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Club-by-club predictions for the Premier League

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Joey O'BrienSo here we are on the eve of another season which I am sure will bring plenty of highs and lows and as Sky Sports likes to constantly remind us this will be the biggest and greatest season to date.  For once they may have a point, with Sir Alex Ferguson calling it a day there almost feels like a changing of the guard and everything is now up for grabs.  Therefore I am going to put my blinkered West Ham views and opinions to one side for a moment and give my thoughts on the other 19 teams competing with us this season.  Now don’t get me wrong there is certain teams which I have little time for, however, I am going to attempt to be neutral on my views on all the teams, so here we go!

Arsenal

Now if there was ever a time for the Gunners to give it a good go, this must surely be the season.  Last seasons top 3 are now all arguably in transition, Arsenal remain a steady ship, with a quality if somewhat stubborn manager at the helm and if Arsene Wenger does finally spend some of the money he apparently has at his disposal then I feel Arsenal could be a good outside bet for the title.  However, I feel again they are a guaranteed top 4 and for some at Arsenal this seems good enough, we shall leave the Gunners fans to debate this on their own forums!

Aston Villa

Villa will be much improved from last season.  I rate Paul Lambert highly and was a bit disappointed we did not consider him as manager prior to appointing Avram Grant.  Lambert is building a good young squad and stays strong to his convictions when many other managers would have folded last season, credit to the board in this regard too.  Keeping Christian Benteke is vital as he looks the real deal, Villa should get another season out of him and then I can see one of the top 4 calling.  Comfortable mid-table finish for Villa this season.

Cardiff City

Won the Championship fairly comfortably last season and Malky Mackay is held in high regard and was linked with the Everton job.  Of the promoted teams, Cardiff seem to the best equipped to stay up, however, I can’t see where the goals will come from and I see a tough season ahead, touch and go as to whether they stay up.

Chelsea 

Now that the press have calmed down with their hero worship of the return of Jose Mourinho lets look at the facts.  Mourinho is a quality manager and he is an entertaining bloke.  However, his teams are not and in the end this is one of the reasons for failing at Real Madrid. Now I thought Abramovich wanted Chelsea to play like Barcelona and this will not happen under Mourinho and stories with regards to Juan Mata leaving would seem to indicate this.  Frank Lampard, John Terry and Petr Cech remain from the old guard and if Mourinho can get the best out of this current squad which has a lot of players which are not his type of players then I feel that Chelsea should win the league.  As the press have a lot of man love for the special one, Chelsea sadly will remain in the headlines on a daily basis.

Crystal Palace

The omens are not great for Palace, I believe that since the Premier League commenced in 1992 they have never lasted more than as season in the league.  I can not see that changing this season as they simply do not have the quality to compete week in week out.  Having Ian Holloway on board is a plus point for them as he will make sure Palace give it a good go.  However, Palace picked a good season to come up what with all the TV money and if they went down pocketed some money and pushed on again then the board will be quietly happy, if not the fans!

Everton

Interesting one this!  They have a new manager and another media darling in Roberto Martinez who has just successfully relegated Wigan Athletic after years of trying!  Martinez football philosophy is very different to that of David Moyes so does Martinez have the players at his disposal to implement his systems?  I think not and I see a bit of a nothing season on the card for Everton, relegation will not be an issue, however neither will breaking the top 6.

Fulham

They have almost come a team who just makes the numbers up in the last couple of seasons.  I do not mean to offend here but that is how I see it.  At the end of last season was stories floating about that Martin Jol was on the way out the door and with this new comedy looking owner coming in we should perhaps keep an eye on this.  I think Fulham could struggle this season and for me a good outside bet for relegation.

Hull City

Now I have an irrational hate of Steve Bruce, can’t put my finger on why, it could be his awful barnet.  However, I shall not let this cloud my judgement!  Hull City read much like Crystal Palace and I can only see a swift return to the Championship.

Liverpool

Ah good old Liverpool, the club which has the divine right to win the league according to a large percentage of their fans!  I can’t make my mind up about Brendan (David Brent) Rodgers and I found his treatment of Andy Carroll (thanks Brendan) most baffling.  Suarez looks like he is doing the off and Liverpool are half the team without him, Gerrard is not the player he once was while I must admit I do not know a great deal about their recent new arrivals.  With Suarez on board I did fancy them for the top 4, however a similar finish to last season could now be on the cards.

Manchester City

Very much a team of individuals who are there for the money on offer in my opinion, however I am happy to be proved wrong here.  If Manuel Pellegrini can gel the squad together so they are all pulling in the right direction then City should be competing for the title as well as showing vast improvements in the Champions League, which is a must for City this season.  But what is the deal with Pellegrini, is he the real deal?  I remain to be convinced to be honest.

Manchester United

The really interesting one!  Sir Alex retiring is massive and in the short-term can only have a negative effect on United.  David Moyes did a steady job at Everton, however more than steady is required at United.  Now I found Everton a bit dull to watch under Moyes, again this will be allowed at United.  The Rooney saga needs resolving, I would sell, he is overrated and always has been in my opinion.  He does not work hard enough and his lifestyle suggests that he does want it enough.  United will finish top 4 no problem, however, I can not see them competing for the title now that have lost the Fergie factor.

Newcastle United 

Oh dear oh dear, what a mess!  Be amazed if Alan Pardew is still there at Christmas.  Ashley seems to like creating aggravation and the appointment of Joe Kinnear beggars belief.  I would imagine the Geordies are very restless and Newcastle must be contenders for relegation.

Norwich City

Thought they were pretty dull last season but Chris Hughton did a good job in keeping them up comfortably.  They have got Gary Hooper in to the squad, who is a goal scorer, however, not proven at this level, but he now has the ideal opportunity to stake a claim for an England spot.  I see Norwich doing much the same as last season and that must qualify as a success for them.

Southampton

Now I will hold my hands and admit I thought that when they sacked Adkins and brought in Pochettino then they were relegation certs.  I was wrong and the Saints ticked along quite nicely to the end of the season.  Bot sure what to make of them this season, however, feel they have enough about them to avoid relegation and will continue to progress as a club on and off the field.

Stoke City 

Everyone’s favourite second club hey?!  So Tony Pulis has gone which was probably the right decision, however, he has been replaced with Mark Hughes.  Now Hughes had a shocker at QPR, but at previous clubs he has done alright, in particular Blackburn Rovers.  Stoke could be a good place for him to redeem himself, but he needs a good start otherwise the natives will get even more restless.

Sunderland

Now this could well be the club to keep any eye out for this season (must be a first) and this is for one reason, that being one Paolo Di Canio.  I don’t really know where to start, but if PDC has the players on side then they may well do ok, one thing for sure is it will be entertaing and I will be keeping a close eye on it as I am still undecided with regards PDC one day being our manager.

Swansea City

Seems to be a few problems behind the scenes and there was talk of Michael Laudrup resigning a few week ago.  I am surprised that nobody has come in for Michu and will be interesting to see if he is a one season wonder.  Swansea are my surprise tip to struggle this season and if Laudrup does eventually walk it could be a long winter for the Swans.

Tottenham Hotspur

I guess their season is all dependent on the Gareth Bale situation.  A couple of weeks ago I was fairly sure that Spurs would get another season out of him, however, with recent media stories I am now less sure.  If Spurs lose Bale then they arguably lose half a team!  He was out of this world last season and how can you replace that.  Therefore it is hard to comment on the prospects while this situation remains unresolved.  AVB seems to split the Spurs fans opinions, but from what I have seen from him he looks a good coach who has learnt from his Chelsea experience.

West Bromwich Albion

Surprise package last season under Steve Clarke. They will miss Romelu Lukaku, however, the signing of Nicolas Anelka is a good one as he tends to guarantee you goals.  I see another mid-table finish for the Albion.

West Ham United 

And I save the best for last!  Mid-table again for me, but I just hope that if we have not put all our eggs in one basket with the signing of Andy Carroll as his fitness is a major concern for me.  Another striker is a must and I am sure that Sam Allardyce is aware of this.  The squad needs beefing up as we are only a injury crisis away from being in trouble!

Oh and a cup run would be nice Sam?!

So there you go that is my thoughts for the season ahead, I look forward to hearing yours and having some healthy, constructive banter………COYI!!!

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10 comments
  • Stunaldo says:

    Palace, hull and sadly Newcastle through the trapdoor, Chelsea to fight Man city for the league. Anelka to score no more than 4 goals and scousers to still think it’s 1982 and they’re going to win the league, the mighty Hammers to finish 6/7 and a cup final…….. You heard it here first!!

  • Pat McCoy says:

    Sore backside? Sitting on the media fence happens too much these days. Chesea champions Man City 2nd. Palace Hull and Cardif down.
    The mighty Hammers in top 6
    Sunderland arsenal and villa make up the others.
    Pool and everton struggle who both sack managers.

  • Pat McCoy says:

    Sozz e-mail wrong

  • Jarvis says:

    Great article mate, I agree with a lot that you have said. Only thing was the Wayne Rooney thing, I personally think that on the pitch he is one of the hardest workers I know, he runs all day and always tracks back, and although he may be overrated he never gives less than 100%. Just an opinion, and a great article to read, well done!

  • Ian says:

    Yeah I may have been a tad unfair on Rooney but off the field he does himself no favours with his lifestyle. He looked very disinterested at our place last season and a move is probably best for both parties. Ain’t we still in the market for striker?!

  • razor says:

    Rooney well overrated agreed Swansea I feel will finish top six for me good team great football manager who embarrassed my team last season.

  • Dave the Happy Hammer says:

    Great artixle 😀 . I think. Champions = Man City. Man Utd 4th. Relegated = palace, hull and newastle. Fa cup = Chelsea. League cup = Man Utd.
    West Ham to finish 9th.

  • Andy says:

    Good report fella, agree with most of it, Chelsea to win the league for me, Arsenal, Manchester City and Mau Ure to make up top four, Villa might surprise some and make the top six. I fancy Crystal Palace, Stoke and Everton to fall through the trapdoor(palace will be gone by end of January). Chelsea for the F.A cup with Villa winning the league cup. Alan Pardew to resign in September. Just my opinion mind……

  • Johnsey says:

    Have you lot all forgot that the likes of Norwich, Southampton, Swansea, West brom and Sunderland have all IMPROVED their squads massively for this season?

    We have a new left back and a reserve goalie – THATS IT !!

  • Ian says:

    Yep hence my comment about needing to get some bodies in as our squad is well short on numbers!

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