Apologies for the delay in writing this, we’ve just past the 3/4 mark in this Premier League season but hopefully it’s not too late to write my third review of it.
I’ll be looking how my pre-season predictions compare with the current table at this stage, with just eight games remaining for the majority of the clubs, and consider if each clubs league position matches their expectations.
I realise it may look a bit confusing if you haven’t seen my earlier reviews, but basically the number in brackets is the difference between the current league position and my pre-season predictions. An example would be I predicted Manchester United to finish 6th, they’re currently 4th, so that’d be (+2).
Hopefully you’ll find it interesting to look back at how the Premier League teams have progressed throughout the season, I can happily say that despite a couple of exceptions (thanks Southampton!) I wasn’t as far off with my predictions as I had feared!
Who do you think will finish in the top 4?
1st (+0): Chelsea – The top 2 has almost perfectly matched my predictions throughout the season but I don’t think there were many doubts this year would be a joint battle between Chelsea and Man City. Chelsea’s position doesn’t look as secure as it did a couple of months ago but it would have to take something special for anyone to reach them at this stage.
2nd (+0): Manchester City – I’d be surprised if Pellegrini lost his job this season, despite what many expect to be a trophyless season. They have progressed further in the Champions League than ever before and it’s incredibly rare for a Premier League to win the title in consecutive seasons. Just too many poor performances from good players.
3rd (+0): Arsenal – Arsenal have been on a great run since my last review, with 9 wins and 1 defeat in the last ten, taking them from sixth to third. Finishing in the top four was always Wenger’s target, but I do have to question whether fans consider this to be satisfactory every season, especially now with no excuses regarding player exits.
4th (+2): Manchester United – That win over Liverpool was huge, I’m annoyed to say, and unless things breakdown, that result really might just cement United’s place in the top four in their rivals place. I don’t think they deserve it as their performances have not warranted the results they’ve achieved, but I’m sure nobody will pay that any mind.
5th (-1): Liverpool – After a pretty poor start to the season, perhaps it might be too much for Liverpool to continue this remarkable run and end up in the Champions League again. I am admittedly quite gloomy at the minute but that defeat last Sunday really did leave me deflated. I’m delighted that the criticism aimed at Rodgers has disappeared though!
6th (+8): Southampton – Each review has seen Southampton drop ever so slightly down from their fantastic start but I don’t think it’s fair to be critical of that seeing as I had them down for a tough season! Finishing in a Europa League spot would still be a huge success and I think that is very achievable with it being so tight at the minute.
7th (-2): Tottenham – From what I’ve seen of Tottenham throughout the season, they’ve really just left me feeling underwhelmed, and I feel particularly bitter for robbing Leicester of valuable points on both occasions! If I’m honest, it wouldn’t surprise me if they do make it into the top six, but it would be harsh on Southampton or Liverpool.
8th (+0): Swansea City – I think Garry Monk will be pleased with his full debut season as a manager, and have made a crazy amount of money in my opinion on Bony. Like a few teams, with eight games left it’s a bit awkward with 7th realistically out of reach, and a big gap keeping them safe of relegation, so I can’t imagine anything dramatic at this stage.
9th (+6): West Ham United – Like Southampton’s season, they’ve unsurprisingly slipped down the table as the season has progressed. The last ten games have been poor, but in West Ham’s defence, they have suffered several big injuries that have left gaps they’ve struggled to fill.
10th (-1): Stoke City – I had Stoke and Swansea to be my dark horses for the season and if they end the season in their current positions then they’ve certainly been that. Stoke have barely spent a penny in both transfer windows which is admirable, and I’m sure Mark Hughes will be already looking towards next season.
11th (+7): Crystal Palace – Wow, the big surprise from my last review is Palace. I mentioned in January how I couldn’t understand why Pardew would consider such a ‘downgrade’, well I guess he’s proven me wrong! They’re now above Newcastle and I’d love it for him to keep it that way after his treatment at that club.
12th (-2): Newcastle United – I think Newcastle are just safe from relegation at this point, but their form the last ten games, with six defeats and just two wins, certainly would be worrying if they weren’t already this high. Carver was a strange appointment for me.
13th (-6): Everton – Everton’s form has just so slightly improved in recent weeks but it really has been a season of disappointment. They were knocked out of the Europa League in quite a dramatic fashion and I really do fear for Martinez’s job safety. They aren’t really in danger of relegation but a lot of money was spent in the summer and the team has gone backwards.
14th (+5): West Bromwich Albion – The new manager effect under Pulis has paid off with West Brom rising up the table with several big wins, and I think they should be safe. I guess the real question will be if Pulis decides to leave it to the week before the new season before resigning again!
15th (-3): Hull City – Hull have surprised me this season, I did have them down for a difficult season but I didn’t expect it to continue for so long. I think it’s from Hull downwards, there is a big danger of relegation, more specifically, of finishing in 18th, with just three points separating Hull and Burnley. I do think Hull will be safe though.
16th (+4): Aston Villa – The amount of attention Tim Sherwood has received really did grow tiresome fast for me, and while I thought his sacking at Tottenham was harsh, it’s a bit early to make him out to be this tactical genius. Their huge win away at Sunderland did however help decide which of the two will be going down for me. Should be safe.
17th (-6): Sunderland – Lets be honest, did anyone expect a manager like Advocaat to be appointed? It reminds a bit of Fulham and Felix Magath, that didn’t exactly work out too well in the Championship either! I’d be shocked if Sunderland do manage to stay up as I think Burnley have much more about them at this stage.
18th (+0): Burnley – As much as it pains me to say it, my hopes on Leicester staying up are extremely slim. Of the three promoted Championship sides however, I would be delighted if Burnley survive if Leicester are to be relegated as with all the current talk about money and English players, Burnley are a club that shows it can still work in the modern game.
19th (-2): Queens Park Rangers – So Austin did end up staying but Redknapp on the other hand didn’t. I’d be hugely surprised if QPR did somehow pull survival off, and if I’m honest, it’s embarrassing for Leicester that we are below them.
20th (-7): Leicester City – In my eyes it’s been a season full of disappointment yes, but also many missed opportunities as I feel a lot of our performances have deserved a lot more. It’s an unforgiving league and that really has shown this season. Hopefully we’ll end it on a high and give the 10,000 new Leicester fans a reason to be here next season…
OCTOBER 31st: (+12) Southampton, (+11) West Ham, (+6) West Brom
JANUARY 1st: (+10) Southampton, (+8) West Ham, (+8) Aston Villa
MARCH 24st: (+8) Southampton, (+7) Crystal Palace, (+6) West Ham United
OCTOBER 31st: (-7) Sunderland, (-6) Tottenham, (-4) Newcastle
JANUARY 1st: (-7) Leicester City, (-6) Everton, (-4) Liverpool
MARCH 24st: (-7) Leicester City, (-6) Everton, (-6) Sunderland
If I am to do a review thing like this next season I think I’ll come up with a better way of presenting it, but hopefully you can judge from the summary above which teams have improved and worsened as the season has gone on, as well as who has performed greater and lower than my pre-season predictions.
Thanks for reading! 🙂