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Archive for July, 2017

Watford

Watford

watford fcThe Club

Formed in 1881, The Hornets have long been a club of little consequence. Their incredible rise under Graham Taylor and Elton John was a true fairytale, missing out on a league title and the FA Cup. However, before and since the club has, at best, enjoyed top-flight football. Now owned by the Pozzo family of Udinese, they are a team that has never been known for winning things. They’ve never won a major trophy and, under the smart but rather unemotional leadership they are at present, that does not show much signs of change.

16-17 – How Was It?

Awkward. Coach Walter Mazzarri done poorly given the squad he had as they finished 17th in the league. A rather crazy squad building platform and a total lack of any kind of progress on the field left many fans concerned with the direction of the club in recent years. The season was mostly one of dour and dull frustration, with an inability to really capitalize on the work they had done in the transfer window.

With a relegation dogfight and a total lack of any kind of impetus, it was a rather forgetful season for all.

17-18 – What Lies Ahead?

Under charismatic young coach Marco Silva, that could change. Watford are emboldened by a bit more cash thanks to the Premier League survival, and the level of talent coming through the door could make a big impression on Hornets fans. The likes of Kiko Femenia have signed up, joining a rather decent collection of players.

We expect a safer season with a slow level of development regarding the kind of football the club plays. A squad that feels like it’s the work of several philosophies, though, will need to be trimmed to make the chance of long-term success possible.

July 22, 20170 commentsRead More
Newcastle

Newcastle

newcastleThe Club

As one of the largest and most well-supported clubs in the country, Newcastle United are a rather unique enterprise. Their total lack of success and consistent European football is a scourge for a city with such open and incredible fans. A lack of success has become a major problem for a club that, for many years, was seen as one of the cornerstones of English football.

Now, they are better known for their support rather than trophies. With potential ownership changes on the horizon, though, that may change.

16-17 – How Was It?

As expected. The best team in the 2nd tier, the won the league on the last day. However, their quality of playing squad, immense changes to the playing staff and managerial mastermind in Rafa Benitez meant anything other than top two would have been a sackable offence at most clubs!

However, they came up with ease and are a welcome addition to the top tier once again. They have a good squad and with some smart signings being linked, there is no reason to think that they cannot take further momentum after what was a rather arduous and challenging campaign.

17-18 – What Lies Ahead?

A boring season, we think. Newcastle have a manager who should be aiming for Europe and a squad that should come in the mid-table places. They are a very good team to watch at times, but they lack a bit of thrust for the top-flight. Some big names are being linked but not many through the door.

Links to Joe Hart should cause palpations for Geordies, and a lack of real stellar progression on the name front could be a concern. With ownership wrangles still going on, though, that could all change in a flash – it depends on Mike Ashley.

July 14, 20170 commentsRead More
Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton & Hove AlbionThe Club

The Seasiders are a rather interesting club, having enjoyed a stellar season last year that was the culmination of decades of work. From the old days at the Withdean to the disgraceful ownership of the club in the 80s and 90s, Brighton and Hove Albion finally look set for a return to the top tier.

With very little success in their existence, this is one of the highlights of the majority of their fanbases’ lives. It will be interesting to see what the future will hold.

16-17 – How Was It?

Amazing, in a single word. Despite being pipped to the Championship title, a runaway season that saw them never really look threatened to missing out was a dream. The likes of Anthony Knockaert set the tone for an incredible season, which seen the club finally reach the top tier after a few years of hard work in the Championship.

Under the stewardship of Chris Hughton, Brighton enjoyed a sensational season that seen them as one of the most dominant sides in the division. With not far off 1.7 goals per game, the club enjoyed a stellar run in the 2nd tier.

17-18 – What Lies Ahead?

A fight, you would presume. While a very impressively run club, Brighton are far down the pecking. Seagulls fans won’t like the comparison, but they are reminiscent of the Crystal Palace side that came up in the past: solid, sturdy, not really cut out for top-flight football. It will take a lot of smart work in the window to try and build a team capable of succeeding.

So far, the summer has been a quiet one, with the main signing being Mat Ryan. We expect more to come, but at present, 17/18 will be a relegation battle for sure.

July 6, 20170 commentsRead More