Promotions, European joy and one Champion, how our football clubs rated this season

How did your team rate? Credit: PA Images

It's been a season to remember in Midlands football with European joy, three promotions and one champion.

This is how I've rated our clubs out of 10.Aston Villa 9/10

What a spectacular season.

Adding European football to a packed schedule could've seen their Premier League form plummet but instead they were even challenging for the title at one stage.

They have broken into the top four and will now welcome the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus to Villa Park in next season's Champions League.

Villa Park Credit: PA Images

If we're being hyper-critical it is shame that they failed to win a trophy.

They were favourites to win the Conference League and it was a great opportunity to end their 28-year wait. But they are rubbing shoulders with the elite once again.Wolverhampton Wanderers 7/10

Molinuex holds more than 30,000 seats inside the stadium Credit: ITV Central News

Considering the chaos at Molineux six months ago, the comfort of this season should not be taken for granted.

Head coach Gary O'Neil took over from Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the Premier League season starting. Wolves defied expectations and never even flirted with relegation.

With that breathing space they had a great opportunity to get to Wembley in the FA Cup but Coventry City's miraculous comeback stole that place from them.

Putting that disappointment to one side, Wolves fans can be excited about what O'Neil can do with a full pre-season.Nottingham Forest 5/10

City Ground Credit: PA images

Second season syndrome was the danger for Nottingham Forest as they looked to become established in the Premier League.

The nadir was losing 5-0 at Fulham in December and, in truth, Forest must be thankful that the three teams below them collectively picked up fewer points than any group relegated before.

Forest were hit with a four-point deduction for breaching profit and sustainability rules. That sent them into the relegation zone and so Nuno Espirito Santo must be credited with dragging them out of that situation.

Next season, fans will be hoping there will be more talk about their star performers than referees and finances.Leicester City 9/10

King Power Stadium Credit: ITV News

They could hardly have done more. Leicester City are heading back to the Premier League at the first attempt. That is not hugely surprising given they had the biggest budget in the Championship but they did in style by going up as Champions.

At one stage they had a 17-point lead and were sweeping away all before them. They were so dominant it was almost boring.

An almighty wobble followed that ensured a thrilling end to the season but also questions about how competitive they can be back in the top division.West Bromwich Albion 7/10

Credit: PA images

The biggest win for Albion this season came off the pitch. The club was in dire financial trouble before American businessman Shilen Patel's takeover earlier this year.

Head coach Carlos Corberan did a fine job in difficult circumstances to keep Albion in and around the playoff places all season. Ultimately, they fell short in the semi-final at Southampton but this is the most optimistic fans will have felt in years.

This summer will be the first transfer window under the new ownership and finally a chance for Corberan to spend a little cash.Coventry City 7/10

An FA Cup run for the ages. Their stunning comeback at Wolves secured their place at Wembley where they became most of the country's second team for the semi-final.

3-0 down against Manchester United, they fought back to send the game to extra-time and then, incredibly, they scored again to surely win the match. But, the Video Assistant Referee sucked the magic out of Wembley by drawing some lines and showing a Coventry player's toe was offside.

Ultimately United won the shootout but Coventry came out of it with huge credit.

That Cup run did mask a fairly average league campaign though where they could not repeat their playoff finish last season.

Like Albion, they have stability after years of chaos and so will be well placed to go again.Stoke City 4/10

The team I predicted to be the dark horse in the Championship promotion race turned out to be a very slow mule. I'm not sorry to be wrong but I am sorry to have jinxed Stoke.

A summer reset was meant to galvanise the squad under Alex Neil but the threat of relegation was always greater than promotion as the months went on.

He took the blame for that but his replacement Steven Schumacher was hardly pulling up trees either. It was only really when Jon Walters came in behind the scenes that they truly looked like fighting their way out of trouble.

Eventually someone will get it right at Stoke. Maybe next year?Birmingham City 2/10

Birmingham City FC grounds Credit: PA

Exciting off the pitch, catastrophic on it. They are talking of building a 'Wembley of the Midlands' but next season they will be welcoming Crawley Town and Stevenage to St Andrew's at Knighthead Park.

The decision to replace John Eustace with Wayne Rooney when they were sixth has been well documented. I said at the time it was bold and would be embarrassing if it went wrong.

Red-faced they are now headed to League One.

That's the bad stuff out of the way. The club couldn't have foreseen Tony Mowbray's illness and would've hoped Gary Rowett would get enough out of these players to keep them in the division.

Blues have ambitious owners and their support will be unwavering as this project is much bigger than a couple of seasons. This fall could precede a meteoric rise up the ladder.

It is likely that next season Blues fans will see their team win most weeks. After so many years of not doing that, it will be refreshing no matter what league they're in.Derby County 8/10

The Rams are well and truly back on their feet. Two years after the club almost went out of business they've won promotion back to the Championship.

Under Paul Warne they are built on solid foundations. Only Arsenal and Manchester City have conceded fewer goals in the top four divisions this season.

It was interesting that the club didn't overly celebrate this success though. It was all done on that final day against Carlisle, when the whole city exploded with joy and relief. Then, despite calls for a parade, nothing.

They know they have a lot of work to do this summer to make sure Derby are ready for the Championship.Lincoln City 7/10

The Imps had a good end to the season but finished just outside the playoffs. An extra two points would've given them a shot at promotion to the Championship.

To finish seventh though shows they're going in the right direction. At the turn of the year they were level on points with Port Vale, who were relegated.Shrewsbury Town 5/10

Shrewsbury's chairman Roland Wycherley is quite open about how difficult the club finds meeting the costs of being competitive in League One. That translated to them scoring fewer goals than anyone else this season. But crucially they stayed up.

Next season, they can bank on big gates with Birmingham City coming to town and a renewed rivalry in the league with Wrexham.

Wycherley wants to sell the club but he will not rush the decision. He will hope they are still a League One club when that time comes.Burton Albion 4/10

It says something that in my eyes Burton Albion had a pretty ordinary but not disastrous campaign but the club's chairman Ben Robinson tells me it's 'my worst season ever'.

He has known little but success in taking this club from non-league to the highs of the Championship but things are getting tough.

Head coach Dino Maamria was sacked in December but it looked like Martin Paterson had guided them to safety in February when they moved six points clear of the drop. Then, a 12-game winless run threw them back into the relegation battle. They survived on the final day despite losing 3-0 at already relegated Fleetwood. Phew.Port Vale 3/10

A strange and ultimately disastrous season for Port Vale who are relegated to League One.

It wasn't without highlights though, their best ever run in the EFL Cup took them to the quarter-finals where they lost against Middlesbrough. That night feels a long time ago now.

The shining light on the pitch was Baylee Dipepa, a 17-year-old England youth international scoring goals and putting defenders twice his age on their backsides.

Manager Darren Moore was appointed in February so had plenty of time to get them out of trouble. He is being backed for now must get off to the strong start in League Two.Mansfield 8/10

While Derby took a more reserved approach to celebrating promotion, Mansfield have gone all out. They finished third but still painted the town amber and blue for a parade through the streets. Few people here will tell you they didn't have a great time too.

Nigel Clough's side were consistently in the hunt for promotion, in all competitions this season they played 17 games before losing one.

They went on to concede fewer goals than every other club in League Two.

In League One, they will have the only three-sided ground. But that is set to change with plans to develop the derelict Bishop Street Stand. These are exciting times in Mansfield.

Walsall 5/10

Walsall have finished mid-table in League Two every year now for half a decade. This season saw promise when they broke in to the top seven only to fall away with four defeats in their last five games.

Most of this squad will stay together and Mat Sadler will hope focused signings will take them over the line next season. There is ambition at the club and they don't want to hang around in League Two much longer.Notts County 5/10

A difficult one to assess because normally when a team is promoted, it is a success just to stay up but this Notts team showed so much more promise than what they delivered this season.

Head coach Luke Williams going to Swansea in January was always going to be a big moment and so it proved. At the time, they were fifth and had scored more goals than anyone else.

His replacement Stuart Maynard couldn't replicate that form and they finished the season 14th.

Maynard will have a pre-season to put his own stamp on things and judgement should be saved until then.

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