Dan’s Remarkable and Brilliant EPL Predictions (based on one game and a lot of bull shit prejudices)

Arsenal

Yes they blew the first game and it looks like last season again where they lost the season in the first two months. Guess what, it just happened again. They have still yet to focus on the issues of a good scoring striker and a powerhouse in the midfield and will continue to challenge for 3rd place.

Aston Villa

Sherwood is a dickhead who has found his level. I am happy for him. He’ll do a decent job at Villa and I am happy for them. I have a soft spot for them. They’re hardworking and increasingly creative and that will keep them challenging for the top 10 without ever getting there.

Bournemouth

I know very little about these guys and yet I will still say with confidence, they will try hard, have  agreat home win against one of the big teams, beat Spurs at away and get relegated before the end of the season.

Chelsea

What the fuck is Jose going on about with his Dr. Clearly he has exaggerated the issue but probably for his own reasons. She will be gone by Christmas. Chelsea aren’t as good as last year. They dont have the aura. However while they will struggle in the Champion League (relatively) and get knocked out in the quarters, they’ll win the league by 5 points. If they get a striker who can stay fit and score, they’ll dominate again.

Crystal Palace

Alan Fucking Pardew is a good manager. Newcastle fans know it. And he has brought in decent players in Cabaye and held onto some good ones. They will have a good cup run and have no worries in the league, beating United at Old Trafford.

Everton

Martinez has struggled despite inheriting a team with a rock solid defence including some real quality in Jagielka and Coleman and now with some quality going forward in Barkley, Osman and Lukaku. Yet that last name says it all. Lukaku makes ex Exeter City captain Russel Coughlin look hard working (random memory). He has talent but not ethic. Plus he is a dickhead. If Lukaku fires, Everton will finish in the top 6.

Leicester City

Pearson got wrongly fired for having a racist son and being a tool. But mostly he got fired because the Thais in charge have no idea what they are doing. They will bring down the club and started brilliantly by hiring Ranieri, one of the shittest managers of the last 15 years who somehow manages to get new jobs. This is apparently his last. The sense of relief is like you’ve been dying for a piss. Leicester might stay up but it wont be by much.

Liverpool

Rodgers is under pressure after an average last season but ignoring the delusions of grandeur, Liverpool aren’t the team they used to be. They are meant to finish outside the top four. A lot of their buys for the last 2 summers have been baffling. Benteke is a beast but behind him play a squad of averageness. Rodgers is a good coach but his buying policy might get him fired by the end of the season.

Manchester City

Well Pellegrini is a makeweight, mostly because the delusions of an average club thrown tax free money from a despot is now modern football. All dickhead fans long for a murderous regime to come in and give them Champions League football. Man City haven’t improved for two years. Toure is still a fine player. All of the guff said about him by old pros is ridiculous. Aguero is the best striker in the world on his game. Kompany and Hart are overrated. Sterling aint worth that much sterling. They lack cohesion and defence. Of course they will challenge for the league but have a bad March and drop of out the CL and the league race.

Manchester United

Van Gaal is going to struggle this season to finish 4th. The players still aren’t good enough in defence and they still have no idea what they are doing. Van Gaal will blame the players but if the students don’t under the concepts, its the tutor’s fault. Depay is balls, Rooney will get a red in a big game, Smalling is the best of his defenders ironically (Rojo is gash, Phil Jones is Bournemouth), De Gea will rightly leave and United might not finish 4th. That would be the end of so much.

Newcastle United

Ahh is it a new season? Are we optimistic again? Hell yeah. First game of the season showed that Newcastle can look good but also have holes to be exposed by good coaches and pace. So it will be standard season of some glorious wins, amazing escapes and remarkable capitulations. McClaren is average and his recent record is poor but sadly that’s what we deserve under Ashley. I am hopeful for Mitrovic. You know he will get a few goals, a few punch ups, a few drunkens nights and a last minute bullet header to beat the Mackems.

Norwich City

No fucking idea beyond probably will get relegated. How about that for a review?

Southampton

Great team. Great coach. Fantastic purchases and nice style of play. Might struggle in defence this season but much to admire and will challenge for 6th.

Stoke

My fuck they have bought and bought often well. Shaqiri should be a helluva talent. If Hughes can integrate them all, they will try and fail magnificently. Stoke of course, aren’t going anywhere. 10th.

Sunderland

Ahh what a disaster. Terrible start to the season and will remain another season of struggle. They’ve bought terribly. They should just about stay up and Defoe will get 12. Then Dick will retreat back into his pants.

Swansea

Yet another excellent club with good players who will move on next season to bigger things. This will be the end of Gary Monks who is doing well but will fail sooner rather than later. There you go. That’s a prediction for next season. This season they will finish 9th and have a good cup run.

Tottenham

Quiet times at Spurs as Levy presumably realises they are a second rank club who won’t win shit. I like Pinocchio! He can organise a team well but his lack of strikers will see them struggle as their defence won’t be able to handle the pressure. This is the end of the recent optimism as they’ll simmer down to 8th.

Watford

Bought a 100 players and have a good coach. They might just make it and it started well. Of course they will struggle and use the wrong brand of football but they’ll be okay.

West Brom

Pulis is a good manager and has bought well. I like a lot about them despite Pulis’ reputation. I like stadium. I like the nickname, the Baggies and I dont understand anything they say. But then I am not listening. 13th.

West Ham

I loved Bilic in Euro 96. He looked determined and focused alongside Stimac and the other guy. Then in the World Cup 1998, he proved himself to be a dickhead, feigning injury to get Blanc banned form the final. Bellend. However despite struggling relatively, they have decent players and will finish close to the top 10.

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Kenny Dethroned.

A good call by LFC. They can’t live on the past forever or the Carling Cup. The finances certainly won’t take it. I wrote about LFC a few weeks back on this blog and nothing has changed.

Time to move on and that sage advice could be for the fans, the club, the Hillsborough groups and the city. The endless whining and feeling of pity is just becomign ludicrous. The same could be said for Joey Barton too, a another scouser who really needs to be left alone by the media and not be feted as someone more than he is.

EPL Review

Kenny Dalglish claims Stewart Downing is a better player than he thought. I’m not going to pretend. I can’t stand Downing or better said, I have no idea how he is considered a quality player. He can’t beat any fullback, his passing is limited to square balls and he barely crosses it let alone scores. But that’s my opinion. However now Dalglish has come in to defend his player it simply confirms something I’ve been thinking over. That be that Kenny has lost it if he was any good in the first place as a manager.

I give three pieces of evidence. Firstly in his first spell as LFC manager, he managed a team into decline despite spending a lot of money. However all empires fall so I won’t be too harsh there. Secondly this present team again has had a lot of money thrown at it but he’s bought terribly. Henderson, Downing, Carroll and Adam, between them valued (rather than worth) £78m are all not good enough for the level LFC wish to play at. And they never will be good enough. Further the players he’s failed to replace include his centre backs, Agger and Skrtel who are not good enough.

My third point concerns tactics. LFC played Stoke last week, a team with a large physical presence upfront. So Kenny shifted his tactics to 3-5-2 employing three centre halves and wing-backs. Sounds logical and progressive except this isn’t 1994 or 1986. Three at the back constantly fail and this formation has only worked once in 1986 when Argentina had a certain Maradona in the team. But more simply Kenny’s thinking was; ok Stoke have a big man so we will draft in a big man in Coates to mark him neglecting the fact that with 3 across the back and wingbacks in advanced positions, the crosses are going to be coming in all day. Whether Coates is good enough is doubtful but Kenny’s tactics were unique in the league and uniquely wrong. As a result, the crosses rained in all day and he ended up essentially playing 5 at the back.

However moving to the league in general, it’s still a two-horse race between the Manchester Clubs. Chelsea are too inconsistent and lack confidence. Cahill won’t add much. Spurs play the best football in the league but still lack a certain firepower and I’m not sold on them when Gallas and King aren’t fit. Arsenal are improving but lightweight and less gorgeous than they used to be. Newcastle are a good side, slightly short of the top 5 but well-organised and playing with confidence.

At the bottom, O’Neill has saved Sunderland while Norwich, Everton, Fulham, Stoke and Villa will be fine. I still have some concerns over Swansea but QPR should now be fine. Wigan look done. Blackburn will struggle but go down. Wolves have enough team spirit which condemns Bolton. It’s between them and close.

January Transfer merry-go-round

Four years ago I walked into a bookies in London and asked to speak to the manager. He duly came, looking slightly suspicious. I asked him what odds he would give me that Andy Carroll would be playing for England in the 2014.

Surprisingly he said ‘who?’ I sensed my chance. I downplayed his record for England youth teams and his Newcastle record and just called him a prospect. The bookie asked around the office and one young worker gave him a brief outline. He turned back and asked how much I wanted to put on. ‘Twenty-five quid.’ I said. ’20-1 then,’ replied the bookie. Done.

This week Andy Carroll, still only 22, transferred from Newcastle United to Liverpool for a cool £35m. Forgetting his apparent wishes to stay, that kind of cash for a still fairly unproven striker had to be taken and I say that as a Newcastle fan, fully aware that only Kung Fu Shola Ameobi, Niles ‘great name’ Ranger, Leon Best and Peter Lovenkrands are the last front line strikers left at the club. And none could be called prolific.

But that’s the present situation. Newcastle had to take that kind of cash, just like Liverpool had to accept £50m for Torres, want-a-away or not. Forget all this bullshit talk of ‘in this present economic climate, that’s too much money.’ Since when has Premier League football lived in the real world. An average player at an average Liverpool earns over £48k a week.

Carroll may have professed his wish to stay (and I think he did) and the fans may lament losing the Shearer heir that quickly but financial reality, the sort of modern business practice that Mike Ashley, a man I waiver between loathing and hating, knows the score here. Despite not having a Plan B if Carroll was sold, the present squad and that £35m would keep the club moving in the right direction and I’d be happy with the present league position.

So who got the best deal? Chelsea, Liverpool or Newcastle? Chelsea needed to invest and will certainly have made Michel Platini raise an eyebrow. But they will need to keep doing so for another few years. Liverpool had no choice but to sell Torres and David N’Goal is not going to help out much. A net outlay of £7m on Carroll and Suarez is pretty good. Next to fix that defence.

But for me taking a realist point of view, I’d say Newcastle came out best. £35m is more than the club has spent in years. An organised team especially in midfield can fair well in this average league. Carroll might turn out to be brilliant but he is leggy and possibly prone to leg, ankle, knee injuries. In that case, its a bad investment. But Kenny is not often wrong about a player. Staying fit, Carroll will lead that line for years to come, bullying defenders and hopefully putting John Terry through the back of the net at least twelve times. If he promises that, he can retire right now from international football now. Some things are more important than money.

Time for Patience

I wish I knew the media campaign to drum up a crisis at Liverpool was just to sell papers. But it isn’t and sadly the broadsheet and more respected media just follows on. Talking heads are trying to out-do each other like political shock-jocks, all in the hunt for Jerry Springer-type adoration. Certain newspaper’s agendas also reflect the divided lines of football loyalty.

Rafa Benitez is considered finished by some media and like the big sell of talentless pop stars by media manipulators, ignorant and weak-willed fans start believing it. His entire past achievements are now forgotten, the limits he works under are ignored and every minute decision is slated if it is debateable and questioned if it succeeds. He can’t win even when Liverpool wins. Its merely survival. Liverpool have to finish in the Top 4. With Manchester City and Aston Villa struggling at times, that is easily achievable. I dislike a lot about Liverpool but the vitriolicism of the tabloids and snide carping of the broadsheets media pisses me off. I have seen it too often with Newcastle United.

Below are some comments about Fergie when his position was openly muted by the media and supporters back in 2001, after two Championships in a row and 6 in total. Their comments below now look ludicrous, a product of shallow people with short attention spans.

I think it is time for Fergie to go. I am not sure that it is possible to replace him at this time but the team are playing so badly, we might not notice the difference. He never appointed a coach to replace McClaren and now we are seeing the results. Fergie has donned his tracksuit again and he just can’t coach anymore (Not like Kidd and McClaren).

He has tinkered with the system and upset the rythm of the team. Although Veron is an unbelievable player, he is not the man we needed. We needed a top class defender to play along with STAM, and a top class striker to play with Cole, Solskjaer and Van Nistelrooy.
Martin, Ireland

Every coach in any sport reaches the point after coaching the same athletes, even when successful, when the words actions and tactics become stale. This has happened. There is nothing more Fergie can say. It’s over.
David, England

Ferguson has been a disaster. United already had a world-class midfield and attack and he didn’t need any reinforcements over the summer. He has wasted the club’s money. Get a manager in who will sort out that defence.
Hiral, Fulham, England

It does look like Mr Cragnotti has a point. Much was made of the Lazio situation when Eriksson was appointed to the England job and they went from being one of the most feared teams in Europe to a shambles. There are similarities with the plight Utd currently find themselves in.

If Ferguson doesn’t stand aside the Board should certainly move very quickly to make his successor known. At least then the Utd players would have a focus to impress for the rest of the season. I hope that they don’t wait to see how England do in the World Cup before making their final decision on who they are going to move for.
Mark, Swindon, England

Absolutely, and Joe Royle would be a perfect replacement.
Mark, Leeds, UK