Monday, November 14, 2011

Could Arsenal go Down?

The international break gives us time to pause and reflect on the
Premier League table, so let’s take a look at the often neglected
bottom to see which supporters should start to worry about relegation
and which should relax a bit because while a low position is not
where their favorite club should finish.

Wigan (5pnts -13 G/D) Chances on going down: 95%

Bad team that barely and some might say undeservedly stayed up last
season is again in the thick of the relegation battle.  The least
talented of all premier league sides this club wouldn’t even be
favorites in the Championship.  Wigan’s had a nice run in the top
league, but there time is over and it will take a miracle or several
million pounds in January for this club to stay up.

Blackburn (6pnts -11 G/D) Chances on going down: 85%

While the team has looked better of late they still only have one win
and Arsenal’s top scoring defense is heavily responsible for those
three points. The recent draw with Norwich after leading 3-1 and their
inability to find the back of the net against Chelsea in their most
recent home loss might be the needed four points that would have kept
them up at the end of the season.  Their chances are not helped by
owners who don’t seem to have any idea what they’re doing and admitted
recently that they didn’t know that there was relegation in the
Premier League.   It will take more than Chickens in the winter
transfer window for Rovers to survive.

Bolton (9pnts -9 G/D) Chances on going down: 65%

Looked very poor to start the season, but considering they’ve lost
four of their most important players from last years side (ElManda,
Sturridge, Young, and Holden) it’s not very surprising.  Their recent
5-0 victory over Stoke is promising and Young and Holden should return
eventually to help their midfield.  Cahill’s sell in January will need
to be reinvested wisely if the Wanders hope to stay up.  A few solid
defenders and a replacement for N’Gog will go a long way to keeping
the Wanders in the Premier League next year.

Everton (10pnts -4 G/D) Chances of going down: 50%

The Toffees name alone suggest that 50% is entirely too high to
believe that they’ll actually go down, but this Everton side while
talented doesn’t have enough fire power and the uncertainty of the
clubs ownership and finances are starting to effect the mood around
Goodison Park and may finally be too much for the usually positive
David Moyes.  Moyes recently told reporters that his Everton side
didn’t expect a result of any kind on their trip to Newcastle which
has to be sobering for Toffee fans.  There is no money to spend on
players and all funds from player sales will be used to pay creditors.
It’s 50/50 whether Everton keep the rest of the core players in
January  and have their talented youngsters step up but the future is
grim even if Moyes keeps his side from relegation disaster.

Fullham (11pnts, -1 G/D) Chances of going down: 10%

Anything can happen when you’re a mid to lower table side in the
Premier League but Fullham has too much talent to be serious
contenders for the bottom three.  Fullham is also backed by a well
funded owner who will be willing to spend to cover any major cracks
that develop due to injury over the next few months.

Sunderland (10pnts +1G/D) Chances of going down: 20%

Sunderland seemingly have more talent that some of the teams that
currently sit above them in the table, but they may have the worst
manager in the league.  I don’t know what Bruce does beyond spend
money, change the team every Summer, and seemingly fall out with his
top striker on a once per year basis…oh and not get a result against
Man United too.  Sunderland might rally to a degree once Bruce is let
go and unlike some of the relegation competition they might have some
money left to reinvest to bring in reinforcements.

West Brom (11pnts -7 G/D) Chances of going down: 15%

While probably having less talent than Sunderland their manager is
much better so they get a 5% bonus.  An tough early season schedule
left the Baggies looking up, but Hodgson should be able to get enough
results in the end to keep West Brom comfortable in the end.

Wolves (11pnts -6 G/D) Chances of going down: 40%

Wolves are arguably less talented than most of the teams in the
Premier League, and needed help on the last day of the previous season
to stay up.  Their goal this season is to be clear of relegation
before the last day of the season so they know what they’re ultimately
in for which can be an advantage in a relegation battle, as sometimes
bigger teams with mid-table aspirations unexpectedly find themselves
in a battle to stay up and find it difficult to respond. One of the
bright spots for Wolves is that two clubs seems almost certain to go
down this year which creates a greater chance of staying up.

Stoke (12pnts -11 G/D) Chances of going down: 20%

Stoke started the season as dark horses for a top 6 or 7 finish but
their -11 G/D is tied for second worst in the league and they seem
worryingly unable to cope with life in Europe.  Like Everton, Stoke
doesn’t seem capable of scoring goals, which must drive Toffee 
supporters crazy because Stoke spent 10 million plus pounds for a
striker which Everton was forced to go with a no-name Greek bargin bin
buy.  As a Tottenham fan it’s great that Stoke gave Spurs 18 odd
million for Crouch and Palacios, but so far this deal is looking like
a complete steal for Spurs.  Stoke should be able to muscle their way
into staying up this season but their wasted Summer might set them
back a few years from where they were trying to progress as 18 million
pounds could have gone a long way to mid-table stabilization with the
right buys.

QPR- (12pnts -10 G/D) Chances of going down: 5%

QPR isn’t very good but they have a match winner in Barton, and some
solid players to build on.  Their ownership change left them very
little time in the summer transfer window to make buys and their new
owner seems likely to splash some money around in January.  Besides
that don’t we all want Neil Warnock to stay with us for as long as
possible?  He’s like a better version of Harry Redknapp.

Arsenal (19pnts +2 G/D) Chances of going down: 1%

Arsenal’s crisis appears to be over, but what happens when Van Persie,
Ramsey, and Vermalian all get hurt.  Once all three happens (and you
know they will) Arsenal will be dragged back down to the scrap at the
bottom of the table.

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1 comment:

  1. I like how the owners of Blackburn seem more interested in selling chicken at the stadium than anything else. They should've just opened a few restaurants instead. I hope they stick with Steve Kean until the end of the season. By that time the entire stadium will be wearing paper bags of their heads and Kean will still say "yeah I guess there are a few out there that don't like how I'm doing but I almost won that one today..."

    Would love to see Chris Samba at White Hart Lane come January.