The 2011-12 Premier League Table: Recklessly Predicted!

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.

 19th: Swansea City
This year’s Blackpool: we’ll all enjoy watching them play, and then they’ll get relegated anyway.

 18th: Wigan Athletic
Light on fans and also light on goals… will spend the whole season scrapping and the end of it unhappy.

 17th: Wolverhampton Wanderers
Mick McCarthy’s try-hard team to finish exactly where they did last year – thanks to the same uneven mix of fragility at the back and quality further forward.

 16th: Blackburn Rovers
Too strong defensively to go down, but nevertheless undermined by trademark dodgy owners: poised to make at least one disastrous decision before the end of May.

 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…

 13th: Newcastle United
If such a crazy club can ever manage such a thing, surely now’s the time: a year of quiet consolidation (notwithstanding Joey Barton).

 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).

 11th: Aston Villa
No more Young and Downing, but still enough skill elsewhere to keep them safely in the middle – especially with Darren Bent up front to keep on doing what he does.

 10th: Sunderland
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.”

 9th: Fulham
Sure and steady all the way – with flashes of excellence enough to make some ‘bigger’ clubs just a little jealous.

 8th: West Bromwich Albion
One of the league’s best pairings of manager and team: Roy to sort the defence out, and everything else to fall nicely into place.

 7th: Everton
Because they always do, will start slowly, get better, and finish strong – without ever scoring or conceding an awful lot of goals.

 6th: Tottenham Hotspur
Back behind Liverpool in the pecking order – because that other lot have better strikers and a better goalkeeper. But also well clear of Everton thanks to Bale, Modric, and co.

 5th: Liverpool
Will keep on improving – but nowhere near enough to really worry those above… especially with more pressure on King Kenny’s shoulders this time around.

 4th: Chelsea
And definitely no higher – because Lampard, Essien, and Drogba aren’t quite the forces they used to be. And because being young and Portuguese is not the same as being José Mourinho.

 3rd: Arsenal
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.

 1st: Manchester United
Because they have the best manager, the deepest pool of quality defenders, and Wayne Rooney – who probably won’t spend the first half of this year being kind of shit.

*****

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.)

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About newjonnytransit

Same as ever, only better.
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