Premiership Conclusions


You might well say it’s a bit early to be drawing conclusions from this weekend’s Premier League action given that there’s still plenty of fixtures to be played tomorrow and Monday, but I think we can safely say that Saturday’s action both on and off the pitch has given us plenty to be discuss to be going on with. Plus, tomorrow is likely to be both my last day with an internet connection for some while and very busy, so there’s no time like the present.

To business at hand then and as I said yesterday, this season’s Premier League action is proving to be nigh on impossible to predict. We’ve now had two weekends full of surprise results and the established order that has developed over so many years seems to be quickly unravelling. It’s hard to know what to make of it at times but I think at least some conclusions can be cautiously made.

Click through to find out what they are…


Premier League Preview: Part Two


Premier League Preview
Welcome to Part Two of my Premier League Preview, where I’m analysing the strengths and weaknesses of each of the twenty sides competing in the Premier League this season. If you missed Part One yesterday, make sure you check it out to see what I think each of Arsenal, Aston Villa, Birmingham, Blackburn and Bolton will be targeting from this season and whether or not they have the squads to achieve these goals.

Today I move on to look at new boys Burnley, title challengers Chelsea, Everton who will be looking to break the top four, a Fulham side who will want to repeat last season’s success and Hull City, who will hope that they can avoid be dragged into another relegation battle. What does the season hold for these clubs?

Click through to find out…

Premiership Conclusions


Premiership Conclusions
Well that, as they say, is that. Survival Sunday, as it was optimistically dubbed, ended in relegation for Newcastle and Middlesbrough, while Everton held on to the ‘best of the rest’ fifth position and Fulham secured the final Europa League place. Everything else is pretty much as you were. Here are my final conclusions of the 08/09 Premier League season, I hope it’s been a good one for you and lets hope the next one rolls around quickly!

1. An Omen for Everton
Everton won against Fulham at Craven Cottage, a comfortable 2-0 victory that completely ignored the Toffee’s previous complete inability to win at the tiny London ground, where they haven’t emerged triumphant since Alan Ball scored the winner in 1966. Of course, the year 1966 means a lot to all English football fans, but to me it actually means a touch more too, and I am optimistically taking yesterday’s result to be a very good omen indeed for the Toffees.

You see, in 1966, Everton won the FA Cup (3-2 against Sheffield Wednesday). And of course, next weekend, Everton will compete against Chelsea at Wembley in the FA Cup Final, the first time they’ve reached the final of that competition for fourteen long years. As a die-hard Evertonian I’m absolutely desperate for us to beat Chelsea and finally add to out trophy cabinet. And considering the last time we won at Craven Cottage we also won the FA Cup in that same year, it could well be a positive sign. I certainly hope history can repeat itself come next Saturday. COYB.

Three more conclusions after the click including: why relegation is a bonus for Newcastle, why the final day results were fitting, why I am actually glad that Man Utd won, and why I feel rather vindicated…

…so go on, click through!

Premiership Conclusions


Premiership Conclusions
1. Worthy Champions
Much as I hate to admit it, I actually found myself wishing United to win the title for the larger part of this season, once it became clear that Arsenal and Chelsea wouldn’t win it, and that Liverpool, for once, actually might. However, despite my obvious allegiance-based support, it has been clear for most of the season that United were the best team in the competition. They had their blips, as all teams do, but at the end of the day, theirs was the strongest and best managed squad of the top four.

Arsenal simply weren’t good enough to keep up a challenge, though performances like the one they put in will continue to frustrate their fans because they’ve proven that they can compete with the best, just not consistently. Chelsea would have run United really close had Hiddink been there all season, but ultimately Big Phil’s failure to motivate his team cost the Blues. And Liverpool kept the pressure on United, and they may have won it if Torres and Gerrard had been fit the whole time, but that also proves why they don’t deserve to be champions – because two men don’t make a team, nevermind Champions.

Click through for three more conclusions…

Premiership Conclusions



1. Smokin’ Hot Reds
Well, of course the main talking point from saturday’s fixtures is Liverpool’s walloping of United, and you have to admit, they look good. Really good. Which as an Everton fan, is bad. They’re performance against Madrid in midweek wasrightly doused in superlatives and though today’s was less extravagantly dominant, it was against better opposition and at Old Trafford. I must admit I didn’t think they’d be able to repeat the trick, but how very wrong I turned out to be. Fortunately for me, I think Liverpool have left it too late to explode into life, as United still have a four point lead and a game in hand. If they play as they did today though, you never know.

Click through for four more conclusions…

FA Cup & Premiership Predictions



Coventry City vs. Chelsea
Coventry took advantage of Blackburn wanting to focus on Premier League survival in the last round, but I don’t think that Chelsea will be quite so generous today. They are all but out of the running in the race for the title and will know that there are a plethora of top sides between them and the Champions League and so Guus Hiddink will not want to relinquish hope in what is probably their best remaining chance of silverware this season. Drogba is back firing up front and i think he and Chelsea will probably put Coventry to bed comfortably.
Prediction: 0-2.

Fulham vs. Manchester United
The thing about United at the moment is that even though they will almost certainly be resting some key players, they will still probably win this match. Arguably under-strength sides have beaten Spurs and Newcastle in their last two matches, and it is testament to not only the strength in depth, but also the pure flexibility of Ferguson’s squad that they look just as impressive even with numerous superstars warming the bench. Fulham are decent at home but will be a bit shaken by a loss to Hull in midweek, and I just can’t look past United.
Prediction: 1-2.

Click through for the rest of this weekend’s predictions…