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2011-2012 Football League Predictions

August 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Just a quick post with my predictions for the new football league season starting next week. This is how I see the Premier League, Championship, League 1 and League 2 finishing up. These could be amazingly correct or staggeringly wrong, we shall see how the season develops.

Premier League:

 

  1. Manchester United
  2. Chelsea
  3. Manchester City
  4. Arsenal
  5. Liverpool
  6. Tottenham Hotspur
  7. Everton
  8. Aston Villa
  9. Stoke
  10. QPR
  11. Bolton
  12. Fulham
  13. Newcastle
  14. Sunderland
  15. West Bromwich Albion
  16. Wolves
  17. Blackburn

——————————————————————-

  1. Norwich
  2. Wigan
  3. Swansea City

Championship:

 

  1. West Ham United
  2. Leicester City

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  1. Leeds United
  2. Ipswich Town
  3. Southampton
  4. Middlesbrough

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  1. Cardiff City
  2. Birmingham City
  3. Brighton
  4. Nottingham Forest
  5. Bristol City
  6. Burnley
  7. Hull City
  8. Reading
  9. Blackpool
  10. Portsmouth
  11. Derby
  12. Watford
  13. Millwall
  14. Barnsley
  15. Doncaster

——————————————————————-

  1. Crystal Palace
  2. Coventry
  3. Peterborough United

League 1:

 

  1. Huddersfield Town
  2. Charlton

——————————————————————-

  1. Sheffield United
  2. MK Dons
  3. Scunthorpe United
  4. Brentford

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  1. Preston North End
  2. Colchester United
  3. Leyton Orient
  4. Chesterfield
  5. Bournemouth
  6. Carlisle United
  7. Sheffield Wednesday
  8. Exeter City
  9. Tranmere
  10. Oldham
  11. Walsall
  12. Bury
  13. Notts County
  14. Hartlepool United

——————————————————————-

  1. Yeovil Town
  2. Rochdale
  3. Wycombe
  4. Stevenage

League 2:

 

  1. Shrewsbury Town
  2. Crawley Town
  3. Swindon Town

——————————————————————-

  1. Rotherham United
  2. Bristol Rovers
  3. Crewe Alexandra
  4. Oxford United

——————————————————————-

  1. Gillingham
  2. Torquay United
  3. Plymouth
  4. Dagenham & Redbridge
  5. Accrington Stanley
  6. Aldershot
  7. Northampton Town
  8. AFC Wimbledon
  9. Bradford
  10. Port Vale
  11. Southend United
  12. Morecambe
  13. Hereford United
  14. Macclesfield
  15. Burton Albion

——————————————————————-

  1. Cheltenham Town
  2. Barnet

Veteran Friedel signs for Spurs

40 year old goalkeeper Brad Friedel has signed for Tottenham Hotspur in a free transfer from Aston Villa in what is believed to be a two year deal at the London club. Despite seeing fellow 40 year old keeper Edwin van der Sar retire at the end of this season, Friedel has no such plans to end his playing career and has joined up with Spurs who will be competing in the Europa League next season as well as aiming to break back into the top four of the Premier League.

The American keeper who first moved to England in 1997 when he signed for Liverpool has racked up an impressive 400 games in the Premier League which has included a run of not missing a single league game since 2004 with Blackburn Rovers and then Aston Villa. Friedel also holds the distinction of being one of only three goal keepers to have scored a Premier League goal, Paul Robinson and Peter Schmeichel being the other two, coming for Blackburn away at Charlton.

Friedel elected to leave Villa after his contract expired

Friedel is thought to have rejected a number of other offers from clubs including Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion as well as a new deal from Villa before deciding to join Harry Redknapp’s side. With Heurelho Gomes and Carlo Cudicini already established at Spurs, the competition for the number 1 spot will be healthy and is probably the strongest line up of goalkeepers in the league. Cudicini recently signed a new extension to his deal at Spurs but there have been rumours surrounding the future of Gomes and a possible move away back to his old club PSV Eindhoven.

Redknapp seems keen to keep his trio of goalkeepers together however with a long season ahead for Spurs which could include a deep run in the Europa League. The Spurs manager said “It is good to have three such experienced top goalkeepers at the club in Heurelho Gomes, Carlo Cudicini and now Brad and it means we have competition for places particularly with the number of games we will hopefully face next year both domestically and in Europe as well.”

Although into his 40s, Friedel has proved he still more than capable of performing at the top level and now that he has been confirmed as a Tottenham player, the battle begins to see who will be starting between the posts come the new season.

Rooney on his way out of Old Trafford?

October 19, 2010 3 comments

With Sir Alex Ferguson admitting today that Wayne Rooney wants to leave Manchester United, there is the prospect of huge movements of money and players when the January transfer window opens. The speculation around where Rooney will be come January or the start of the next season has led to him being linked with moves to a number of major clubs that could pay him astronomical wages. Manchester City, Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid are all potential destinations for the England star, and the movement of Rooney could spark a number of other big names switching clubs.

One potential move United could make if Rooney leaves is for Liverpool striker Fernando Torres. Torres has looked out of sorts this season and doesn’t seem to be playing with much spirit for Liverpool who have begun the season with all sorts of problems, currently sitting next to bottom in the Premier League. Would Torres be interested in a move to Old Trafford? Probably. Would Liverpool let him go to their arch rivals? Not so likely, although a suitably large offer might tempt the new owners of Liverpool to allow Torres to move on.

United may also be offered players and money in exchange for Rooney by Real Madrid or Barcelona. Karim Benzema has often been linked with a move to United and if Real Madrid offers Benzema along with a transfer fee, Rooney could swap places with Benzema and link back up with Cristiano Ronaldo. Barcelona also have players that could tempt United in a swap deal such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic who is currently on loan at AC Milan and apparently surplus to requirements at the Nou Camp.

I’m sure like me, most neutral English fans will want to see Rooney remain in the Premiership, whether he stays at United or moves to somewhere like City or Chelsea doesn’t bother me. I simply want to keep the best players in the Premiership, but whatever happens in the next few months, it is going to be very interesting how this saga develops and how a Rooney transfer might pave the way for a number of other major moves between the top clubs in Europe.

Why the Premiership is still the best league in the World.

August 16, 2009 2 comments

Many people may argue that, since the summer spending of Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, that has seen some of the world’s top players in Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Xabi Alonso and Karim Benzema arriving in Madrid and Zlatan Ibrahimovic moving from Inter Milan to Barcelona, that the Spanish La Liga has become the greatest league in the world. Assuming of course they didn’t already hold this belief before the big name imports. With Ronaldo leaving current English champions Manchester United for Madrid and Xabi Alonso leaving last seasons  second place finishers Liverpool, it will clearly have a detrimental affect on both teams and, arguably, the overall quality of the league. Combined with the loss of  some of its top players, there has been very little transfer activity where players have been brought into the Premiership from other international leagues. The majority of transfer activity has been players moving clubs within the league and cannot compete with the blockbuster moves from the two Spanish sides.

However, i believed that before these transfers in the summer, the Premiership was the best league and I still believe that to be the case. Although La Liga can now boast the names of Ronaldo, Kaka, Messi, Iniesta, Xavi, Ibrahimovic, Villa, Silva and Fabiano to name a few, the Premiership can still name  players such as Lampard, Gerrard, Fabregas (Although rumoured interest from Barcelona), Torres, Drogba, Rooney, Robhino and Tevez who are all at the top of the world game. There is no doubt in my mind that La Liga has the three best players on the planet, Messi, Ronaldo and Kaka, playing within it, but this doesn’t automatically crown it as the top league. In terms of the number of truly world class players, I think the Premiership easily has the beating of La Liga. And this is one of the main reasons that the Premiership is still ahead of La Liga.

Secondly, the competitiveness of the Premiership is much more intriguing and compelling to watch than La Liga which does ultimately come down to two teams. Of course people will say that this is not the case and teams like Sevilla, Valencia and Athletico Madrid can challenge as well and that the Premiership is always the same with Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal streets ahead of the other teams. Although this statement about the top four is pretty much correct, it means there are twice as many teams challenging for the title than in La Liga and consequently a more interesting competition.

The performances of English teams in Europe have also shown a period of great strength for the Premiership. In the last five seasons, the European Champions League final has consisted of at least one English team and in the last three season, three of the four semi-finalists have been English teams. Only Barcelona have made the final from Spain in the last five seasons, although they did triumph on both occasions. However, the consistency of the top English teams to continue to succeed in this competition also confirm the current dominance of the Premiership.

This is of course only my opinion, and being that i can watch the Premiership every week and see La Liga only occasionally, may leave me uninformed to make a proper judgement, but with all that I have been exposed of both competitions, I still firmly believe in the Premiership’s status as the best league in the world.

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