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Portsmouth FC - We Own Our Club

Started on 13 October 2013 by pompeyblue
Latest Reply on 22 October 2014 by Josh_MU
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Well done on 100,000 Joshwuwa
Belated congratulations on surpassing the 100,000 views milestone, much deserved!
dat layout.
Tallery and Justice: Thank you very much guys! :D

Josh: ;)

Hull lays down gauntlet for Champions League glory

Joshua Hull has his eyes set on European success in this upcoming season, and believes his Pompey side can use last year’s disappointment to their advantage.

The Blues were on course to complete an incredible quintuple heading into the 2019 Champions League Final having already won the Community Shield, Capital One Cup, F.A. Cup and the Premier League during the season. Manchester United denied them this feat, however, running out 3-1 winners at the Camp Nou to sink the hearts of the South Coast outfit.

Despite all the domestic success for Pompey, new faces were a must and the club has definitely strengthened with this summer’s transfer business. Angel Correa, Josuha Guilvogui and Manolo Gabbiadini have all made the move to Fratton Park and with a couple of weeks still left to go in the window more arrivals could be immanent.

Although we are still a couple of months away from Europe’s elite competition kicking off, the new competitive campaign gets underway this weekend with the traditional curtain raiser to the Premier League season, the Community Shield. Hull’s Pompey are involved in this game and will take on Manchester United, but the Englishman’s pre-match press conference focused more on his ambitions for this year rather than the match itself;

”The Champions League is something we are obviously focusing on massively. We have strengthened the squad with Angel, Josuha and Manuel all joining and we already have a very talented bunch of players here. They proved that last season with the success we had on a domestic level and the success we had in Europe too.

We were devastated with the loss against United in the final but I think we can use it to our advantage this season. The players have that bit more experience and I feel as if they know what it takes now, to go all the way and actually win the competition.”

What are your opinions on Pompey’s European prospects, can they go all the way? Leave your views in the comments, below.

Josh: #InHullWeTrust

Pompey come out on top in Community Shield.

Premier League holders Portsmouth ran out 2-1 victors against Manchester United at Wembley Stadium today, in the Community Shield, as the first piece of silverware went to the South Coast club.

Deemed by some as unimportant, worthless and a pre-season game, the Community Shield is not the most high profile of matches on the fixture list. Despite being held at Wembley Stadium and pitting the Premier League champions and the F.A. Cup champions, against themselves, many solely view the game as a chance to see new signings in action as teams prepare for the ‘proper’ season opener next weekend. Pompey won both competitions last year, so it was league runners up Manchester United who were the rivals for the first piece of silverware of the season.

Both teams fielded strong sides too, and considering the recent history between the two clubs this did add a bit of spice to the encounter. United of course defeated Portsmouth in the UEFA Champions League Final back in May denying Joshua Hull an incredible quintuple, with an almost as incredible quadruple already achieved.

Team Lineups
Portsmouth: Leali; Wallace, Keane, Godin, Stafylidis; Guilavogui, van Ginkel, Grealish, Barkley; Mitrovic, Gabbiadini
Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Caulker, Evans, Sakai; Fellaini, Jones, Januzaj, Rodriguez, Pastore; Cavani

Pompey were the side to get action underway and looked the most dangerous early on. One of the two debutees in the Blues’ starting eleven, Manolo Gabbiadini, was the quickest off the mark and rattled the crossbar with a powerful header after just two minutes. The Italian signed from Real Madrid in the summer was at it again moments later. Ross Barkley played a pin point pass forward for Gabiadini, with his blasted effort, well stopped by David De Gea.

Just as last season, Portsmouth were playing at a high tempo that the opponents were struggling to handle. Their quick, attacking play was what made them such a force and already the writing was on the wall that the club is set for another illustrious campaign. Josuha Guilavogui was the latest to register an attempt in the 6th minute, his header held onto by the United keeper, however.

The early Pompey dominance could only mean one thing, a goal. 13 minutes on the clock and we had one. Joshua Hull’s side had been playing some excellent football, but their goal was far from ‘excellent’. David De Gea who had already made a couple of good saves, completely misjudged his clearance after the ball was played back to him by the Red Devils defence, and the ball fell straight down to Aleksandar Mitrovic. Top goalscorer for his team last season with 41 goals in all competitions, the Serbian was never going to miss.

David Moyes’ men sparked into life after the opener, with the players still thinking they were on their holidays before Mitrovic bagged his goal. Adnan Januzaj was starting to cause some problems down the right hand side, forcing Nicola Leali into an excellent save, with a curling effort destined for the bottom corner of the Portsmouth net.

Just past the half hour mark, United had the leveler. Januzaj, after threatening, had the goal. James Rodriguez, the only Red Devils debutee, teed up the Belgian winger with a neat through pass and Januzaj finished clinically. Januzaj could have had another as the half came to a close but fired just over the bar. Still, United had turned the game on its head and now they looked the team more likely to take the lead and win the game, as the players went in at the break.

With the second half underway, it was Colombian star James Rodriguez who was showing real quality getting forward and conjured up a couple of opportunities as well. But, against the run of play, it was Pompey who took the lead on the hour mark. Jack Grealish finished off a neat passing move, with a well taken drilled shot into the bottom corner, to put his team back in front.

Manchester United pushed and they pushed, put couldn’t find a way past a resilient Portsmouth backline and a resurgent Nicola Leali in between the sticks. As the referee signaled full time, he signaled another trophy for Pompey, something the fans are becoming all too familiar in seeing.

Congrats on the victory :D
What a great team you've put together :)
Zed: Cheers bud!
Always good to win trophies, good stuff!
Griffo: Indeed, winning some silverware so early on is never a bad thing :P

Barclays Premier League Season Preview: 2018/2019

After a pulsating Premier League title race last year, which saw Portsmouth crowned Champions of England, supporters around the country are gearing up for another exciting campaign. We are just days away from the big kick-off now, with one of the most highly anticipated seasons lying ahead.


Stadium: Emirates Stadium
Manager: Leonid Slutskiy
Key Players: Alberto Cerri, Aaron Ramsey, Diego Reyes
Last Season: 6th
This Season’s Prediction: 5th

With the failures of last season behind them, The Gunners need to move on quickly, there’s no doubt about that. Champions just 2 seasons ago, Leonid Slutskiy’s men faltered big time in the defense of the trophy last time out, failing even to earn UEFA Champions League qualification.

The main priority will of course be to get back into Europe’s elite competition and despite not significantly strengthening in the transfer window, they already have a squad full of stars, perfectly capable to do so. Alberto Cerri scored 23 goals last season and the Italian will once again have the onus of finding the net for the side, Aaron Ramsey will be the man to provide the creative spark, while Diego Reyes is the rock at the back every team needs.

It’s not just the players that need to up their game, however, the boss will be required to step up to the mark too and get his team playing the kind of football that won them that Premier League title in the 2016/2017 campaign. Slutskiy has the tactical nous to make changes to his system, whether he will have the bravery to do so, is another question.

Birmingham City

Stadium: St. Andrews
Manager: Tony Pulis
Key Players: Pedro, Danny, Nathan Delfounso
Last Season: 9th
This Season’s Prediction: 11th

It has to be said, no one expected much from Birmingham in the Premier League last season. One of the candidates for relegation, instead proved to be one of the shocks of the season, earning their highest ever finish in the top tier in over 50 years. The St. Andrews faithful were treated to some wonderful displays along the way with wins over Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City highlights as well as being able to boast a marvelous 13 game unbeaten streak from February until the end of the season.

People will question whether Tony Pulis and his side have it in them to do it again, but the arrivals of Pedro and Danny should ease off some of the pressure. Both are established internationals, and despite age no longer being on their side, they should add some class to the Blues’ lineup.

Pulis himself is an experienced man, and never once has been relegated as a manager. Not that relegation should be a fear for Birmingham, but saying European qualification is possible is also pushing the boat a bit too far, with a season as good as the last not all too likely. A mid table spot looks much more achievable as the Midlands club look to consolidate and truly become an established top flight team.

Blackburn Rovers

Stadium: Ewood Park
Manager: Gianfranco Zola
Key Players: Jeffrey Schlupp, Sebestian Coates, Jack Collinson
Last Season: 17th
This Season’s Prediction: 20th

To say Blackburn’s final game of last season was dramatic would be an understatement. Rovers needed a win against Stoke and hope that Fulham lost their game against Liverpool, to survive. Even though Fulham were losing, Blackburn looked destined to be relegated with a 1-0 deficit to overturn with just 10 minutes left on the clock. Step forward Jordan Rhodes, already an icon at the club, he bagged two late goals to keep his side up and fix affinity with the fans.

Yes, gone are the days when Alan Shearer was scoring for fun in the white shirt, and Rovers were Premier League champions. Now, the club are scrapping to survive. And if the fans thought last year was tough, this year will be even tougher. Once again the board has come in for criticism after a lack of investment and to make matters worse Rhodes himself has departed for Southampton; the one shining light in the side.

138 goals in 6 seasons, it’s no wonder Rhodes has moved on. He is a fantastic finisher and staying at Ewood Park would only damage his career. Without the Scotsman it really is difficult to see how Blackburn are going to stay up, Jeffrey Schlupp is decent at this level and scored 10 goals last season, but apart from him the squad is depleted and nowhere near good enough. Good luck Gianfranco Zola, you’re going to need it.

Cardiff City

Stadium: Cardiff City Stadium
Manager: Michael Appleton
Key Players: Ruben Rochina, Uche Ikpeazu, Andrew Robertson
Last Season: 5th in the Championship (Promoted via Play-Offs)
This Season’s Prediction: 19th

After three season’s away from the Premier League, Cardiff City have returned, and will be looking to stay for a little longer this time around. With their side winning the play-offs last season, Bluebirds fans were used to winning, but it will be a completely different story this season.

Cardiff will have to quickly adjust to life in the top flight, with tough games coming thick and fast throughout the season and the play-off winning players too will have to make that jump in quality, very quickly. In Michael Appleton they have an inexperienced manager at this level, in charge, making staying up that much more of a momentous task.

A lot of Appleton’s players are out to prove a point, and it should be of benefit that they are all hungry and up for the fight, so to speak. Jed Wallace, Carl Jenkinson and Ben Mee are just three players who have been sold on by Premier League clubs and will all be looking to show that they are up to the standards of the best league in the world. It’s going to be a long, hard, season for Cardiff, but there is certainly a never die attitude around the place, which could prove pivotal.


Stadium: Stamford Bridge
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Key Players: Eden Hazard, Oscar, Romelu Lukaku
Last Season: 5th
This Season’s Prediction: 6th

When Jose Mourinho joined Chelsea in 2013, for a second spell at the club he was so successful for previously, it looked like a match made in heaven. 5 years later and the ‘nightmare’ continues, with Mourinho still searching for his first trophy, since returning to Stamford Bridge. It’s a wonder how he still finds himself in the job, maybe it’s his hero status among the Blues’ fans due to his work in the past, but even they’re running out of patience with him.

The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’s confidence seems to have taken a knock too, with his charisma and humor becoming less frequent in his pre-match press conferences, replaced by steely looks of anger and frustration. It’s not as if results are all too bad, it’s Chelsea’s failure to perform when it matters and turn up for the big games, which is costing them so dearly. The players are losing respect for the manager too, with some of the big name stars already having handed in transfer requests and expressed their desire to leave the club.

But so far, Chelsea have done well to keep hold of their key players, how much longer they will remain is anyone’s guess. Eden Hazard single handedly can change the game in his team’s favour and any success will thrive on the Belgian playing well, but no longer does he see eye to eye with Mourinho, and this is clearly effecting his game. The same can be said for most of the club’s starters, and there is no signs of things getting any better, anytime soon.

Crystal Palace

Stadium: Selhurst Park
Manager: Ian Holloway
Key Players: John Guidetti, Pajtim Kasami, Jefferson Montero
Last Season: 12th
This Season’s Prediction: 16th

Palace’s return to the big time last season was in general a success. Strongly tipped to finish in the bottom three, Ian Holloway guided his side to a safe 12th place, and another year of Premier League football. Holloway’s antics also livened up the season, with his humorous nature in pre-match press conferences always going down with the media.

But this by no means meant his side was a pushover, something some teams were caught out by. The manager knew exactly what was required to keep The Eagles and his players followed his orders to perfection. He has already set about making sure Palace remain in the top division again this year too, with new arrivals a plenty, bolstering the squad at his disposal.

With the competition to stay in the league getting ever stronger, new signings were a must. Patjim Kasami is probably the pick of the bunch, and adds something unique to the team. Meanwhile John Guidetti will have to hit has A-Game again, the ex-Manchester City forward scored 20 goals last term and will need to show he isn’t just a one season wonder and that Palace aren’t either.


Stadium: Anfield
Manager: Roberto Mancini
Key Players: Memphis Depay, Jeffrey Bruma, Phillipe Couinho
Last Season: 11th
This Season’s Prediction: 7th

It’s becoming an increasingly tough time to be a Liverpool fan. Last season they hit a new low, 11th place in the Premier League, their lowest ever finish in Premier League history and their lowest finish in the top tier for more than 50 years.

5 times Champions League winners look more like a mid-table side these days, with Marcelo Bielsa the next manager failing to deliver. Sacked over the summer, and replaced by Roberto Mancini, the Kop would like to think that things will get better. But as they have seen in the past twenty years or so, with their wait for a Premier League title still continuing and any hope of a title draining out, nothing has ever got better.

Mancini has bought well during the summer, to be fair to him. Jeffrey Bruma and Matej Vydra, are two of the new faces who show so much promise, but then there have been many players who have shown promise when signing for the Reds, only to fail spectacularly. Daniel Sturridge is the prime example, tipped to lead a new era at Anfield, 18 goals in 5 seasons suggests otherwise. Mancini has a tough job ahead of himself, but he is experienced enough and should have enough ability as a manager to get this fallen giant up on at least one foot, anyway.

Manchester City

Stadium: Etihad Stadium
Manager: Manuel Pellegrini
Key Players: Sergio Aguero, Lorenzo Insigne, Viktor Fischer
Last Season: 3rd
This Season’s Prediction: 1st

It’s been an odd transfer window for Manchester City fans, that’s for sure. Familiar in seeing millions and millions of money ploughed into the club on new players, this year they have seen a stark contrast. Just one player has joined the club, but with the star studded lineup they already have, nobody was really needed anyway.

It’s a smart strategy from Manuel Pellegrini, something they should have done a long time ago. Instead of another complete overhaul, he has allowed new players from last year to settle in, embedding them with fellow teammates. The team is now a lot more cohesive and with the raw ability they do possess, you would back them to do very well this year.

The squad is in fact stocked with players in every department. Each role has at least two players who operate there and regardless whether a regular starter or a back-up, ever City player could easily walk into any Premier League team. With that amount of squad depth and talent, many people would bet bottom dollar on the title falling into their hands, next May.

Manchester United

Stadium: Old Trafford
Manager: David Moyes
Key Players: David de Gea, Edison Cavani, James Rodriguez
Last Season: 2nd
This Season’s Prediction: 2nd

Manchester United are due a league title, and this season could just be their year. David Moyes’ failure to bring the Premier League trophy to Old Trafford in his spell at the club since Sir Alex Ferguson may bring about criticism but the two Champions League trophies they have won under the guidance will shut up the critics.

In fairness, United have been very unfortunate not to have won the league in the last 5 years. Runners up last year, and third place for the 4 consecutive years before that, the squad are well prepared for another strong title challenge at least. With European glory coming right at the end of last season too, confidence will be flying high, even if there is plenty of pressure on the player’s shoulders.

James Rodriguez is the marquee signing of the summer for The Red Devils, with the Colombian at the top of his game now he can not only become a Premier League and World Star, but a true hero at the club as well. Likewise with rivals Manchester City, the squad Moyes has assembled oozes class and Rodriguez is just one of the many fantastic talents, United possess. All of them will have a big part to play this season, but the strength of City means it won’t be easy at all, and the title will most likely be decided very late on.

Newcastle United

Stadium: St. James Park
Manager: Luis Enrique
Key Players: Yannick N’Djeng, Tim Krul, Jordan Henderson
Last Season: 10th
This Season’s Prediction: 9th

The Toon Army has regrettably become accustomed to underachievement and sorrow in recent years. 10th place last year was an improvement, but for the Geordies who expect so much from their team, that still won’t cut it. There is the basis of a good squad at St. James Park, but it’s up to manager Luis Enrique to get the most out of these players.

The Spaniard’s passing system has gone down well, but inconsistency when it came to getting results is what caught them out in the past, and will need to be eredicated if they are to be more successful in the forthcoming campaign. The 4-1 demolition of Liverpool last year, however, does show how effective Enrique’s tactics can be and the transfer business he has conducted is also an encouraging sign for The Magpies.

The arrival of Bruno Ecuele Manga will shore up the heart of the defence and the purchase of a couple of promising youngsters bodes well for the future. However, with a lack of goals evident last year, Enrique’s most impressive signing is the arrival of striker Yannick N’Djeng. Newcastle could only manage 38 goals last season, with only bottom club Derby Country and QPR managing less, so the addition of N’Djeng should help solve this problem. The Cameroonian is quick, strong and had an excellent scoring record for Olympiacos showing he has the finishing ability too. If he can adjust to the Premier League quickly, he could be a big hit this season and so could Newcastle.

Norwich City

Stadium: Carrow Road
Manager: Michael Laudrup
Key Players: Stefan Johansen, Alen Halilovic, Jonjo Shelvey
Last Season: 1st in the Championship (Promoted via league winners)
This Season’s Prediction: 13th

With 101 points, Norwich stormed to the Championship title last season, bouncing back into the Premier League at the first time of asking. It was exactly the response needed after The Canaries had suffered relegation in such humiliating fashion, 26 losses tells you all you need to know.

But, now the club seems to have put those days behind themselves and despite being a newly promoted side, are looking to build for the future and solidify a spot in the Premier League. With the squad they have assembled, things are looking promising, that’s for sure. Laudrup has managed to land World Cup winner Roman Zozulya on a free transfer representing a very good piece of business, but even better, he has persuaded highly rated Alen Halilovic to join on a free transfer too.

A talented squad was already in place from the days of the Championship, and retaining the services of players such as Jonjo Shelvey as well as top scorer Emannuel Mayuka, was equally as important and exactly what the man from Denmark has done. Norwich will fancy their hopes of survival if these players can perform, and in fact somewhere in the middle of the table is where The Canaries should comfortably land.

Nottingham Forest

Stadium: The City Ground
Manager: Paul Lambert
Key Players: Brown Ideye, Marvin Pourie, Jamaal Lascelles
Last Season: 15th
This Season’s Prediction: 15th

Although just 4 points above the drop zone in 15th place may not have been considered as the best of seasons, for Nottingham Forest survival in itself was an achievement. They have only featured in the Premier League 4 times from the 1996/1997 season onwards, and three out of 4 of those times, Forest finished rock bottom.

Surely now the club needs to push on, in order to not remain in another relegation battle, but this is not as easy as it sounds. The loss of last season’s top goalscorer Simon Makienok to West Ham for a measly £750k, won’t make things any easier either. The Scandinavian scored 21 goals last campaign, and struck up an excellent partnership with Marvin Pourie, who himself bagged 17 goals.

There is still positives though, Lambert has done his homework and found a more than capable replacement for Makienok, while keeping Pourie is another bonus. Brown Ideye has been drafted in from Dynamo Kyiv, a club for whom he scored an impressive 155 goals across 7 seasons. The Nigerian is quick and powerful, making him ideal for the Premier League, what will be even better is if he can conjure up a similar partnership that Makienok managed with Pourie. Any relegation scrap they find themselves in, they should escape fairly comfortably, with a similar placed finish as last year on the horizon.


Stadium: Fratton Park
Manager: Joshua Hull
Key Players: Marco van Ginkel, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ross Barkley
Last Season: 1st
This Season’s Prediction: 3rd

Champions last time out, the defence of their trophy will be a huge challenge but one that manager Joshua Hull will relish. Pompey played some scintillating football, and served up some stunning wins for the Fratton Faithful, in an unforgettable season. But after European heartache in the Champions League Final against Manchester United, the focus seems to be on rectifying that loss and truly becoming Champions of Europe.

That’s not to say they won’t be strong challengers to regain the title, quite the contrary. If anyone can pull off European glory while fighting for the Premier League, it’s Joshua Hull. The Englishman has done wonders for his supported club, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him haul in another set of trophies this campaign.

The signings of Angel Correa, Josuha Guilvogui and Manolo Gabbiadini are all impressive additions to a squad that is already very strong but the lack of depth in some areas may be a concern for the boss. Considering he will have such a strong concentration on the Champions League this year, something he was open in admitting, this could be the real factor in deciding the fate of the title. City’s and United’s squad in comparison are true powerhouses, and both clubs could eclipse Pompey domestically, this season.

Queens Park Rangers

Stadium: Loftus Road
Manager: Steve Bruce
Key Players: Matt Phillips, Federico Macheda, Gicu Grozav
Last Season: 14th
This Season’s Prediction: 14th

With Steve Bruce in charge, QPR were once again a relatively solid outfit last season and although they finished only 4 points above the drop, they were never really in danger of relegation with 14th place a fair finish for the club in the end. But, as this league goes, it’s always tight at the bottom of the table and so QPR were made to work hard to remain in the division.

Now the next challenge will be to start climbing the league and finally break into the top 10, with the last time in doing so, 23 years ago. But with goals hard to come by for The R’s, that won’t be easy. Federico Macheda was the main source of goals last season with 15 to his name, nearly half of the club’s total goals for the entire season, with only bottom club Derby Country scoring less than the 33 Queens Park Rangers managed.

Macheda has remained at Loftus Road, but it is hard to see a player who had never previously broken the 10-goal barrier in one season before, replicating the same form from the previous campaign. Gicu Grozav is the player sought out to solve the crisis, but it is likely that it will be a similar sort of season for The R’s, with their strong defensive capabilities the main reason for them remaining in the league.


Stadium: St. Mary’s Stadium
Manager: Luciano Spalleti
Key Players: Jordan Rhodes, Thorgan Hazard, Miroslav Stoch
Last Season: 8th
This Season’s Prediction: 8th

8th place for the last two seasons, Southampton are at the pinnacle of their spell in the Premier League, at the moment. Nowhere near the standards of rivals Portsmouth, can top 8 looks to be as far as the Saints push to at the moment. Without real desire shown from the board in the form of serious investment, that is the reality for the club, and they won’t be able to hit the heights of European football fans dream of.

With club ‘icons’ Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Jack Cork all departing St. Mary’s over the summer on free transfers, this presented the best opportunity for manager Luciano Spalleti to rejuvenate his squad with players able to take the team to the next level. Some silverware in the cabinets is surely also on the minds of supporters after a distinct lack of trophies during the club’s history.

Spalleti did bring in some fairly good players, but in terms of big names there was little for the supporters to cheer about, with Jordan Rhodes headlining the new additions. With a solid backbone to the squad still intact, it’s not as if Southampton are heading on a downwards spiral just yet, but any improvement is unlikely and once again it looks as if 8th will be as good as it gets.

Stoke City

Stadium: Britannia Stadium
Manager: Owen Coyle
Key Players: Jack Butland, Ryan Shawcross, Denys Cheryshev
Last Season: 7th
This Season’s Prediction: 10th

It’s always been noted that Stoke are a strong side at home, combine that with a good away record and you have one helluva’ team. It proved to be one helluva’ season for The Potters, with some famous victories that fans will remember for years. Yes, Stoke did the double over Chelsea, Tottenham, conjured up wins against Liverpool and Manchester City, and not forgetting an incredible 5-4 win over Arsenal and another thrilling 3-2 win over The Gunners.

Owen Coyle’s men unusually had a better record away than at home, the third best in the league, having a major role in achieving their highest ever Premier League finish of 7th. Coyle got his team playing football the right way, removing assumptions that Stoke are a long ball team, and this proved very effective in getting results.

Can the same magic be produced again though? The lack of signings would suggest no, and is a worrying sight for the fans. Just under £4m has been spent, and for a side who has aspirations to build on a finish that nearly put them into Europe, that is alarmingly low. It looks as if Stoke could be sufferers of second season syndrome after such a great season last year, but their existing quality should pull them way away from any dogfight at the wrong and of the table, to put them in for mid-table obscurity instead.

Swansea City

Stadium: Liberty Stadium
Manager: Gary Bowyer
Key Players: Ezequiel Munoz, Virgil van Dijk, Michu
Last Season: 16th
This Season’s Prediction: 12th

Having come out of a closely run relegation battle, Swansea City may still be licking their wounds, after fortunately keeping hold of their spot in the Barclays Premier League. There may be no consolidation for last season’s woes with it just better to move on, and go again this year, with hope for some success.

Brendan Rodgers has been sacked with Gary Bowyer the new man in charge at the Liberty Stadium, with fans hoping that he can lead better times, for the Welsh side. He has certainly inherited a squad that is capable of much, much more than what it has showed in the past, with certain players needing to regain their form of yesteryears.

Ashley Williams, Michael Vorm and Michu are all experienced heads for the more inexperienced and younger players to look up to, and provide a solid base to the side. Bowyer has added to this with the addition of several promising loan players, with real raw talent. Whether these players will be able to handle the demands of the top tier of English football is an intriguing topic but with a new boss at the helm, it is likely that the Swans will have improved fortunes in the new campaign.

Tottenham Hotspur

Stadium: New White Hart Lane
Manager: Andre Villas-Boas
Key Players: Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela, David Alaba
Last Season: 4th
This Season’s Prediction: 4th

Tottenham have some squad on their books nowadays, and once again Champions League qualification was completed in style last campaign. Andre Villas-Boas in recent years, really has proved his managerial credentials, and the players he signed are really stepping up to the mark now too.

After so many good seasons in recent times, you would think that sometime soon Spurs will falter but gone are the days of inconsistency from the Lilywhites, and replaced is a well-oiled machine that is regularly able to churn out good results and a top 4 finish just as rivals Arsenal did for so many years. Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela have both flourished under ABV becoming modern Tottenham heroes in the process, and treating fans to plenty of master class displays at New White Hart Lane.

With so many silky, skillful attacking players, the priority this summer was to strengthen in defensive areas and that’s just what Villas-Boas has done. Guissepe Bellusci was targeted and succesfully signed, purposefully to command the Spurs backline, a job he will have no qualms in doing having proved his ability to do so for AC Milan already. He will add a lot to a team that just yet is maybe not good enough to win the title, but will certainly give it a real good go, and after another year of building will be ready.

West Bromwich Albion

Stadium: The Hawthornes
Manager: Brendan Rodgers
Key Players: Shane Long, Saido Berahino, Eric Dier
Last Season: 13th
This Season’s Prediction: 17th

Horrific home form, drab and abject displays, it wasn’t really the way Harry Redknapp wanted to conclude his managerial career. West Brom looked a good bet for relegation at the start of the season, and although they finished an average 13th, they weren’t all too far away from it.

Things don’t look as if they are to get any easier for The Baggies either. With Harry Redknapp retiring the board has taken the decision to hire Brendan Rodgers as the club’s new manager, a man who nearly led a considerably better Swansea City side to relegation, at the end of last season. His new team is not blessed with ability, and from the offset he faces a tough task to keep them up.

He has acted quickly in the transfer marker at least, with 6 new faces arriving, the negative being that half of these players have only been signed on loan deals. This hardly bodes well for the future development of the club, if Premier League safety is attained this year, it is likely to be in danger next year and so an ever continuing cycle of relegation battles will ensue. This one could be the hardest fought one of them all however, with a new manager needing to settle in and next to no money spent, it’s going to be a scrap for Albion this year.

West Ham United

Stadium: Olympic Stadium
Manager: Chris Powell
Key Players: Tom Rogic, Ravel Morrison, Simon Makienok
Last Season: 2nd in the Championship (Promoted via automatic promotion)
This Season’s Prediction: 18th

After a 4 year absence, The Hammers are back in the big time, with automatic promotion from the Championship sending them back to where they feel they belong. With a much changed side from the team that was relegated under Sam Allardyce it will be a completely new experience for most of the players, playing against top opposition week in, week out. For Chris Powell, the top tier of English football is unfamiliar for him too, having never previously managed in this division.

He will have to learn quickly what it takes to stay up, and taking the chances presented go a good way to winning games. West Ham have lacked a prolific scorer for a number of years, and even during last year’s promotion, there wasn’t a forward who they could constantly rely on to score goals.

Powell has acted swiftly. Simon Makienok has been snapped up from Nottingham Forest in a bargain £750k deal, and having scored 20 goals last year in the Premier League, he certainly has what it takes to find the net on a regular basis. Yet real experience is still evidently missing, with a lot of the regurlar starters untried and untested at this level. Mark Noble is still around the club and could prove an important figure just for his knowhow, but other than that there aren’t many presences around the dressing room of the Olympic Stadium, something they’re hoping won’t come back to haunt them.

What are your predictions for the Barclays Premier League season ahead? Who will win the league, who will gain European qualification, and who will be part of the unfortunate three at the bottom of the league table? Leave your comments, below.


So class...
Dat update though! This must've taken sooo long, great work Josh :D

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