in the first-team picture.

The teenager, who has had to battle injury trouble in recent seasons, has the perfect opportunity in his hands. He worked tirelessly against Yeovil and that will put him in good stead. But a goal or two would get that monkey off his back and have Aston Villa fans calling for him to remain in Bruce’s plans.

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Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest bagged a bargain with Adlene Guedioura free transfer

The Algerian is thriving in his second stint at Nottingham Forest.

Mathew Nash

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In January, Nottingham Forest boss Aitor Karanka made plenty of additions to the team at the City Ground. Plenty of new faces arrived, with many of them being praised by fans immediately. But one who certainly puzzled some was Adlene Guedioura.

The former Forest man returned to the club he left in 2013. His previous spell at the City Ground was a success, so fans knew what he was capable of. However, the 32-year-old had struggled for football in recent times. He has managed just six games with Middlesbrough that season and just five overall in the whole of 2016-17 with Watford.

Perhaps the Algerian was passed it?

(Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/WBA FC via Getty Images)

However, the experienced midfielder has proven that is not the case. He slotted straight into the Forest team again last season and added some much-needed energy and experience to the middle of the park.

This season, he has been even better. Nottingham Forest have plenty to thank Guedioura for in their unbeaten start to the season. As well as his one goal and one assist so far, his overall game has been magnificent.

He is keeping the likes of Liam Bridcutt and Ben Watson out of the starting XI and that is a testament to his form this season.

Considering he did not cost Nottingham Forest a penny, it looks like this was an absolute steal from the Reds.

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