Outside of the top 5/6 teams, this is really an average league. There are about 10 teams who don’t and can’t stand out.
What to say…Wenger has yet again failed to grasp any nettle. The lack of depth in defence and talent upfront haven;t been addressed and this is going to be the season they suffer. This is a team that only plays for 4th now. Its unbelieveable that Wenger accepts this. But then despite criticising players for their demands, he is one of the highest paid managers in the world. He knows what he is doing it for. 5th
I’ve always rated Lambert and while they won’t set anything alight, keeping Benteke and developing the young squad will be enough to keep them comfortably midtable. 12th
A season of struggle for Cardiff. They must be favourite to go down despite making important signings in defence and upfront. Relegated
They are very difficult to judge. Jose is back so they will be competitive and they have serious talent through the squad. Yet without Torres or Ba hitting rich form, they just don’t have enough threat. 3rd.
Forget it. Martinez is going to struggle here. I like the guy and his tactics but he clearly can’t get the best out of his team. They seem to do that all by themselves. They have quality at the back so a top ten finish is likely. 7th
Same, same, same. I like Jol and his squad. Midtable. 13th
Rodgers is dreaming if he thinks these new signings will make any real difference. Suarez was the only real offence they had last season. Sturridge will help but is too inconsistent while the defence is ageing. They will improve slightly but missing out on that Armenian and failure to get some creativity in the middle (they might get Willam who will help) keeps them about the same area which also means Suarez is leaving. 6th
Its a simple first or second here but again without certain leading actors, Man City struggle. I’m not that convinced by the new signings. They only really need Aguero to stay fit and Silva to actually do some work to be successful. Hart needs to stop throwing the ball in the net and Kompany and Toure must stay fit. 1st.
Moyes is going to do an excellent job. Let’s not worry about that. His biggest issues are getting rid of Rooney and the fans understanding that sometimes Fergie also didn’t win the league. There are too many professionals at the club brought up to keep issues indoors for the side to implode so this will remain a solid season. One point rarely mentioned is Moyes is now going to be in the Champions League too. Playing hugely important midweek and weekend games is a new challenge. 2nd.
Similar to Chelsea, its very difficult to know how they will do. A full strength team is easily a top 10 side. However Pardew fails to convince, the signings likewise and the boardroom shenagians and French clique have the potential to upset the milkvan. 9th
I like Chris Hughton and especially the job he’s done. He’s also invested wisely and in some real talent. Safety is assured. 14th
Firing Atkins was an odd but ultimately astute move by the chairman. Portabello (sp?) might not speak English but tactically he tightened them up and has shown faith in the squad bringing in only Wanyama to strengthen the midfield. They will surprise this season, mostly because you won’t really notice them. 11th
Its difficult to give two shits to be honest. Hughes will bring more style to the team but like Wimbledon and Bolton before them, is that what they need? The season will look the same. 16th
Paolo will talk more off the pitch than his team will on it. They bought unproven players, players with almost no track record. I see them struggling to get any momentum and finishing low in the table. 17th
If Wenger fails to get Arsenal into the Champions League, Laudrap is their new manager. The Europa League will put pressure on them damaging their league form but Laudrap knows the league is too important and he’s invested very well in Bony. 10th
AVB has invested well. If he keeps Bale (which I think he will now) that is one very dangerous side. They lack quality in some areas. I’m not sure about the centre backs at that level and I’m very sure about Ekoto (lazy) but they’ve focused on and improved key areas upfront and in the middle. They will be competitive enough to take 4th. The only issue is the worthless Europa League getting in the way. 4th.
This season will be a disappointment in comparison to recent years. Anelka is a shrewd signing but not reallly enough to replace Lukaku. I see them inhabiting 10th -12th almost all season. 15th
West Ham United
Big Sam continues to recognise and buy what he needs and do a very simple, professional job. Downing might be shit at Liverpool but Sam knows how to get the best out of hard-working donkeys and this canny move alongside Carroll will keep them difficult to beat and comfortably in midtable. 8th