Welcome to Day Four of my Premier League countdown – the one and only part that doesn’t actually countdown to anything – except for, ah, a different way in which it does. In other words, then: not only a post three days late, but also one I’m now confusingly introducing. (What can I say? I simply had to watch Arsenal v. Newcastle at the weekend before I could dare predict a single thing about the upcoming season, and now it’s kind of late and I’m really rather tired…)
Here goes nothing, then. (And just for fun, I’ll repost this at the end of May so I can subject my remarkable prescience/ignorance to the cold light of facts.)
20th: Queens Park Rangers
The team with the best defensive record in the Championship last season just conceded four at home to Bolton. Stupidly rich owners trying to do it on the cheap = not good enough.
15th: Norwich City
Equipped with that most useful of things, a good Scottish manager. Also the promoted team with the most recent top-flight experience – something likely helpful on rainy days in March.
14th: Bolton Wanderers
A decent team with a decent gaffer unfortunately deprived of late of their best attacking options (Elmander off to Turkey; Sturridge back to Chelsea). Would otherwise do better…
12th: Stoke City
Will continue to punch above its weight with the same old combination of stalwart defending, canny management, and ever-so-capricious quality (this year’s addition: “injury-prone” Jonathan Woodgate).
Will continue to look pretty good on their day, pretty awful for a stretch or two, and pretty ordinary for the rest of the time. Along with Villa, the other team nailed-on not to trouble either the relegation zone or “Europe.”
Or maybe even better – with Vermaelen back to anchor the defense, a much better goalkeeper to start the season with, Wilshere ever more immense, and van Persie fit and firing from the get-go.
2nd: Manchester City
Or maybe even better, too – with the quintessential embarrassment of riches recently adorned still further with one Sergio Agüero. Sir Alex would win it all with this team at a canter.
Anyhow, that’s me… But you will tell me exactly where I’ve woefully miscalculated, won’t you? Via that super-convenient comment section below, for instance….
Or by any chance are you too much of a lily-livered, nancy-boy, yellow-belly, chicken, poltroon scaredy-cat to make some predictions of your own? (No, didn’t think so.)