Poor Man's Guide to the '08-'09 Premier League: Part 2

11:00 AM | Comments (0) | by T.R.

If you read the first part of my Premier League Preview, you'll know that my intended audience is the most remedial of soccer fans. Having recently discovered the beauty and intensity of club soccer, I decided to share what I've learned in hopes of converting others. To read Part 1, click here. Now on to my projections and borrowed knowledge concerning the top ten:

10. Sunderland
Sunderland made it's way back to the Premier League last season and ended in 15th place. They used to have a fan magazine (or fanzine if you will) called Sex and Chocolate. Their current fanzine is called A Love Supreme. Despite this, Sunderland fans insist that they are confident in their sexuality.

From what I've gathered: Sunderland seems to be a team on the rise. Manager Roy Keane has taken on the leftover scraps from Tottenham and put together a decent team, lacking a bit in defense if anything.


9. Aston Villa
It's a joke to say that Aston Villa is one of the oldest clubs in the Premier League, as all of them have basically been around for over 100 years now. Regardless, they've been around since 1874, and have played at the highest competitive level for the last 98 seasons. They're also owned now by Randy Lerner, the same man who owns the Cleveland Browns. Clearly he's wealthy.

From what I've gathered: Villa hasn't really done much to improve their team, unless you count the transfer of U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Boring. Villa is a solid but lackluster team that looks to drop off a bit from their sixth place finish last season


8. Everton
Everton is the team that I've adopted as my own. They are the other club in Liverpool, and have a longstanding and rivalry with Lingering Bursitis's club of choice, Liverpool FC (bunch of wankers). Everton's more popular fans include Paul McCartney and Sylvester Stallone. Neither celebrity had any influence upon me in choosing Everton, though I fielded phone calls from both.

From what I've gathered: I scour the web every day for the latest news on Everton, so my knowledge is legit. However, there has been little if any news to report. They were able to con Fulham into paying $26 million for Andrew Johnson, which was possibly the steal of this young century. So what has manager David Moyes done with all that excess cash? Nothing! As of Tuesday, Everton has yet to sign a single player in the transfer window. There are hints of imminent signings, but no fresh faces will be able to help out the club in its first league match this Saturday.


7. Manchester City
Man City is the equivalent of the Los Angeles Clippers, always playing second fiddle to Manchester United. In the mid-1990's, City sucked so bad that they were relegated twice and were playing in the third division. They've bounced back in the last decade. Man City is also owned by former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who in his political career, had a questionable human rights record and was often accused of corruption. Soccer fans have thus affectionately dubbed Man City "Human Rights FC". Cute.

From what I've gathered: They will improve on their finish from last season, particularly with the addition of Brazilian striker Jo, whom they bought off of CSKA Moscow a month ago. However, Shinawatra is said to be having financial troubles, which are now trickling down to the club, so look for their roster to stand pat heading into the weekend.


6. Tottenham
Tottenham's logo is a cock. More specifically, a cockerel, which the Drunk Hobo tells me is an immature male cock. One might picture Shia LeBeouf. They are a decent if not boring club. They also have a strong Jewish following, which the fans embrace as a badge of honour (British for honor).

From what I've gathered: Spurs (that's their nickname) lost Robbie Keane to Liverpool earlier in the offseason, but were able to replace him with David Bentley from Blackburn. Their offensive production should be more than adequate to stay in the top half of the rankings, even if their defense is a little suspect.


5. Liverpool
Liverpool is the most successful team in English soccer history, and are supported by less educated and otherwise undesirable fans than most clubs. Tom Hicks, owner of the Texas Rangers, has fifty percent share in Liverpool. With that kind of ownership around, the rest of the Premier League can rest assured that Liverpool will make a lot of noise from time to time, but are ultimately destined to fall short in all their endeavors.

From what I've gathered: Robbie Keane and the gifted Fernando Torres make a formidable duo up front, provided Torres' flowing locks stay out of his eyes during matches. This club will contend for the title, but out of prejudice, I will leave them outside of the top four looking in.


4. Portsmouth
The city of Portsmouth and the club are both nicknamed Pompey. They used to have a goalie named Aaron Flahaven who was dubbed "Flav" by fans. Unlike the American version of Flav (as in Flava), Flahaven died in a car accident after a night of drinking. If only America was so lucky (apologies to VH1).

From what I've gathered: This franchise is on the upturn, with a healthy supply of goalscorers and a birth in the UEFA Cup. This squad will score plenty, which is a common theme amongst the top tier, as one would expect. Bartender Chip Wesley has adopted Pompey as his club to follow, likely due to their club crest, which some mistake as referring to Islam.


3. Arsenal
The Arsenal Gunners are an incredibly successful team and look to contend, if not upset the league this season. Situated in North London, Arsenal is statistically known to have the largest percentage of non-white supporters attending their matches at Emirates Stadium. Truly a world club confined within London.

From what I've gathered: Their defense, like so many clubs, could be better. Despite this, their offense is exceptional and they will give the rest of the league headaches. The lack of transfers within their backfield will be their undoing.


2. Manchester United
Oh Christ, Man U. Arguably the most popular club in the league, nay world. Man U own the rights to the self proclaimed "slave" Cristiano Ronaldo. If you know nothing about soccer, you could liken the Ronaldo offseason drama to the Brett Favre self-flatuation. The Portugese Ronaldo clearly wants out of Man U, and has frequently cried about his "mistreatment" as he suns on the beach with scantily clad women rubbing oil on his chest.

From what I've gathered: Man U have brought literally no one in during the transfer period. Of course, when you're going for your third consecutive league title, what is there to tinker with? Many are picking them to three-peat, but we all know how difficult that is, regardless of the sport.


1. Chelsea
This is the club that I originally wanted to take on as my own, mostly due to the fact that they're owned by former Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. Unfortunately, I realized they were a little too good and rooting for them was a little too, I don't know, popular.

From what I've gathered: Chelsea's biggest move in the transfer market was to bring in former Brazilian and Portugese national club manager Luiz Felipe Scolari. They could still use another striker, but this is a solid team that will give Man U, Arsenal, and the rest of the top flight a hefty challenge. Look for Chelsea to come out on top in league play.

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For further reading on the upcoming 08-09 Premier League you can check out the team previews at Unprofessional Foul, the only soccer blog to have the TMS Seal of Approval.

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