A New Season of Useless Predictions

It’s a new season and once again it starts with things moving so much that I have no idea how to rate the new year.  Last year I predicted André Schürrle would be the young player to watch.  I would argue he was for the 14 games he played (enough to win a medal).  Worse? I predicted that 2 of the 3 top scorers would be Daniel Sturridge and Van Persie – that’s almost enough to make anyone second guess even doing predictions this year.  Worst of all? I predicted that Spurs would win the F.A. Cup!  And that was before “My Name’s Kane, Harry Kane” joined the squad.

I have no right to try this again this year!  But yet here I am.

I tried to keep track of who was moving in the transfer market to help me start the season strong but it quickly became clear that scouting is a full time job. There is no way I can watch 3 premier league matches on a Saturday, another on a Sunday, work a full time job and live, and still know that Alessandro Diamanti is a good signing?   Liverpool helped by focusing on Premier League signings with Clyne, Milner, Ings and Benteke but what am I supposed to know about Yohan Benalouane, Enes Unai, or even Memphis Depay.  Of course, if you read the Manchester United comments on the various forums they all can tell you what Memphis eats for breakfast and why this is a better signing than Newcastle getting Georginio Wijnaldum or Stoke picking up Jakob Haugaard from FC Midtjylland.  Me though, quite honestly? I didn’t even know that was a team.

Young Player of the Year

As I get older the players seem to get younger.  I’m sure Raheem Sterling should be considered a front-runner, Hazard will be good again but I read someone say that Aleksandar Mitrovic is brilliant on Football Manager and that has me sold.  This despite the failings of Darren Caskey, Daren Edie and Nii Lamptey (early 90s were good for games).

My pick is thus:

1st ,Raheem Sterling

2nd, Hazard (again)

3rd, Aleksandar Mitrovic

Goalkeeper of the Year

I actually played in goal once for a school team. Didn’t have the ability to pull it off but I’ve always had a fondness for the position and so I wanted to have a review of who I thought was worthwhile.   I thought the best goalkeepers last year were De Gea, Begovic, and Lloris.  I thought Cech was, despite getting up in age, still playing well (and not starting).  But things have changed a lot – De Gea won’t play for Manchester United, Begovic trading in being the most important player for Stoke to being on the bench at Chelsea and Cech probably moved in one the better summer signings to Arsenal.  The England #1 is not on the list because he’s not good enough to be on the list.

1st ,Hugo Lloris

2nd, Asmir Begovic

3rd, Petr Cech

Hugo is obviously going to have the most practice and is the most directly a positive impact on his team.  I think that Begovic is the best goalkeeper and will eventually win over his place from Thibaut Courtois who is just too tall and made a couple of blunders Mourinho won’t allow to happen too often.

Top Goalscorer

Sergio Aguero, when healthy, packs a powerful strike and the best first touch in the league.  Between 6-12 yards out he’s deadly and while Manchester City aren’t necessarily going to dominate the league it’s clear that they intend to score a boat load of goals.  It’s clear that Arsenal will put them away but I’m not actually sure who will be dominant in the count as I expect to see them shared.  That leaves me with Harry Kane (even I’m tired of the “he can’t keep doing this can he” argument) and the most dirty player Diego Costa.

1st,Sergio Aguero

2nd, Diego Costa

3rd, Benteke

I didn’t contradict myself there.  I just don’t believe Harry Kane can keep doing this and someone has to score for Liverpool this year and I think while he’s no Drogba, a strong central striker who can finish will push the ball over the line 20+ times.

Best Signings

I don’t know much about many of the players signed but Petr Cech looks like a good and solid improvement for Arsenal.  Not as young as he was, he’s a goalkeeper and experience and confidence goes a long way.  James Milner was one of the most ordinary of players that repeatedly stood out as quality.  He seems to have player at a good level for a long time but he’s only 29 years old.  He’s a perfectly adequate player for any system.   I will also say Pailinho was a great signing – that Spurs recouped anything for that guy was a miracle.

First Firing

First manager to be fired is a close call between Brendan Rodgers (who will not be given much leeway this year) and Tactics Tim at Aston Villa.  Tim Sherwood took over at the end of the season and turned things around; however, the summer would have been spent building up a coaching stuff and scout team and watching the man who saved Villa travel up the motorway to Liverpool.

And finally…..The Table

1 ,Arsenal (this is more hope than a real prediction)
2, Chelsea
3 ,Manchester City
4, Manchester United
5, Liverpool
6 ,Tottenham Hotspur
7, Everton
8, Crystal Palace
9, Stoke City
10, Newcastle United
11 ,Swansea City
12 ,West Bromwich Albion
13 ,Southampton
14 ,AFC Bournemouth
15, Aston Villa
16, West Ham United
17 ,Watford
18 ,Sunderland
19, Leicester City
20, Norwich City

 

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