Premier League Review 2014/15: November/December

11885630314_445fc81a1f_o

Happy New Year everyone! Sorry for a pause in my posting, I hope you’ve all had a good Christmas! The Premier League has just past the half way point and I thought I’d continue my season ‘review’ after the positive reception last time.

I’ll be looking how my pre-season predictions compare with the current table at this mid-point, and consider if each clubs league position matches the expectations.

You can find the pre-season predictions here

August, September and October review here

Hopefully the layout isn’t too confusing! Basically the number in brackets is the difference between the current position and my pre-season predictions. For example I predicted Leicester City to finish 13th, they’re currently sitting bottom at 20th (that’ll soon change!) so there is a difference of -7.

Let me know what your thoughts on the Premier League are so far!

Premier League

1st (+0): Chelsea – Well Chelsea are still top but their position is no longer as secure as it was back in October. Man City are now level on points but I still believe the squad that Mourinho has is the strongest of the two. I highly doubt we’ll see another ‘Liverpool’, a club which dramatically rises up this second half. They’re almost in a league of their own.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Leicester City 0 – 0 Sunderland

leicester v sunderland

Running out of ideas for match photos – ooh what a lovely sky!

Looks like another last spot on Match of the Day with no goals scored but I suppose it could be worse. The game was thoroughly entertaining, especially the first half but grew increasingly frustrating the more apparent it became that our goal scoring wait would continue.

It’s been quite a strange start to the season really, five points of a possible nine against Everton, Arsenal and Man Utd at home, then two points of a possible nine against Burnley, West Brom and Sunderland. Oh well, that really does makes our great start even more important.

Starting with the team news; it was pleasing to see Pearson revert back to a 4-4-2 with wingers. The defence remained the same, meaning De Laet kept his spot at right-back and Moore was left on the bench with Wasilewski getting the nod to partner Morgan for the third consecutive game. King and Drinkwater were dropped to the bench with James and Cambiasso the midfield duo. Schlupp and Mahrez provided the width with Vardy and Ulloa the strike force tasked with breaking this goalless run.

Continue reading

Premier League Review 2014/15: August/September/October

11885630314_445fc81a1f_o

It’s approximately a quarter of the way through the season (already!?) and I thought I’d look at how everyone in the Premier League has started. There have been plenty of surprises, just nine games in, and I thought it would be interesting to compare my pre-season predictions with reality. I wasn’t sure when I made them whether I’d want to revisit them in the future but I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find I wasn’t as far off (overall!) as I’d feared.

In this post I’ll be running through the current league standings and provide my thoughts on the performances of the clubs at this early stage. There is a lot of football still to be played but that doesn’t take anything away from the outstanding starts Southampton and West Ham have made, two sides I expected to struggle this season.

I’ve included the difference in brackets between current position (30/10/2014) and my predictions (15/08/2014) just to provide an easy indication as to who I feel has over or underachieved. For instance Southampton are currently 2nd, I predicted them to finish 14th so there is a difference of +12 league places. Hopefully it isn’t too confusing! I’ve also added links to several season previews for extra laughs.

You can find my pre-season predictions here

Premier League

1st (+0): Chelsea – I don’t think it has come as a surprise to anyone that Chelsea are the early pacesetters, with summer signings Fabregas and Diego Costa showing their qualities consistently every match, providing the finishing touches to a Chelsea team whose only weakness was scoring enough goals last season.

Continue reading

Man City v Chelsea preview, the two title favourites

The title favourites Manchester City and Chelsea will be looking to prove their worth this Sunday where they will be facing each other for the first time this season. The two clubs whose spending power has helped them climb to the position they are in now has been unmatched in recent years, although City’s fierce rivals United have been investing very heavily this summer. For Chelsea, this is their first real challenge after maintaining a 100% winning start, while Manchester City who have already beaten Liverpool and gained a point at Arsenal will be eager to reduce the five point gap after a shock home defeat to Stoke.

Transfer Business 

Chelsea have had one of the best transfer windows this summer for me, with a net spend of just £13.1m thanks to the big money sales of Lukaku and Luiz. The two stand-out recruits, Costa and Fabregas, have both got off to an incredible start, with Diego solving the striker problem that has been troubling Chelsea since, well, Drogba left!

City have also enjoyed a pretty shrewd window with a net spend of £24m. The team which won the league last season has remained almost entirely intact, with the only surprise being the exit of Negredo on deadline day, leaving on a season long loan to Valencia. Last season City boasted the highest goals scored with 102, and the second best defensive record with just 37 goals conceded, after Chelsea (27). Despite this, Pellegrini has splashed £32m on the Porto centre-back Mangala, making him the most expensive defender in British football, in an attempt to improve his team further.

Continue reading

Premier League New Signings Round-up: Summer 2014

The transfer window is shut after a record amount of spending this summer and there are many new faces to get our heads around. In this post I’ll be looking at all the Premier League arrivals this summer and for each club provide a few sentences on my favourites (who I’ll highlight in bold) and my view of their business as a whole. I haven’t included loans and academy recruitment, and have mainly just focused on signings rather than departures. I apologise for any inaccuracies!

Arsenal

Total spending: £82m, Total sales: £25.7m, Net spend: £56.3m

10 July 2014 Alexis Sánchez, signed from Barcelona for £35m
17 July 2014 Mathieu Debuchy, signed from Newcastle United for £12m
27 July 2014 David Ospina, signed from Nice for £3m
28 July 2014 Calum Chambers, signed from Southampton for £16m
2 September 2014 Danny Welbeck, signed from Manchester United for £16m

Arsene was under a lot of pressure from supporters on deadline day to sign another striker with a long-term injury to Giroud. His answer to the pleas was Danny Welbeck who I believe will have a better goal scoring record than at United but not bordering into prolific. Chambers is my Arsenal signing of the window. He’s breaking into the first team at just 19 and will hopefully enjoy a long successful career at Arsenal and for England if his development continues. Alexis hasn’t really got going yet but I believe he will as the season progresses.

Continue reading

Leicester City 1 – 1 Arsenal

leicester arsenal warmup

Arriving before kickoff has its benefits!

Two points from three games against the top clubs in the league is really quite astonishing, and I’m delighted with the start that the Foxes have made. While we’re still looking for a first win, I don’t think many would have expected a single point to be next to our name at this stage.

It was another highly open end-to-end game which left me and everyone watching breathless as we had little chance to pause. Pearson selected the same eleven that lost 2-0 away at Stamford Bridge last Saturday, meaning new signing Cambiasso would have to wait for his debut. On the journey to the ground I did feel really optimistic about our chances against the Gunners, but wished that Jamie Vardy would have been chosen to start as I felt his speed would do wonders against this slow Arsenal back line.

Continue reading

Cambiasso signs for the Foxes – the rise of Leicester City

Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Leicester City

It has sure dragged on to the point I thought it would never happen but I’m still coming to terms with such a big name signing at my local football club. The Premier League does attract stars from across the globe but I just find it incredible when five years ago we were playing in League 1.

Five years to gain a couple of promotions isn’t too difficult – with the great recent examples of Southampton and Norwich achieving the feat in two successive seasons – but after such disappointment by getting so close a couple of times which ended in Play-off failure, the glamour and promise of Sven-Göran Eriksson which ended in massive overspending, I just thought it would never come. Continue reading