John Newsome is back and EveryTip’s hugely-popular and award-nominated football pundit has put together a monster article, looking ahead to the 2019/2020 English Premier League campaign. How does he feel each of the 20 clubs will fair. Here are his extensive and exclusive thoughts, along with the predicted finishing positions of each club. You can view all previous analysis from John’s regular column here: English Premier League Predictions For Saturday
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The Gunners head into the new 2019/20 Premier League Season off the back of a fairly dismal lacklustre end to the previous season. Having bowed out with a whimper in the chance to gain entry into the Champions League by finishing in the Top Four, Unai Emery’s men were given a second chance by way of winning the Europa League. With Unai’s Europa League pedigree of already winning that particular Trophy three times with Seville, the Gunners faithful were excited in the prospect of taking on and beating their London rivals Chelsea in Baku.
Cut to Full-Time in Baku and Arsenal were convincingly beaten 4-1 by the Blues and the prospect of playing in next seasons Champions League had evaporated.
Arsenal’s Transfer Kitty appears to be about as full as a group of girl’s kitty at the end of a Hen night doo.
The top brass at the Emirates have allowed Aaron Ramsey to leave for free, Petr Cech has retired, Swiss old timer Stephan Lichtsteiner has left London and Danny Welbeck has been released.
Unai Emery is under pressure to offload enigmatic and the highest earner at the club Mesut Ozil to ease some of the financial pressures but Mesut might just outlast Unai.
Unai has a few targets in mind for the Gooners to get excited about. Ryan Fraser from Bournemouth is on the radar but the Cherries are wanting £30 Million which Arsenal won’t pay. For that matter, not many clubs will as Ryan can leave for nothing in a years time.
The Gunners are also tracking Belgian winger Yannick Carrasco who is currently earning the Chinese dollar.
Carrasco moved to the lucrative Chinese football world but is seeking a return to Europe and if the price is right could find himself at the Emirates.
Another of Unai’s potential targets is Sampdoria’s Dennis Praet. Dennis played with Lucas Torreira at Sampdoria before the Uruguayan joined Arsenal and the Gunners look set to return to Italy once again this summer, however, Dennis may not have the chance to join up with Lucas as Torreira is finding life in London difficult and is poised to return back to Italy with AC Milan monitoring the situation.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette should stay at the Emirates which will ease the worries of the faithful.
It’s early days of the Summer Transfer Window but Unai will certainly be earning his dollar over the next 12 months.
Arsenal head to St James Park in their opening game which is the early Sunday afternoon TV fixture live on Sky Sports.
Premier League Finish 5th.
Villa are back! Villa are back! The Holte End faithful are returning to the Premier League after a 3-year hiatus.
Aston Villa, under the guidance of numerous managers, finished rock bottom of the Premier League in the 2015/2016 season. Tim Sherwood initially started the season has manager but was sacked after a couple of months and replaced by Remi Garde ( Who ? ) Remi only lasted a couple of months himself and with the team languishing at the foot of the Table, he was down the concrete too. Eric Black was left with the indicative position of being the boss when Villa’s fate was finally confirmed after 24-years in the Premier League being one of the founder members of the prestigious competition.
With a few changes in owners and management over the past 3-years and almost gaining promotion last term narrowly missing out losing 1-0 in the Play-Off Final against Fulham, Aston Villa finally returned to the Promised Land by beating Frank Lampard’s Derby 2-1 again in the Play-Off Final at Wembley.
After starting last season under the guidance of Steve Bruce, the Villa hierarchy felt a change was needed early doors and Bruce was sacked in October. Dean Smith, who was in charge of fellow Championship side Brentford at the time but is a lifelong Villa fan was poached and after a tentative start to his reign at Villa Park, went on a great end of season winning streak to get into the Play-Offs.
At the start of his management spell at Villa, Dean decided to bring in John Terry who had experienced the heartache of losing the previous years Play-Off against Fulham and John’s vast knowledge and experience helped Aston Villa in their quest for promotion.
One of Villa’s key players in their return to the Premier League will be Jack Grealish. Jack is a great talent and appears to be a type of player who is dying out in the modern game. A midfielder who wants to get on the ball and drive at the opposing team. A ‘Paul Gascoigne’ type of player who can dictate games. Jack will turn 24 just after the beginning of the new season and definitely has time on his side to only get better. It’s rumoured that Tottenham are after Jack but the Villa captain should resist the urge to move and being a Villa fan should at least give his hometown club a first season back in the Premier League.
Another prestigious Villa talent who will finally get his chance to showcase his sublime silky playing style in the Premier League is Conor Hourihane. Conor is slightly older than Jack at 28 but has never played in the Premier League. There are not many players out there who have the distinction of being signed by Roy Keane. Conor has the honour of not only being signed by Roy once but twice and Roy is a huge fan of his fellow Republic of Ireland player.
Conor is the exact opposite of Jack, yet his silky sublime skills is married well with his midfield partner. Where Jack likes to get on the ball and run at players, Conor rarely touches the ball more than twice in succession, he always has a panoramic view of how the game is going and moves the ball on effortlessly with his wand of a left foot. Conor’s free-kicks are legendary not only for Aston Villa and the Republic of Ireland but also for the club he made his name at, Barnsley FC. After 3-years at Barnsley (www.HalfTimePie.co.uk) Conor’s last touch on the hallowed Oakwell turf was a brilliant free-kick against Leeds United giving the Reds a beautiful 3-2 victory. Conor is a legend in Barnsley and all the Reds fans wish him well in the Premier League where he finally gets his chance to showcase his supreme skills against the big boys.
Dean Smith is targeting a few new signings for Villa’s return to the Premier League with Jack Butland a possible choice as the new goalkeeper. Chelsea’s Welsh youngster Ethan Ampadu is linked too as well as Leeds striker Kalvin Phillips.
Aston Villa start the new season with an away trip to Tottenham’s new Billion Pound Stadium and have the honour of being on TV in the 17.30 live game on BT Sport.
Premier League Finish 16th.
Eddie and the Cherries ( what a great name for a band ) finished 14th last season on 45-points which under the circumstances is probably what is expected of Bournemouth. Eddie Howe works wonders at the Vitality considering the ground only holds just over 11,000 which is the least capacity by a long way of all the Premier League clubs.
After a good start to last seasons campaign Bournemouth levelled out but were comfortable in the end gaining some great results including a 4-0 victory over Chelsea and a 1-0 victory over Tottenham.
Ryan Fraser is fast becoming a key player for the Cherries but that in itself brings interest from other suitors who will try and prise him away. Bournemouth have stuck a £30 Million price tag on Ryan which, considering he only has a year left, is maybe too high. Obviously, Eddie would love to keep Ryan but if he is intent on leaving, Bournemouth would be well advised to cash in on a figure closer to £20 Million as next summer it will be nothing.
Eddie is eying up a possible move for Joe Hart who looks to be surplus to requirements at Turf Moor. Motherwell’s David Turnbull is another target for the Cherries and the Scottish club have already turned down bids from a number of clubs including Celtic and new Championship side Barnsley FC.
David Brooks will look to push on from his debut season on the South Coast after his move from Sheffield United last season.
Coincidentally Bournemouth entertain newly promoted Sheffield United in the opening game of the season which the 11,000 faithful will consider a result. Eddie Howe will definitely target home games against the newly promoted clubs and the lower end established Premier League teams to get the wins needed to stay in the division.
Premier League Finish 14th.
The Seagulls limped home at the end of last season and secured their Premier League status for a 3rd-year in a row with 36-points just 2-points above relegated Cardiff. Cardiff actually won 1-more game than Brighton but it was Brighton’s ability to draw games that just edged Cardiff out of the league in the end.
With the poor finish to the season and the near relegation miss Brighton’s hierarchy decided to give Chris Hughton his P45.
Jose Mourinho is on the market, Massimo Allegri left Juventus and is available, even Chris Coleman is free, so who did the Seagulls chiefs plump for? Graham Potter!
Now it’s early days and no one wants to cast aspersions but Graham has very limited experience of managing in England and has zero experience of managing in the Premier League. Brighton feel that his management and style of football will be a step up from Chris Hughton. Admittedly Chris has a very pragmatic belief in the way he likes to play football and only time will tell if Harry’s, sorry, Graham’s way will bring success to the Amex.
Brighton’s leading scorer last term was Glenn Murray. Glenn has been a great player but is 36 in September and time is running out for Big Glenn. What’s surprising in that statement is Glenn is nearly 36 when most football fans think he’s at least 45.
Harry/Graham may be the next Pep and his time in Norway at Ostersund where he managed to beat Arsenal at the Emirates in the Europa League may be the catalyst for Brighton kicking on and becoming an established Premier League side. However, his stint at Swansea last season wasn’t exactly glittered in gold with the Welsh club only managing to finish 10th in the Championship.
It’s no good playing good on the eye, neat free-flowing football if ultimately the team end up losing. Every football fan would like to see their team play exciting football but the bottom line is winning games of football and staying in the Premier League is everything. Which is what Chris Hughton achieved.
Good luck Harry!
Brighton are in talks with Belgium club Genk over a potential deal for their captain Leandro Trossard. The reports suggest Genk want around £20 Million, which is more than Brighton’s record fee of £17 Million paid for Alireza Jahanbakhsh last summer. Who, by the way as yet to make his mark at the Amex.
Aston Villa have been linked with a move for Brighton’s influential skipper Lewis Dunk. The 27-year old defender has been with his hometown club for his entire career but a bid close to £11 Million could see him move.
A good move for Brighton would be for Harry to go back to Swansea and try and get Oliver McBurnie. However, one of the stipulations regarding the swap from Swansea to Brighton was maybe Mr Potter couldn’t go in for any of his old players. Ollie is a great player and scores goals and will be in the Premier League soon and is remembered fondly at Oakwell.
The Seagulls head to Vicarage Rd to take in Watford for Graham’s first game in charge. He will be hoping that he doesn’t get stung early doors.
Premier League Finish 19th.
At least the Clarets faithful won’t have to endure the qualifying phase of the dreaded Europa League like last season. Sean Dyche’s men had the decency to play rubbish for the majority of the season but finish with enough points not to be relegated.
It was touch and go at points throughout the season but having done so well the previous year to finish in the Europa League places, Burnley’s season deteriorated from the off and whilst Sean won’t admit it the initial qualifying games for the Europa League did have an adverse effect on the Clarets Premier League games.
Burnley are not looking that far for their first summer recruit with Bolton defender Harry Brockbank being enticed to move the short distance from the Reebok Stadium to Turf Moor. Craig Dawson who plays in defence for Championship side West Brom is also a target and after signing veteran superstar Peter Crouch in January, Sean is looking to keep hold of the Robot Man to give the Clarets options in games where they are struggling.
Burnley have three of England’s finest goalkeeper’s on their books and that just will not work so it appears Joe Hart is on his way out of Turf Moor and Bournemouth looks the likely destination for Big Joe who certainly needs to re-ignite his career.
Sean will probably keep well away from the Top Six or Seven for the time being and will watch from afar on Wolves exploits in next seasons Europa League competition.
The Turf Moor faithful have an opening game visit from Southampton to kick-off their 2019/2020 campaign.
Premier League Finish 13th.
Chelsea will be changing their name like Derby did last season. The Blues will now be known as Frank Lampard’s Chelsea just like Derby were renamed Frank Lampard’s Derby last season.
The Premier League used to be competed solely by Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger. Liverpool and Chelsea made it a bit more competitive and joined a Premier League Top 4. Tottenham and Man City theoretically turned the Premier League elite into a Top 6.
In reality, the Premier League as reverted back to an elite Top 2.
Pep has replaced Sir Alex and Jurgen is the new Arsene. One thing for certain is Manchester United, Tottenham, Arsenal and Frank Lampard’s Chelsea will have to do their utmost to bridge the gap on Pep’s High Flying City and Jurgen’s Champions League winning Liverpool.
Chelsea are now Frank Lampard’s Chelsea after Maurizio Sarri left Stamford Bridge and returned to his homeland of Italy to take over at Juventus. The irony in Maurizio’s Sarri-Ball was it finally came to fruition in the final 45-minutes of Chelsea’s season. After a poor 1st-half in the Europa League Final against Arsenal, Sarri-Ball suddenly clicked into place in the 2nd-half with Chelsea comfortably beating the Gooners 4-1 to not only win the Europa League but prevent Arsenal from getting into next season’s Champions League.
Although Chelsea gained entry into the Champions League winning the Europa League the Blues were already in the competition after finishing in the Top 4.
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea will start next season without the talent of Eden Hazard. Eden has left Stamford Bridge to join Real Madrid.
Another former favourite of the Blues has returned to Stamford Bridge as Technical Director. Petr Cech is back in an executive role for Chelsea to oversee any future dealings for Roman, Frank and the club who are currently under a Transfer embargo following Financial Irregularities. Frank will have his work cut out.
Although under a Transfer Embargo, Chelsea do have a new player arriving for next season. 20-year-old USA star Christian Pulisic, who was signed in a £58 Million deal from Borussia Dortmund but remained at the Bundesliga club on loan for the rest of the season, comes into Stamford Bridge.
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea head North on the opening weekend to take on hopefully a new look and rejuvenated Manchester United live on Sky Sports in the final game of the opening fixtures.
Premier League Finish 6th.
Roy Hodgson is back for another season in the Premier League.
Whatever is said or thought about Roy, especially after his dismal performance in the England Managers hot seat, it cannot diminish the overwhelming enthusiasm Roy has for the game and he should be respected for that.
The Eagles may start the season without two of their star players. Aaron Wan-Bissaka looks set for a move to Old Trafford and Wilfried Zaha could get a move away from Selhurst Park after showcasing his skills in the African Cup of Nations for the Ivory Coast currently taking place in Egypt.
The African Cup of Nations usually takes place in January/February but has moved to the close season to fall in line with all the European League’s to appease the Club managers. However, the reason the ACofN took place in January/February was because of the colder weather on that Continent. It’s now blistering all over Africa in June and the players will be playing in temperatures reaching as high as 40’ Celsius.
When the players return to their respective clubs with sun-stroke the competition might be back in Winter next time around.
Roy will keep Palace safe but as he the players to push on to give the Eagles faithful hope of more positive experience and maybe a decent cup run. If he’s allowed to use some of the Transfer kitty from the sale of Aaron and the potential sale of Wilf then it will go along way to appeasing the faithful.
Crystal Palace do have a Right-Back lined up should Wan-Bissaka leave, Belgian Timothy Castagne, currently at Atalanta and was a crucial part of Atalanta’s successfully season, finishing third in Serie A to secure a Champions League spot could be tempted away from Italy and into Selhurst Park.
Roy has also offered Nancy winger Bilel Hassaini immediate first-team football to see off competition from other clubs max Bilel is only 17 and may struggle to get in a team of the likes of Arsenal and Man City but at Palace, could step straight into the starting eleven and that is a massive carrot. The youngster wouldn’t cost much either and would have a huge sell-on price.
The Eagles start their 2019/2020 campaign with a home fixture hosting Everton.
Premier League Finish 10th
The Toffees will be hoping to push on from their fine finish to last seasons venture where they only lost once in their final 8-games, winning 5, drawing 2 and losing just the one. Marco Silva has made the loan signing of Andre Gomez permanent from Barcelona and is looking to bring in at least another three.
Everton stalwart and old timer Phil Jagielka has bowed out of Goodison Park for pastures new and the Toffees wish the ex-Sheffield United star all the best for the future. Phil will always be remembered fondly at Everton for his thunderbolt of a strike to earn the Toffees a point against their fierce rivals Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby back 2014.
Celtic youngster Kieran Tierney is a target for Marco but Kieran is a target for a lot of clubs and has a choice of where to play his football next term. It’s just whether young Tierney wants to play in the Blue of Everton or at clubs such as Arsenal, Leicester and even Napoli.
Everton do have Lucas Digne and Leighton Baines as Left-Backs, therefore, Marco has to decide whether he needs Kieran for that particular position.
Kurt Zouma has headed back to Stamford Bridge after his season on Merseyside and will see whether he’s in Chelsea’s plans for next term or whether to return back to Goodison Park. With Chelsea having a Transfer embargo imposed at the moment it could well mean that Kurt will stay in London.
Marco takes his Toffees down to the Capital on the opening day to take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park with both teams thinking that they can get off to a great 3-point winning start.
Premier League Finish 7th.
Celtic, United but Brendan has decided that Leicester is the best place to be.
Rod Stewart has only just stopped crying his heart out after Brendan Rodgers decided to leave Celtic for the King Power.
Rod and the Boys were distraught when Brendan decided to leave Scotland but in truth, anyone can manage Celtic to win the Scottish Premier League Title and England really is the place to be. Leicester will be trying to hold on to their main stars such as Kasper Schmeichel, Harry Maguire and James Maddison.
Monaco ace Youri Tielemans was only on loan at the King Power and his excellent performances for the Foxes has brought him a lot of suitors. It has been rumoured that Manchester United are in secret talks with Tielemans representatives in a bid to land him ahead of Leicester in this summer’s Transfer window.
Manchester United are also favourites to sign Sheffield Superstar Harry Maguire.
United’s noisy neighbours City are interested in Big Harry but for some reason, Harry looks like he favours the Pink Devils ahead of Pep’s High Flying City.
Harry must have had a bump on his big head whilst on duty with England.
Brendan could start Rod’s tears off again by raiding Celtic for Callum McGregor and Kieran Tierney.
Leicester, under Brendan, should have a good season and a good Cup run should be the Foxes priority.
The Foxes start off Brendan’s first full season in what’s commonly known as the David Attenborough Derby hosting Wolves at the King Power.
Premier League Finish 8th.
Jurgen Klopp and his Champions League winning Liverpool head into the new 2019/2020 season off the back of their best ever Premier League campaign, losing only once and amassing a magnificent 97-points. That, in itself, sounds amazing and normally Jurgen and his reds would be entering the 2019/2020 has defending Premier League Champions, however, the fact the Reds drew 7-games compared to Man City only drawing twice meant Pep’s Citizens pipped Liverpool by a mere 1-point to become Premier League Champions even though City lost more games than Liverpool.
What that could mean is it’s better to win one and lose one than draw two.
In reality, it’s better just to win.
Liverpool did brilliantly to win their 6th European Cup getting to the final of the Champions League in Madrid by beating Barcelona 4-0 after losing the first leg of the Semi-Final 3-0 in the Nou Camp.
To be the Champions League winners is remarkable in itself having not actually won the Premier League.
What was more remarkable was Liverpool’s Madrid opponents in the Champions League Final were fellow Premier League rivals Tottenham. Liverpool and Tottenham’s route to the Final were very different.
Liverpool played in a great game at Anfield coming back from 3-0 to beat Barcelona 4-0 to get to Madrid.
Tottenham secured their place in the Final by losing 3 group games, Fernando Llorente throwing the ball into the net and VAR.
Football fans of a certain age will remember Liverpool’s first European Cup win back in 1977. Liverpool beat Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-1 in Rome. Terry McDermott, Tommy Smith and Phil Neale got Liverpool’s goals in Italy that day.
A year later the Reds beat Bruges 1-0 at Wembley with Kenny Dalglish scoring a brilliant goal.
Liverpool got their third European Cup in 1981 beating Real Madrid 1-0 in Paris. Alan Kennedy getting the solitary goal.
The fourth European Cup was won 3-years later back in Rome with Liverpool beating home favourites Roma on penalties after the game finished 1-1. Phil Neale scoring the Reds goal early on.
The following year Liverpool reached the final again but the 1985 European Cup final would be remembered in a very negative way and end English football’s European adventures for a long time.
Liverpool were matched against Juventus in the final which took place in the Heysel Stadium in Belgium. Before kick-off disaster struck which resulted in 39-fans being killed. Bizarrely, UEFA decided to proceed with the game and Juventus prevailed beating Liverpool 1-0.
It was deemed that the Liverpool fans were responsible for the disaster and UEFA banned all English clubs from competing in Europe for 5-years.
Although the English clubs had a break from Europe, what was remarkable was from when Liverpool initially won the European Cup in 1977, an English team won 7 out of the next 9 finals up-to-the ban in 1985.
As well as Liverpool’s triumphs in 1977, 1978, 1981 and 1984, Nottingham Forest won the European Cup in 1979 and 1980 and Aston Villa won the European Cup in 1982.
Prior to the new format of the now known Champions League, the European Cup was only contested by the winners of the individual European Leagues not like nowadays where the Top Four all get an entry.
Nottingham Forest under the leadership of the legendary Brian Clough have the distinction of winning the European Cup more times than the English First Division which is now the Premier League.
Liverpool had to wait another 20-years to get the chance to win the European Cup for a 5th-time and did that by beating AC Milan again on penalties in the 2005.
Now renamed as the European Champions League, Liverpool were losing 3-0 at half-time against Milan and what is now known as the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’ and came back to score 3-second-half goals to take the tie to extra-time and penalties. Where the Reds prevailed and gained there 5th-European Cup.
This years 6th-triumph means Liverpool are now 3rd in the list of overall European Cup Winners behind Real Madrid who have 13-victories and AC Milan who have 7-victories and have 3-more than their nearest English rivals Manchester United who have 3-victories.
Ex-Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho has been rumoured to be returning to Anfield, however, there is no solid base to those rumours just yet and the faithful will be definitely monitoring that particular situation.
Liverpool have placed a bid for Paris FC striker Silas Wamangituka according to reports in France. That’s Paris FC by the way, not Paris Saint Germain.
The 19-year-old impressed in Ligue 2 last season and has attracted interest from Jurgen and other clubs across Europe but it is the Reds who have reportedly made the first move in the transfer market and have joined Benfica in bidding for the forward.
Apart from the very cold rumour in Phillipe returning and the interest in Silas, the only other current rumour doing the rounds on Merseyside is a possible move for West Bromwich Albion youngster Rakeem Harper.
West Brom do have ex-West Ham boss Slaven Bilic as new manager and Slaven is keen to hang onto Rakeem who is also on the radar of Tottenham and Juventus.
Liverpool will be there or thereabouts next season and if they can turn the draws into wins could pip Pep.
Liverpool kick-off the 2019/2020 Premier League season on Friday Night Football against newly promoted Norwich at Anfield live on Sky Sports.
Premier League Finish 2nd.
Pep’s High Flying City managed to withstand the pressure from Jurgen Klopp’s European Champions League winners to finish 1-point ahead of the Reds. What was remarkable was City actually lost 4-Premier League games throughout the 2018/2019 season whilst Liverpool only lost the once. Significantly the one loss Liverpool had was against Man City.
City will have to fill a huge hole not only at the heart of the defence but also in the dressing room with the departure of Club Captain and City legend Vincent Kompany.
Vincent has been the heartbeat at the Etihad for 11-seasons and the Citizen’s wish him well in his new career returning to his homeland as Player-Manager of Anderlecht.
Remarkably the manager who signed Vincent at City was Mark Hughes.
Pep has a few players lined up to add to his Premier League winners.
Rodri, who currently plays in Spain for Atletico Madrid is expected to sign in the early part of July.
Pep has made the Spanish International his top target this summer with a view to the future as a natural successor to Fernandinho, who is now 34.
Rodri would cost in the region of £63 Million which would give Atletico a £40 Million profit for the one year Rodri has graced the Wanda Metropolitano.
Atletico Madrid have already found a replacement for Rodri and gave their new recruit Rodri’s Number 14 shirt.
Pep may raid Atletico Madrid for a second time with the possible signing of another Spanish midfielder Saul Niguez, however, Barcelona are interested in young Saul so Pep Better Call Saul to stave off his old employers.
City have made enquires regarding Juventus Right-Back Joao Cancelo but the Portuguese International will cost in excess of £60 Million, a figure City are apparently reluctant to pay after extending Kyle Walker’s contract. However, Danilo may depart the Etihad and that would pave the way to bring in Joao.
David Silva is entering his final season too at City but Pep may not need to look too far in a natural successor for David with young England starlet Phil Foden waiting in the wings.
Young Phil has recently played for the England Under-21s at the European Championship in Italy. Aidy Boothroyd’s young chargers were put to the test in the three-group games against France, Romania and Croatia.
After losing the first game 2-1 against France which Phil Foden scored an utterly sublime individual goal, Aidy decided to leave Phil out of the starting lineup in the second game against Romania stating Phil was ‘tired’. TIRED! 18-years old and a professional footballer who has only played 13-times for City in the previous season and Aidy thinks Phil’s tired.
After playing against France, it is hard to explain what possessed Aidy to leave arguably the most gifted and precocious player in his squad on the bench and save him until their final meaningless match versus Croatia.
Phil Foden is an outstanding attacking talent and to not play him is beyond comprehension.
These so-called managers think they are above the average football fan and try and over complicate the simple game. Aidy Hoofroyd should be shown the concrete.
The slight negative to Phil and it is only slight, is he is all left-footed which on the surface doesn’t appear a problem, as so is David Silva but Phil has the same running style as another ex-English protege in Jack Wilshere.
Jack has been plagued by injuries over the years and his running style could have been a factor in the numerous times Jack has been sidelined.
Phil just needs to watch himself and maybe use his right-foot a bit more.
The Citizens travel South to the Capital on the opening weekend visiting the London Stadium to take in West Ham in the early Saturday Afternoon kickoff live on Sky Sports in a bid to win their 3rd Premier League title in a row.
Premier League Finish 1st.
Ooof! Manchester United!
What does the upcoming 2019/2020 season hold for the prestigious Red Devil’s under the guidance of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer?
Ole got off to a great start in his reign at Old Trafford but United fizzled out towards the end of the season and now find themselves playing Thursday Night Football somewhere in Azerbaijan or Kazakhstan.
Ole has also gone early in the Transfer market signing Wales International Dan James from Swansea. Dan is only 21 and potentially has a great future ahead of him. Provided he doesn’t get let down by the current United incumbents.
Ole may just have signed Dan so he can get Dan to maybe persuade his Welsh teammate Gareth Bale to come to Manchester. Or if Gareth isn’t interested, maybe Dan can persuade Barnsley FC player Kieffer Moore who was recently called up to the Wales squad by Ryan Giggs.
Things could have been a bit different for Dan as only in January of this year, Dan was in Leeds ahead of a move to the Championship side of West Yorkshire.
Things didn’t work out in Leeds but 6-months later Dan is now a Manchester United player.
One thing to watch out for in Dan James is his exceptional speed. Dan has blistering pace which United have lacked over the last few years.
Another youngster brought in by Ole is Crystal Palace Right-Back Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Although United have had to shell out over £50 Million for young Double A-Ron, the fee is relative in today’s market. If noisy neighbours City can pay £60 Million to Atletico Madrid for players then why can’t United give a fellow English club some dollar to help the British game.
With Ole at the wheel, bringing in young, fast, fit, enthusiastic and hungry British talent United still have a chance to bridge the gap between themselves and City, Liverpool and Tottenham as well as Chelsea and Arsenal.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka was another member of Aidy Boothroyd’s England Under-21s and even was culpable in the 2-1 loss against France in the opener. Aaron, unfortunately, scored a disastrous own goal in the dying seconds of the game against France gifting Les Bleus the win.
Whilst Phil Foden is predominately left-footed, Double A-Ron is predominately right-footed and his reluctance to use his left-peg resulted in him turning the ball into his own net. Nice one Wan.
Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how it’s looked at, Aaron didn’t play for the England Under-21s in the remaining 2-games.
Ole’s next target is Newcastle’s highly rated young midfielder Sean Longstaff.
Manchester United will reportedly make a bid for Longstaff as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s summer rebuild continues.
Sean can potentially become the same player as his fellow Geordie and United First-Team Coach Michael Carrick was at Old Trafford. Although Michael started his career at West Ham, he is a native of Newcastle but never played for the Magpies.
If Sean becomes half the player Michael Carrick was then United will have a real player on their books.
Liverpool and Chelsea fans will argue their own favourites of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are better than Michael Carrick and whilst these two won more England caps then Michael, that was down to the shortsightedness of a number of England Managers.
The Greatest Manager ever, Sir Alex Ferguson picked Carrick continuously and Gerrard and Lampard can’t match Michael’s domestic honours. He has enjoyed phenomenal success, winning 5 Premier League title’s, 1 FA Cup, 1 UEFA Champions League, 3 League Cup’s, 6 FA Community Shield’s, 1 UEFA Europa League and 1 FIFA Club World Cup. As well as numerous individual honours.
A true Legend at Old Trafford, shame England Manager’s thought they knew better than Sir Alex.
Hopefully, for the United faithful’s sake, Michael can become a top-class coach and help United return to the Top Table.
Ole is after England Centre-Half Harry Maguire and a reported £80 Million is on the table in Leicester. However, Noisy Neighbours City are also after Harry to replace Vincent Kompany and with John Stones being at City already, Harry could choose Pep over Ole.
There is concerns regarding Harry’s pace or more to the point, lack of it but in truth, Harry has had that stigma attached to him right from the early days in Sheffield and he hasn’t done too bad.
Usually, the Summer Transfer Window swings into full flow from July the 1st when a lot of contracts have ended in June and clubs start to know what sort of budget they have.
The much-maligned Ed Woodward has backed Ole up to now in the recruitment side. What The Equaliser needs to do now is back Ole in getting rid of some of the dead wood at Old Trafford.
Whilst it would be harsh to consider Ashley Young, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Antonio Valencia as dead wood, the reality is they are simply not good enough to play for United anymore.
Antonio has already departed Manchester and has returned to his homeland and joined Ecuadorian side LDU Quito on a free transfer.
Although Ashley, Chris and Phil are on long-term contracts, their futures are under scrutiny in Manchester.
With Aaron Wan-Bissaka now at Old Trafford, Ashley Young may find his playing time restricted.
If Big Harry signs, Phil may become surplus to requirements and Chris may also find his time on the sidelines much more frequent. All if, buts and maybes but they have had their chance under various managers and have ultimately underperformed.
Romelu Lukaku is another who looks to be heading for Terminal 2 at Manchester Airport.
Inter Milan have started the process of signing Romelu by selling two of their stars to help pay for the Manchester United Number 9.
Joao Mario and Dalbert are leaving Inter for a reported combined £40 Million to generate some Euros to pay for Big Rom.
The Italian giants want Lukaku to lead their attack as ex-Chelsea boss Antonio Conte plots a way to finally end another ex-Chelsea boss’s Juventus domination of Serie A.
Maurizio Sarri has left Chelsea after just one season and has been given the top job in Turin.
Like Antonio Conte, Maurizio could raid Old Trafford and make a bid to re-sign Paul Pogba.
The French World Cup Winning midfielder threw his future at Old Trafford into doubt when he said he would like a ‘fresh challenge’ elsewhere earlier this month. Read that again ‘The French World Cup Winning midfielder wants a fresh challenge’.
Maybe the ‘fresh challenge’ for Paul would be to actually start playing like a World Cup Winning Midfielder.
Ole has stated he wants to keep Paul but that may just be lip-service and the majority of the United faithful won’t shed too many tears if Paul went back to the Old Lady.
In fact, a lot would quite gladly hire a minibus, pay for the juice and drive Big Rom and Paul to Italy.
Another United star who needs a ‘fresh challenge’ is Alexis Sanchez. It’s rumoured Aldi are employing so maybe Alexis can give them a call.
Manchester United kick off their 2019/2020 campaign at home against Chelsea in the final game of the opening Premier League weekend live on Sky Sports.
Premier League Finish 4th.
Newcastle will start the new 2019/2020 Premier League Season under a new manager following Rafa Benitez’s exit from the club. It appears that Rafa and Mike Ashley had different ideas on how the football club should move forward.
Rafa wanted investment in players to push on from last terms 13th-place finish.
Whilst Rafa is a football man and only sees the footballing picture, Mike Ashley is a Business Man and is quite happy to just survive in the riches of the Premier League and what treasures that prestigious honour brings.
The Magpies are on the lookout for a new manager and Patrick Vieira, Mikel Arteta and Sergio Conceicao have all been linked. Patrick and Mikel are both known to the Premier League and both played for Arsenal at different periods. However, Sergio is less known.
Current Porto manager Sergio Conceicao is a former Portugal international who has had a short but distinguished managerial career and would be an interesting choice.
Rafa was reportedly on a £6 Million-a-year salary which, despite Mike Ashley being a very savvy businessman, is a lot of money. Sergio would jump at the chance to head to sunny Tyneside, however, Mike will have to pay a release clause in the region of £18 Million.
Mike rarely pays anywhere near that amount for a player never mind a manager so Sergio might just be priced out.
Whoever turns up at St James Park is looking increasingly likely that they will be without the services of Sean Longstaff. Maybe that’s one of the reasons Rafa and Mike parted company. Rafa maybe wanted to keep young Sean and Mike saw the pound signs in his departure.
One name that will not be on anyone’s lips or list is Emma Hayes. Emma is currently the Chelsea Women’s manager who has lead the Blues to two Women’s Super League titles.
It’s probably a long way off that a female will become manager of a male football team and certainly even longer for a woman to become a Premier League manager. However, it will happen in this growing era of showing sympathy, empathy and understanding to an individuals feelings. That’s not to say men can’t evolve that way but with women coaches dealing with all sorts of different issues that is not relevant to males, it will happen that a Premier League Chairman or Chairwoman for that matter, will appoint a female manager. Emma Hayes could be that person.
Until a permanent manager is recruited at St James Park, there isn’t really any Transfer news. Everton midfielder Nikola Vlasic is wanting out of Goodison Park and Newcastle are said to be interested.
Ronald Koeman signed Vlasic for Everton who are said to value him at £12 Million.
Newcastle’s new manager has a home fixture on the opening weekend of the 2019/2020 Premier League Season. The Magpies entertain Arsenal in the early Sunday Afternoon kickoff live on Sky Sports,
Premier League Finish 12th.
Norwich surprised everyone last season to win the Championship and gain promotion back to the Premier League after a hiatus of 5-years.
Norwich decided to go down the German Manager route and appoint Daniel Farke at the end of the 2016/2017 season. Daniel’s first season at Carrow Rd was a moderate affair and after a slow start to the 2018/2019 season, there was the talk of Daniel getting the sack from his job.
The heir achy at Norwich resisted the temptation to get rid of Dan who responded by taking the Canaries to the Top of the Championship and subsequent promotion to the Promised Land.
Finland’s Teemu Pukki was the stand out player for Norwich in the Championship scoring the goals to win promotion. Asked whether Teemu was Finnish? The little striker replied, “I’ve only just got started!“ Pukki played for Celtic but never really made the grade in Scotland and went to Denmark to continue his career at Brondby.
Norwich saw something in him and paid just £500,000 for the Finn who has scored more than a goal every two games in the Canaries Championship Winning side.
Norwich have started their recruitment for the new season bringing in Josip Drmic which should increase competition for Teemu.
However, whether the Swiss international can displace last season’s Championship Golden Boot winner remains to be seen. Drmic arrives at Carrow Road from Borussia Mönchengladbach and is looking to resurrect his career after a couple of serious injuries in recent years.
Another target for Daniel Farke is Preston North End striker Callum Robinson who would cost the Canaries in the region of £6 Million.
Norwich are being linked with the enfant terrible of Turkish football Emre Mor, who is also a target for the other Premier League new boys Aston Villa and Sheffield United.
Mor, who was born and raised in Copenhagen but plays for Turkey thanks to his Turkish father, was once seen as a star of the future when Borussia Dortmund paid around £9 Million to FC Nordsjælland in the summer of 2016 but a fall-out with then boss Thomas Tuchel prompted an £11.7 Million move to Celta Vigo the following year.
Celta Vigo are reportedly considering letting Mor leave for free this summer despite still having three years to run on his contract due to his indiscipline.
The Spanish side have also grown tired of his attitude. If signed by one of the promoted clubs, a strong hand is needed to keep Emre in check.
Striker Jordan Rhodes may also be heading back to Carrow Rd. The striker, an £8 Million signing for Sheffield Wednesday from Middlesbrough in February 2017, is back at Hillsborough, having spent last season on loan with the Canaries. Rhodes claimed nine goals in 40 outings to help Norwich secure promotion to the Premier League.
The Canaries have previously expressed an interest in signing Rhodes on a permanent basis.
Daniel and his Canaries have the unenviable accolade of taking on newly crowned Champions League winners and 2018/2019 Premier League runners-up Liverpool in their season opener. Norwich head North to Anfield in the first game of the 2019/2020 season which takes place live on Sky Sports in the Friday Night.
Premier League Finish 18th.
Having only been promoted from League One to the Championship in 2017, Sheffield United, nicknamed the Blades, due to Sheffield being the Steel City, decided they didn’t like the Championship that much so will only reside for two season and go onto the Premier League.
The Blades manager Chris Wilder is a Sheffield lad and a lifelong Sheffield United fan so for him, it’s like winning the lottery. It’s 12-years since the Red half of Sheffield we’re in the Top Flight. The last time Sheffield United were in the Premier League was under the stewardship of another lifelong Blades fan Neil Warnock.
Ironically, Chris’s Sheffield United side swap places with Neil’s Cardiff team who were relegated from the Premier League last term.
Being called the Blades does have its drawbacks as rival fans often call them the Blunts.
Ex-Manchester United youngster who had the world at his footballing feet in his youth Ravel Morrison could be on the verge of a Premier League comeback with Sheffield United.
The attacker is currently a free agent after leaving Swedish club Ostersunds earlier this month following the expiration of his short-term contract. Ravel was last seen in the Premier League scoring a superb individual goal for West Ham against Tottenham back in 2013.
One bizarre story apparently sees Chris lining up one of football’s most unlikely transfers of all-time in Franck Ribery.
Ribery has offers from both Australia and Qatar but the Blades are in the hunt to bring him to Bramall Lane on a free transfer. Is it April the First?
The highly-decorated France legend is a free agent but is shopping at Meadowhall good enough to tempt Franck and his missus to head to the Steel City.
Another potential target for Chris is the highly rated Queens Park Rangers midfielder Luke Freeman who could cost the Blades close to £10 Million.
The Sheffield United Transfer rumour mill is in overdrive, doing the rounds there are suggestions that the Blades are interested in acquiring Southampton striker Charlie Austin who is the target for fellow new boys Aston Villa.
Again Southampton would want £10 Million which appears to be the go-to figure at the moment.
Ex-Barnsley FC player Martin Crainie will leave Bramhall Lane in the summer and join Championship new boys Luton. Martin was brilliant for the Reds and is fondly remembered at Oakwell and was a significant member of Sheffield United’s Promotion Winning side.
What is not commonly known about Martin is he was in the England Under-21 side that played in the final of the UEFA Under-21 tournament back in 2009. England faced the might of the German Youths that day which included the likes of Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil. Five men who have gone on to become key figures for Germany’s senior team.
In the England Under-21s team with Martin, that day were Micah Richards, Kieran Gibbs, Fabrice Muamba, Lee Cattermole, Mark Noble, James Milner, Theo Walcott and Adam Johnson.
Stuart Pearce was the England manager who oversaw the 4-0 loss to the Germans.
Unlike Norwich, who arguably have the hardest first fixture of the three clubs promoted from the Championship, Sheffield United head South on the opening day to take on Bournemouth. A long trip for the Blunts but not as difficult as taking on Liverpool.
Premier League Finish 20th.
After an indifferent couple of seasons at St Mary’s the Southampton faithful will be hoping for a season away from the relegation zone. Ralph Hasenhuttl has improved the Saints since taking over from Mark Hughes and with a full pre-season to work his players and give them an idea of his methods and what is expected, then Southampton may push on and a could partake in a decent Cup run.
Wreck-it Ralph’s additions will be key and hanging onto star players such as Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse will be vital to how the Saints perform in the upcoming season.
One player definitely departing St Mary’s is homegrown Left-Back Matt Targett who is expected to sign for Premier new boys Aston Villa.
Southampton are expected to bring in Che Adams from Birmingham City for around £15 Million.
David Okereke is a target for Ralph as he looks to sign the 21-year-old goal scorer from the Italian side Spezia.
The Nigerian youngster scored 10-goals to go with the 12- assists in 33 matches last season and even made his first appearance for the Nigerian senior squad last season.
However, David is on the radar of a number of clubs and the Saints will have competition in the form of Newcastle, Wolves, and Crystal Palace. Although Southampton are leading the race they will have to act quickly in order to bring the pacey forward to the club.
Another significant signing for Southampton is the signature of ex-Man City youngster Benni Smales-Braithwaite. Big Benni has signed a professional contract with the Saints just a year after leaving Pep’s High Flying City.
Southampton have also shown an interest in signing Borussia Dortmund midfielder Sebastian Rode who fits into Ralph’s footballing philosophy.
One Saints player who is set to leave St Mary’s is Charlie Austin. Charlie is coming up to 30 and appears to be surplus to requirements for Wreck-it.
A couple of the new Premier League clubs, Sheffield United and Aston Villa have shown an interest in Champagne.
The Saints faithful have a long trip North to endure in the opening game of the new campaign. The Premier League Fixture Compilers who must have a couple of Portsmouth fans on board have conspired and compiled for Southampton to head to Turf Moor to take on Burnley.
Premier League Finish 17th.
Daniel Levy must have had a bump on his head after the Champions League Final as he has finally authorised a couple of signings for Mauricio Pochettino.
After 2-barren Transfer Windows, Dan the Man has given Mauricio the green light to purchase a couple of players but has warned Poch not to go mad with his dollar.
Lucas Moura was the last player to join the club when he signed from Paris Saint-Germain in January 2018.
Tottenham look set to sign Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele however, Mr Levy is up to his old tricks again and is stalling on the deal and is still deciding what he wants to pay for a Transfer Fee. The fee is around the £70 Million mark but Daniel, as usual only wants to pay 4-Bob.
That may not go down well with the Lyon hierarchy who could pull the plug on the move.
Tanguy will be a very good replacement for Mousa Dembele who has departed for the Chinese Dollar.
Leeds United youngster Jack Clarke looks set to move to the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium for a fee of around £8-£10 Million.
After touching down in London and getting the deal over the line, Jack will probably head back to Leeds on loan at least until January 2020 to help further his career.
Another youngster from a Championship club that Pochettino is after is Rakeem Harper from West Bromwich Albion.
West Brom have a new manager after failing to gain promotion last term. Slaven Bilic is in the Baggies hot seat and has to decide whether to keep young Rakeem or cash in.
Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomes is reportedly holding out to find out whether Tottenham want him before he commits to West Ham.
Mauricio will hope Daniel Levy digs deep into his long pockets and bring in a number of players to help Tottenham push on.
A Champions League Final appearance was probably much more than was anticipated by the faithful but a few additions to an already excellent side could mean Tottenham are the ones to challenge Man City and Liverpool.
One player looking more and more likely to exit the Billion Pound Stadium is Christian Eriksen.
Christian is currently viewing Rightmove Madrid for properties and is looking increasingly likely to join Zinedine Zidane’s Los Blancos.
Whoever Daniel and Mauricio decide to bring in, the Lilywhites faithful will be hoping that the new stars will be on display in the opening fixture against newly promoted Aston Villa at the Chas and Dave Memorial Stadium live on BT Sports in the late Saturday Afternoon TV game.
Premier League Finish 3rd.
Watford performed brilliantly last season and got to the final of the FA Cup. Unfortunately for the Hornets, after reaching the final, the occasion overwhelmed them and Pep’s High Flying Man City blew them away in a 6-0 drubbing.
Watford’s goalkeeper that day at Wembley was Heurelho Gomes. Heurelho had played all of the FA Cup games ahead of Premier League stopper Ben Foster so it was only fitting for the Brazilian ‘keeper to play in the final after HG said in March he was “99% sure” he would retire at the end of the 2018-19 season.
After conceding 6 in that FA Cup final it would have been thought that Heurelho would have exited the Vicarage Rd car park pretty sharpish. Not so, Mr Gomes has put pen-to-paper on a new extended 1-year contract, which is good news for the 38-year old. It’s yet to be seen if Heurelho will continue as the FA Cup stopper.
Another Brazilian signing that Javi Gracia is entangled in is a deal involving a youngster who currently plays at Fluminense.
Watford are at the centre of a bizarre tug of war with Manchester City over Brazil starlet Joao Pedro.
The 17-year-old forward agreed a £2 Million transfer last October that would have seen him join the Hornets in January 2020, after he turns 18. However, there is understood to be a clause in the contract allowing another club to hijack the deal by offering Watford £17.9m in compensation. That other club is Man City. City have now approached Fluminense offering to trigger the clause and renegotiate a transfer to the Etihad instead.
Apart from an on/off deal for Danish Centre-Back Denis Vavro and a possible swoop for West Bromwich Albion defender Craig Dawson, not much is happening at the moment at Vicarage Rd.
The possible signings are significant in the fact that Javi is targeting one or two defenders.
Watford entertain Harry Potter’s new look Brighton at Vicarage Rd in the 2019/2020 opener.
Premier League Finish 11th.
Manuel Pellegrini is looking for strikers after 3 of his main men are heading for the London Underground. Lucas Perez has departed to Spanish club Alaves, Edimilson Fernandes has left for German club FSV Mainz and Andy Carrol is off to Holby City.
Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez is wanted by several clubs and could also head for the Tube Station.
The Hammers have brought in three new signings so far this summer, with Pablo Fornals the most high profile after the Spanish midfielder signed for a fee in the region of £25 Million.
Manuel must not be happy with his stoppers at West Ham having brought in two goalkeepers to replace the exiting Adrian who the Irons faithful wish all the best for the future.
Ex-Millwall ‘keeper David Martin and Spaniard Roberto arrive at the London Stadium with current incumbent Lukasz Fabianski hoping to hang on to the Number One jersey.
It will be emotional for all concerned when young David Martin pulls on the Claret and Blues Number One jersey. David is the son of Hammers legend Alvin Martin. Alvin played over 500 times for West Ham spending the majority of his career at Upton Park. Alvin also played for England at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
Alvin will be a very proud Hammer when he sees David between the sticks at West Ham’s new home of the London Stadium.
Celta Vigo hitman Maxi Gomez seems to be another the Hammers are targeting but will have to pay his £45 Million release clause.
There may be interesting developments regarding Maxi as his heart is not necessarily set on becoming a Hammer. Rumours abound that if Tottenham show interest, Maxi could well head for North London as opposed to East London.
Another striker targeted by Manuel is Mali International Moussa Marega who is currently playing in the African Cup of Nations in Egypt.
West Ham have the unenviable task of entertaining current Premier League Champions Man City on the opening day of the season.
The game is the early Saturday Afternoon kickoff live on Sky Sports so will allow the Hammers fans all over the World the chance to see how their beloved Irons start the 2019/2020 season.
Premier League Finish 15th.
What a brilliant first season back in the Premier League for Nuno Espírito Santo and his Gold and Blacks. Having finished in 7th position in the table, they now get the opportunity to play in next season’s Europa League by way of the qualifiers.
Sean Dyche has already been on the phone offering advice to Nuno “lose and get out of the competition as soon as possible” said Mr Dyche.
Not sure if Nuno will heed Sean’s advice but Sean has experienced a terrible start to the Premier League due to Burnley’s exploits in the aforementioned competition.
Despite Nuno Espirito Santo’s desire to add at least four quality players to the side to hopefully compete in the early Europa League competition, Wolves have been eerily quiet in the transfer market so far.
Wolves are set to sign French youngster Raphael Nya.
Nya played for PSG’s under-19s last season in the UEFA Youth League and has played at both Centre-Back and Right-Back in recent seasons.
Raphael also captained PSG’s youth side on numerous occasions but is leaving the French club this summer to chase first team football and is hoping Nuno will oblige.
Nuno is still in the running to sign Inter Milan defender Zinho Vanheusden.
The 19-year-old was signed by the Italian giants in 2015 from Belgian top flight club Standard Liege but has failed to break into the Inter team on a permanent basis.
David Okereke is another target for Wolves. The 21-year-old goal scorer from the Italian side Spezia is wanted by a number of clubs but Nuno may be in pole position especially having qualified for the Europa League.
One player leaving Molineux is Helder Costa. Big Helder said his goodbyes at Wolves on Friday and will complete a move to Leeds United next week. Let’s hope he’s not going as a spy.
Wolves kick off the new campaign in the David Attenborough Derby against the Foxes at the King Power on the first Sunday of the new season.
Premier League Finish 9th.
Predicted 2019/2020 English Premier League Final Table Positions
1st MAN CITY
4th MAN UNITED
10th CRYSTAL PALACE
15th WEST HAM
16th ASTON VILLA
20th SHEFFIELD UNITED