2010 English Premier League Preview
2009-10 Result: 3rd
Players In: Marouane Chamakh, Laurent Koscielny
Players Out: Fran Merida, Philippe Senderos, William Gallas, Mikael Silvestre, Sol Campbell, Eduardo
Despite losing a host of players, Arsene Wenger has made smart purchases over the summer, picking up two of the best players in the French Ligue 1 last season. Gunnersí fans are growing impatient at the lack of silverware acquired in recent years, and the 2010-11 campaign could be do-or-die for the 14-year veteran. However, with the likes of Chamakh, Walcott, van Persie, and Vermaelen at his disposal, a challenge for the Premier League title isnít out of the question.
2009-10 Result: 6th
Players In: None
Players Out: Wilfred Bouma, Marlon Harewood, Andy Marshall, Stephen OíHalloran, Nicky Shorey
Having just lost their manager a few days before the 2010-11 season kicks off, Aston Villa are seemingly in a state of disorder. The club is heading into the new campaign without having signed any new players, James Milner probably headed for Manchester City, and now down a talismanic manager. Despite boasting a strong squad, itís hard to know whether this sudden challenge will hurt or help the Villans. Only time will tell.
2009-10 Result: 9th
Players In: Ben Foster, Nikola Zigic, Enric Valles
Players Out: Christian Benitez, Gary McSheffrey, Artur Krysiak, Gary Vignal, Jared Wilson, Franck Queudrue, Shaun Timmins, Lee Carsley
After an incredible first season back in the Premier League, Alex McLeishís men will be looking to better their 9th position of 2009-10. Thanks to a top 10 finish in the Premier League, Birmingham have been able to purchase a few big names, including internationals Ben Foster and Nikola Zigic, the latter of whom starred for Serbia at this yearís World Cup. Whether they will be able to repeat the heroics of last season without England goalkeeper Joe Hart is questionable, but their reign in the Premier League looks likely to continue for another year at least.
2009-10 Result: 10th
Players In: Mame Biram Diouf
Players Out: Steven Reid, Marcus Marshall, Yildiray Basturk, Andy Haworth
Itís always been a fact that money is tight in Blackburn, but thanks to some frugal business in the transfer market Sam Allardyce has been able to bring Manchester United striker Mame Biram Diouf to Ewood Park on loan. The spritely forward will hopefully be a better product than last yearís Chelsea loanee, Franco Di Santo, and donít be surprised if heís handed a start come their opener against Everton.
2009-10 Result: 6th in Championship (promoted via play-offs)
Players In: Marlon Harewood, Craig Cathcart, Ludovic Sylvestre, Elliot Grandin, Malaury Martin
Players Out: Stephen McPhee, Al Bangura, Hameur Bouazza, Joe Martin, Danny Mitchley, Daniel Nardiello, Ben Burgess
No-one is expecting much from the Premier League newcomers, and thanks to their at times oddball manager, Ian Holloway, Blackpool fans were beginning to get nervous. Only a few days out from the start of the season and Holloway had not signed any new players. Thankfully, Wednesday saw the Tangerines pick up five signings, including former Aston Villa and West Ham striker Marlon Harewood. Itís hard to see how Blackpool will be able to survive in the EPL with their current squad, but letís just hope they win a few more points than Derby County.
2009-10 Result: 14th
Players In: Robbie Blake, Martin Petrov, Marcos Alonso, Ivan Klasnic, Tom Eaves
Players Out: Ricardo Vaz Te, Nicky Hunt
Bolton Wanderers continue to be a consistent performer in the Premier League without ever achieving much success in terms of silverware or European football. Owen Coyle will be hoping to turn that all around this season with a few new signings. Martin Petrov will add depth and flair to midfield, while Ivan Klasnic will return to the club after a successful loan spell last season. I canít see them breaking into the top 10 anytime soon, and they could well be in a relegation battle yet again.
2009-10 Result: 1st
Players In: Yossi Benayoun, Matej Delac, Tomas Kalas, Ramires
Players Out: Joe Cole, Michael Ballack, Juliano Belletti, Miroslav Stoch, Nana Ofori-Twumasi, Deco, Scott Sinclair
Chelsea have suffered horrible preseason form, adding insult to injury after losing a handful of their most important players. After winning the double in 2009-10, Carlo Ancelottiís men will be looking to make it consecutive Premier League titles, and youíd have to say they have picked up a few handy players over summer. Look out for Ramires to make a name for himself in England, while Yossi Benayoun will doubtless fill the void left by new Liverpool winger Joe Cole.
2009-10 Result: 8th
Players In: Jan Mucha, Jermaine Beckford, Joao Silva, Magaye Gueye
Players Out: John Ruddy, Dan Gosling, Carlo Nash, Lukas Jutkiewicz
While disappointed not to have qualified for Europe a second time in as many years, David Moyes has bought intelligently over the past few months and looks set to boast a powerful squad come kickoff this weekend. Jermaine Beckford is perhaps the biggest name to move to Goodison Park after his fantastic season for Leeds last year. Style and consistency is what makes the Toffees such an enjoyable team to watch, and they will doubtless be making life difficult for a few of the Big Four this campaign.
2009-10 Result: 12th
Players In: Philippe Senderos, Jonathan Greening
Players Out: Stefano Okaka, Nicky Shorey, Wayne Brown, Christopher Buchtmann, Chris Smalling, Erik Nevland, Andranik Teymourian, Toni Kallio, Michael Uwezu, Stefan Payne
Itís still unclear whether Mark Schwarzer will be staying at Fulham for another season or moving onto greener pastures with Arsenal, but one thingís for sure: there are going to be a lot of changes in London this year. Mark Hughes (former Manchester City gaffer) has been given the nod after Roy Hodgson took up the vacant Liverpool managerial role, while a string of players have left Craven Cottage over the summer. Itís tough to say how Fulham will fair under Mark Hughes, but Iím sure more than a few fans arenít too happy about his appointment.
2009-10 Result: 7th
Players In: Jonjo Shelvey, Milan Jovanovic, Joe Cole, Danny Wilson, Christian Poulsen
Players Out: Albert Riera, Yossi Benayoun
Plenty of Liverpool fans are pleased to be seeing the back of Rafa Benitez after several years of frustration at Anfield. Thankfully, new manager Roy Hodgson has managed to convince talisman Fernando Torres to stick around for at least another season, while bringing in plenty of inspirational players in the form of Joe Cole, Milan Jovanovic and Christian Poulsen. The Reds are still yet to claim a Premier League title, and Hodgson will be hoping this is the year they break their duck.
2009-10 Result: 5th
Players In: Jerome Boateng, Yaya Toure, David Silva, Aleksandar Kolarov
Players Out: Benjani, Martin Petrov, Sylvinho, Valeri Bojinov, Javier Garrido
Spending seems to be the name of the game for Manchester City yet again. Having invested another £100 million or so in the transfer market to snare Yaya Toure, David Silva, and Jerome Boateng, another season without any silverware would be seen as both a monetary and team failure. Big money tactics are questionable at best, but youíd have to say that with the sort of stars the club has been able to attract, they should be able to challenge for a top four finish.
2009-10 Result: 2nd
Players In: Chris Smalling, Javier Hernandez, Bebe
Players Out: Tom Heaton, Zoran Tosic, Ron-Robert Zieler, Febian Brandy, Sam Hewson, David Gray, Danny Welbeck
Keen to reclaim the Premier League title this season, Sir Alex Ferguson has propped up his attacking options with Mexico international Javier Hernandez, and unknown Bebe. With Chris Smalling moving up from Fulham, Manchester United are looking like a much younger, talented squad than years past. Itíll be interesting to see how SAF manages to keep all of his attackers happy, with 7 strikers now filling the ranks, but if nothing else the man knows how to get results.
2009-10 Result: 1st in Championship
Players In: James Perch, Dan Gosling, Sol Campbell
Players Out: Fabrice Pancrate, Nicky Butt, Jonny Godsmark
Another club returning to the Premier League this season is Newcastle United, who finished their Championship run with a bang. Having earned promotion thanks to a virtually faultless 2009-10, Newcastle are tipped as one of the teams to avoid the drop. Sol Campbell and Dan Gosling have been interesting purchases from the manager, but the guts of the squad from last year has virtually remained the same. What Newcastle United need now is an out-and-out striker, and they are hoping that their newest Number 9, Andy Carroll, will be able to provide them with plenty of goals.
2009-10 Result: 11th
Players In: Carlo Nash, Florent Cuvelier, Kenwyne Jones
Players Out: Amdy Faye, Nathaniel Wedderburn, Andy Griffin, Steve Simonsen
What Tony Pulis has done with Stoke City over the past few years has been nothing short of incredible. After seeing his team promoted to the Premier League in 2008, he has steered the Potters to two consecutive seasons in the EPL without fear of relegation. Renowned for maintaining a squad of no-name players, yet still producing the goods when its comes to results, Pulis finally loosened up the purse strings over summer to acquire Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones. While I doubt weíll see much in the way of silverware heading to Stoke-on-Trent, they could easily challenge for a top 10 finish.
2009-10 Result: 13th
Players In: Cristian Riveros, Simon Mignolet, Ahmed Al-Muhammadi, Titus Bramble, Marcos Angeleri, Danny Welbeck
Players Out: Roy OíDonovan, Daryl Murphy, Nyron Nosworthy, Lorik Cana, Kenwyne Jones
Plenty has happened in the Sunderland changing rooms over the summer as almost a dozen players have moved in and out of the club. Looking to shake things up with the hope of achieving European football next season, Steve Bruce has brought in big names Cristian Riveros, Titus Bramble, and most recently Danny Welbeck on loan from Man United. Despite seeing Lorik Cana and Kenwyne Jones move away from the Stadium of Light, Sunderland should prove a handful for more than a few clubs in 2010-11.
2009-10 Result: 4th
Players In: Sandro
Players Out: Sam Cox, Jimmy Walker, Dorian Dervite, Adel Taarabt, John Bostock
Speculation abounds whether Craig Bellamy will come in to replace a surely-departing Robbie Keane in the next few days, but one this is for certain: Tottenham will play European football this season. Thanks to their fourth place finish earlier in the year, Spurs have achieved what many thought was impossible a few years ago. While they havenít indulged in the transfer market, their one purchase, Sandro, looks to be a solid addition to the holding midfield area.
West Bromwich Albion
2009-10 Result: 2nd in Championship
Players In: Gabriel Tamas, Steven Reid, Pablo Ibanez, Bo Myhill, Nicky Shorey
Players Out: Andwele Slory, Robert Koren, Joss Labadie, Filipe Teixeira, Jonathan Greening, Borja Valero
The third and final team to see promotion this season, West Brom are facing the toughest of challenges against Chelsea on day one. While they are unlikely to fight for a top 10 finish, they have the depth of players Ė both in the Premier League and Championship Ė that know the challenges of this level of football, and a manager who won promotion into the EPL with them after just a single season. Whether this yo-yo club will be able to avoid relegation is questionable, but at least theyíll provide plenty of excitement for the Midlands.
West Ham United
2009-10 Result: 17th
Players In: Thomas Hitzlsperger, Pablo Barrera, Frederic Piquionne, Tal Ben Haim, Winston Reid
Players Out: Bondz NíGala, Josh Payne, Guillermo Franco, Ilan
Avram Grant will be hoping for a better season with West Ham than he experienced with Portsmouth last time out. If thereís one major difference between those two clubs, itís that Grant will have money to spend. West Ham have never been shy about forking out the cash for big players, as was witnessed by their pursuit of Thierry Henry and David Beckham during the off-season. While they failed in their attempts to bring any megastars to Upton Park, they did manage to snare Thomas Hitzlsperger, Pablo Barrera, and youngster Winston Reid, as well as former Portsmouth stars Frederic Piquionne and Tal Ben Haim.
2009-10 Result: 16th
Players In: Mauro Boselli, Antolin Alcaraz, James McArthur, Ronnie Stam, Rachid Bouaouzan, Paul Scharner, Richard Kingson, Olivier Kapo
Players Out: Mario Melchiot, Tomasz Cywka, Tomasz Kupisz, Titus Bramble
If there is one disappointing aspect about Wigan Athletic, it is that they often lose their best players before they have a chance to affect the clubís standing. Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) and Wilson Palacios (Tottenham) are just two of those players, while Sunderland snared the services of Wiganís best defender, Titus Bramble, over the summer. Itíll be a tough year at the DW Stadium, but Roberto Martinez is a master of avoiding relegation.
2009-10 Result: 15th
Players In: Adlene Guedioura, Jelle Van Damme, Steven Fletcher, Steven Mouyokolo, Stephen Hunt
Players Out: Jason Shackell, Mark Little, Chris Iwelumo, Daniel Jones, George Friend, Andrew Surman
Thanks to plenty of intelligent purchases over the summer transfer period, Wolves have a great chance to perform well this season. Steven Fletcher brings a much needed attacking flair to the side, while Stephen Hunt will add a dash of creativity on the left wing when he recovers from a lengthy injury. Finishing 15th in their first season back in the Premier League was just a starting point for Mick McCarthy, and heíll be keen to see Wolves do much better in 2010-11.