Friday, 21 September 2012

Premier League Prospects For Newly Promoted Teams

by Thomas Penlington

Barclays Premier League Trophy
Founded on the 20th of February 1992, the Premier League is the pinnacle and ultimate aim of every football team in Britain. The standard and financial input splits the top teams like Manchester United from lower league teams like Aldershot. Regarded as the greatest league in the world and holding the greatest teams like Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea the Premier League is the most physically demanding and popular league in the world.  Being watched on average by 643 million viewers and with BskyB and BT paying within excess of £3 billion to secure the broadcast of 116 and 38 games respectively, it is clearly popular. Each season, three teams earn the right through the Championship to make the transition to the premier league and achieve promotion.
The step up is no easy feat and they must adapt both physically and tactically if they are to survive. The three new teams aiming to battle through the season are Reading, Southampton and West Ham United. Reading and West Ham have already experienced the taste of the Premier League before being defeated but they are back with vengeance, aiming to once again take their place among Britain’s finest teams and the world’s finest players. Southampton are newcomers and will experience the Premier League for the first time. In this article, I evaluate the team’s chances and predict their finishing position.

Reading crowned Championship winners 2011-2012
(image: Daily Mail)
Reading finished the Championship 1st and 1 point clear of second place Southampton. Over the summer transfer window, Reading made a total of 9 signings, a large number for a club with nowhere near the financial opportunities at the manager's fingertips as larger clubs in the Premier League, most notably Manchester City. In my view, the most promising and most inspired signing for reading was Pavel Progrebnyak from Fulham for a free transfer. The most important attribute a team must have is the ability to score goals in order to accumulate enough points to survive, so in that case a team needs a goal scorer. Progrebnyak produced a flurry of goals for Fulham last season and decided to sign for Reading instead, showing he wants to play for them. He also has the technical and physical ability to battle with Europe’s finest players. Overall, I believe Reading will have a successful campaign and remain in the Premier League. I predict a 15 place finish for Reading.

Rickie Lambert, Southampton Striker
(source: saintsnatter)
Southampton had a very successful Championship season and completed back to back promotions to finish second in the Championship after leading for the majority of the season. They ended up only one point behind Reading and had the league’s top scorer Rickie Lambert in their team with a fantastic tally of 31 goals and 27 in the league. Over the transfer market, Southampton signed a total of 7 players and broke a club record to sign Gaston Ramirez from Bologna for £13.5million. He is an up and coming young star from Serie A, the top Italian league, with plenty to prove to the fans with that price tag. Southampton also improved their attack by signing the young talented Jay Rodríguez from Burnley who experienced a fantastic career best performance during the 2011-2012 Championship campaign. However, during the first 4 games, Southampton sit bottom of the league on zero points and minus 9 goal difference. They have had no trouble scoring as they slotted two past Manchester City and United but fell short of the win due to poor defending. This was capitalised on by Arsenal in their fourth game as Southampton lost 6-1. Clearly their defence need improving so they must act, whether they improve training or attempt to sign players in January it doesn’t matter but something must be done soon. I predict a 20th place finish as I don’t believe they are good enough throughout the team to survive; relegation looms, in my opinion.

Mark Noble and Kevin Nolan
West Ham United have already experienced the Premier League until their relegation in 2011 to the Championship under the management of Avram Grant. During the Championship season, they led for a period of time during the season but due to too many draws and too many losses at home they slipped out of the title race. They drew Cardiff City in the playoff semi-final as Blackpool drew Birmingham. West Ham progressed to the final after beating Cardiff 5-0 on overall aggregate. They then faced Blackpool at Wembley and after the scores were settled at 1-1. Ricardo Vaz Te made himself a hero by scoring the winner in the 87th minute. During the summer, West Ham made a number of practical and useful signings like James Collins and deadline day signing of Andy Carroll who of course has much to prove but was promising in his first game. If West Ham can maintain defensive qualities and manage to win away from home as well as at home then I believe they will finish 12th.



  1. just to clear a few things up,
    1)Southampton have been in the prem before, they were relegated in 2005.
    2)reading have a new millionaire owner so have more money than you think.
    3)the POG (Progrebnyak)was a free agent after his contract expired at fulham.

    would have been nice to mention readings defence as it was the best in the league last year!

    and thanks for the prediction, up-the-royals!

  2. George Kimber-Sweatman21 September 2012 at 18:08

    Southampton are definitely not experiencing the Premier League for the first time..... They were in the top division for 27 consecutive seasons until 2005 and were founding members of The Premier League - this is their 14th season....
    Oh and they won't finish 20th!


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