Five things we learned from the opening day of the Football League season

Fratton Park

Portsmouth to struggle, Leeds United to finally return, QPR, Wigan Athletic and Reading to bounce straight back? What did we learn this weekend?

Excitement in League One

Last season many could have argued that League One was the most exciting league in English football - although that would of course be one hell of an argument.

This year it looks like the third tier might be where it is at once again.

With Oldham scraping Stevenage 4-3, Crewe, Rotherham, Bristol City and Bradford drawing enthralling encounters, Leyton Orient bagging five and Crawley v Coventry arguably the game of the day - League One should set pulses racing once again.

Leeds could finally be back

Brian McDermott’s team are the only club I have highlighted individually and there is good reason for that. Apart from, arguably, Nottingham Forest Leeds are by and far the biggest club outside the Premier League - and many, me included, would argue they have been away for too long.

With Brian McDermott at the helm they fought back against an impressive Brighton side to win 2-1 yesterday - with new signing Luke Murphy bagging the winner.

If they can continue to show that fighting spirit for the entire campaign - then who is to say Leeds could not be on their way back.

Still a slog for Pompey

You can have all the record crowds you want - but if your team and manager aren’t good enough you are going to struggle.

In front of a record attendance for a Division 2 tie in England, Pompey were thrashed by Oxford United yesterday.

Oxford are also expected to be promotion chasers this summer but the manner in which they beat Pompey will be a worry.

The buzz around Fratton Park has now been quelled slightly - and a season long slog may be in order once again.

The relegated teams could come straight back up

QPR and Reading are tipped as the favourites for promotion this season in the Championship - and after winning ties they were fortunate to come away with three points from - the bookies look correct.

Players of the quality of Junior Hoilett, Joey Barton, Royston Drenthe and Adam Le Fondre are going to take whatever tem they play for close to the top.

As for Wigan - they posted four without reply against Barnsley - with Grant Holt scoring on his full debut.

And it could be the trend in League One as well - where Wolves, Bristol City and Peterborough all avoided defeat.

The theory loses credence in League Two where only Scunthorpe United claimed victory.

Usual suspects in for a long Championship season

Barnsley, Huddersfield, Doncaster, Millwall, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich all lost yesterday - and it would take a brave man to say this bunch won’t be battling relegation come May.

image: © Ben Sutherland

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