The Tim Harris Prem-Preview

Posted on August 14, 2010

7


by Tim Harris

The last season nutshell
Chelsea won the two-horse race, Spurs pinched 4th, Liverpool flapped and flopped, and the less said about Pompey the better.

‘The Big Four’, no more
A significant number of years have passed since another team has managed to breach the 5th place barrier.  Last season however, under the watch of crafty Harry, Tottenham registered a bold statement to the Premier League.  And it was not only Spurs that surpassed Liverpool, but Man City and Villa also forced the Merseysiders down so far that they barely qualified for Europe.  Could the Big Four lockout be a notion of the past?  Surely not…

The new faces
Does the name Paul Rachubka mean anything to you?  He will be the player picking the ball out of his net at Bloomfield Road most Saturday afternoons.  It would be a tremendous shame if the tangerine fairytale did end on the Wembley pitch back in May, but it’s a strong reality.  Newcastle belong in the top flight, and West Brom are consistent regulars.  But the North West minnows may only realise the gulf between the divisions once they find themselves on the end of a 5-0 drubbing.  Ian Holloway is probably well aware of the difficult task that lies ahead.  “Whatever happens, I’m ready to try and gel things together, you know, ‘cos it’s going to be difficult from the first game at least.”  Best of luck Ian.

World Cup hangovers
I don’t doubt for a second that every time Robert Green closes his eyes he sees a Jabulani, but will it affect his league form?  Of course not.  As soon as the first whistle is blown, the World Cup will be completely forgotten.  Even Rooney and Lamps, who clocked in less than inspiring shifts in the South Africa campaign, will play for their clubs as they always do, majestically.

Can they ‘manage’ it?
Right from the off, all eyes will inevitably bear down upon the twenty men picking the teams.  Alex, Arsene, Carlo, and now Roy?  Super Hodgson worked his magic successfully at Craven Cottage, but now faces the colossal expectations that hang in the Merseyside air.  Retaining the services of Fernando Torres is a start, but there’s a very long road ahead.  And should Liverpool fail to reclaim their place in the top four this season, will Mr Hodgson be receiving his P45 through the post?  Some immense pressure awaits the new gaffer I’m sure you’ll agree.  ‘You never walk alone’ eh Roy?

The Midlands Massive
A brand new first in my lifetime, the supposed big four of the Midlands will all compete in the Premier League at the same time!  This feat has been previously prevented by Wolves and Baggies’ inability to cement a Premiership spot for more than a season or two.  And come the end of the year, will Villa and Birmingham still have fixtures scheduled against their neighbours for the following season?  If they get relegated maybe…

Wayne Vs Didier
Both men have much to prove after an inadequate World Cup.  Drog pipped Rooney to the golden boot last season, but left it late, and it was close, very close, right to the wire.  I don’t know.  Toss a coin.

James Miner
I think he’s supposed to be quite a good footballer.

My surprise predictions:
Title contender – Man City
Relegation candidate – Fulham
Mid-table flop – Villa

Some to watch:
Goalscorer – Carlton Cole
Youngster – Jack Wilshire
Pensioner – Sol Campbell
Goalkeeper – Ben Foster
Manager – Steve Bruce

Take your seats, it’s time for kickoff…        

Advertisements