Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Bottom Three 16/17

Well, here we are again. This is the third year in a row I’ve made a prediction about who the bottom three are and I seem to leave it later and later each least last year I got my prediction right.

Since I’ve left it so late two teams have already been relegated leaving me to choose only one side to join them in the Championship. But who will it be? Well before we get into that I want to start by giving a word to the team that have relegation already confirmed; Sunderland and Middlesbrough.

Who will be following Sunderland and Middlesbrough to the Championship?
Now Middlesbrough I was rather surprised about. In the Summer the Teessiders signed some rather high profile players and to me looked a shoo in for safety and possibly a mid table push. But after signing Victor Valdes and Negredo one week, Aitor Karanka found himself signing Brad Guzan and Fabio the next…

It didn’t get much better in January as to help with their lack of goals Middlesbrough turned to Villa hitman Rudy Gestede who had scored 9 goals in 50 appearances for The Villains and Patrick Bamford who if I’m right had never started a Premier League game. It wasn’t entirely down to the players though as the board didn’t help matters

For me if you’re going to sack a manager in the Premier League you have to do it either before January or not at all...Aitor Karanka was sacked in the middle of March, winning only one game since then. How is the next manager supposed to do anything if he can’t bring in his own players?

Both sides had been poor, like really really poor.
Speaking of bringing in his own players David Moyes’ Sunderland side were relegated despite the Black Cats boss’ attempt at “bringing the band back together”. Despite bringing in Steven Pienaar, Victor Anichebe and Joleon Lescott, the Scot couldn’t steer his side away from a rock bottom finish. The only players in that side who can hold their head up are veteran goalscorer Jermain Defoe and upcoming goalkeeper Jordan Pickford…

I don’t want to talk much about the Wearsiders after such a torrid season but I do want to give a few words to David Moyes as I do feel bad for him. After a hard couple of years since leaving Everton I thought this could be his big chance but sadly Sunderland has been a club in a nose dive for years. If anyone blames Moyes solely for Sunderland’s relegation then they’re having a laugh.

League table with boring numbers and stuff.
Right onto the teams that are looking to survive and I’ll start with Burnley. The Clarets have had a good Premier League season by their standards, flirting with mid table for some parts of the season which is rare for them. A lack of goals has been an issue for them but thankfully they’ve managed to keep them out of the other end with some heroic performances from Michael Keane, Ben Mee and club captain Tom Heaton.
~Side note: How Heaton didn’t get into the team of the year I’ll never know ~

I love watching their grit and determination when they play. Sean Dyche is to thank for that with his intelligent defensive setup and gravelly man mouth. I do think though their lack of goals has come down to a lack of top quality chances being created. Hopefully Dyche brings in a next level creative player next season. Possibly Sigurdsson from Swansea?

Next up in 15th we have Watford who honestly didn’t surprise me in their drop down the league. Last season if they conceded goals they could rely on Odion Ighalo to pull them out the shit...well for the first half of the season they could. After an impressive 2016 in the Premier League Ighalo scored 13 goals before Christmas. He only added 2 more before the end of the season, finishing on 15 Premier League goals…

To replace that kind of threat Watford needed to sign an experienced goalscorer, a Charlie Austin, Danny Ings or possibly a Jermain Defoe. Instead they opted for unknown talent Isaac Success and West Ham reject Zarate neither of which were goalscorers before. Admittedly these gambles could have come good...but how often do you see that happen?

Deeney and Ighalo managed 31 goals between them. Like Sutton and Shearer these two.
Crystal Palace are next and for me, safe. Sometimes football can be quite predictable; they have a good goalscorer in Benteke, some top creative talent in Zaha, Cabaye and Puncheon, and a good defense to back them up. To top it all they have Big Sam as manager, the guy has never been relegated…

The only reason they’re in this predicament is because Alan Pardew couldn’t manage a fart after a full tin of beans. He’s the type of manager that will continue to get work even though he’s a shite manager. I have the utmost confidence that Sam Allardyce will lead Crystal Palace away from relegation and onto a mid table finish next season, you mark my words.

In 17th is Swansea. Now I look at their team and it’s a good intelligent passing side. The only issue I have with Swansea is the same issue I have with Man City, that defenders shouldn’t look pretty, they should do the dirty work and just get rid when under pressure. I would take Ryan Shawcross over John Stones any day of the week.

A proper old fashioned centre half!
Ashley Williams was a great defender for the Swans. Could pass it about but first and foremost knew how to fucking defend. For me that’s been their biggest downfall this season, that they haven’t replaced that influence, that leader at the back. I think Mawson looks to be a good player but it’ll be a long while before he’s as good as the Welshman Williams.

Lastly in 18th are The Tigers Hull City. This side were destined for relegation at the start of this season. At the start of this campaign people were wondering whether they would beat Derby County’s record of worst ever Premier League points haul and with good reason. They started the season with only 13 fit players…

To put it bluntly Hull’s owner Assem Allam has fucked the club over royally. His one saving grace is that he brought in their new Portugese boss Marco Silva who has worked wonders with the club gaining an impressive 40% win percentage since his arrival in January. Let that be a lesson to Middlesbrough, this is what happens when you give a new manager a chance...

He's good but all-in-all he's just a poor mans Carlos Carvalhal
Now that I’ve talked about all the teams it’s time for my decision and I’m gonna predict that the bottom three will finish:

18 | Hull City
19 | Middlesbrough
20 | Sunderland

Not much of a prediction because as I said earlier it’s all more or less been decided for me. For me it went down to either Hull or Swansea and the reason I pick Hull is simply because their fixtures are a lot tougher than Swansea’s. While the Swans travel to Sunderland before ending the season at home to West Brom, Hull have to play fellow strugglers Palace away before playing second placed Tottenham at home.

It’s been a poor season for both sides and will only get worse for either relegated team. I can see Harry Maguire getting snapped up by a larger club and if he doesn’t then there really is something wrong with the state of managers in the Premier League.  I can also see Gylfi Sigurdsson going to top four side as statistically he is just as creative as Cesc Fabregas and Kevin De Bruyne!

Some one big please sign this kid. He's class and deserves the chance.
But anyway’s that’s me done for today. Last thing I want to say is less about football and more about this blog. I’ve noticed I’ve been getting a lot of views from Mauritius? Not a clue how but hey ho I’m not complaining. Weird point to end on but it just made me smile a bit.

~ Anyone who enjoyed this please follow me on Twitter @ThePenaltyKing1 or like me on Facebook at ~

Cheers for reading.

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