English Premier League Preview Part III N-S
English Premier League Preview Part III N-S
Newcastle : Last season finish 15th with 38 points. 2014 income £130m – Payout - Wages £60m Debt £128m. Major deals in: Mitrovic and Wijnaldum – Major deals out: Ameobi, Taylor and Gutierrez. Newcastle survived by the skin of their teeth last season and rewarded the scorer of the goal that sealed Premiership football with a phonecall to tell him hes out the door. The fans demanded the sacking of Pardew and that bit them in the ass too. The owners, although doing a fine job of balancing the books seem reluctant to spend the cash. They have made a massive buy with PSV captain Wijnaldum joining and he looks like he could be class. They brought in Steve McClaren from Derby and the Ex-England manager has some pedigree. He likes his team to play expansive attacking football and can be a bit gung-ho at times. At Derby he had them challenging for the title for most of the season but they did choke towards the end and lost ground eventually. Like Arsenal the Toon need to take more care off the field – the sheer amount of injuries they suffered last year was astronomical. Again coaching could be a factor but having players off the field, and key ones at that is a major negative.
Prediction: 14th in Premiership.
Norwich: Last season finish 3rd in Champ and playoff win. 2014 income £64m – Payout – Wages £30m Debt £0. Major deals in: Dorrans and Mulumbu– Major deals out: Becchio, Cuellar and Garrido. Although debt free now and sure to boost the coffers with a money spinning season in the top flight the signs are not good for Norwich. They have not recruited much at all and although Dorrans is a decent level they will need a few more higher calibre players to survive. Coach Alex Neil has the potential to be a top manager. He is a very good coordinater of the team and can change formations game by game to suit the opposition. His side, although very strong defensively (at least for the Championship) they do play attacking, passing football. I cannot see them surviving though, they have not the squad and the calibre of player to cope with the top flight.
Prediction: 20th in Premiership.
Southampton: Last season finish 7st with 60 points. 2014 Income £106m – Payout – Wages £62m Debt £57m. Major deals in: Clasie, Stekelenburg, Juanmi and Soares – Major deals out: Clyne, Osvaldo and Schneiderlin . Southampton must invent themselves again after a series of major ins and outs over the summer. They have an excellent business model and other lower tier clubs must me desperate to replicate. Under Koeman they play an expansive style of football that wouldn’t look out of place at Old Trafford or Anfield. They have recruited well and in Juanmi and Clasie they could have two new superstars in the making. They have brought in talent in other areas too and will do well again this year – my only concern is Europa League football and how much of an impact that will have on the league.
Prediction: 7th in Premiership.
Stoke City: Last season finish 9th with 54 points. 2014 income £98m – Payout – Wages £61m Debt £28m. Major ins: Joselu, Van Ginkel and Wollscheid. Major outs: Begovic, Huth and Nzonzi. Stoke again posted good results off the field and continue to impress on it. There was a considerable exit out the door at the Britannia with Asamir Begovic a major loss. Stoke have a decent size squad though and do have quality in all areas. Their home form is excellent and Stoke away is always a tough one as Liverpool found to their cost on last day of season with a 6-1 loss. They play a patient, possession based game and have evolved from a long ball and combative style they had under Pulis. They do have the ability to play direct though and they have had some success but it seems more than just aimless long ball play.
Prediction: 9th in Premiership.
Sunderland: Last season finish 16th with 38 points. 2014 income £101m – Payout – Wages £68m Debt £39m. Major deals in: Coates, Kaboul, Lens and Matthews – Major deals out: Ba – Sunderland made a bit of a mini-escape last season but didn’t get much recognition as Newcastle and Leicester overshadowed them. Dick Advocaat brought stability after the low achievements of Poyet. Sunderland have some ability and with a passionate home crowd are capable. They just seem to dwell near the bottom of the Prem and seem happy with simply surviving. I think this year will be easier than normal as the newly promoted three look nailed on do go back down. Advocaat seemed to get the maximum out of Sunderland. He had them well organised, fairly strong defensively and playing a counter attacking style that suited them well. They need to concentrate on getting striker Steven Fletcher fit, the Scotsman moves them up a level and has the ability to net 15+ goals easily if he can play the games.
Prediction: 17th in Premiership.