Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Who's going down?
We all want it to be Spurs, Birmingham, Newcastle, Villa, etc. but who is it actually going to be? Hard to tell from here, but I'll try anyway. I'll add a proviso here that I don't know shit about football, and am probably utterly wrong, but here goes.
If you look at the bottom half of last season's table, there are a few in trouble.
Portsmouth, Blackburn and the Brummies could all be key contenders for the drop. I think the wheels have almost fallen off Fulham and Birmingham and they will be struggling. Newcastle are struggling but rumours say that Sourpuss has quite a lot of money to spend; it really depends on who he can bring in.
Big Sam at Bolton has nothing to spend with his club being in debt. Great manager but how long can he hold on? Same deal with our Curbs at Charlton. They could both hold on, or could drop dramatically. But I don't think they'll be relegated just yet.
What about our fellow promotees? The Irishman at Sunderland has only 5 million to spend, and not a particularly promising squad. Wigan has more than us to spend and from what little I've seen of them from 4,000 miles away, they should be relatively safe.
And now my verdict. I think Sunderland will go back down. I reckon for the other places pick any two from Portsmouth, West Brom, Fulham, and Blackburn. Maybe Birmingham.
And, of course, it could be us - and that's what we really want to know. Will West Ham be better than at least three of those teams? I think we're in with a shout, at least an equal chance as most of those. Right now, with our squad, we'll be relegated, no doubt. With 20 million spent on good signings, then we'd be almost certainly safe. It all hinges on Pardew's talent in the transfer market and I personally think that he's actually pretty sly - if he does as well with big money as he previously has on a shoestring, then we should be sitting well.
Thinking about that, I think if West Ham aim for a 13th or 14th place, or thereabouts, it's not unrealistic. I reckon we're likely to end up about 15th to 17th, with about a 30% chance of relegation.
What do YOU think?