Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Brian Deane for Sheffield Utd (vs Manchester Utd), 15 August 1992

A post in which I peer into my crystal ball and offend the fans of all Premiership clubs with my almost completely arbitrary (but blessedly brief) predictions for the 2005/6 Premiership season.

Leggy Leader lost to Old Lady. Can Gallic genius galvanise greatness for final fling before the Grove? Fortune drives a Renault Clio.

Prediction: 3rd
Player to Watch: Cesc Fabregas – filling big boots
Aston Villa
Young, thrusting manager WLTM generous chairman for European away days. Not likely to happen here. Where’s Peter Ridsdale when you need him? Mid-table. Mediocre. Average. Uninspired and uninspiring.

Prediction: 12th
Player to Watch: Kevin Phillips – the new Darius Vassell?
Birmingham City
They play a bit like Steve Bruce’s nose looks: ugly, crooked, damaged and yet strangely effective… Destiny wears an electronic tag.

Prediction: 11th
Player to Watch: Jermaine Pennant – will he let his football do the talking?
Blackburn Rovers
Guaranteed to turn any game into an undignified scrap. The wise man gives Premiership Plus a miss if this lot are on. Actually, I think the wise man gives Premiership Plus a miss full-stop.

Prediction: 13th
Player to Watch: Craig Bellamy – you’ll certainly hear the gobby git
Bolton Wanderers
Since Southampton’s relegation, Big Sam is now the undisputed king of the Used Car Salesman school of management. An often bizarre mix of the sublime (Okacha) and the ridiculous (Diouf)

Prediction: 7th
Player to Watch: Stelios – goal-scoring midfield dynamo
Charlton Athletic
It must be very frustrating to be a Charlton fan. On the one hand they have a really good manager who has taken them to undreamed of heights. On the other hand they appear to be stagnating fast. Outside bet for an early managerial casualty?

Prediction: 14th
Player to Watch: um. Not spoilt for choice here. Franny Jeffers?
The Special One is Abramovich’s best buy, by miles. The best players gelled into the best team. Should be even easier this time. England fans will be praying Lampard & Terry stay fit for summer. I should hate them, but somehow I don't. Peter Kenyon is clearly a worm though.

Prediction: champions
Player to Watch: Shaun Wright-Phillips – better than Beckham
Only 2 words are needed to summarise the disappointing season ahead: Phil Neville. Oh, and maybe four more for good measure. "Early", "exit", "from" and "Europe". Destiny wears a mullet.

Prediction: 8th
Player to Watch: Phil Neville – 52 cap England legend
Struggle ahoy! If Malbranque leaves, relegation beckons.

Prediction: 17th
Player to Watch: Claus Jensen – injured for much of last year
Freakishly European Champions. Not so much luck in Europe this time, but surely a stronger showing in the league.

Prediction: 4th
Player to Watch: Peter Crouch – hard to miss (good touch for a big man, etc.)
Manchester City
Psycho Therapy, Psycho Therapy !

Prediction: 9th
Player to Watch: Joey Barton – what will he do next?
Manchester Utd
At last – a reliable goalkeeper in Methuselah. Fortune wears the #25 shirt.

Prediction: runners-up
Player to Watch: Alan Smith – is he really the new Roy Keane?
It’s not exactly a tourist destination, but Steve McClaren is definitely building a decent team up on Teeside. Like him though, slightly dull.

Prediction: 6th
Player to Watch: Gaizka Mendieta – occasionally one of the best players in Europe
Newcastle Utd
This great club is being reduced to a laughing stock by the ineptitude of its board and management. Shame. Souness won’t last the season, but Freddie Shepherd has little to be proud of here.

Prediction: 10th
Player to Watch: Scott Parker – point to prove
With no Yakubu, goals will be hard to come by and Laurent Robert will storm off in a huff. Azahar Karadas has always been good for me in Championship Manager though, so you never know.

Prediction: 16th
Player to Watch: Laurent Robert – says what he sees
They just popped up to say hello, and now they’ve gone back down below.

Prediction: 18th (relegated)
Player to Watch: Brian Deane? Are you serious?
Tottenham Hotspur
More optimistic than usual with a young squad yet to taste the bitterness and disappointment that are their destiny. Expect to see dazzling 1-8-1 formations to get the best out of their squad. Look out for a tall dark stranger - it will probably be Freddie Kanoute.

Prediction: 5th
Player to Watch: Michael Dawson – if he can stay clear of injury
West Bromwich Albion
The team that broke the rules – bottom at Christmas and avoided relegation. Should be easier this time around. Bryan Robson may be a decent manager after all. Who knew?

Prediction: 15th
Player to Watch: Robert Earnshaw – will Robson put him in the starting lineup?
West Ham Utd
Nice to have them back, but I don’t expect an extended stay.

Prediction: 19th (relegated)
Player to Watch: Anton Ferdinand – it’s in the blood (allegedly)
Wigan Athletic
Back to the Championship quicker than you can say “parachute payments”

Prediction: 20th (relegated)
Player to Watch: Nathan Ellington – goals at this level?


FA Cup: Tottenham Hotspur
European Cup: Juventus

I support a Championship club, you see... it's a much more competitive league, you know.


Dom said...

Think West Ham will stay up at the expense of West Brom & Arsenal will finish 2nd - but other than that I think you could scarily be spot on - for the league anyway.

No 1 in the year so no Spurs cup win - Man U, Arsenal, or Newcastle.

Anonymous said...

Where’s Peter Ridsdale when you need him?

At Cardiff where the f#cker belongs along with the sheepshagging morons and that wanker Sam Hammammmaammamaammamm down there.

Player to Watch: Shaun Wright-Phillips – better than Beckham

Yeah, Sky are going to install a special "Subs Bench Cam" at Stamford Bridge

Player to Watch: Alan Smith – is he really the new Roy Keane?

No he isn't. He's a red-lipped peroxide tw@t.
Another ground with a "Subs Bench Cam" installed

Great post Swiss ;)

LB said...

DOJ - was he a "red lipped peroxide tw@t" whilst leading the line for you?

Just checking.

and why the tirade of abuse against Cardiff? have you played them lately or something?

heh heh heh

It's about time in my book a supposed "big" club got relegated. Time for a season in the Championship for the Villa I think. or Everton. or Spurs. Or Boro. or Newcastle even.

El Tel said...

Surely Mick McCarthy is an addition to the Used Car Salesman School of Management... and a buyer not to be underrated. Brian Deane is gone, having served his purpose. Step forward Jon Stead - 20+ goals this season??? Perhaps not.

I reckon that car lot competition will see Mr Alardyce's Premiership prophets fall.

I suspect we've all been duped by WBA's freakish side-stepping of relegation last season.

Anonymous said...

Lord B quoteth:
DOJ - was he a "red lipped peroxide tw@t" whilst leading the line for you?

No he wasn't until the moment relegation was confirmed and said "f*ck you lot I'm off" or words to that effect straight after the game. The cnut went waaaaaay down in my estimation after that. What made it worse was the hero-worship he got from some fans after the last game, tossers.

He also quoteth:
and why the tirade of abuse against Cardiff? have you played them lately or something?

we might have.... ;)
It also goes back to that infamous FA cup game 3-4 years back.
Doesn't deflect from the fact that Ridsdale is a cnut though :D

red one said...

That was one of the best premiership prediction round-ups I've read this year. I laughed.

As a Spurs fan, I reckon your prediction of fifth and an FA cup is what I'd go for myself. On a good day.

And I think the kids'll be alright, actually, despite your gloom. Are you the new Alan Hansen or something?

We will not have 1-8-1. We will have a healthy competition for places - Martin Jol knows how to pick a team. And I don't notice the Special One worrying about having too many midfielders, so why should Martin?

I have to say though, that "sublime" is also the word I have always attached to Jay-Jay Okocha - before the Edgar Davids sighning, he was my fantasy Big Plan for Spurs (even if he had a bad season last year).

there you go


LB said...

hurrah! we have a Spurs fan on board.

Coupled wilth a Wolves and Leeds contingent, and a waning United squad this could be the blog for Underachievers and Disappointment for the next nine months, I reckon.

Anonymous said...

Hey - don't forget the stroppy, seldom-commenting Stoke contingent. If you're talking disappointment, I think you'll find us up there with the worst of them...

Nice run-down, ST - but I think you're being generous to Wigan....(yes. I know)

LB said...

and I have of course forgotten the Newcastle fans whose club pretty much defines "disappointment and underachievement"....

weenie said...

Pretty spot on, I'd agree.