More On Who Will Challenge The Established Top Six Next Season

Posted: August 2, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United
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For the last few years the top six in England’s Premier League has been very predictable. They may have switched positions at times but it has always been the same six teams.

Last season, Chelsea and Arsenal were the ones to miss out on the Champion’s League places and it is surely no coincidence that both clubs start the coming season with a new man in charge.

Manchester City, in case you were holidaying on Mars, ran away with the title with Manchester United finishing second, a mere 19 points behind. Tottenham were third and Liverpool fourth.

Down in seventh place were Burnley who finished the season nine points behind Arsenal in sixth.

So can Burnley improve on that finish this time out? The short answer is no, not a chance! At the time of going to publication Sean Dyche has signed nobody and will have Europa League football to contend with as well.

Added to this is the fact that Everton and West Ham are spending fortunes in an attempt to also raise their profiles which will push the Clarets further down the table.

The two stand-out signings made by Everton are Richarlison and Lucas Digne who have joined the club for a combined fee of around £48 million.

With what they already had in place will this be enough to propel Everton into the top six? No it won’t!


Marco Silva and Richarlison in their Watford days, now re-united at Everton

Marco Silva is an unproven manager at this “higher” level having only previously been in charge of Hull City, who were relegated from the Premier League during his tenure, and Watford who, after Silva decided he wanted the Everton job and, initially, wasn’t allowed to leave Watford, imploded as he lost interest.

His inexperience will prevent Everton reaching top six status but his ability will ensure they finish in the top eight. Whether this will be seen as a success by the Goodison faithful, (they finished 8th last season), is highly debatable as they will be looking further up the table given the amount of money spent on the team in the last couple of years.

West Ham United are most people’s dark horses to slip into the top six, possibly at the expense of either Tottenham who, like Burnley, have also spent nothing, or Arsenal who have been in reverse gear for the last two years.

Having signed Felipe Anderson, Issa Diop and Andriy Yarmolenko for a total of about £75 million they have also added Lukasz Fabianski in goal, Fabián Balbuena, Ryan Fredericks and Jack Wilshere.

In Manuel Pellegrini they have a manager who knows how to WIN the Premier League, never mind reach the top four and, following even earlier exploits with Málaga, West Ham fans have every right to feel very optimistic about next season.

A team who would be everybody’s favourites to break onto the top six purely based on their manager is Newcastle United. What is stopping them at present is their owner who refuses to sell the club unless he receives an unrealistic price for it and also refuses to give his manager any money to spend.

Despite all this, Rafa Benitez seems to want to stay there. His ideal situation would be for Mike Ashley to clear off ASAP and new owners come in with some money for him.

Can he pull another rabbit out of the hat next season? Again, with very little spent he will do very well to finish above the 10th place he managed last time out which, in itself, was quite an achievement bearing in mind that the club had just been promoted back to the Premier League.


Aleksandar Mitrović has returned to Fulham on a permanent deal following his successful loan period

With the recently promoted clubs Wolves and Fulham also deciding that the way to ensure Premier League survival is to spend, spend, spend then it will be very interesting to see who can make the top ten next season, not just the top six.

So, in conclusion, there seems to be little threat to the usual suspects for the top six places but the two new managers, Unai Emery and Maurizio Sarri, who are both experiencing the Premier League for the first time, need to be wary of the wily old fox who has been installed, in an unusually astute move, by West Ham United.

We think they will be a surprise member of the top six at the end of next season, remember where you read it first.

  1. pauleee says:

    Poor little Leicester City. How soon we forget. o_O


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