We have again enquired the help of our buddies at EFL Stats to give us a hand to determine which club used the most players in the 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship season. There is an outright ‘winner’ of this category, with a further four sides sitting in joint second-position.
It would be fair to say that using as many players as these clubs did failed to necessarily earn them the targets they no doubt would have prepared for themselves in pre-season. The Championship is a crazy league as we all know, and what is interesting is that all of the top five sides listed in this category changed their manager(s) at some stage.
Their were three more clubs all positioned in joint third-position. They were Cardiff City, who went on to finish as runners-up to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leeds United, who ended in mid-table, and finally Birmingham City, who survived on the final day of the season. Each used 32 players. Let us start our top five countdown!
Ipswich Town – 35 players
Mick McCarthy departed after many years of service towards the end of the 2017/18 campaign. Bryan Klug oversaw caretaker charge and he handed out some debuts to a few younger players during their final end of season dead rubber fixtures. This certainly contributed to them reaching 35 players used. Still, it was ultimately a season of disappointment for the Tractor Boys, certainly not what they would have hoped. Bartosz Bialkowski played in all bar one of the 46 matches. The likes of Luke Woolfenden, Danny Rowe, Ben Morris and Shane McLoughlin all got brief playing time too.
Nottingham Forest – 35 players
Like Ipswich, Nottingham Forest also ended the season in a comfortable, if uninspiring, mid-table position. Towards the end of the season, Aitor Karanka also started to hand some opportunities to other players ahead of the upcoming campaign. Let’s remember that it was Mark Warburton who started the season in the hotseat at the City Ground. He had a big squad at his disposal from the off. Ben Osborn appeared in every single Championship game, 42 from the start. Club legend Chris Cohen got a few minutes under his belt before retirement, whilst Juan Fuentes suffered a serious injury in his only appearance after being signed by Karanka as a free transfer.
Barnsley – 35 players
The Tykes were relegated following final day defeat to play-off semi-finalists Derby County, in what was a very poor campaign for the club. Paul Heckingbottom started the season in the job, before Leeds United proved too much to turn down later on. Jose Morais would be his shock and unexpected replacement, a gamble which failed to pay off by the Barnsley hierarchy. 35 players were used by these management teams. Captain Liam Lindsey may the most appearances for the club. The likes of Alex Mowatt, Stefan Payne, Jared Bird and Christoph Knasmullner were briefly used too.
Sheffield Wednesday – 35 players
It is certainly no surprise at all to see Sheffield Wednesday sit near the top of this respective category. The treatment room at Hillsborough was surely the most populated of them all in the division this season. Several key players were their at some point. Some more than others. Jos Luhukay must have wondered what he had walked into when replacing Carlos Carvalhal and then walking straight into a Steel City Derby for his first match. Big credit goes to Adam Reach, who appeared in every game, starting all but one. Jack Stobbs, Frederik Nielsen, Connor Kirby and Ashley Baker all got minutes under their belts as well.
And the team to use the most players in the 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship season was…….
Sunderland – 37 players
It was most definitely a season to forget for Sunderland Football Club. It started with Simon Grayson at the helm, with their being plenty of excitement ahead of a tilt at trying to instantly win back promotion into the Premier League. It did not end as planned, with Chris Coleman ending in the hotseat, but not being able to save them. He would soon lose his job afterwards. Just shy of 40 players were used as these managers tried their best to find a winning formula to halt the slide of the Black Cats. The player which started the most was George Honeyman, who was a rare shining light in a bad season for the club. Believe it or not, Jack Rodwell actually appeared twice for the club this season! And he scored! Others to get minutes include Bali Mumba, Elliot Embleton, Denver Hume and Luke Molyneux.