Happy New Year 2009

by Dave Redden

Friday, January 2nd, 2009
 

A quick guide to what the Premier League clubs are hoping for in the New Year

Arsenal: A Lifeline

The Gunners are hanging onto slim hopes of a championship. Many believe that they have already lost any chance of taking the title this year but, with 20 games left, Arsenal are looking for that lifeline to help save them and pull them through by the end of the season.

 

Aston Villa: A Trophy

The season that Villa are putting together deserves a trophy of some kind in my mind. I don’t feel that they can sustain the results to take the championship but they are still in the FA Cup (isn’t everyone, I hear you say), and the UEFA Cup. Either one of those would be nice for them … if not both!

 

Blackburn Rovers: The Continuation of the Savior

Big Sam Allardyce! Newcastle’s loss is Blackburn’s gain … so far! Sam has taken over the reins at Ewood Park and, to date, they have gone unbeaten since he arrived, taking five points from nine and really should have beaten Manchester City. Still in the danger zone, I would rate Blackburn as my favourites of the current three to avoid the drop, mainly due to the appointment of Allardyce.

 

Bolton Wanderers: Just a New Year, thanks!

Despite their 11th place standing in the league, Bolton Wanderers had a horrific end to 2008, taking just three points from their last four games. The Trotters are just happy to move into the New Year and are hoping it bring some new found luck and positive results with it.

 

Chelsea: A Banana Skin

… to place under the heels of championship rivals, Liverpool. The Blues have been a tad rocky of late dropping a few points to drawn games, especially at home. I fell they will need help to take the whole enchilada!

 

Everton: The Next Four Months to be called December

The Toffees had a great December. Take away the thriller against Villa when they lost 3-2 deep in added time and they possibly had the best month in the league. Wins over Sunderland, Boro and Manchester City along with a draw against Chelsea took them to 6th in the table and gave them a springboard to drive on and finish higher for a European spot to relish. More December weather please shouts the blue side of Merseyside.

 

Fulham: Silver Foil

It’s a well known fact that, during the Second World War, attacking planes would fly in under a gazillion tons of silver foil. Why? Because the foil blocked the radars of the Jerries and we could fly in comparatively quietly and surprise the hell out of them. Fulham have done the same thus far this season and need more silver foil to drop on the grounds around the Premier League to continue their success.

 

Hull City: More of the same

Realistically Hull City would be more than happy to finish the season in 8th place. They would gladly take a second half similar to their first half regardless of one or two howlers toward the end of 2008.

 

Liverpool: A Championship

Liverpool is in the driver’s seat moving into the New Year and, in my eyes, are good value to stay there. They are playing great football as a team and are starting to eat into Chelsea’s goal difference advantage too, just for good measure.

 

Manchester City: Value For Money

We all know that the Sky Blues now have unlimited pocket depth but so do the teams that they will be trying to buy from. Will the new players that they will purchase during the transfer window be value for money? Only time will tell and City are hoping they will get it.

 

Manchester United: A Bigger Trophy Cabinet

The Red Devils ~ love ‘em or hate ‘em you have to admit that they know how to earn the silverware. They currently sit in 3rd place in the league, seven points behind with two games in hand. Already winners of the World Club Championship this season I have a feeling that they will be able to pick up at least one more trophy this season, which one I don’t know though.

 

Middlesbrough: An Identity

Middlesbrough are, in my mind at least, the league’s most nondescript club of the year. So much so that I couldn’t even remember their nickname (shame on me). They currently sit one spot above the drop zone in 17th. Be honest, put your hands up if you would miss the ‘Boro should they fall through the trapdoor!

 

Newcastle United: Consistency

Probably the most frustrating aspect of being a Newcastle fan (now that the backroom has been taken care of) is the inconsistency of their play. From game to game the fans never know which team is going to take the field. On their day, the Magpies can beat anyone but they can also be torn to shreds by anyone if they fail to show up for 90 minutes.

 

Portsmouth: A Large Parachute

Pompey is in freefall! They need a large parachute simply to stop the fall that is currently leading towards the relegation zone. Once they stop the rot can they regain the form that had them in the upper half of the table most of the year. We may not get the chance to find out if they don’t get to open their ‘chute!

 

Stoke City: That Fighting Spirit

The Potters have already had a taste of their New Year’s Wish as Ricardo Fuller and Andy Griffin became sparring partners in the game against West Ham over Christmas. They will need more of the regular type of fighting spirit if they are to avoid the drop now that teams have worked out Rory Delap’s throws.

 

Sunderland: Nothing Now!

The Black Cats already got their New Year’s Wish … their managerial woes taken care of! Despite a bad 3-0 loss to Everton over Christmas, Sunderland are “over the moon” with the official appointment of caretaker boss, Ricky Sbragia. Now he needs to lead them to the Promised Land … and I don’t mean League One.

 

Tottenham Hotspur: A Forward Line

Spurs are struggling to score goals, just three in the league in December. It’s a well known fact that you can’t win without scoring and 0-0 draws won’t save their Premier derrieres. Somehow though, they have survived to stay in contention in the Carling Cup, the UEFA Cup and they have the FA Cup to come. I wonder if those competitions will come back to haunt them in the league.

 

West Bromwich Albion: An extension to the Christmas Fixtures

… by about 20 more games. The Baggies entered the Xmas Extravaganza firmly locked at the bottom of the table and looking the drop in the eye. By the time the Xmas dust had settled they had taken 6 of 9 points, still at the bottom but now with a fighting chance in the relegation battle.

 

West Ham United: A Ladder

The Hammers are currently located in 10th place, usually a solid spot this time of year. This season has been so crazy outside of the top three or four though that a string of results could change a team’s position drastically. Precisely the reason why the Hammers would like a ladder, so they can continue to climb upwards and not slip into a battle for relegation. It could be interesting to follow this team through the back half of the season.

 

Wigan Athletic: A European Jaunt

Three wins from their last four games have helped vault Wigan to 7th in the league. They are surely hoping to continue this form and earn their way into Europe for next season. Another thing they really need is better looking supporters in the UKFF Sexy League, their representatives were the worst of the bunch for me!

 

 

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  • Stevie

    Arsenal are hoping for

    Ashavin
    Upson
    Artetta
    Gatusso

    But we’ll get none of those as once again we have no money

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been told he has very little money to spend in the January transfer window. (Daily Star)

  • Jamie Farrier

    Great article, don’t think any Prem club supporter would disagree with the team summaries.

    I find it very strange that Arsene has been told he has no money, when:
    a) they need new players now more than ever, and
    b) they manage to rank highly in the Deloitte Football Money League with oodles of revenue.

    As that source is from Daily Star I think I’ll take it with a pinch of salt!

  • Stevie

    just like the rumours which say we have 40 m to spend. Wasn’t it the Star who ran that back page with Wenger dressed as Scrouge with the headline ‘Scrouge heading for the January Sales’. Great headline and oh so true, I hope!

  • jackie emu

    at least spell the the teams name right if you’re going to have a worthless pop…lazy!

    most nondescript article of the year.

  • Dave

    Hey Jackie,

    Sorry about that, I wrote it late at night. What’s their nickname again? 🙂

    DAVE

  • Tuncay

    This has to be one of the worst write ups i have read, You’re on about Middlesbrough who have the highest success record against the top 4 than any other team, you must be some Geordie or Cockney who just has it in for Middlesbrough.

  • Capio

    I used this site to find players when I first set up a new team and it was a great help.

    How can a great site publish this drivel?

    Dave please kindly remove your head from your a-hole next time you decide to ‘write’ an article.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    i think dave has a point, they are rather dull and wouldn’t be missed if they did go down, the big 4 would be very happy. As Tugay says they are annoying and do take points from the big 4 and thats not allowed is it! How dare they!!

  • Dave

    Actually I’m from the North West but it’s good to see we garnered a response from both ‘Boro fans!!! 🙂

    DAVE

  • peter weasel

    proper fans who support their local team…if that’s dull then so be it…i’d rather support boro and have a few ups and downs than be a sheep following the big 4….that must be dull.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    local team? Since when is Middlesbrough anywhere near Yorkshire?

  • peter weasel

    middlesbrough is in yorkshire!

    oh dear….

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    ok so they abolished Cleveland in 1996. That was the last time I actually looked up Middlesbrough.

    1-0 to u Peter Weasel.

    I must stop concentrating on European Capitols and revise closer to home.

    Redshoe FC 2 10mileradius 0

  • peter weasel

    bite bite bite…

    have a dig at another team always fishing for boro based bites…

  • Smogness Monster

    Who is this Prick
    Obviously you have never seen Boro Play
    yer Boro thats our Nickname that you say you have forgotton

    And were in Teesside (double ‘E’ double ‘S’)
    Not Yorkshire
    and as for Cleveland thats now redcar

  • Smogness Monster

    Sorry but ive looked and i cant find the misspelt spelling of Middlesbrough
    its not MiddlesBOROugh

  • Dave

    To be fair Smogness, the spelling was changed.

    I will admit that I have only seen the Boro play on TV, not live and in person, but I do fear for their safety in the Premier League.

    Hope for all you guys I’m wrong but they need to beat more than Top 4 teams to stay up (as impressive as that is).

    DAVE

  • Legpeggy

    seems like no one actually knows where Middlesbrough is. I’ve googled it and here’s what I found…

    Historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, in 1968 the town became the centre of the county borough of Teesside, which was absorbed by the non-metropolitan county of Cleveland in 1974. In 1996 Cleveland was abolished, and the Middlesbrough borough became a unitary authority, within the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire.

    So its actually in Teesside and Yorkshire…

  • peter weasel

    you can’t edit a board after it’s had messages posted or the other messages become redundant…

    middlesbrough was spelt incorrectly in the first instance and then changed making some posts invalid.

  • martha

    I’ve just bought a hat.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    board edit hat detectors 2 Weasels 1

  • doyle detector

    DAVE for some reason my “doyle detector” started going crazy when I came across your site. I then read your sites’ content and realised why. What a poor excuse for a “football writer” you are.

  • Martin Tibbetts

    On the subject of Middlesbrough, many people would miss them if they went. Why? Because they have a history of loyalty to managers. After standing by McLaren for a long time, they gave the job to Gareth Southgate, and it is brilliant to see that he is still there. Having seen so many young British players turned managers fall by the wayside at clubs quickly – Ince, Coleman (and almost inevitably soon to be Adams and probably Hughes) – rather than letting them establish themselves and develop the skills, it is a great thing to see Southgate keeping his job and his team in the top flight for a long period. What other club would allow that to happen? I would far rather see that kind of loyalty in the Premier League than the revolving doors at White Hart Lane for example….

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