Premier League Predictions – The Outcome

MY PREDICTIONS

1.            Man United

2.            Chelsea

3.            Man City

4.            Spurs

5.            Arsenal

6.            Everton

7.            Liverpool

8.            Leicester

9.            West Ham

10.          Southampton

11.          Stoke

12.          West Brom

13.          Swansea

14.          Crystal Palace

15.          Sunderland

16.          Middlesbrough

17.          Bournemouth

18.          Watford

19.          Burnley

20.          Hull

 

ACTUAL TABLE

1.            Chelsea

2.            Tottenham

3.            Man City

4.            Liverpool

5.            Arsenal

6.            Man United

7.            Everton

8.            Southampton

9.            Bournemouth

10.          West Brom

11.          West Ham

12.          Leicester

13.          Stoke

14.          Crystal Palace

15.          Swansea

16.          Burnley

17.          Watford

18.          Hull

19.          Middlesbrough

20.          Sunderland

 

 

I made some bold predictions at the start of the Premier League season, and predicted that Manchester United would end up as Champions. That wasn’t the case, and they finished miles off and in sixth place. It would appear the Europa League did indeed take a toll on Man United, and no European football seemingly helping Chelsea along the way, as they strolled to a Fifth Premier League Title. But a fantastic achievement from Chelsea none-the-less.

I predicted correctly what this would indeed be the year Arsenal finished outside of the top four, and they left it until the last day of the season to prove that prediction correct. As did Manchester City, who proved me correct in my prediction that they wouldn’t win the league, and would in fact finish in 3rd place.

It looked like Hull would finish rock bottom when I made the predictions, but Marco Silva’s resurgence was in vain, and so unlucky, he deserved to stay up. Props to Sean Dyche and Walter Mazzari for proving me wrong by keeping Watford and Burnley up, and commiserations to Sunderland and Middlesbrough for making it Two Down and One Up for the North-East clubs in the Premier League Next Season!

Onwards and Upwards to 2017/18 where Newcastle and Brighton will join English Football’s top Tier, where they will be joined by either Huddersfield Town (what a story that could be!) Or Jaap Stam’s, Reading.

Joey Barton has been banned from football for 18 months

The Burnley midfielder has been fined £30,000 and banned from football for 18 months after admitting to The FA that he has been involved in a huge amount of football bets. Joey Barton is said to have made 1,260 bets on football matches between 26 March 2006 and 13 May 2016, something that is a seriously forbidden act for players.

Barton has stressed that “this is not match fixing”  and that he has a gambling problem, claiming “I have fought addiction to gambling and provided the FA with a medical report about my problem – I’m disappointed it wasn’t taken into proper consideration”.

The player also admitted to placing bets against teams that he played for between 2004 and 2011 but insisted that they were on matches that he was not taking part in and therefore could not influence. One bet that Joey Barton placed was a £3 stake on a Premier League game in April 2006 where he bet that he would be the first goalscorer for Manchester City against Fulham, however it was his team mate Richard Dunne who scored the first goal in that game.

 


Premier League 2016/17 Mid Season Review

So we’re exactly halfway through the 2016/17 Premier League season – 19 games played and 19 to go. A good time to review the campaign so far then – who’s overachieved, who’s underachieved and who finds themselves somewhere in between?

The Overachievers

Where better to start than at the top. With the arrivals of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola in the summer, the appointment of Antonio Conte at Chelsea was perhaps a little quieter than it otherwise would have been. And when September saw defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal follow a draw against Swansea, Chelsea’s fans weren’t making much noise either. Their team’s response, however, has been emphatic. A run of 12 league wins has been achieved by combining a tight defence (the cliche of an Italian manager) and the form, in particular, of their two best attacking players – Eden Hazard and the rejuvenated Diego Costa. With no European fixtures to contend with and a healthy 6 point lead, they’ve got themselves into a very strong position going into the second half of the season.

It was a different story with Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp – many predicted they would push on in their second season under the charismatic German’s leadership. However, there were question marks over whether they could perform consistently and tighten up at the back. They still seem prone to the occasional shaky defensive display (see the last 20 minutes at Bournemouth) but the system and style of play they have settled into has been largely effective and undeniably entertaining. Sadio Mane has turned out to be a fantastic signing and despite spells on the sidelines for a number of key players, they have delivered a level of consistency that sees them deservedly sitting 2nd in the table.

A special mention to West Brom and Bournemouth who have earned themselves a place in the top half of the table. ‘The Baggies‘ have managed to consistently pick up points home and away, occasional breaking free from the Tony Pulis defensive mould we’ve got so used too, while ‘The Cherries‘ have picked up good results while continuing to deliver Eddie Howe’s brand of entertaining football.

The Underachievers

It’s easy to say with hindsight but Leicester were always going to have a tough time following up the fairytale of last season. The loss of N’Golo Kante has been massive and they’ve struggled to match the solidarity in defence that their title success was built on and their potency in attack, with the form of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez disappointing.

If an award was to be given for the worst season so far it would have to go to Swansea. Lying bottom of the table and having sacked two managers,’The Swans are really struggling. Their new manager (when appointed) will have little time to make an impact if they are to survive relegation.

Another team to have changed manager is Crystal Palace after a very disappointing calendar year of results under Alan Pardew. It would take a brave man, however, to bet on them being relegated with ‘Big Sam‘ now in charge, his first job in football again since his dramatic exist as England manager last year.

The Rest

The top 6 have pulled away to create their own mini league. In a year of surprises (Leicester City, ‘Brexit‘ and Donald Trump) Arsenal appear to again be just short of a genuine title challenge, sitting 3rd in the table. Admittedly, a few weeks ago things were looking a lot better and there is still time for it to swing back in their favour.

Tottenham (4th), Man City (5th) and Man Utd (6th) may all like to be a position or two higher but they will all feel that is still achievable. The two Manchester clubs have been a little patchy under their new big name managers but we can expect them to push on in the new year. Tottenham have particularly impressed me, although it’s perhaps unsurprising with the lack of activity in the summer that their well drilled and settled team have produced such consistent performances week in week out.

Outside the top 6, the table is extremely tight with just 11 points separating 7th to 17th. This means positions are likely to change quickly and often over the coming weeks and months. The positions of the remaining teams (I’ve not mentioned) do not surprise me at this stage – some will hope to cement a top half or mid table finish, while others will be happy as long as they remain in the division come the end of May:

Southampton (9th), Burnley (11th), West Ham (12th), Stoke (14th), Middlesbrough (16th), Sunderland (18th), Hull (19th).

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Transfer Deadline Day Round-Up Summer 2016

 

As Big Ben strikes 11 and the Summer transfer window slams shut, we look back on some of the deals which have been completed today. One of the most anticipated days of the year. When you get the legend that is Jim White donning the now infamous yellow tie and bringing the window to a close.

We have seen a number of deals today involving Premier League clubs, and we will try and cover as many of them as we can.

Some of the most noteworthy deals we can give to you are: Jack Wilshere’s Surprise move to Bournemouth, David Luiz’s dramatic return to Chelsea, and Joe Hart is one of a number of Man City names shipped out on Loan today, as he looks to revive his career at Italian club Torino. Leicester and Burnley both smash their clubs record transfer fees and Tottenham hijack Everton’s £30m deal for Newcastle’s Moussa Sissoko.

All the other deals involving Premier League clubs are here in club-by-club basis.

TRANSFER DEADLINE DAY 2016 DONE DEALS

 

Arsenal

IN:

NONE

 

OUT:

S. Gnabry to Werder Bremen for Undisclosed Fee

J. Wilshere to Bournemouth on Loan

 

Bournemouth

IN:

J. Wilshere from Arsenal on Loan

 

OUT:

R. Wiggins to Birmingham on Loan

B. Cargill to Gillingham on Loan

E. O’Kane to Leeds on a Two-Year deal.

 

 

Burnley

IN:

J. Hendrick from Derby for an Undisclosed fee

 

OUT:

L. Jutkiewicz to Birmingham on Loan

T. Anderson to Chesterfield on Loan

D. Lafferty to Sheff Utd on Loan

F. Ulvestad to Charlton on Loan

 

Chelsea

IN:

M. Alonso from Fiorentina for £24n

D. Luiz from Paris St. Germain for £30m

 

OUT:

C. Cuevas to Sint-Truidense on Loan

J. Cuadrado to Juventus on Loan

L. Piazon to Fulham on Loan

 

Crystal Palace

IN:

NONE

 

OUT:

J. Williams to Ipswich on Loan

L. Croll to Exeter on Loan

S. Kaikai to Brentford on Loan

K. Anderson to Bolton on Loan

 

Everton

IN:

D. Calvert-Lewin from Sheffield United on a 4 year deal

E. Valencia from West Ham on Loan

 

OUT:

S. Tarashaj to Eintracht Frankfurt on Loan

A. McGeady to Preston on Loan

 

Hull

IN:

J. Weir from Man United on a Three-Year Deal

D. Mbokani from Dynamo Kiev on Loan

 

OUT:

NONE

 

Leicester

IN:

I. Slimani from Sporting for £30m

 

OUT:

G. Inler to Besiktas on a 3 Year Deal

 

Liverpool

IN:

NONE

 

OUT:

L. Alberto to Lazio for £6m

M. Balotelli to Nice on a Free Transfer

A. Wisdom to Red Bull Salzburg on Loan

 

Man City

IN:

NONE

 

OUT:

J. Hart to Torino on Loan

S. Nasri to Sevilla on Loan

W. Bony to Stoke on Loan

S. Facey to Heerenveen on Loan

E. Mangala to Valencia on Loan

K. Bryan to Bury on Loan

J. Denayer to Sunderland on Loan

 

Man Utd

IN:

NONE

 

OUT:

D. Henderson to Grimsby on Loan

J. Weir to Hull City on a Three-Year Deal

 

Middlesbrough

IN:

A. Traore from Aston Villa for Undisclosed Fee

 

OUT:

A. Adomah to Aston Villa

A. Baptiste to Preston on Loan

M. Carayol to Nottingham Forest on a Two-Year deal

 

Southampton

IN:

NONE

 

OUT:

NONE

 

Stoke

IN:

W. Bony from Man City on Loan

L. Grant from Derby on Loan

C. McJannett from Luton for Undisclosed Fee

B. Martins Indi from Porto on Loan

 

OUT:

P. Wollscheid to Wolfsburg

 

Sunderland

IN:

D. Ndong from Lorient for £13.5m

J. Denayer from Man City on Loan

 

OUT:

NONE

 

Swansea

IN:

NONE

 

OUT:

F. Tabanou to Granada on Loan

 

Tottenham

IN:

G-K. N’Koudou from Marseille on Loan

P. Lopez from Espanyol on Loan

M. Sissoko from Newcastle for £30m

 

OUT:

C. N’Jie to Marseille on Loan

 

Watford

IN:

NONE

 

OUT:

A. Nyom to West Brom for £3m

I. Anya to Derby for £4m


West Brom

IN:

A. Nyom from Watford for £3m

H. Robson-Kanu on a Free Transfer

 

OUT:

S. Pocognoli to Brighton on Loan


West Ham

IN:

A.Arbeloa on a Free Transfer

 

OUT:

E. Valencia to Everton on Loan

 

Premier League Predictions 2016/17

The 2016/17 Premier League Season is under way, and from what we’ve seen so far I think it’s going to be very competitive. There are for me a number of teams who can win it this year, and it’ll be a very exciting season. With the addition of cards for dissent being dished out, and penalties being given for holding in the area, if the players don’t adjust quickly, we could see some very interesting results, and very interesting final positions come May.

I will now give a team by team analysis, and where I think they will each finish.

ARSENAL – They finished runners up last season, which was their best finish since the 2004/05 season. There is talk of ‘Wenger Out’ and this could well be his last season. The acquisitions of Granit Xhaka and Rob Holding are hardly going to set the world alight. Wenger’s reluctance to spend money could come back to haunt him this season. Which I predict will be his last at the Arsenal Helm. I think that they are going to be very unlucky to miss out on the top four for the first time under Wenger.

LAST SEASON: 2nd

THIS SEASON: 5th

BOURNEMOUTH – Hands up, who gave Bournemouth a chance at the start of Last Season?  They finished 5 points off the relegation zone last season, and losing previous top scorer Callum Wilson early on in the season, put them under extreme pressure early on. Two wins in their first 14 games was followed up with victories over Chelsea, Man United and West Brom. Which gave them the impetus to kick on. I think they will stay up, but just!

LAST SEASON: 16th

THIS SEASON: 17th

BURNLEY – The Ginger Mourinho, Sean Dyche has been here before, every time Burnley have come up to the Premier League, they have gone straight back down, I’m afraid I can’t see this season going any different for them. They have recruited club record signing Steven Defour, but I’m not sure they have enough fire power to survive in the league.

LAST SEASON: 1st (In the Championship)

THIS SEASON: 19th

CHELSEA – Last season was a huge disappointment, From 2014-15 Champions to a 10th place finish last season, Chelsea looked a shadow of their former selves. I believe under Antonio Conte they will be a force to be reckoned with, he’ll have them playing some great football. With no European Football, they will have the freshness factor in their favour. I reckon they still have a few slip ups in them, and Diego Costa’s discipline could well cost them points!

LAST SEASON: 10th

THIS SEASON: 2nd

CRYSTAL PALACE – Positives and Negatives were the highlight of the last two seasons for Palace, from looking like they could make Europe, to scraping out of a relegation battle. The signing of Christian Benteke looks a good one, as does Andros Townsend, but losing Yannick Bolasie to Everton could prove to be a mistake. Palace have had a tough time of late. But I reckon they will be absolutely fine this season.

LAST SEASON: 15th

THIS SEASON: 14th

EVERTON – A lot was said about Roberto Martinez as Everton manager, and after the fantastic job that David Moyes did before him, they ended up with a disappointing finish. Keeping hold of key players like Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku is key for Everton, and despite losing the youth of John Stones, they have a fantastic defender and leader in Ashley Williams to sure up their defence. I think they could be ones to watch this season. For me they will get a European place.

LAST SEASON: 11th

THIS SEASON: 6th

HULL – What a calamity this football club is at the moment. Manager Steve Bruce leaving with just weeks to go before the start of the season, no players signed, and at the moment only 13 fit senior players. Mike Phelan is doing a commendable job at the moment and they’ve made a brilliant start to the season, but unless they can get some players in soon, they’re going back to the Championship, and Rock Bottom.

LAST SEASON: 4th (Championship – Play Off Winners)

THIS SEASON: 20th

LEICESTER – Nobody saw Leicester winning the league last season, but they did! They have the lure of Champions League football this season, which could cause a bit of a problem for Claudio Ranieri. And could fall away completely… I think as long as they keep Vardy, Mahrez and Schmeichel fit, and keep Huth and Morgan together. They will be absolutely fine this season.

LAST SEASON: 1st

THIS SEASON: 8th

LIVERPOOL – Jurgen Klopp’s men just blow hot and cold. One week they’re fantastic, the next week they’re diabolical, and a complete shambles. I believe Klopp has what it takes to keep them on track for European football this season. And may even win a trophy. With no European football, like Chelsea they could do well. But they’re too prone to making mistakes. I think they will finish below Everton this season.

LAST SEASON: 8th

THIS SEASON: 7th

MAN CITY – It’s going to be a very long season for Guardiola’s men. Will his favouritism for ‘Tika-Taka’ football work in the Premier League? Pep is a serial winner, and the inclusion of John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan and Nolito could well add something special for them. I still believe keeping Kompany fit is the only way they’re going to win the league. But he doesn’t look like he’s going to.

LAST SEASON: 4th

THIS SEASON: 3rd

MAN UNITED – Here comes the part you say I’m being biased. But hear me out… The spine of this team, the last few years has been nothing less than shocking. Finally, with the additions of Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitariyan and the return of Paul Pogba, coupled with The Special One, Jose Mourinho at the helm. I think this is the sleeping giant being awakened. I can see The Special One bringing Title number 21 to Old Trafford sooner rather than later

LAST SEASON: 5th

THIS SEASON: 1st

MIDDLESBROUGH – Who would have seen some of their signings coming at the start of the season. Alvaro Negredo, Viktor Fischer, Victor Valdes. It’s showing Aitor Karanka means business. Although I didn’t follow much of them in the Championship, I heard some good things about them. I don’t think they’re going to set the Premier League on fire and get into Europe, I believe that they will avoid relegation, like Bournemouth… Just, and it will give them a good chance to build on it for the following season

LAST SEASON: 2nd (Championship)

THIS SEASON: 16th

SOUTHAMPTON – Responsible for bringing through some of the brightest young players in the game at the moment, Southampton really blossomed under Mauricio Pochettino, and then again under Ronald Koeman, with the addition of European Football at St. Mary’s this season, new man Claude Puel will have his work cut out, but he was left a great bunch of players, the departures of Pelle, Mane and Stekelenburg shouldn’t hurt them too much, and I think they will have another solid season, and finish in the top half.

LAST SEASON: 6th

THIS SEASON: 10th

STOKE – When they first came into the Premier League, no one gave them a hope in hell’s chance of sticking around. Nine seasons on, and they’re Premier League stalwarts now. They were lead to a third consecutive 9th Place finish last season. And with Joe Allen bolstering the midfield and adding a touch of class in there, I don’t see there being too much difference this time around. Another solid mid-table finish is in store for Mark Hughes’ team.

LAST SEASON: 9th

THIS SEASON: 11th

SUNDERLAND – Some would say they were thrown into turmoil with the untimely departure of Big Sam Allardyce to become England manager, but the new man David Moyes was brought in swiftly, and hasn’t taken long to stamp his mark on the team. Signing no fewer than four former players of his in the form of Donald Love, Paddy McNair, Adnan Januzaj and Steven Pienaar. If Moyes’ record at Everton was anything to go by, then Sunderland will improve year on year. In Jermain Defoe, they have one of the best natural goal-scorers in the game. A player who many say kept them up single handed last season! If he stays fit he wins this team points.

LAST SEASON: 17th

THIS SEASON: 15th

SWANSEA – The departure of Garry Monk last season, came as a surprise, almost as much as the appointment of Francisco Guidolin. He managed to guide Swansea to a very respectable 12th placed finish last season. This season has been hampered by the departure of skipper Ashley Williams, and the loaning out of Bafetimbi Gomis. But the arrival of Spanish International Striker Fernando Llorente and Borja Baston, could well be the firepower they need to fire them again to a mid-table finish.

LAST SEASON: 12th

THIS SEASON: 12th

TOTTENHAM – Last Season was probably their best ever chance of winning the league, and Leicester’s brilliance, and their sheer capitulation at the end of the season meant it was a disappointing third place finish. This team will only blossom under Mauricio Pochettino, and the arrival of Victor Janssen to take some of the pressure off of Harry Kane up top. But the demands of Champions League football, could hamper them slightly. I can see them sticking in the top four this season, although Arsenal will run them close.

LAST SEASON: 3rd

THIS SEASON: 4th

WATFORD – Again, I think no one saw it coming that Watford would remain in the league, but Quique Sanchez Flores’ men performed some heroics throughout the season. The partnership of Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo was a joy to behold at times. They managed a 13th Placed finish last season. But the dismissal of Sanchez Flores could prove to be costly, and cause a return to the Championship.

LAST SEASON: 13th

THIS SEASON: 18th

WEST BROM – The little defensive genius that is Tony Pulis makes his sides hard to beat, and always goes into a game with the mentality of if his team can’t win then make sure they don’t get beat. They have enough experience in the team to be able to compete with the mid table teams. And could cause a few upsets against the bigger teams. Saido Berahino could be important for them if he decides to stay. I think a solid season is again in store for Pulis and West Brom.

LAST SEASON: 14th

THIS SEASON: 12th

WEST HAM – There is no doubt that Slaven Bilic has his team playing some good football, and is building a solid foundation. The move to The London Stadium could be more a hindrance than a help, the narrower and more intimate setting of The Boleyn Ground was often very intimidating for opposition teams. I feel that Europa League football will drop the Hammers down slightly, but not too much! They could well have a good run in one of the cups, and I think they will finish mid table.

LAST SEASON: 7th

THIS SEASON: 9th

 

DAN’S TABLE

  1. Man United
  2. Chelsea
  3. Man City
  4. Tottenham
  5. Arsenal
  6. Everton
  7. Liverpool
  8. Leicester
  9. West Ham
  10. Southampton
  11. Stoke
  12. West Brom
  13. Swansea
  14. Crystal Palace
  15. Sunderland
  16. Middlesbrough
  17. Bournemouth
  18. Watford
  19. Burnley
  20. Hull