Friday, 12 August 2016


Sports - Football - Premier League

Well, well, well. The new season is upon us. I don't know about you, but I still can't quite believe what happened last season! I'm still reliving, digesting and trying to make sense of it, pinching myself to check it did really happen, and loving the fact that it did! Unpredictable! Unforgettable!

Claudio Ranieri
So, if you go by last season, then the title favourites this campaign would be Burnley! Or Sunderland! Better: Bournemouth! No, but seriously, I will put a cheeky pound on each of them. After last season, you just don't know! 

I hate the fact that everyone is writing off Leicester's chances (AGAIN!)! It will be difficult to repeat last season's surprise heroics, but that doesn't mean we're back to the old and obvious top picks. Just because they spend most, does not mean they will do most nor best, far from it! That was more than proven last season! 

Anyways, enough of my thoughts and takes, here is a good overview of the main changes, stats and facts, a good appetiser to what awaits us in the Premier League 2016/17...

New Bosses: 

Big names, big clashes, big results, the challenge, show and pressure are all ooooon! With lots of hoo and plenty of ha! Who will last the season? Who will see Christmas? Who is overrated and will flop? Who is king and will be top? Only time will tell...

Antonio Conte at Chelsea: The temperamental Italian was very entertaining to watch during Euro2016 and is expected to make a great impact. That's what he was chosen for, to drag the Blues back up. (Win% 55.66)

Ronald Koeman at Everton: His departure from Southampton surprised many after he frowned upon those who leave their clubs mid-contract time. Interesting season ahead, especially against his former club.(Win% 54.88)

Caretaker Mike Phelan at Hull: A tough (temporary) job on his hands with the club in turmoil after his ex-United team mate Steve Bruce's departure. Nothing to envy. (Win% N/A)

Pep Guardiola at Man City: The Barcelona legend will not be remembered for much at Bayern and has a point to prove in his first Premier League job. (Win% 72.87)

Jose Mourinho at Man United: And the Special One is back, with more than a point to prove after leaving Chelsea in the bottom half of the table last season. (Win% 66.1)

Claude Puel at Southampton: The one-club-man Monaco legend has a lot to learn and prove in his first job outside of France. (Win% 42.49)

David Moyes at Sunderland: The former Everton and Man United manager is happy to be back, back with a vengeance I am sure. (Win% 43.79)

Walter Mazzarri at Watford: The 12th boss at Vicarage Road in the last decade, the Italian will know this job is not an easy but usually short and bumpy ride. (Win% 40.03)

Old Bosses:

DΓ©jΓ  vu? Under pressure? Who? Where? Never! These ones have been there, done that and are back on their old seats for more. Or maybe less. Hanging in there. We will see...

Arsene Wenger at Arsenal since 1996: In his 21st season at the club and final year of his contract, there is a more sick and tired feel to the Gunners. (Win% 54.1)

Eddie Howe at Bournemouth since 2012: The Football League Manager of The Decade is certainly enjoying his second stint with the Cherries in the top flight. (Win% 46.7)

Sean Dyche at Burnley since 2012: Winning promotion to the Premier League for the second time in three years, he will hope the spell will last longer this time. (Win% 40.6)

Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace since 2015: Never without some controversy and will be under pressure after a disappointing end to last season. (Win% 42.5)

Claudio Ranieri at Leicester since 2015: The charming Italian will have to prove all the doubters wrong again after the sublime last season, no one seeing a repeat possible. (Win% 46.37)

JΓΌrgen Klopp at Liverpool since 2015: The Normal One won over the Red hearts very quickly last season, now the question is whether he can win enough points, and trophies. (Win% 48.6)

Aitor Karanka at Middlesbrough since 2013: The Spaniard has had his ups and downs and crises with the club but has not looked back since his return and Boro's promotion. (Win% 52.5)

Mark Hughes at Stoke since 2013: Finishing 9th the last three seasons, the Potters will feel too comfortable for their own good. (Win% 39.7)

Francesco Guidolin at Swansea since 2016: Taking the job in January with the Swans just two points from the drop, the Italian has taught the Swans how to win and smile again. (Win% 43.8)

Mauricio Pocchetino at Tottenham since 2014: Had made Spurs title contenders last season but left disappointed losing the edge at the end and no trophies. This season will be crunch time for the Argentine. (Win% 39.6)

Tony Pulis at West Brom since 2015: The former Stoke and Crystal Palace manager certainly knows how to spoil the show for the big boys, so, never to be underestimated! (Win% 36.4%)

Slaven Bilic at West Ham since 2015: The Croatian has lead the Hammers to their best finish in the Premier League era, breaking plenty of records and wetting the appetite for the fans this season. (Win% 52.17)

Ins and Outs: 

Numbers of signings and exits per club (on date compiled = 11/08/2016), West Ham and Middlesbrough topping the shopping list with 9 new names each, whilst Liverpool have cleared out most with 15 players shown the door.

Arsenal: 4 & 8
Bournemouth: 8 & 7
Burnley: 4 & 5
Chelsea: 2 & 8
Crystal Palace: 3 & 9
Everton: 5 & 5
Hull City: 1 & 3
Leicester: 6 & 10
Liverpool: 6 & 15
Man City: 8 & 4
Man Utd: 4 & 9
Middlesbrough: 9 & 4
Southampton: 4 & 9
Stoke City: 3 & 2
Sunderland: 3 & 8
Swansea: 7 & 10
Tottenham: 2 & 4
Watford: 5 & 7
West Brom: 1 & 3
West Ham: 9 & 3

Big spenders this summer:

Not many surprises there (again, amounts correct on date compiled = 11/08/2016). Will this be the Premier League table come May 2017? Sad if so... I may put a £5er on it though...

  1. Man City £161.59m
  2. Man Utd £157.25m
  3. Liverpool £67.92m
  4. Chelsea £63.58m
  5. Arsenal £44.2m
  6. Leicester £40.38m
  7. West Ham £39.27m
  8. Tottenham £31.03m
  9. Bournemouth £29.84m
  10. Swansea £27.4m
  11. Southampton £24.23m
  12. Crystal Palace £23.21m
  13. Watford £21.72m
  14. Everton £19.98m
  15. Middlesbrough £19.3m
  16. Stoke City £17.67m
  17. Sunderland £14.08m
  18. West Brom £5.53m
  19. Burnley £3.66m
  20. Hull City: £0

Total spending: £811.84

My predictions:

I will pick Tottenham as my favourites because they are the only fully settled side without any major changes nor reshuffles. 

It will be interesting to see how Sunderland will do without Big Sam, I think they will struggle, even with Moyes in charge. I name them on my relegation list with newbies Hull City, post-Steve-Bruce. Last but not least, hm... Difficult to say, but sorry, have to pick another promoted side, Burnley, but hope to be proven wrong by the Championship winners.

A little fact to back them up: Of the 71 promoted teams to play in the Premier League, 44% of them = 31 have been immediately relegated, meaning more than half stay up, the average finishing position being 15th. Thanks to the BBC for that little fact. And for MOTD. I cannot wait to see Gary Lineker in his underpants!!! πŸ˜‚πŸ™†πŸ˜‚πŸ™†πŸ˜‚

Expect the unexpected! Let the season begin... ⚽😍⚽😘⚽😍⚽

All pictures thanks to Bing, stats and facts thanks to Wikipedia, BBC, Sky Sports and talkSPORT.

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