There are plenty of Premiership clubs who have not really got into gear this season, last season’s surprise teams like Tottenham, Wigan and Blackburn have produced mediocre starts. But there are three clubs who’s form has stuck as rather dismal compared to expectations before the season kicked off, and you probably won’t be particularly surprised…
West Ham are the obvious pick for worst start to the season, or at least most disappointing. After an FA cup final and plaudits aplenty last season, the arrival of Tevezcherano and the potential promise of a takeover and giant transfer budget – it’s pretty much gone entirely pear shaped. 8 successive defeats, 1 goal scored, out of the UEFA Cup and out of the Carling Cup to Chesterfield, rumors of infighting and an unsettled, uncaring captain and the double edged sword of a takeover still looming over the club. Alan Pardew should be a good enough manager to turn it around, and they certainly have the players, but we (and plenty of Hammer fans) were saying that about 4 goaless defeats ago.
Newcastle have also been fairly shocking. Losing Michael Owen was a huge blow, but the arrival of Damien Duff, Obafemi Martins, the re-emergence of Scott Parker and…err…Antoine Sibierski had most Newcastle supporters pretty optimistic about the coming campaign. Sadly, the same old problems resurfaced – comical defending and injuries to key positions. Not to mention the fact that Damiem Duff has apparently been terrible, and Obafemi Martins continues to be a really really fast guy who doesn’t score that much. Oh, and they have Glenn Roeder as manager…so…
Liverpool are the we’re-surprised-but-not-that-surprised pick of the bunch. Premiership form has not been Liverpool’s best ability for a few years now and the harshest of critics (i.e. Mourinho) will say that Rafa Benitez rode his luck in winning his Champions League and FA cup trophies. With plenty of money spent, a deep, talented squad that on paper should be able to brush aside most clubs but they aren’t. You could blame the rotation, you could blame putting Gerrard on the right wing or you could blame the players. But most of all, you should blame Peter Crouch. Because he’s super tall and he looks funny.
Admirably, in an age of rampant fickleness, most supporters of these clubs still seem to believe that their clubs and current managers will turn it around (well, maybe not Roeder) thanks to past glories and an understanding that a blip in form is no reason to sack an obviously talented coach. All of the clubs have the talent to do a whole lot better, but will they?
So, anyone want to take a guess as to which of these suffering clubs will turn it around and meet their pre-season expectations? And which just aren’t good enough?
Read more Newcastle news on the Newcastle section.