UK time is: 16:22:56
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Runners & Riders For 2009/2010


Wswilly3 sent us the following...

Although it is a bit early to start making predictions for next season, I still couldn't resist the temptation of doing just that.

Yes, there hasn't been a tremendous amount of transfer activity to date but one can still get a feel of how much clubs are likely to invest in their pursuit of success. Going with the adage, that money doesn't guarantee success but it bloody well helps and assessing the relative strength of the current squads, I have divided the Premiership into five sections of four teams:

We are the Champions (League) Section - It's Our God Given Right To Be Here. Man. United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal

The issues for the 'established' four have as much to do with losing players as to acquiring them. The Rags have lost Ronaldo and Tevez; Liverpool look likely to lose Alonso and maybe even Masherano; Arsenal may well lose Adebayor, Gallas and Toure or even Fabregas; whilst Carvalho and Deco will probably depart Chelsea. All, with the possible exception of Chelsea, are significant or potentially significant losses and in return there hasn't been any startling additions or even rumours of startling additions.

Given the imagination of the British press, this lack of sensationalism does say a great deal about the lack of available world class talent and in the case of Arsenal and Liverpool the lack of financial clout. The most exciting additions quoted so far are Valencia and Owen to the Rags, Zhirkov to Chelsea, Veraelen to Arsenal and Glen Johnson to Liverpool.

Now I don't know about you but none of those makes me tremble in my boots and neither does it give me the impression that any of these teams are going to be any stronger next season. The type of signing that would show real strength and intent would be a Ribery, an Eto'o or a David Villa and I for one don't see that happening (probably famous last words and the Bookies will be queuing up for my mug bets!!).

So, one has to conclude that these teams are treading water after having lost a bit of buoyancy in the close season. As such, they are going to be far more vulnerable to losing their top four status and the attendant pretensions. Sorry Mr Wenger that means Arsenal in particular, with its Board of upper class traditionalists plus a dash of revolutionary Russian and flamboyant American to boot. A volatile and unpredictable mixture, likely to explode at any time both on and off the pitch.

Prediction: 1= Chelsea, 2=Liverpool, 3= Manchester United, 6=Arsenal

The Anti Establishment Section - Move Over For The New Order. Aston Villa, Everton, Spurs and Man City

The good news from this section of 'pretenders to the throne', is that Man City not only have the financial clout but are using it well to significantly strengthen their under-performing but strong squad from last year. Already Gareth Barry and Roque Santa Cruz are on board and hopefully Carlos Tevez and Lescott, Toure or equivalent will follow to give a real feeling of squad strength in depth. Spurs via 'Harry's Universal Traders' will wheel and deal but more at the level of Bulgarian cast-off handsets rather than designer Nokia ones.

Still, one gets the impression that Spurs will have a far better season than the one salvaged by Redknapp last term. Everton and Aston Villa have shrewd managers, able to optimise performance on the limited talent available to them but both have yet to strengthen and also have the distraction of an energy consuming European competition, without large budgets to deepen their over-performing squads.

In this regard Randy Lerner would be better named Teaser Lerner (or worse) given the way he seems to hang on to his assets. Thank goodness we don't have American owners.

Anyway, judged on the above criteria, City has the best chance of gate-crashing the top four party and I think Spurs will not be far behind. Unless they invest significantly, Everton and Villa will, I believe have to for top eight and maybe a decent run in Europe providing they are mainly competing against unpronounceable Eastern European opposition.

Prediction: 4=Man City, 5= Spurs, 7= Everton, 8= Aston Villa.

I'm Smaller Than Them But Bigger Than Them Section - Mid-Table Mediocrity - West Ham, Fulham, Portsmouth and Blackburn

'Money, money, money, it's a rich man's world' would be a good anthem for these teams. They will be trading in the mid area bargain basement or in loan signings with players that we have probably never heard of but from clubs that we probably have. Some of the signings will be more than adequate; some will sink like stones and return to their native countries, to be quickly forgotten by the majority of fans.

Any excellent players they have or do acquire will become the target of the 'moneyed vultures' in the January transfer window and so mid-table mediocrity will be a reasonable reward for them. West Ham did well under Zola but he has little room for manoeuvre given Icelandic thrift; whilst Blackburn will be well organised under Allerdyce but will play less attractive football than the 'Ammers.

Fulham over performed last year, under the wise old Owl, 'Olly Odgson' but will be unlikely to repeat this, particularly with Europe on their mind and a slender depth of resources. Pompey will hope to have a bit of Middle Eastern 'oofle dust' at their disposal but definitely not at the level of our Sugar Daddy and they need to retain the Crouches and Distins. They also have a manager who is an unknown quantity - remember Gross,Venglos, Perrin, Frank Clark?

No, I hardly do either and I choose to forget the last one! A lot will depend on how the Manager settles and an up and down season could well be the outcome, with mid-table safety the best reward. Yes I don't expect either fireworks or damp squids from these four and a good FA cup run would be a useful bonus for them.

Prediction: 9=West Ham, 10=Blackburn, 11=Portsmouth,12=Fulham

The Thankful For What We Get Section : Pick Us Up But Don't Scare Us, Please

Sunderland, Wigan, Bolton and Stoke


Not the prettiest quartet but they have a bit of personality and shouldn't be ignored at the dance, especially when the lights get dim and their flaws get covered up. Sunderland under Steve Bruce has money to spend but needs to invest it more wisely than a certain Mr Keane. This will be an interesting test and if he can at least achieve Premiership consolidation and no relegation scares, it would be a reasonable return for his first year.

Wigan probably over performed, with good early season results last season and now with a new manager may have to be satisfied with Premiership survival, achieved without to many relegation worries. Stoke have to avoid the second season syndrome but if Tony Pullis can keep their home form burning, they look likely to survive but only just.

Similar sentiments for Bolton where they too will need to show grit and determination with a focus on results and not performances or beauty. Yes not the prettiest quartet and I am not just talking about their managers.

Prediction: 13= Sunderland, 14=Wigan, 15=Bolton, 16=Stoke.

The Auctioneer's Section : Going, Going, Gone - Hull, Birmingham, Wolves and Burnley

Is there a big gap between the Premiership and the Championship? You betcha there is.

How does one bridge the gap? Grit, determination, some shrewd signings and a few hail Mary's. So do we see Burnley having much chance of survival? In a word, 'Yergottabejokin'. They did well against Premiership opposition in cup competitions but the intensity of a league season plus an average squad and some average Scottish signings doesn't seem to add up to more than 25 pts - sorry Alistair Campbell, 'spin but no win'.

Wolves might do a little better and have some good potential in Knightley and Ebanks-Blake and have signed Doyle but 30 pts max and a quick return for Mick and the boys, looks on the cards.

This leaves Birmingham and Hull, who I believe could well be scrapping for the last survival space. Hull have a bit more experience but the second season syndrome and a few more half-time team talks on the pitch have to be overcome; whilst Birmingham's owners (and not their manager) have begun investing in unknown South Americans and also loan signings, like Joe Hart, who might get a lot of practice. A good under card contest this, with Birmingham (who replace Alex McCleish with Alan Curbishley at Christmas) the narrow winners; on points of course!

Prediction: 17=Birmingham, 18=Hull, 19= Wolves, 20= Burnley

Now are these predictions of the calibre of Russell Grant on an off day, Mystic Meg on a good day or the ranting of a lunatic on his second bottle of Chilean Red, (three for £10 at Asda,) a wine that gets better with ageing, provided you drink it all in one session? Answers on a post card to Vital Manchester City.






Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!



For the very latest Premier League odds

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The journalist

Writer: Wswilly3  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday July 7 2009

Time: 9:58PM

Your Comments

Chelsea should do better this season with some stability and good purchases, probably edging first place. I do not think Liverpool will finish above United, they fall to pieces without Gerrard or Torres and have no other alternatives. If City get the signings that we are after then we could sneak ahead of Arsenal- but we haven't got them yet so my list is based on presumption. There is no way Spurs will finish above Arsenal or Aston Villa, they are trying to buy Richard Dunne off of us! [1= Chelsea 2= Man Utd 3= Liverpool 4= Man City, 5= Arsenal, 6= Aston Villa, 7= Everton. 8= Spurs]
eighthsin
---> chelsea, united, liverpool, arsenal, city, spurs, villa, everton.....
steee
I am not sure you're right about Chelsea at this rate they change manager every 6 months and each manager has their own methods. Not sure either if City have the players to get themselves to the CL. It really is a dodgy back four and no signs of any improvement as yet.
Buzz Lightyear
Hi Buzz Lightyear, My presumption about City is that they will have two new and class defenders by the start of the season. Without them I am with you!!
Wswilly3
Arsenal I think are the team who will be weakened more than the others so assuming we get out targets it will be between rags chelski scousers and us.
Doody
we put three past Arsenal and thats a rare thing and I agree they are the most vunerable.willy, I am with you if we sign some good defenders.
Buzz Lightyear
 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Manchester City Articles

Pellegrini Denies We Are Now Outsiders (Wednesday October 22 2014)

Team News: CSKA Moscow v City (Tuesday October 21 2014)

Pellegrini Praises Our Mozart (Sunday October 19 2014)

The Ped Report....City 4-1 Spurs (Sunday October 19 2014)

Team News: City v Tottenham Hotspur (Friday October 17 2014)

Looking For A Certain Goal Ratio (Thursday October 16 2014)

More Milner Murmurings (Thursday October 16 2014)

VMC News Round Up 12/10/14 (Sunday October 12 2014)

Archived Manchester City Articles

List All VMC Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Johnny Baguette 201
2. Skoorb 126
3. fifthcolumnblue 95
4. Bluedub 58
5. kennyclementstache 52
6. PhillyBlueMoon 48
7. rojo2010 41
8. citizhun 40
9. CITYBOY1000 40
10. johnkelv 39

League Results (view all)

Latest Results
Man City 4 - 1 Spurs
Aston Villa 0 - 2 Man City
Hull City 2 - 4 Man City
Man City 1 - 1 Chelsea
Arsenal 2 - 2 Man City
Man City 0 - 1 Stoke

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
1. Chelsea 8 7 1 0 +15 22
2. Man City 8 5 2 1 +10 17
3. Southampton 8 5 1 2 +14 16
4. West Ham 8 4 1 3 +4 13
5. Liverpool 8 4 1 3 +1 13
6. Man Utd 8 3 3 2 +3 12
7. Arsenal 8 2 5 1 +2 11

Breaking League News

'Run Geordie Run' Around The World
» Newcastle : 22/10/2014 15:39:00
Irvine Asking For More
» WBA : 22/10/2014 13:37:00
Grim and Bear It in Top Flight!
» Burnley : 22/10/2014 13:35:00
Krueger - A Special Day We Will Remember
» Southampton : 22/10/2014 13:27:00
One Game At A Time, But We're Aiming For Better
» Southampton : 22/10/2014 13:22:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Your Favourite Kun Goal Against Spurs?
Suggested By:  Shaun Gloater
Agüero 13′ 44%
Agüero 20′(pen) 0%
Agüero 68′ (pen) 14%
Agüero 75′ 42%