Looking at the bottom of the EPL and the Chumpionship, as a whole; with the notable exception of Newcastle who are now going to be beneficiaries of a huge cash injection, it is easy to see that the same group of hapless teams will be going up and down for the foreseable future.
Brighton are having their moment in the sun, but everyone else is encumbered by lack of cash. And the standard of play in the second division of UK footie is really poor. You drop out of the EPL and it’s like falling off a cliff…forget having a parachute. Maybe you get lucky and bounce back…but the truth is that it’s only for more punishment.
Yep, there’s something in that, Derwent. I watched Bournemouth and Fulham on Friday night and the commentators agreed they were Premiership clubs in all but current status. And I agreed, both playing a style of football that we can only dream about – we were playing a similar style two years ago. Yet, last season, Fulham were relegated by eleven points. In fact the three relegated clubs had by far the lowest cumulative total of any three relagated clubs in top flight history. Fulham will go back up again and try for the third time in five seasons to crack the difficult PL nut..
But I’m not totally pessimistic about our favourites and this is due to two things. Firsly, on paper we have the best defence in the CL. This could be due to Johnstone although in all fairness he has had very few saves to make (He worked overtime last year!). But Clarke is an exceptional defender and Kipre is growing into the role. I would be tempted to bring Ajayi in instaed of Bartley, and we still have O’Shea to come back.
The sescond cause for optimism is the form of Gardner-Hiskman and it gives me hope that our salvation might lie with our youngsters. I can’t for the life of me understand why Tulloch, who was on the bench, didn.t come on instead of Hugill. We know what Jordan can do (miss chances and get in the way) and if Tulloch isn’t better then why are we bothering with him. Fellows was also on the bench. Incidentally, has the club shown any interest in trying to find out why Diangana is a shadow of the player he was under Bilic. Is it the absence of his mates, Krovinovic and Pereira, or what? Perhaps he should be played on the left where all his best work was done.
The main causes of pessimism are the manager and the owner. If we slip us badly in the next three “winnable” games, Val’s position might become pretty tenuous. And maybe we could start the new year under a fresh young dynamic coach and win promotiom via the play offs. Ah well, we can all dream.