Premier League 2010/11 – Champs and Chumps

The 2010/11 Premier League season promises to be the most exciting since its inception in February 1982.  With the exception of fluke winners Blackburn in 94/95 it has been shared between three clubs Manchester United (11), Arsenal (3) and Chelsea (3).  However, the ‘big four dominance’ is about to be shattered by the richest side in world football.

The relegation issue appears clear cut.  Blackpool will illuminate and give neutrals a laugh but are certainties for relegation!  They are in serious danger of accumulating the second lowest number of points in the Premier League history (Derby County had 11 points in 2007/08).  In contradiction they look the poorest side to have gained promotion from the Championship.  Because of ground expansion four of their first five games are away so expect them to start bottom and remain there!

Generally speaking teams need to score at least 38 goals and win eight games to preserve their league status so West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers look particularly vulnerable!

Graham Dorrans

Graham Dorrans

The Baggies look less than mediocre.  Scanning the squad it is impossible to find a striker in the ranks though gifted midfield star Graham Dorrans scored 18 times last season.  Scott Carson is a decent keeper and will be given every chance to showcase his talents.  The Albion have been promoted four times in the last nine years surviving just one season, expect that trend to continue.

Wolverhampton Wanderers will hope two key men stay fit.  Kevin Doyle is yet to prove he is the genuine article.  He scored nine league goals last season and needs a few more this season.  Stephen Hunt looks a shrewd signing and it is imperative he chips in.  Between them they need at least 20 goals and this looks unlikely.  There is little goal threat elsewhere.

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Should Newcastle United start badly then there is a danger of internal strife re-igniting and destroying the new collectiveness.  It is worth noting that the skill quotient within the squad is below that of the one that got relegated in 2008/09.  They have not convinced with their transfer dealings during the close season and this represents a worry to fans!  The bottom six in ascending order look like Blackpool, WBA, Wolves or Newcastle, Bolton and Blackburn.

Manchester City has spent £125m this summer with a promise of more to come.  At their current odds of 7/1 they look fantastic value to win the title!  The squad is now so powerful only Chelsea can deny them.  Of course the acquired talent needs to gel but that is made somewhat less important due to the internal and emerging problems of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United.

Chelsea are just about the best team at this moment in time but this ageing squad are in decline and need refurbishing.  Due to departures the squad are percentage points down on last season.  Meanwhile Arsenal remain fragile.  Captain Cesc Fabregas may not be fully committed this season despite his protestations.  In any case defence frailties and naivety rule out title aspirations!

Manchester United cannot win the Premier League for a number of reasons.  Importantly Sir Alex Ferguson has displayed a reckless disregard to Wayne Rooney and the burdens placed on him.  Expect him to miss more matches this year due to injury.  English football picked up the tab at the 2010 World Cup for him being rushed back after his injury in Munich.

To compound United’s problems they have not replaced Ronaldo, Tevez, Scholes, Giggs, and Gary Neville.  Edwin Van der Sar probably has one more season left.  Berbatov lacks energy and is not a United player while Hernandez will need a season to adjust.

The top six in descending order could be Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton.

– Paul Moon

Paul is a Betfair blogger and is renowned on that platform for his forthright views on various sports, notably football and boxing.

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