English Premier League and Football in General

I haven’t seen an EPL thread lately, so I thought I’d start one in hopes of attracting some discussion. Given that I am fortunate enough to own cable (Thanks, Fox Sports World), I have been able to see quite a bit of English Premier League football this season. In any event, here’s my views on the season so far.

  1. Looks as if Chelsea is poised to take the Premier League title away from Arsenal. With roughly 12 games to go, Chelsea holds a 10 point lead over Arsenal. Barring some catastrophe, it looks like the battle will be over who gets into Europe for next season. Along with Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd look to be locks. Everton is holding firm in 4th place (and I really hope that they can hang on to their position in the standings).

  2. The real battle shaping up is who will be relegated to the Championship. Southhampton, Crystal Palace, Norwich, and West Brom Albion are at the bottom of the table. I’d really like to see Norwich stay up (I was especially pleased that they came back from a 4-1 deficit with 10 minutes to go to tie Middlesbrough 4-4; that and they really have a scrappy, never-die attitude most of the time).

  3. Looks as if Chelsea might have a shot at a quadruple (Premier, FA Cup, League Cup, and European Cup). Whether they will pull it off remains to be seen; but if they do, I think it will solidify themselves as the premier team in Europe (and will push Mourinho into legendary status as a football genius).

  4. Impressive players (to me at least):

Arjen Robben - he’s been the catalyst of the Chelsea juggernaut once he was inserted into the line-up after his injury. Chelsea looked sluggish in the early part of the year without him - with him they’ve been almost invincible. I really like him and Duff on the wings - both can fly, both are left-footers, and both can set-up their strikers effectively.

Theirry Henri - leading goal scorer for Arsenal. Has been simply brilliant throughout most of the year.

Brian (?) Downing of Middlesbrough - impressive young winger; another pacey left-footer.

Ledley King - Tottenham defender. Giant in the backfield.

Thomas Gravesen (now with Real madrid) - the gritty and determined mid-field catalyst of Everton. Will definitely be missed.

  1. Man Utd. versus Exeter. Nice FA Cup story (think New York Yankess versus A or Rookie league team). Exeter tied Man Utd. 0-0 in their initial match (at Old Trafford), setting the stage for the replay at Exeter. Exeter lost, 2-0, but the money generated from both matches helped them with their debt problems.

  2. Djibril Cisse (Liverpool) injury - ugh! every time they show it, I have to close my eyes. For those who haven’t seen it - think Joe Thiesmann and how his leg was broken. Djibril Cisse’s was worse because it appeared the the inury was caused by the pitch. I watched the match and knew instantly what had happened. Glad to here that he’ll be playing again in the near future.

Until you retract this statement, I’m not entering into any discussion.


I take it you are a Saints fan?

Nope - Ipswich :wink:

Ah, well - my British geography is a bit rusty (should have know better given your location as Suffolk). After checking my atlas, I now understand why I you might not want to see Norwich succeed :slight_smile: Looks as if Ipswich is battling out the Championship with Wigan and Sunderland with Reading in 4th.

He may be my new favorite player. I really like him a lot.

Personally, I have hopes for Bolton Wanderers getting into Europe for the 1st time ever. If Chelsea win the League Cup, and the FA Cup Final is between two teams that already have secured a European place, then the top 8 in the EPL will qualify for European competition, and top 8 is achievable by Bolton if they play to their abilities. Will have to wait and see…

Arsenal/Man Utd last night was a belter. Great game. I don’t like Man Utd particularly, but they showed fantastic guts and Keene had his best game of the year.


With 39 points still to play for and being only 8 points behind fourth-placed Everton, who are faltering, Bolton have a chance of making the final Champions League place. None of the other contenders is playing particularly well, though Liverpool would be favourites.

The Arsenal/United game last night was terrific. Interesting that arguably the best players on the respective teams were the oldest players, a 33 year-old (Keane) and a 35 year-old (Bergkamp).

Your list of impressive players seems to be missing Andy Johnson. :wink:

Come on, he’s one of the highest scorers in the Premiership and he plays for (unfortunately) one of the not-so-good sides.

Please stay up Palace. Plleeeaassseee . . .

We are of course happy to help in this endevour. FWIW It’s much more fun to follow your team in the UEFA cup as you get to go to the most marvelous places (I’ve been to Iceland and Moldova for example), and there’s a possibility of doing OK as well.

I would add to the “great players of the year” list: Defoe - just gets better and better. Robinson - Englands number one.

I am also well impressed with Ronaldo (the Man utd one), and Terry and Lampard just keep improving (I would pick Terry ahead of Ferdinand for England).

It will be interesting to see what Wenger does now - the team that he built is visibly in decline and they need to spend big to replace a few fading player - Viera’s declining by the game, Ljunberg is a shadow of himself, Pires ditto.

Man Utd are in a similar place with Neville and Keane, Solskjaer and maybe Scoles on the way down.

Neither can compete with Chelsea or Real Madrid in the market (as the other two aren’t contrained by the laws of football gravity - ie money). Could be interesting.

As to relegation - West Brom are doomed. I fancy Pompey and Norwich to follow them.

That was an amazing match last night (watched the replay). After the first twenty minutes I was sure that Arsenal were going to walk away with it. I don’t know if it was more a matter of the ManU attack or Arsenal just laying down on defense (maybe a mix). How did Rooney not get ejected? He sure has an attitude, that one. And Sivestre (sp?) is an idiot. In the second half Arsenal seem to have run out of creative, although Bergkamp tryed to keep the spark going.

Earlier in the season I was able to see a lot of Chelsea, Everton and Liverpool, which is just the luck of the draw from a FSW perspective here. I don’t really have a “favorite” side yet, so it’s nice to be able to watch the games just from a pure perspective. I really like Milan Baros from Liverpool when he gets some support on his runs. Very creative pushing forward. Robben is also an intriguing player. I’m not sure I’ve even seen A. Johnson. And there was a Swede, I think, playing for Everton before, although he may have been transferred, that was doing a lot in the first half.

I’m fairly new to the Premiership and don’t have the vaguest about the money there. Could you do a brief synopsis on who has the geld and why? Is Chelsea the richest team? It seems ManUtd are the most world renowned and they’ve always seemed to get whichever players they want, so I assumed that they were the richest club. Where do Arsenal and Liverpool fit in? Any other teams that are in that realm (moneywise)?

Happy to help.

Chelsea: Originally a mid-table team at best ( last won the league in 1955, occasional cup sucess). Taken over by Ke Bates who got the club massively in debt by buying players they couldn’t really afford on wages they certainly couldn’t afford. Also he redevolped the area around the stadium with hotels and bars etc (Chelsea is actually in Fulham which is quite a nice part of London). These didn’t generate the income that was planned and Chelsea were in serious financial grief. They were just twelve hours from going into administration when…

…Enter Roman Abramovich, a Russian businessman/gangster/oligagrch (delete to taste) and Britain’s richest man. He’s worth about £8 BILLION squid. He took over the club and runs it as a plaything - his wealth is effectively limitless and he will pay whatever it takes to get what he wants. No one can compete financially with him.

Last year chelsea lost something like £70m. That would be death for most clubs - Abramovich just writes a cheque.

Man Utd - Britain’s richest club (other than Chelsea). Massive income from all sources - including overseas, but funds aren’t limitless. Buying Rooney has used up this year’s transfer kitty. Possibly about to be subject to a hostile take-over from Malcolm Glazer (a yank who owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and a few other things)

Arsenal: Great team, shit fans. When they are mediocre (which happens from time to time) they get rotten crowds. Currently doing very well but are contrained by their small stadium at Highbury (capacity about 36,000). So are spending BIG money on a new stadium at Ashburton Grove - which again limits the cash they have to spend. If they can pull tyis off they will make the jump imnto the super league - if they don’t - they’re in serious trouble.

Liverpool: Haven’t got a pot to piss in.

Other clubs with money to spend are Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Spurs, although on current sucess rates they can’t attract the absolute cream.

Thanks, nice primer. I know that Malcom owns the Bucs, that’s the part of the world where I live. He’s viewed as a bit of a curiousity here: seen as a bit odd, but he got us an NFL Championship (Super Bowl) when even respectability had eluded us for years. Brought in decent coaches and spent money that needed to be spent which had never been done here. Fairly hands off, although his sons do get a bit involved, in running the team. Not sure how that would work out for United but I’d heard recently that he was not going to try a third bid. Interestingly his minority ownership in ManUtd has gotten them more press than anything else ever would.

Chelsea: is this the same team that Shinawatra Thaksin, the Thai Prime Minister, was attempting to buy using public monies from the Thai people? I guess that’s why he’s so wealthy. :dubious: Isn’t there also an area of London called Chelsea or am I mistaken?

Arsenal: I was a bit surprised when they announced attendance at that game yesterday as 38,000+. Don’t you have 50,000+ stadiums there? 60,000 would be a smallish American football stadium, although 40-50K is about right for baseball stadiums, which, given the number of games, is probably a better analogy. Major League Baseball teams play 162 games a year plus playoffs for some.

What’s Liverpool’s problem? Aren’t they one of the most storied teams in the league?

Another Thai thing (I originally got started in the Premiership when I lived in Thailand a few years back, which can be a soccer mad place): I am amused to see Chang logos on some of the teams and I may have even seen Singha somewhere. Are they selling beer Chang in England or is that only to promote it back in Thailand? The stuff is only a few pence a bottle. I also get a kick out of the Fly Emirates armbands on the referees.

No, you won’t have. Crystal Palace aren’t really one of the glamour clubs.

However, Sven came to our match against Spurs recently and there’s a rumour AJ may play for England. Perhaps in the Holland friendly (9 Feb?).

No arguments regarding Norwich & West Brom - but Pompey?? do you mean the Saints per chance? as of last night Portsmouth are way clear of the drop 12 points in fact.

Glazer - may well come back with a third try. This is very unpopular with the die-hard supporters (someof whom actually DO live in Britain) as he’s perceived as an assett stripper. Also it’s not as if Man Utd are a sleeping giant - they’re an fully awake giant!

The Thai Guy (ghai?) tried to buy Liverpool. As you know the deal collapsed.

There is a (very upmarket) area of London called Chelsea - but Chelsea football club are in Fulham Broadway. Which is quite close to Chelsea but not in it. They’ve always been there, but there already was a Fulham football Club before they got there.

Stadia: These range from the Biggest (Old Trafford) at around 68,000 down to St James Park (50,000) to Highbury/White Hart Lane (36,000) to Carrow Rd/Slehurst Park (25,000). Most stadia are in residential areas and as such are really hard to extend. This is why most bigger clubs are looking to sell the urban site and move to purpose built stadia out of town. Bear in mind that there are over 100 teams in England alone that get four figure crowds or more (out of a population of around 40m). The new Plumstead Pikies stadium will hold around 60,000. Mind you they shouldn’t get too settled - they’ll be on the move again soon. It’s what they do. Maybe next time they’ll piss off back to South London where they belong!

Liverpool: I don’t know what “storied” means, but their problem is that they happened to decline at exactly the wrong time (as did my own team - spurs) and as such rather missed the boat when the big money was pouring into the game. That combined with some disasterous managerial decsions have left them looking a bit forlorn. If (when) Gerrard goes in the summer it’s hard to see any way back to the top tier.

Chang beer is being advertised to consumers in the far east - you can’t get it here.

Nope I mean Pompey. They have “collapse” written all over them.

a bold prediction then. There is always one team that drops like a stone, could be Pompey, but personally I see West Brom, Saints & Norwich for the drop.

Bolton have Crystal Palace at the weekend. Should be a good game. a win for Palace would really see them rising away from the relegation places, but if we pull off our 5th(7th) win on the trot it could dump them back in.