STATS: Which side plays the most football in the Championship?

Molineux - Wolves - Billy Wright Stand

Stats show that fans of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Derby County and Bournemouth see plenty of nice football, but the same cannot be said for Birmingham City.

There was a time not all that long ago when the Football League was unfairly tarnished with a long-ball brush, with competition away from the glare of the Premier League spotlight considered to be more about aggression than possession.

That is certainly not the case anymore, with clubs from the top tier downwards placing greater emphasis on ball retention and being pleasing on the eye.

Of course, it is not always possible to play pretty football and there will be times in which the dogs of war have to be unleashed and a fighting spirit shown.

It is, however, refreshing to see that clubs in the Championship are seeking to pass their way to the Promised Land, rather than battle their way there.

It is also worth noting that those to have been promoted out of League One in recent years are also sticking to their footballing philosophies, with there no change in approach after taking a step up in class.

In fact, the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bournemouth are positively Barcelona-esque, with the tiki-taka approach perfected at the Nou Camp being embraced at Molineux and Dean Court.

  Total PassAccurate PassAppearances
Wolves 8,636 7,066 17
Derby 8,454 6,915 17
Bournemouth 8,330 6,657 17
Norwich 7,966 6,329 17
Brighton 7,863 6,350 17
Fulham 7,570 5,920 17
Leeds 7,359 5,749 17
Middlesbrough 7,315 5,584 17
Brentford 7,052 5,396 17
Wigan 7,052 5,368 17
Watford 6,928 5,299 17
Blackburn 6,897 5,170 17
Millwall 6,850 4,973 17
Reading 6,815 4,965 17
Charlton 6,765 4,994 17
Bolton 6,619 4,818 17
Ipswich 6,553 4,424 17
Forest 6,451 4,823 17
Sheff Wed 6,238 4,506 17
Huddersfield 6,218 4,509 17
Rotherham 6,165 4,265 17
Cardiff 6,085 4,434 17
Blackpool 6,024 4,470 17
Birmingham 5,806 3,928 17

Derby County, under the watchful eye of former England manager Steve McClaren, have made their way to the top of Championship table by outplaying opponents, while Fulham and Leeds United have refused to waver in their belief that the ball should be kept on the deck despite enduring some testing times this season.

At the opposite end of the scale, Cardiff City’s relegation out of the Premier League has hit them hard and it is now up to Russell Slade to get them moving in the right direction again and working to the successful blueprint he drew up at Leyton Orient.

Gary Rowett and Lee Clark also have tough tasks on their hands after inheriting the reins at struggling outfits, with Birmingham City and Blackpool occupying the bottom two spots in the division and in the footballing table above.

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