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birchfest

The Surprise Relegation Team

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So who do we think? As a rule of thumb its normally 1-2 of the teams that come up, with 1-2 struggling sides from the previous season taking up the 3 spots, but every few seasons or so you get the 'surprise' blow up of a slightly more established side. Could it happen this year? Just looking at some of the bigger clubs and various news articles about various issues got me thinking:

Newcastle: The Benitez issue appears to have completely imploded their pre-season and fan base, doesn't seem to be much money being unlocked whilst they look to sell the club.

West Ham: About to lose Arnautovic to China, they had that really poisonous season with the fans turning on the board, probably one of the most inconsistent sides in the sense they win games you expect them lose and have a nack to stay just ahead of the proper pressure cooker of the bottom 4 spots for most of the season. 

Palace: Could lose Zaha, already lost a good right back (won't be getting ours!), wasn't that long ago they were in a spot of bother and Roy managed to turn it around, just a feeling they could get off to a rocky start if the Zaha move does come to be.

Everton: Always look just that little too good to do an 'Aston Villa' but last season seemed such a mixed bag of results, went on a horrible losing run last season.

Bournemouth: Id sit them in a similar bracket to Everton and West ham where they seem to always be able to get the results they need but you just feel if they went on a sustained losing spell, could they handle the pressure? 

Id be tempted to put Leicester, Wolves and Villa into this bracket but they seem to have the resources to get to mid table and then id say there is a shoot out between ourselves, Sheffield, Brighton and Burnley.

Anyway, more a list of ramblings and whims, but you guys know what i mean? You think it could be a surprise team making up one of the 3 or is it 2 of the promoted sides and Brighton as most pundits seem to believe!  

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West Ham and Everton have enough quality to make sure they won't get dragged into a relegation scrap- especially Everton. Bournemouth seem pretty stable so they'll probably do their usual.

I agree with your points about Newcastle and Palace, though: they could be 'surprise' packages in the sense that they didn't really struggle last year. 

I'll also throw Watford into the mix. They always seem to have a transfer strategy of bringing in a random mish-mash of players, but it seems to work. I tip them to struggle at the start of every season and they always turn out alright.

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I wouldn't exclude Southampton either. Not that they've had a bad pre season or sold anyone vital but they have had rocky spells in each of the last two seasons and managed to pull it around.  Could be their turn this time.

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Posted (edited)

Are you of the view we will be one of the three to drop?

A surprise perhaps to outsiders and we are being written off big time (BECAUSE WE HAVEN'T SPENT MONEY)  but can't see us being anywhere near the relegation zone this season.   

Likely strugglers are Sheffield Utd (more guile than quality which is unlikely to be enough), Aston Villa (theIr team will be relatively new, thus unsettled and likely to take time to gel and to be fair, they weren't that good last season),   Brighton (tired and have to get used to a new philosophy as Potter likes the ball on the deck), Newcastle (obvious reasons.....and lost Rondon and Perez already), Burnley and Bournemouth (been in decline for a season now and their managers can't keep performing miracles, both need a new challenge), Crystal Palace (can't win without Zaha if he goes and in cloud cuckoo land with derisory offers for replacements!!!!). 

Watford (enigmatic - if anyone has a drop off in form, they may be the team).   West Ham have still got to sort out their forward line and a bad start may set them back too.....

Leicester, Southampton and Everton look set for reasonable seasons.       Plenty of reasons though for us to be positive, a team spirit (family even), high fitness levels, players hungry to improve, quality (both individually and collectively), clever coach, clear playing philosophy our players are familiar with, offensive - all the makings of a mid-table team. 

 

Edited by ged in the onion bag

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Newcastle aside, most Premier League clubs that might be in danger of relegation, are looking pretty well run. 

West Ham in particular have seemingly turned a corner and are starting to recruit sensibly. Fornas is an excellent player, so when you add him to Anderson and Yamalenko then it is hard to see them struggle. They also have a good manager to go with that. Even if Arnautovic does go, I think they could replace him wisely. Talk is of Maxi Gomes from Celta and he is top quality. 

Southampton have also seemingly turned a corner and are recruiting well. 

Everton have also sorted themselves out a little and should have far too much to be in any danger. The same goes for Wolves and Leicester - who all well run at the top and recruiting well.

You could see Bournemouth or Palace dropping into trouble - Palace if they lose Zaha and Bournemouth if Wilson’s knee goes again. Also talk of Ake leaving Bournemouth and Howe’s recruitment has often been a bit ropey. 

Burnley could be one to watch. They looked better after coming out of Europe, but you do feel that Dyche’s methods and reliance on the domestic market will eventually catch up with them. 

Newcastle could be in real danger. Can see their manage search dragging on for a while and no Rondon or Pérez means they have a lot to replace up front. 

Villa are signing Championship players and have overpaid in a big way for Wesley. Their recruitment doesn’t look great so far, so will be interesting to see how the rest of the window goes. 

I think the league looks a really tough one this season. Clubs are starting to use the money they have much more wisely (apart from Villa). 

I’m starting to move toward optimism now, which always happens when pre-season starts but survival would be a massive achievement for Norwich.

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Ah yes completely forgot Southampton and Watford. Id put Watford into a similar grouping as Wolves and Leicester. Southampton would also be in the less of a surprise category, but i think they just had a stinker of a season with a terrible manager kicking it off. I can't see them repeating it.

To answer one of the posts above, I'm optimistic we won't, I think we will have a better crack at it than the Alex Neil season but it is looking a tougher league this season and could see us just being pipped to the post if any of the above just never blow up and we don't beat the rivals around us. 

Personally if i was a betting man and wanted to make some money with ok but not great odds id go for Brighton, Newcastle and Sheffield... though its not out of my thoughts we could replace any one of those 3. 

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12 minutes ago, shefcanary said:

Gonna be Chelsea.  Lampard will **** it up for them big style.

I think they will do the Man Utd and drop out of the top 6! 

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Newcastle, Burnley "as surprises."

Bournemouth can't defy gravity forever.

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Southampton seemed to pull it together just in time last season, largely with help from Redders finding his form/being used in a way that suits him best.

 

If I were to pick three to go down, not including promoted teams, Id probably go Newcastle, brighton, palace if they lose zaha and cant cope, if not bournemouth.

 

And showing my full Norwich bias, the three I think will actually drop are Shef, Villa, and newcastle

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29 minutes ago, Bethnal Yellow and Green said:

I’m starting to move toward optimism now, which always happens when pre-season starts but survival would be a massive achievement for Norwich.

I wouldn't say you were particularly negative just very realistic. And I'm with you. It looks, on paper, very difficult but as many have said prior, you take what you can when you can. I'm remaining in the camp of if we stay up great it's just managing expectations.

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No ones mentioned Watford! 

For me Southampton, Watford, Sheffield, Brighton, Norwich, Villa and Burnley , pick three from that seven.

Its vital to get home wins against all the above and not lose the return fixtures, do that and we’ll survive.

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We will be, along with the Blades, more likely, according to the bookies, one of the three selected initially. It is normally the case that two of the three up are selected. And it is justified. As a bet that is.

But in reality, I'm not sure that how much you spend will help. Ask Fulham. It is who you buy. Will Smith still be at Villa at Xmas if they are in the bottom three? I'm sure Wilder and DF will be in work with their current employers even if they are in the bottom three in May.

I think that gives them a bit of a comfort zone to carry on and play the way they hope to. I say that because we will not be having greater possession against all the Prem sides but if we have enough then that will go a long way to giving us a chance of staying up.

Of the rest it is easy to pick out Brighton, Southampton and Burnley as perennially in a spot of bother. the Palace owner wants out so they aren't comfortable. And yes Newcastle and Bournemouth, especially if Ake goes.

That gives us hope that there are probably nine teams who will be expected to struggle somewhat.

Surprise team, and just a hopeful hunch would be West Ham.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Indy said:

No ones mentioned Watford! 

For me Southampton, Watford, Sheffield, Brighton, Norwich, Villa and Burnley , pick three from that seven.

Its vital to get home wins against all the above and not lose the return fixtures, do that and we’ll survive.

I think that's about right, Indy. Recruiting is one thing, but new players have to be integrated and that takes time. We've lost no players important to the first team last season (only Pinto had a few games at the start of the season). Our young players are proven and experienced now and squad unity is strong.

Our strengths lie in that togetherness, squad depth (seemless replacements when players are injured), togetherness, fitness, and a genuine hunger for success throughout the squad. That gives me confidence that we'll handle adversity when it comes and fight hard through the whole season. Farke knows what he's doing and the players buy into it entirely and apply his tactics and strategies instinctively.

Edited by Yelloow Since 72
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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man said:

Except for the three people who had already mentioned them 😉

Sorry hadn’t noticed, so many saying Newcastle! 😉

 

Although only one post puts them as a potential relegation team the other says they are at Leicester level which I don’t think they are.

Edited by Indy

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A surprise club is one by definition ... a surprise

So it's unlikely that we would be able to pick them out ..... or they wouldn't be a surprise 😉

One of the difficulties of being in the PL is in keeping the momentum going. At the moment we are on a high, and had we have gone straight onto the PL in May I suggest we would now be sitting comfortable in the top half]. And I still can't see us being anything but that this season. The squad is pretty much the same and new signings will slowly 'bed in' as opposed to being automatic choice in every case.

I would also suggest we will do a lot better than many imagine.

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We are perfectly capable of beating most teams in the division and this time round will have VAR to reduce the loony reffing decisions. Continue as we've done and an entertaining midtable finish is quite possible. 

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I think Brighton will do better than people expect; I like what Potter does and I suspect their players are better than they showed last season. Burnley worry me a bit, they haven't really recruited anyone major for the past couple of years and didnt look comfortable back end of last season.  Palace and Newcastle could both b in trouble as a few people have suggested;  and though they wont be in the relegation fight I think Chelsea will be out of the top 6 or 7 this season - No new signings, lost their best player in Hazard, a weird mix of overpaid and underperforming players and talented youngsters who've been farmed out repeatedly and probably have little club togetherness or cohesion, and an unproven manager who's there on name and desperation not on merit; I think they could be 8th or 9th. Wouldnt be surprised to see Leicester back in the top 6 again, they've done a solid job rebuilding their squad to replace the title winners with talented younger players. 

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6 hours ago, crispeduk said:

We are perfectly capable of beating most teams in the division and this time round will have VAR to reduce the loony reffing decisions. 

If you're looking for positives, I wouldn't be banking on VAR.

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Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd are in the middle of changes so points might come from them. 

The harder ask is the established mid table teams like Watford, B’Mouth (irony being we went up with them 14/15) and Leicester. 

Though in saying that Leicester and Wolves will be knocking on the top 6 this season in the view the established 6 are now transitory bar Spurs, Pool and City.

The bottom three is going to be more open this season than I think ever before. I wouldn’t bet on us not being a part however it’s a free hit and with our current model of future planning means we’ve set ourselves up stronger than before with youth potential and development. 

 

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Sorry to be a realist but it would be major upset if City were to stay up but hope for the best.  But contenders for relegation look at promoted sides and strugglers from last season.  Southampton remind me of Villa and unlikely to set league alight same true of Brighton and would love Bournemouth to make it a South Coast treble.  But that scenario would see Villa safe which is more unpalatable than Bournemouth relegation.  And would like to see smile wiped off Wilder's face.

But been here before a few times if City do not succeed we are used to be whipping boys there will be no tears. 

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It’s unlikely that there will be a surprise and that relegation will be three from; Villa, Sheffield, Norwich, Newcastle, Burnley, Palace, Southampton, Brighton, Bournemouth. 

West Ham and Watford should have enough to stay out of trouble - although they may occasionally flirt with the lower end of the table. If there are any surprise candidates it would be one of these two. 

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It would be a massive achievement to stay up, but then again there are many upsets done by promoted teams that have some impetus left from the season before. 

From all the teams mentioned, I think Watford , West Ham and Everton can rest easy...

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In the last 20 seasons only five of the teams that won the Championship  have been relegated straight back. Reading and Cardiff half a dozen or so seasons ago, and before that West Brom, Sunderland, and ourselves.

That said, some of the recent Championship-winning teams, such as Wolves, Newcastle United, Bournemouth and Leicester City, have had serious money to play with. Plus in at least a couple of cases a cavalier attitude to FFP...

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We could throw plenty of money at this and still not improve the team.   We're a better team than too many yellows think.  Relegation would be more of a surprise than staying up!  COYY...OTBC

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