Thursday, 16 August 2012

Premier League Preview Part 1

The wait for the new Premier League season is almost over. Southampton will apply their trade in the top flight, after back-to-back promotions under manager Nigel Adkins. And It's All Southampton FC will do a four-part preview of Southampton's opponents for the upcoming season. This should prove to be another fantastic season ahead in the Premier League.


Manager: Arsene Wenger

Last season’s finish: 3rd

Top scorer: Robin Van Persie (30 league goals)

Players In: Santi Cazorla (Malaga, £16.5m), O. Giroud (Montpellier, £13m), Lukas Podolski (Cologne, £11m).

Players Out: Manuel Almunia (Watford, free), Ryo Miyaichi (Wigan, loan), Denilson (Sao Paulo, loan).

After a struggling start to the campaign, Arsenal clawed their way back to finish third, despite the fact that the 2011/2012 season was yet another one that yielded no trophies for the Gunners. The 8-2 humiliation by Manchester United in the second match of the league season was a massive blow mentally for the players. However up stepped captain Robin Van Persie. His 30 Premier League goals helped the Gunners climb up the table, where at one point, they were ten points behind rivals Tottenham. Van Persie shocked the Arsenal fans by announcing he wouldn't renew his contract, and is now on the verge of joining Manchester United. He will be a huge loss for Arsenal as without his goals last season, they would have finished outside the top four. Which could be repeated again this season. Arsene Wenger has brought in three top-class players in Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski. Will they help the club bring silverware back to the Emirates Stadium after seven years of frustration? Only time will tell.

Aston Villa

Manager: Paul Lambert

Last season’s finish: 16th

Top scorer: Darren Bent (9 league goals)

Players In: Matt Lowton (Sheffield United, £3m), Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord, undisclosed), Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord, undisclosed), Brett Holman (AZ Alkmaar, free).

Players Out: James Collins (West Ham, undisclosed), Carlos Cuellar (Sunderland, free), Emile Heskey (released).

It was a really disappointing season for those connected with Aston Villa. After worries of a fight against relegation, they secured their Premier League status with games to spare. The Villa Park faithful were pleased to see that Alex McLeish was sacked before the final match of the season, where the former Birmingham manager only won four of his 19 home league games. With the appointment of Paul Lambert, Villa will be looking to push for a top-half finish, possibly challenging for a Europa League place. They have strengthened their squad including Dutch defender Ron Vlaar from Feyenoord. The fans no doubt will be looking forward to seeing good football, which Lambert similarly used to also guide Norwich previously to win back-to-back promotions.


Manager: Roberto Di Matteo

Last season’s finish: 5th

Top scorers: Frank Lampard/Daniel Sturridge (11 league goals)

Players In: Eden Hazard (Lille, £32m), Oscar (Internacional, £25m), Marko Marin (Werder Bremen, £7m), Thorgan Hazard (Lens, free).

Players Out: Didier Drogba (Shanghai Shenhua, free), Saloman Kalou (Lille, free), Romelu Lukaku (West Brom, loan).

What a rollercoaster ride Chelsea fans had last season. Appointing AndrĂ© Villas-Boas on a long-term deal, the club were looking to challenge for the title once again but disappointing results in the league and Europe concerned the board. They subsequently sacked the young Portuguese manager. Former Chelsea player Roberto Di Matteo was brought in on a temporary basis to begin with, and results were starting to improve, including guiding the club to the Champions League quarter-finals. However, Chelsea  were struggling to keep up with the top four. Their Champions League adventure continued, where they met their old foes Barcelona in the semi-finals. A tremendous defensive performance at the Nou Camp earned the Blues a place in only their second ever Champions League final against Bayern Munich. Di Matteo led the team to glory after winning the competition (along with winning the FA Cup) for the first time in their history. This then led the club appoint him as the full-time boss. We should expect Chelsea to make a firm title challenge this season, especially with the signings they have made. Namely, Eden Hazard and Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Jnr. The fans can look forward to another exciting season ahead for Chelsea.


Manager: David Moyes

Last season’s finish: 7th

Top scorer: Nikica Jelavic (9 league goals)

Players In: Steven Pienaar (Tottenham, £4.5m), Steven Naismith (Rangers, free).

Players Out: Jack Rodwell (Man City, £12m), Tim Cahill (NY Red Bulls, £1m), Joseph Yobo (Fenerbache, undisclosed), James McFadden (released).

David Moyes has done an incredible job at Everton since he arrived ten years ago, particular given with tight financial constrictions. The Toffees clawed themselves up the table, despite struggling for goals. However  striker Nikica Jelavic, the former Rangers frontman, scored nine goals after his arrival in January to help Everton finish in 7th place, ahead of Merseyside rivals Liverpool. The re-signing of Steven Pienaar will please Everton fans after a successful first spell at Goodison Park. However, they will be disappointed to see the talented Jack Rodwell leave for champions Manchester City. Everton are always a hard-working team with effective players who will be fighting for another top-half finish.


Manager: Martin Jol

Last season’s finish: 9th

Top scorer: Clint Dempsey (17 league goals)

Players In: Hugo Rodallega (Wigan, free), Mladen Petric (Hamburg, free), Sascha Riether (Cologne, loan).

Players Out: Andy Johnson (QPR, free), Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading, free), Dickson Etuhu (Blackburn, undisclosed).

Fulham will take part in their 12th season in the Premier League and are now an established top flight club. Martin Jol took over as manager last summer and took the West London club to a 9th place finish after an up and down season. Clint Dempsey had his best season in the Premier League to date, scoring 17 goals from midfield which has seen him be the subject of a transfer away from Craven Cottage. Pavel Pogrebnyak scored some important goals for Fulham last season but he has made the decision to join newly-promoted Reading. Fulham have replaced him with Mladen Petric from Hamburg, who has looked lively in pre-season matches and is certain to cause problems for any defence. A mid-table finish will be a respectable target for Fulham this season.


  1. Well done Sean, you've listened generously to some pretty stringent (private) constructive criticism from me and have put things right. If people are going to criticise and know what they're talking about (not just trolling) - why don't you inbox Sean and tell him where he's gone wrong.

    Sean has high functioning autism which sometimes makes his language go a bit awry. It is true it didn't read or flow well and this shows that we all need to read through what we write and/or get someone else to. I do agree with a previous comment that it needs to be higher quality and not so rushed but you've addressed that now.

  2. Sean, really enjoyed reading this. Keep up the good work & don't let the idiots on the internet (with tiny minds) put you off. They're prob annoyed as you took it on the chin and got off your butt and did something about it ;). Good luck for the future, I look forward to reading more :)

  3. Great stuff mate!!

  4. Things you could do better:
    A)Talk about THIS season and where they will finish.
    B)Whether or not the managers are up to the job.
    C)Talk about the new signings and whether they will make an impact or not.

    1. Thank you Harvey, at least you have something useful to say :) I'm sure Sean will appreciate it x

  5. No problem :) By the way do you know the next game on the right hand side how do you get that because I want it for my blog haha.

    1. I made the picture in 'Paint' mate and then uploaded it. Go to Template and click on 'Add a gadget'. There's a gadget called 'Picture', click on it, and you can upload it there :)