Story by Adam Wilson
The Premier League season is well underway and most teams have played 6-7 of their opening games. Whilst it is impossible to predict how the rest of the season will pan out it is at least beginning to become clearer which teams are going to have either good or bad years.
3. West Ham
Sam Allardyce and his Hammers have picked up necessary points in the early stages of the season. And compared to the teams who were promoted alongside them they have settled into their new surroundings with greater ease. Contrary to the beliefs of many, West Ham have not settled for playing the long ball alone this season and their displays have been impressive and also efficient. Their bigger tests are yet to come, but if Allardyce can provide similar stability to this club that he has done for many of his previous clubs then the signs look promising for the Upton Park faithful.
2. West Brom
Steve Clarke’s debut managerial post has been nothing short of incredible so far, his Albion side sit 6th in the table on the same amount of points as 4th placed Everton. Nobody knew quite what to think of Clarke’s appointment as West Brom manager, but so far it is proving to be a masterstroke. After all the Baggies are now being led by a man who has worked under some of the best managers that the world of football has to offer. If he continues the way he has, then West Brom look to become a consistent and stable Premier League club, putting behind them the label of being a yoyo team.
Roberto Di Matteo is yet another manager who seems to have changed around the fortunes of a club stuck in a rut. Di Matteo fresh from F.A. Cup and Champions League glory has begun the new season in remarkable style. His team are playing in a much more attractive fashion with the likes of Mata, new signing Hazard and even Torres looking sharp and threatening at all times. They are defending well at the other end, it’s just a shame that the off field problems continue to damage the clubs reputation.
3. Aston Villa
It surprised me that Villa were not picked by many as relegation candidates before the season began. They have just brought in a new manager whose only previous Premier League experience was one season at a Norwich side full of confidence. Unfortunately for Lambert, his squad looks bare and uninterested, sadly Aston Villa have hurtled down the table in recent seasons and are a million miles from the lofty positions that Martin O’Neil took them to.
Liverpool are similar to Aston Villa in many ways, they still haven’t found the right man to take them forward. Since losing Benitez they haven’t had much luck or given much time for a new manager to take the team back to the top of the English game. However considering the money that they have thrown away in the transfer market, they should be doing a lot better than the currently are. Frankly it’s embarrassing and Brendan Rogers must improve things soon or come January it’s more than likely that he could be another manager leaving Anfield.
Queens Park Rangers sit at the bottom of the Premier League and are yet to register a victory in any league appearance. They have suffered from bad luck at time, but to not have won a single game is unthinkable, especially after the huge cash injection over the last two years. Mark Hughes is under a considerable amount of pressure at the moment and the longer the winless streak continues; the more the pressure will build even after the club have backed him as their man.