Preview to the Season IV – (Sunderland-Wigan)By: Rob | August 15th, 2008
Tomorrow at midday, the season, finnally, gets underway. The prepetual groundhog day of waking up wondering of Gareth Barry is going to Liverpool, or whether Ronaldo’s gran thinks he should be playing in Madrid or Manchester, football is back. Here is the last of my previews for the season, and with it a nudge to go to check out the EPL Fantasy League, as you only have untill midday tomorrow to get in there, and prove yourself the most astute of Offsiders.
Last Season – 15th. Fairly sure they weren’t going to go down, but hardly set the league alight.
Story of the Summer – Roy Keane tries to buy Spurs entire reserves.
Who’s The New Boy? Teemu Tainio – Versatile Finn, and one of the many Spurs players, Roy Keane has a crush on.
Who Needs a Big Season? Grant Leadbitter – Roy Keane has compared the young Englishman to Paul Scholes. This season could be the year he really breaks through.
Prediction – About the same as last year
Last Season Dissapointing start, got rid of Jol, eventually climbed back up to mid-table and grabbed the Carling Cup. Considering that there was talk of the Top 4 at the start of last season, was dissapointing for them.
Story of the Summer – Robbie Keane sodded off to Liverpool, while Ramos bought young and tried to keep Berbatov from Man United.
Who’s The New Boy? Luka Modric – Terrifically exciting, the slight Croat was one of the stars of Euro 2008. Arsene Wenger has said he’s a bit to small (er, Fabregas anyone?) Modric has a bit of the Cruyff about him, and I don’t say that lightly.
Who Needs a Big Season? Johnathon Woodgate. Once signed by Real Madrid, injuries have beset the midfielder. Spurs defence was terrible last season, and they need a bit of stability.
Prediction – If they keep Berba, with Dos Santos and Modric behind him, I think 5th. If they loose him to United, you can take a few places off that.
West Bromwich Albion
Last Season Promoted from the Championship. Looked the best team in the league while doing it.
Story of the Summer Kevin Phillips swaps Promoted to the EPL WBA, for relegated from the EPL, and local rivals to the Baggies, Birmingham City.
Who’s The New Boy? Gianni Zuiverloon. Scored the winning pen against fellow Baggies new boy Scott Carson in last years U21 Euro’s. Holland against England at penalties and any level is the most harrowing thing ever isn’t it?
Who Needs a Big Season? Scott Carson. Steve McClaren tried to ruin his carrer by putting him, inexperienced, on a wet pitch for England, and he lost a fair bit of confidence. Could do with it back.
Prediction – The only one of the promoted teams to stay up.
West Ham United
Last Season Middle of the road, middle of the table, a Curbs special. Quite an improvement on barely staying up the year before.
Story of the Summer West Ham take on America. Violently.
Who’s The New Boy? Valon Behrami. Looked like the best Swiss player at the Euros, where they didn’t look as bad as we expected. Plays wide, and likes to get the ball in. Has been compared with David Beckham.
Who Needs a Big Season? Craig Bellamy. Has to prove he’s a footballer as well as a despisable human being.
Prediction – Roughly the same as last year.
Last Season Looked dead certs for the job. Then Steve Bruce seemed crazy in walking away from safe-looking Brum to join them. Then Bruce kept them up, with more than a little help from Emile Heskey, and sent Birmingham down.
Story of the Summer Emile Heskey’s fiancee was threatened at knifepoint by muggers.
Who’s The New Boy? Amr Zaki. The best striker in the world according to FIFA Rankings. He’s big and pacy like Heskey is, and scores goals for fun.
Who Needs a Big Season? Emile Heskey – They need him to perform like he did last year if they want to stay up.
Prediction – Either just staying up, or just going down. Expect it to go to the last day.