A Season Full of Energy for Millwall
The Lions had a remarkable 2017/18 season under Neil Harris and secured the eighth place.
The history of Millwall F.C. goes back to 1885 when the club was founded and apparently since then they were destined to succeed more and more each year. With a lot of energy shown during each match the Lions went far and manage to secure an eighth place in the Sky Bet Championship under the coaching of the club’s all-time top goalscorer, Neil Harris.
With 19 wins, 15 draws and 12 defeats to their name, Neil Harris’ lads finished the campaign three points off a place in the top six and a shot at the Play-Offs. Obviously, we were betting that Millwall would go up to the top this time, but that do not mean they haven’t had a great performance overall – because oh boy they did!
Scoring with Energy
The first of those wins came at The Den as Millwall defeated Norwich City 4-0 on 26 August in a jaw-dropping match broadcast on TV and online. Along with Jed Wallace and Shaun Hutchinson, on the mark that day were Lee Gregory and George Saville – with the first 10 goals apiece for the pair.
The midfielder Saville scored seven times with his left foot, twice with the right and a header against the Reading in a quite tough match. The striker Gregory on the other hand, favoured his right foot throughout the season, hitting the target 38 times out of 87 attempts and scoring nine of those with only one header. Lions don’t fly but they definitely have the energy to do so. The forward Morison alone won an impressive 683 aerial duels against opposition defenders during the whole 2017/18 season out of 2.878 duels in total.
Betting on the defenders Shaun Hutchinson and Jake Cooper was wise as they paved the way for Millwall’s success for a large part of their campaign. Showing why he was chosen to be the MSC Player of the Year, Hutchinson was dominant in the air, winning 380 out of 589 duels in total. And interestingly, he was the only man to play every minute on every match of the Championship (4,140 min).
The left-back James Meredith was the first signing of 2017/18 last summer, just a few weeks after appearing against Neil Harris’s lads for Bradford City in the Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final, with a Millwall victory 1-0. The bet was definitely a good one as he was the fiercest in the tackle for The Lions, coming out on top 62 times in 110. Meredith is really satisfied with the team’s performance during the season.
“Millwall made it easy for me [to join]. The staff, the gaffer, the fans – they’ve all made it easy,” he said. “It’s great to be in London, too, so close to a major city. “I’ve been pretty comfortable this year. I’ve known for years that I can play at Championship level, so it was just waiting for that opportunity. I’m very grateful that Neil Harris and his staff were able to give me that.
A Sport of Pressure
Although Neil Harris had a very good season with 19 clean sheets and remarkable stats, he thinks they did well but will have to do more, he comments mainly on the efficiency of the strategies and players performance:
“My players executed the game plan perfectly. It was a really strong performance. We didn’t sit off and let them play, we pressed at the right times. At this level – and certainly the next one up – if you don’t take your chances, you lose the game. It’s a good performance, but we’ve got nothing to show for it other than a pat on the back. We have to be more ruthless and show more energy.”
In any sports there is room for improvement and with the Lions wouldn’t be different. To prepare for the next challenges of 2018/19, Neil Harris’s men will start the pre-season friendlies campaign with a trip to Dartford on 7 July and later on all the betting will be on 14 August, when the Carabao Cup kicks off with The Lions taking on Gillingham in the first round at The Den. Place your bets with the official Millwall sponsor – EnergyBet – and support the Lions throughout the season with a lot of energy and passion!
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See you soon!
19 July 2018