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Looking At The Season Ahead TODAY

Looking at the season ahead TODAY

As this time last year I remain confident Martin O'Neill will bring in a few players eventually, but as the Premier League scene stands now, I'd say all of our teams Manchester City excluded and perhaps Chelsea are weaker than last season, with 8 days to go to kick off.

Man City certainly have the players but that doesn't always count, to make a top 4 entrance, even a top 2, so at lot will depend on Mark Hughes.

Manchester United remain the one to beat, Chelsea with a new and proven manager won't be far behind. I have a sneaky suspicion Liverpool and Arsenal will find it tougher than ever, but see for now Everton, with their injuries back even if Lescott goes, the one to push them

Spurs have bought then sold, after several down seasons expect an up, its Harry's way.

The rest. Well I can't see beyond Fulham and Sunderland and I'd be surprised if Roy Hodgson can bring enough to challenge for a top 6 and cope with Europe. Sunderland with nothing to worry about and some cute buys, might just do something to finish above 10th

Of the new boys, Blues should do the best, they have been here recently. Wolves will be too one dimensional but expect them to survive, and I hope Burnley do well to stay up otherwise they must be favourites to join those on the yo yo trail, Blues, Bolton, Wolves, even Portsmouth a club in turmoil.

With 25 buying days left it could all change of course, well for a few, as I don't see many of those who came up or finished below 10th being able to do much now to make a huge difference to where they finish

The exceptions, Arsenal and of course ourselves. Wenger has amazed me with his lack of expenditure of late, and although his squad is full of talent some of his top calibre and most experienced players have moved without reply. Their edge over us is they start from a far better squad position so I at worst expect a finish around the top 6.

We on the other hand do not look good. We don't have a squad capable of a full PL season even without injuries. Take into account Europe, the Cups, and injuries to Downing, Bouma, Petrov, Davies, Luke Young, already we have little chance of a top 10 finish, let alone a qualification for Europe.

We do have O'Neill and plenty of time by his standard to bring in players but with 4 out and effectively none who could start at kick off in I'd be amazed if even he can bring in enough talent to fill the gaps created to give the club a viable chance of a top 4 push. That said, in his 3 seasons we have been very lucky with injuries and still have a first 13 capable of giving many a good game, so I remain optimistic especially when I look at the early season games that we can do enough from kick off to remain in that top half.

By September 1 I'll no doubt have more confidence when the transfers have been made, but for now, I'm concerned, just as I was in O'Leary's last season.


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The Journalist

Writer: avfc48 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday August 6 2009

Time: 5:04PM

Your Comments

Rather pessimistic Mr avfc48. Looking at it from a different perspective; we are unbeaten at the Emirates and are capable of nicking points off the other top 4 sides. Assuming we can avoid the silly losses/draws which marred last season, and assuming ManCity stutter at the start, we can get ourselves to 3rd or 4th when the run-in commences. Thus spake Sarah Thruster.
andy5759
Rather pessimistic Mr avfc48. Looking at it from a different perspective; we are unbeaten at the Emirates and are capable of nicking points off the other top 4 sides. Assuming we can avoid the silly losses/draws which marred last season, and assuming ManCity stutter at the start, we can get ourselves to 3rd or 4th when the run-in commences. Thus spake Sarah Thruster.
andy5759
We'll start very slow this season and I expect an Everton type revival in the second half....much of this will depend on players getting fitter and the fact our small squad will galvanise well because it is small. We will surprise people yet again and I expect fifth place. Yes fifth. Spurs and Man City will find that having many does not mean having many points. Arsenal will be strong but i suspect Liverpools bubble will burst but 3rd place beckons. A few more players and we'll be fine. It'll be interesting and I wouldn't have it any other way.
koolbill
We'll start very slow this season and I expect an Everton type revival in the second half....much of this will depend on players getting fitter and the fact our small squad will galvanise well because it is small. We will surprise people yet again and I expect fifth place. Yes fifth. Spurs and Man City will find that having many does not mean having many points. Arsenal will be strong but i suspect Liverpools bubble will burst but 3rd place beckons. A few more players and we'll be fine. It'll be interesting and I wouldn't have it any other way.
koolbill
I thik that's a decent assessment of where we are 48 - hardly pessimistic andy5759. I think you're wearing your claret and blue specs if you really think we're contenders for 3rd or 4th at this stage. The Peace Cup has at least shown us we've got a good hungry bunch of kids, but I agree we need some solid signings - I still think we're short of at least 1 quality CB, 1 probing midfielder, and a good finisher wouldn't go amiss. Interesting though, as MON has hinted at a different style of playing this year - I reckon we could see Young or Milner tucked inside for quite a few games, particularly once Downing gets off his sticks. If Liverpool don't go for Defour i'd genuinely love us to sign him. If Delph is as good as people seem to think he is though, maybe he could be our 'Gerrard' player....but it'll take a season or two surely? The upsides of the close season for me have been 2 decent signings (of the right calibre to move us forward) and some encouraging signs of quality in the reserves (Albrighton, Bannan, Lichaj). Guzan's performances have also impressed me. I think at best we'll be challenging for 5th or 6th again, but with the right 3 or 4 signings in the final weeks of the window we could really get people talking....
YatesyVillain
I thik that's a decent assessment of where we are 48 - hardly pessimistic andy5759. I think you're wearing your claret and blue specs if you really think we're contenders for 3rd or 4th at this stage. The Peace Cup has at least shown us we've got a good hungry bunch of kids, but I agree we need some solid signings - I still think we're short of at least 1 quality CB, 1 probing midfielder, and a good finisher wouldn't go amiss. Interesting though, as MON has hinted at a different style of playing this year - I reckon we could see Young or Milner tucked inside for quite a few games, particularly once Downing gets off his sticks. If Liverpool don't go for Defour i'd genuinely love us to sign him. If Delph is as good as people seem to think he is though, maybe he could be our 'Gerrard' player....but it'll take a season or two surely? The upsides of the close season for me have been 2 decent signings (of the right calibre to move us forward) and some encouraging signs of quality in the reserves (Albrighton, Bannan, Lichaj). Guzan's performances have also impressed me. I think at best we'll be challenging for 5th or 6th again, but with the right 3 or 4 signings in the final weeks of the window we could really get people talking....
YatesyVillain
 

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