Who Has The Bouncebackability?

by Mike Moore

Saturday, May 21st, 2011


Will Ian Holloway still be smiling tomorrow?

The Premiership finally reaches its dramatic denouement tomorrow afternoon, with things unbelievably tight down the bottom of the league, five teams separated by only a point, desperate not to fill one of the two remaining relegation spots. West Ham have already gone, and many column inches have been devoted to examining the reasons as to why and where it all went wrong, and how the club with shredded finances and conflicted leadership will ever bounce back to the division most believe they belong in. And well they should. West Ham are, with the exception of Blackburn Rovers, probably the most suited club for the Premier League – established teams who have tasted recent success.

Yet of the five clubs going into tomorrow’s fixtures with everything to play for, who would be best suited to surviving the drop? Relegation is a terrible fate to befall any team, and one that can have incredible financial effects on not just the club and its players, but often on the city itself. So who has the bouncebackability?

Starting from the current lowest team, Wigan should have the fortitude to bounce back if they go down. They are a very well run club, and despite poor attendances throughout the season, have a great chairman in David Whelan who is not going to make rash or poor choices, having already voiced his support for manager Roberto Martinez.

Blackpool have provided a fantastic presence throughout this season, their fans and their style of football have lit up grounds around the country. Yet defensively they have not been strong enough. Having been surprise newboys this season, however, they have not spent big, and chairman Karl Oyston, like Wigan’s Whelan, is not one to cut costs drastically. It may take a season or two, but they should be able to challenge for promotion if they go down.

Birmingham City are many peoples favourites to be relegated, and with good reason, as their recent form is extremely poor. They also appear to be the least well-run club, with Carson Yeung’s motivations and support still pretty questionable. With such a questionable financial situation, a firesale of top players in the event of relegation seems inevitable, although the promise of European football next year should draw some new recruits.

Wolves are probably the club in the strongest position if they bite the bullet. The club is the centre of the city, and whatever happens tomorrow, rebuilding of one of the main stands will begin the week after the season ends. They are a phenomenally well-supported club and should have no problem recovering to the Premiership.

Fifteen years ago, Blackburn Rovers were Premier League heavyweights, playing regular European football, bankrolled by Jack Warner. However, the modern team seems a club in turmoil. Mysterious and meddling Indian owners, a manager recently arrested for drink-driving and falling attendances have all contributed to the club becoming relegation candidates. I would definitely worry for them if they were to go down.

And if the worst come to the worst, let us remember that a season rebuilding and cutting out the deadwood in the Championship is not always a bad thing. Young players can be blooded, a new manager given the chance to shape the team for the better, a chance to recoup and recruit using the Premier League’s lucrative parachute payments. It is also always nice to support a team that is winning for once! So fans of the five, do not despair if your club bites the bullet this weekend, it could have unexpectedly good consequences…


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  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Mystical Mike

    Wolves!!! Great come back!

    But it has to be Wigan, 2-0 down at home, winning 3-2 then winning at Stoke to stay up! And they try to play football too

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