TSG Staff contribution
After last year’s 6-part Premiership preview, the expectations were high this year.
We let you down. Our board has instructed us to cut back our budget of $0, free writers were asked to take gouging pay cuts, even TSG’s plan to actually, finally!, get itself a respectable logo is wallowing somewhere in nice-to-have-land somewhere in Q4.
But our stock is still stronger than Manchester United’s. Bang!
Let’s do this–albeit briefly–to get us juiced for tomorrow’s EPL, BPL, The Prem, The Barclays, season.
Twenty thoughts, twenty teams. Go, in no particular order:
West Ham: Welcome back Carlton Cole.
Folks, mark this date on your calendar: November 10th.
Tens of thousands of England fans will be pushing for Cole to be back in the national team picture.
Now mark this date on your calendar: March 15th.
I will remind TSG fans that tens of thousands of England fans once wanted Carlton Cole back in the national team picture earlier in the season.
Aston Villa: Marc Albrington still looks like an elf and Shay Given is still likely the starting goalkeeper. Brad Guzan is back-backing up and Randy Lerner–despite a sale of the Cleveland Browns–probably won’t deposit to much more in the coiffeurs.
Paul Lambert is on the scene and they brought in a few players from the Dutch league in the offseason, but one of them was Aussie Brett Holman whose play a few years ago at Blackburn was as mundane as his name. Yawn.
The EPL’s most boring team. [Nods head]
What they need is some Bob Bradley in their life. Too bad they passed on his son. That Roma transfer fee would’ve been nice.
Aston Villa kicks off against West Ham this weekend and how appropriate is that, because the Villians are a good bet to do the dipsey-do drop-pop that West Ham did in getting relegated and returning to the Prem a season later. I’d bet on it.
Fulham: I don’t feel bad for Fulham.
Moussa Dembele smelling the warm and abundant green bread wafting across the straits from The Real Madrid.
Each year, Fulham play and act as “the little team that could” in London. The Cottagers play well enough to be respectable given their “small club” status, but they top out–not aspirational or good enough to challenge to be hovering closer to Prem bridesmaid status.
Each year someone on Fulham wants to go, last year it was Bobby Zamora. Do we feel bad for a club that continues to aggregate talent, but doesn’t take a shot at greatness for at least one season even though their manager has enough money to erect a freaking Michael Jackson statue outside the park? I don’t now. And you shouldn’t either.
Bottom’s up at McBride’s bar!
Stoke City: Will the Brit flacks accept Geoff Cameron as really a rich man’s Phil Jones or will they discount his abilities because he originates from near where the Boston Tea Party went down and doesn’t speak with the right accent or show the right papers at the border?
Here’s a question–and we’re probably sounding like a baffoon here–has Cameron eclipsed Lamar Odom as the best present-day alum in the history of URI?
(One quick final note, we think Emile Heskey ends up at Stoke City, right? FC Direct Football and vertical stripes do have a slimming effect. Can we book it?)
Chelsea: Can we all just take a step back here. Does anyone realize that Ashley Cole will play his 200th match for Chelsea this year? Everyone recognizes that Cole is good. Good at defending, good at crossing, good at bombing runs. Great with a semi-automatic bb gun aimed at an intern–that’s neither here nor there–but the player is great.
Despite what largely seems like some major stains socially, Ashley Cole probably is the best defender of the past five years–at the very least he it top five. Who else could you put in that bucket? Maicon, dominant once, but now largely ambivalent about his play. Phillip Lahm, sure and terrific, he’s up there. Anyone else? Gasp, John Terry? Vidic? Sure but he’s been injured too. Carlos Puyol? Yup.
You’re top three are Cole, Lahm, Puyol, right?
In other news, Shaquilukaku out on loan, that’s a shame.
Tottenham Hotspurs: That’s a pretty suit you’ve got on their AVB, with an exquisite purple hering bone lining. Tailored to perfection.
Do you even like Scotty Parker AVB? Because, you know, he’s so not Juan Mata on the ball.
Will Andre Villas Boas play prettyball with the Spurs when their GM Dan Levy is extremely shrewd to a frugal bent?
Might Dan Levy’s moves be just shrewd enough? Says here that former Hoffenheim, by way of Swansea, man Gylfi Sigurdsson may be the best buy summer buy. He will not be Rafael Van Der Farting around on the ball. Kid can play.
Well you’re back here in now in the Prem Chris…lay some hurt on Prison Stripes.
Everton: Pretty boy Jack Rodwell, the single buy for Manchester City this offseason.
That’s $12M on the return. Then there is Tim Cahill, that’s what, maybe $2M at best?. That’s $14M subtract $4.5M for Steven Pienaar’s (triumphant?) return. That’s $9 and change for what? Lining pockets or actually improving the team.
Is a portion of that enough for a January buy of Landon Donovan? Probably? Will it happen?
Everton is still looking pretty with two of their defenders most recently on the backline of the Three Lions. Maroune Fellaini Potential Realization Project might happen this year. What can they add? Will they add?
Oh and of course Everton will abide by the Everton rule again this year, mainly, “Can we start this campaign off even worse than the year before?” Given that this is a trend, at some point, Everton should just close up shop, tell the FA to concede all their games until January, save up some player salary and operating expenses and buy someone reasonable in January, I don’t know, like Mikel Arteta, no…some scorer, Carlton Cole, scratch that, someone and really make their second half push that much better.
Liverpool: Does Andy Carroll have a few moneyballs in him this campaign? Next.. damn over-saturated media team. Done with you. Do something after Turkey, would you.
QPR: Will the real Abet Taarabt please stand up? Thank you.
Fisticuffs: Ji-Sung Park, Fabio Da Silva. Sunderland is getting mighty steamed that sloppy United seconds are headed Queen’s Park way.
Better question here: Has anyone every seen Fabio and Rafael Da Silva in the same place at the same time? Ponder that.
Swansea City: Bye bye bye, Brendan Rogers to the aforementioned Liverpool who is taking his n’synced attacking program to Kopville.
In is Michael Ladrup.
More in is Michu from Rayo Vallecano, who should be on your fantasy team right now. 10 goals, 4 assists at minimum.
West Brom: I like Chris Brunt. You should look like Chris Brunt. Baggie captain Chris Brunt should be a star, nay he is, should be a SUPERSTAR, but he cries out, “MEDIC!” far too often on Saturday.
Is this the year Chris? You’re 27. I want more YouTube hits Brunt, like five million more.
I see it. I see it. Prem best eleven for the man who has committed his career to the Hawthornes.
Wigan: How messed up is Wigan.
Their manager is lauded as an expert and was photoshopped in a picture with Liverpool owner John Henry this offseason.
They’ve got some serious skill in Victor Moses, Franco DiSanto (TSG have) and the on-loan Ryo Miyaichi but they play on a field that makes it feel like they’re running with gum on the soles of their cleats. If any team should want to play on a plastic pitch, it’s this one.
Someone will get poached in January and Wigan will just survive the drop and Martinez will be photoshopped again next year.
Newcastle: Chiek Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Jonás Gutiérrez, Hatem Ben Arfa and now Vurnon Anita…me oh my. Not since the days of Beckham, Scholes, Giggs, Keane has their been this
Too Krul To School in goal.
Papissba Ba-Cissé up top!
The Tynesiders are downright scary looking on paper this season.
Reading: Can someone explain to me how Bobby Convey ever played for Reading? This is their fan base (below) upon promotion last year:
[sorry brain cramp on Reading; they'll be fun to watch though]
Southhampton: See Arsenal entry below …. & Dear Southhampton, please deal directly with United or City going forward & make a few more bucks..
Arsenal: Woe is Arsenal. Rights?
The Robin Van Persie transfer must be crushing, but not how you think. This isn’t Cesc Fabregas going back to his academic upbringings. RVP said today he listen to that little kid in him, but that little kid wore a highly respected shirt at Highbury.
This isn’t even Arsenal selling off the Van Shot Ripper to Juventus.
This sale makes that statement that Manchester United is now an echelon above you. You, Arsenal, aspire to Manchester United. Eish!
Will you believe your Arsenal fan-friend this year when they are 12 points out with 6 weeks left again and regal you that they are not mathematically eliminated. Now you will not. No intent. No aspiration.
Arsenal, the Southhampton of the Premiership. That said, I expect a better team attack from Wenger’s wonders this season. They brought in Giroud, Podolski and Cazorla; three offensive players that can give them multiple looks up top.
[Sunderland just finished laughing about fleecing Liverpool in that Jordan Henderson transfer thing.]
Rumor is Lee Cattermole tested positive for marijuana smoking in the offseason, the FA found that to be a performance-enhancing drug.
Wait a second, Nigel De Jong is from Holland. What the hell was his childhood like? How did that angst happen?
Manchester City: YAYA SEE! YAYA RUN! YAYA SMASH! … Jack Rodwell clean up mess.
Manchester United: Can someone please photoshop Malcom Glazer’s mug on J Wellington Wimpy.
Who would have thought though that Manchester United’s stock would plummet less than Facebook and Zynga? Well, not Zynga, but….