As Marcelo Bielsa and Frank Lampard go head-to-head tonight many will ask the question, what is it about the Championship? The league that sits under the worlds most expensive and most watched is fast becoming the most entertaining there is, for years and years it’s been building and every year it becomes more unpredictable.
The pair are legends in their own right. Bielsa, a man who has been around the globe and is lauded over by fans of clubs who have never had him in their city, and Frank Lampard, a player who was one of the best English midfielders, and indeed the best players the Premier League has ever seen. Why are they both now in the Championship, the 100mph league with little way of escape? Because football still has its roots at this level.
The Premier League is entertaining, but you’d have only had to watch the Manchester City and Chelsea game at the Etihad last season to see that the commercial value of football has long overtaken the passion and pride at that level at times. Chelsea gave up and walked around the pitch, that simply doesn’t happen in the Championship. Games are expected to be won by the bigger clubs, were the Championship could see one of the favourites West Brom lose to Bolton with the last kick of the game. That’s every day life.
Like him or not Lampard is a big name at this level. Will his managerial career work out? Will he be able to change the way Derby County crumble every year? Is he the man, one of the new coaches to build a reputation from the real football of the Championship? Answers will come in the coming months for most of these questions.
Marcelo Bielsa is different but the same. A glorious career and a man who is fascinated over by so many. Meticulous in everything he does and obsessed by the football team he carefully agrees to take over. No stone is left unturned. Can he end the Leeds United abyss that started all them years ago? Can he get through a season with such a small squad?
The excitement around both is brilliant, the Football League is a huge pull, this clash is madness for the second tier of any league in world football, it would only happen in England.