Interestingly, every manager says, after they play us, that West Ham will win promotion, yet when these very same experts were asked to nominate the best 10 players in the division, only Tomkins and Nolan from West Ham made it into the list.
The runaway winner was Southampton's Lambert, and quite rightly too because his goals have fired Southampton to the top of the table. Lambert gives Southampton what we so desperately need, a goal scorer who can lead the line. In number three, unsurprisingly, is Lallana: he looks to be one of the best midfielders in the division to me too.
Green doesn't make the list, nor does Noble, nor Cole, nor Faye, nor Vaz Te, despite his performances in a Barnsley shirt. In fact, our highest rated player is Tomkins in fifth place. So for all the money spent and the high wages played, none of our players figure in the top five!
To win a World Cup they say you need three world class players and the same probably holds true for the Championship - with "World Class" adjusted down to Premiership class. Southampton only have two but their two are better than our two, and no other side gets more than one player into the top 10 -which explains why no team is dominating. Interestingly, no Reading players feature which speaks volumes for the management of McDermott.
The other players who feature are relatively uncontroversial. Whittingham, Rodriguez and Zaha would certainly be in my top ten. The fact that Kevin Phillips features at the age of 96 says everything that needs to be said about the pathetic lack of genuine quality in the division. Rhys Williams wouldn't have sprung to my lips if asked and neither would Chris Burke but they feature at 8 and 10 respectively.
So, we may have the best squad on paper but the managers of Championship clubs are rightfully not in awe of the individuals in that squad. Which is why they're not as scared as we would like when they bring a team to Upton Park.