Wednesday 3 August 2011

The new Premier League preview

The new football season is almost upon us (at least in terms of the English season - we started up here in Scotland the day after the last season ended or something). For no reason other than I'm shirking my work duties, here is my special preview with predictions and all that:

Good old Arsenal. Attractive football, glorious passing, wonderful talented youngsters who will play brilliantly until it gets a bit dark and cold. They'll beat Scunthorpe 6-0 in the Carling Cup at the Emirates in September with a team of French/African 8 year olds whereupon Sky will proclaim them the greatest footballing force on earth ever yet they'll still end up with no trophies as Wenger's "project" enters its 113th barren year. Fabregas is still there, they still don't have a goalkeeper who isn't either injury prone or psychologically unfit and their defence is still comedy gold. Same old stuff. Gervinho looks exciting but then so did Chamakh. God help us if anyone dares to tackle or injure their players too - that's just not allowed and it's really bad. And nasty.

Prediction: 5th
If they were a band they'd be: Red Hot Chilli Peppers - globally famous, the first single always sounds interesting but it then quickly tales off into the same old rubbish leaving you feeling slightly cheated. With slap bass.

"Big" "Eck" has judased his way over from Brum to carry on the festival of dullardry that Martin O'Neill and Gerard Houllier served up in the preceding two seasons. Young has gone to M** U** and Downing to Liverpool meaning that their main (only?) creative forces have gone. Given will do well as he always does. Villa should be a lot more inspiring to talk about but they're just..well...dull. McLeish doesn't exactly set his teams up like Guardiola either so brace yourselves for grim times Villa fans.

Prediction: 10th
If they were a band they'd be: Kings Of Leon - biggish, a lot of support but really boring.

Another team who fail to inspire. The Venky's have potential to be the new comedy gold onwers in the league - booting Fat Sam out was hilarious if only for the preposterous media reaction to his toadness' dismissal. Blackburn almost went down last year thanks in no part to Steve "Not Roy" Kean's buffoonery and they'll struggle again this year too. The ridiculous exit by walking round the pitch thing annoys me too for no reason at all. To be honest, they may have signed players or they may not - I neither know nor care. Does anyone?

Predition: 15th
If they were a band they'd be: A one hit wonder who bafflingly gets a number one before drifting off into mid chart obscurity. Glenn Medeiros.
Owen Coyle turned Bolton into a watchable team which must be a relief to Trotters (is there a more Northern sounding nickname) fans after the shite served up by Megson and Allardyce. Losing Chung Yong Lee is a blow for them which will only be worsened if they sign Shaun Wright Phillips to replace him as is rumoured. Bolton won't do much in terms of bothering the top 4 but they'll be safe enough.

Prediction: 7th
If they were a band they'd be: Something bland with a Scottish leader. Marillion.

Another season, another new manager, another set of increasingly daft expectations from Mr Abramovich. Villas Boas is the new fashionable mini Mourinho but will he get the best out of an ageing squad with a £50m misfit leading the line? They won't win the league or even the Champions League but they'll be close - the squad's too good not to do that. The most interesting thing about Chelsea is watching who shoots/shags/murders/attacks/inserts phone first from their squad of angels.

Prediction: 3rd
If they were a band they'd be : Bryan Adams - no-one knows anyone who likes him but he's successful. And annoying.

The self proclaimed people's club who in no way at all have a chip on their shoulder about Liverpool. Bill "Corrie" Kenwright has spent another handsome sum of money on players this summer meaning that Moyes will have to yet again work his magic with a fairly thin squad over reliant on Cahill, Arteta and Fellaini when he's fit or not suspended. You have to give Moyes credit for what he's done no doubt, but the Partridge style cardigan and chinos from the Champions League Qualifying Round (not the Champions League itself) joke a few years ago always springs to mind when credit starts to be given. They won't go down as there is far too much crap in the league for that to happen but they will finish in the bottom half.

Prediction: 14th
If they were a band they'd be: Spandau Ballet - big in the 80's, still have a cult following but will never recapture their glory years. True.

Martin Jol is back which is always good fun and he's even brought John "WHY DIDNT YOU KICK IT FFS! WHY USE YOUR HEAD IN THE LAST BLOODY MINUTE OF A CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMI YOU ARSE" Arne Riise back for free kicks and one footedness. I like Jol and I think he'll do better with Fulham than Mark the Ego Hughes did. Top ten for them.

Prediction: 9th
If they were a band they'd be: Michael Jackson. The statue outside the ground leaves no other option.

My team, led by my hero Mr Dalglish. After last year's Hodgocaust, Kenny came in and worked miracles even finding the time to promote top notch youngsters, spend £35m on Andy Carroll which is still a work in progress and spend £22m on Luis Suarez who is possibly the most exciting player in the league. Liverpool still need to sort out the defence and a back up striker would help too. The formation may be an issue as well as I don't think Carroll works well up front on his own. Midfield shouldn't be an issue however as we have 32 midfielders at present. I predict a League or FA Cup this season.

Prediction: 4th
If they were a band they'd be: Depeche Mode. I love them, their golden period is long gone but I keep coming back in the hope it'll come again

Who gives a toss about this lot? Eventually they'll buy the league simply by virtue of the fact they'll own every player on earth. Despite the sheer number of players they have they still won't win the league this year. The best thing about City is Super Mario as he is a comedy genius. He has the potential to be one of the best players in the world but he just doesn't care. Mancini is too unadventurous a manager to give the City owners what they want and I reckon they'll give him the boot at the end of the season and bring in a bigger name like Mourinho. Just imagine how happy that'll make Sky eh?

Prediction: 2nd
If they were a band they'd be: A tramp who found a winning lottery ticket. Not really a band but it's too good a line ( (C) Chris Stirrup @Chris_tweetings) not to use

M********* U*****
(Don't know where those asterisks came from). They'll win it again unfortunately. Despite losing Scholes(y) and Van Der Sar and despite keeping Darren Fletcher they have enough quality to see off the rest of the league. They're still a bit weak in midfield but their attack is pretty potent and they're still defensively strong if Ferdinand stays fit. Ashley Young may prosper and a squad that includes the likes of Nani, Park and Howard Webb is pretty good.

Prediction: 1st
If they were a band they'd be: Genesis. Big, famous and self important. And I fucking hate them

Who actually knows eh? Their owners are lunatics, all the squad are leaving and the £35m we gave them for Carroll seems to have disappeared. You can't help but think that they'll struggle this year and that the fans will turn on the board even more. Newcastle fans must wish for a quiet life sometimes. Down I'm afraid.

Prediction: 19th
If they were a band they'd be: Killing Joke.

Paul Lambert has worked miracles for the Canaries with two successive promotions. Obviously he can't get a third on the bounce so the big issue for him is can he keep Norwich in the league? They'll be this season's Blackpool in that everyone will want them to do well. They also won't have a rentagob manager which will be a bonus as Lambert's a miserable bugger. He likes his team to play good football though and again because there are three worse teams than them in the league he'll just keep them up.

Prediction: 17th
If they were a band they'd be: The band that plays the theme tune to Cooking With Delia.

Like many football fans, I am delighted to see Neil Warnock (or Colin as he should be known) back if only to hear him moan like a twat when they get relegated and he tries to blame everyone bar himself and the shite football he plays. Despite their owners' riches, they havent spent much cash and if Taarabt goes as seems likely they'll be stuffed. Back down for them.

Prediction: 18th
If they were a band they'd be: A band who arent very good and have a really annoying frontman. Kasabian.

They had a good season last year which tailed off after they got to the Cup Final. Tony Pulis only signs players who are over 7 feet tall so it'll be another season of having to do it on a wet and windy night at Stoke and coping with Luftwaffe like arial assaults. That said, I dont think Pulis gets enough credit as he has made them a Premier League fixture and deserves praise for that. Watch out for Rory Delap - apparently he can throw a ball.

Prediction: 8th
If they were a band they'd be: Rammstein. Scary basically.You can actually see Robert Huth playing in that band.

Their main problem is replacing Darren Bent, as their season went to pot after they sold him last year. Gyan doesn't score enough and Wickham is maybe still too raw to step up. Steve Melted Face Bruce has signed his usual number of ex M** U** players after being instructed to do so by Ferguson but that won't help him this year. More mid table moaning from Bruce and co.

Prediction: 12th
If they were a band they'd be: Phil Collins - a crapper version of Genesis (see M** Utd** above).

The surprise promotion this year and unfortunately a certainty to get a thrashing off most teams except when they win 1-0 at Anfield. Given that they don't have the cash to put a squad together that can compete at this level, all I can see is relegation despite the fact that they're generally well organised and play decent fitba'. Nice to see them up again though.

Prediction: 20th
If they were a band they'd be: Shirley Bassey. From Wales you see.

Ah, good old Spurs. Big Spurs, the big team who have yet again nearly signed everyone this year. After Honest 'Arry's league winning prediction in March they gave up only guaranteeing Europa League "glory" by beating Liverpool at Anfield in May. Spurs Champions League adventure was impressive but having missed out this year it may prove to be a flash in the pan. Redknapp will be a fixture on TV all season of course not talking about other teams players to Sky whenever the camera crew that live on his wing mirror pop up. Keeping Modric is key to Spurs' fortunes - I reckon he'll leave though given how unhappy he is.

Precdiction: 6th
If they were a band they'd be: Chas N Dave obviously. With Redknapp dressed up as Del Boy in the back.

Roy "Poulsen, Konchesky, Jones and Cole" Hodgson kept them up last year after doing his best to relegate Liverpool. As with Fulham, his West Brom team play decent football and should end up mid table without worrying about relegation. Fair play to him for that. I'll say no more.

Prediction: 13th
If they were a band they'd be: Judas Preist. A quieter version of Black Sabbath (see below)

How long can they stay in the league? They seemed a dead cert to drop last season but clung on yet they'll struggle again this year especially if they lose the likes of James McCarthy. I've got a lot of time for Roberto Martinez as he's another manager who likes to play decent football. Dave Whelan on the other hand is an obnoxious idiot. All 4 of their fans don't seem to care much for the team either. Has that ground ever been full?

Prediction: 16th
If they were a band they'd be: A solo guy with a broken guitar 5th on the bill at a battle of the bands night. With no fans

Mick McCarthy is a genius. He speaks as he finds it etc and I like that. His teams play dreadful football and you wouldn't want to watch them week in week out but he's always good value post match win or lose. Kevin Doyle is a main man for them and it seems that other teams are sniffing around him which could cause Wolves trouble. I like Steven Fletcher too as he's always seemed like someone who could really start banging the goals in. Maybe this year. They'll be safe anyway and may even sneak mid table

Prediction: 11th
If they were a band they'd be: Black Sabbath. A louder, better and more entertaining version of Judas Priest (see above)

So there you go - a meaningless set of inevitably wrong predictions for this year. Obviously I hope Liverpool win everything but realistically we won't. Next season maybe...

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