Quickfire EPL Season Review Part 1

29.05.11

United ended the season in triumph.

So another Premier League season has come to a close, and it was one of the most closely contested in recent years. The quality may not have been the best – at least not at the top – but a pretty epic relegation battle has nevertheless seen three decent sides condemned to the Championship. So how will each team look back on this season? For a full account, you’d have to ask a fan of each club, but here’s a quickfire review of how I see the top ten – the bottom half follows later.

1. Manchester United (P38, W23, D11, L4, F78, A37, Pts80)
Well, a season in which you end up as champions can only really be called a success, but it will have hurt to end by being outclassed by Barca at Wembley and United weren’t as imperious as you’d expect of the leagye winners this season, so Sir Alex will know that he has a busy summer ahead of him if United are to improve and ensure they can remain on top next season.

Click through for the rest of the top ten…


Merseyside Derby Preview

16.01.11

Mikel Arteta would love a repeat of the last derby...

It’s a big day for me. I start my new job tomorrow, my first ever ‘proper job’, I will no longer be a student, I will be entering the real world. But that’s not really why it’s a big day. Of course, that’s important, but there’s something else that happens before that. At 3am on Monday morning New Zealand time – that’s 3am on the morning I start my new job – Everton will line up against Liverpool at Anfield. That’s right; it’s Merseyside Derby Day.

And it’s a big one too, even by the scale of Merseyside Derbies. Both clubs are having poor seasons. They will line up tonight 12th and 13th in the Premier League table, level on points but Everton on top due to superior goal difference. Unfamiliar territory for both clubs in recent seasons, and so it’s not just bragging rights at stake. Both clubs need to get their seasons back on track, both will be looking to kickstart the New Year.

But what’s gone wrong for the Merseyside clubs this season? Click through to find out…


Guest Blog: John Henry and Liverpool FC

18.11.10

This week I’ve written a guest blog for World Football Commentaries in which I consider the arrival of John W. Henry and New England Sports Ventures at Liverpool. Do they have what it takes to get Liverpool’s season back on track? Are they the people to provide success for the red half of merseyside in the long run? Can the Liverpool supporters take to a new set of American owners so soon?

To find out the answers to these questions, click on through.


Who will win the Premier League? (Part 1)

10.08.10

Who will emulate Chelsea's success from last season?

Less than a week to go until the Premier League gets under way for the 2010/11 season, and things are shaping up nicely. Starting at the bottom, Newcastle and WBA are familiar faces back for another crack at the Premiership while last season’s bottom half strugglers will hope Blackpool are the minnows they appear to be. At the other end of the table, the ‘big four’ seems to be disbanding – do we now have a big eight or a top two/three with six/five teams close behind? Only time will tell.

The big question at the start of every season though, is who will be champions come May next year? It’s a very difficult question to answer – as proved last season when many “top” pundits couldn’t look past Liverpool who had a woeful season. I myself – without sounding too smug – got it spot on last year, predicting Chelsea would finish top of the pile in my Season Preview. Can I repeat the trick this time around?

Read on and find out my prediction…


The Curse of the Captain: A Blessing in Disguise?

07.06.10

Past and present England captains: could Rio's absence aid England?

Fabio Capello lamented the “curse of the captain” when he saw Rio Ferdinand limp out of training and out of the World Cup earlier this week, and on the surface he may be right to do so. An already disrupted build up to the World Cup in the England camp has now been thrown further off-balance and the reserved Italian has shown his first signs of frustration. But could this in fact be a blessing in disguise for England?

Click through to find out…


Premiership Conclusions

20.12.09

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…


Are the ‘big four’ crumbling?

13.12.09

Chelsea's defence undone for a third time by Everton: are they crumbling?

Last week Manchester City came from behind to beat Chelsea by two goals to one and many a football pundit saw that as proof that, despite all the draws and flattering to deceive, the Eastlands Billionaires could be a real threat to the ‘big four’ this season. Thus, after Everton’s injury-decimated side also matched Chelsea with a 3-3 draw yesterday, the same logic could be used to suggest that my beloved Toffees too, could realistically hope to breach the big four this season.

Such logic is clearly flawed though, because even as an Evertonian I’m realistic enough to know that we pose no threat to the Champions League spots and City’s inability to beat Bolton yesterday has seemingly confirmed that they too lack the necessary consistency to ‘break’ the top four. However, I still think we may see an unfamiliar team near the summit of the Premier League this season, considering Chelsea’s recent stutters alongside those of the other ‘big four’ clubs, it could be argued that they are not as untouchable as they have been in recent seasons.

Click through for the full article…