Friday 17 January 2014

Uncles fighting on the MRT

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Sunday 5 January 2014

Heads up on the EPL (Part 3) - After 20 games

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Previously, we had discussed on the top 10 teams in the EPL. Whether we are happy or not, there will be a tough fight at the top this season. As many as 8 teams can be in for the title chase this season. Today, i will be sharing my views on the bottom 10 of the EPL, in an continuation from the previous post.

Hull City 

Hull had done pretty well after 20 games, being a stronghold at home, their away form is letting them down. If they can pick up a couple more wins, they can surely be 1 of the top 10 teams. Coached by former Manchester United legend, Steve Bruce, This Hull City had been transformed from a relegation battle team to a mid-table team. 1 player stood out for them, Tom Huddlestone. The former Spurs midfielder had done pretty well for them. He reminded us of Scott Parker when he is of course now playing for Fulham.

They had recorded a big win against Fulham last week at home, something even the most faithful Tigerine fan would never dream of happening in the EPL. But that's a good win for them, however they fell away from home once again, losing to a injury-hit Liverpool. Consistently seemed to be lacking in Bruce's team, if they wants to break into the top half, they got to play as if every game is their relegation battle.

Stoke City 

No Tony Pullis, no problem. Mark Hughes ensures Stoke is not struggling in the bottom 3 by New Year's day. The stand-out players are Charlie Adam, Crouch and Assaidi. They certainly look familiar to the Liverpool fans once again. Assaidi, on loan from the Reds, is scoring important goals for Stoke and ensuring they maintain their mid-table form. Former players Adam and Crouch are showing they still got the finishing. Oh wait, don't forget the solid defense of Huth and Shawcross, together with their Amazing goal-scoring keeper Begovic.

Rough tackling are often known for this Stoke side,direct long balls up front are also part of their routine. However, it seems that the goals didn't came from long ball but from a winger who dribbled and got his chance. We all known what happened to QPR when Hughes were in-charged, however during the 1st season Hughes will normally do enough to save his job. It's always in the 2nd or 3rd season where Hughes will lose it. So how long can he withstand this time round?


With Michu out, Swansea had found it hard to break down their opponent's defense. Up step Bony, the stand-in striker who had been above average. Scored 6 goals and assisted 1, he might be over-shadowed by their new Signing Jonjo Shelvey. Scored 3 provided 3, he is doing a good job at the Liberty Stadium. I tip him to shine even more and he might have a place in England in the future.

Will Swansea move up or down in the remaining fixtures? Well, with Michu back, they have a good chance. Laudrup is a good manager. Most importantly, their passing football is nice to watch.

West Brom 

West Brom had always been a team performance rather than individual. They have got some under-rated players in their team. with the sacking of Steve Clark, not sure if it was a correct decision though. 1 player seemed to stood out for me, his name is Chris Brunt. Who? If you are not a baggies fan, you might not know him. But he had assisted 5 goals this season. With a team of such quality, one might ask if they are in a correct position? They should remain this spot if they continue their form.


Time is running out for the former Newcastle Manager Chris Hughton. He needs to act fast or he will be the next one out. Norwich seemed to be flirting with Relegation this season. After being defeated and destroyed by Luis Suarez these few seasons, Ruddy might thought earning a call-up to England might not be a good choice. With Uruguay drawn with England in the group stage.

The stand-out players for the Cannaries will be Gary Hooper and Nathan Redmond. When they are not playing, we know what happened to Norwich. This January transfer, Norwich might not have enough money to get a key signing and that might even cost them a place in the EPL come May. Although currently 15th place, they are definitely a candidate for relegation if they continue their poor form.


King Berbatov's Fulham had seen their long-suffering manager Martin Jol was finally sacked. In came former Manchester Utd coach René Meulensteen. His experience with Man Utd might proved to be essential as Fulham seemed to be on the right track? No. They were humiliated by Hull City 6-0. Fulham just dont have the hunger to win games, with their team on the decline due to their aging squad. They had been in and out of the relegation zone this season and they could be 1 of the hot favorite for the drop if they lose Berbatov in this transfer window.

However, their coach and staffing section had been great. With former QPR coach Ray Wilkins appointed as the Assistant Coach and former Charlton manager Curbishley appointed as technical director. They should avoid the drop if the coaching staff can impart some skills to the players.


Cardiff had been making the headlines recently, starting with Malky Mackay saying if the Board refuses to make money available come Jan 14, they will have to consider investing only when they reach Championship next season. This outraged the club owner, Vincent Tan, a Malaysian tycoon. He instructed Mackay it's either he resign or he will face the sack. Mackay rebutted back saying he will never walk out of Cardiff on his own accord. The Cardiff fans sang their hearts out showing their support for Mackay but he was eventually replaced by the rumoured new manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

On pitch, Jordon Mutch had made great headlines with his fantastic match winners. However, it seems Cardiff is like another QPR in the EPL. Will they eventually finish to avoid the drop? It's still too early but they are also a candidate for the drop.

Crystal Palace 

Palace waited a long time before regaining their place in the EPL. Will they make an U-turn back to the championship immediately? Marouane Chamakh the forgotten former Arsenal man seemed to be up for a fight to make them Palace stay at the top league. But do Palace have the quality to maintain their top flight status? I don't think so. Looking at their form, they don't seemed convincing. Looking at their squad, i am not convinced too. It will take a massive effort to bring them to former glory once again. With a start at the championship most certain.

West Ham United 

Oh dear, what is West Ham doing at number 19th? They should be in the mid-table for their quality. Maybe they are missing Andy Carroll, their big money signing who is still out injured. Maybe they don't have a back-up striker. Maybe their Captain Nolan got sent off too often. Too many maybes in their team and no wonder they are 19th.

Big Sam Allayce will need to look into the piggy bank and see if there are any money left to get a few players to propel them forward. If they can't get out of the relegation zone by Mid Feb, it will certainly cost Big Sam his job. I am still certain the Hammers can bail themselves out of trouble come May.


Gus Poyet side had suprised many by winning games in recent days. He is facing a uphill task. Out went the win-less Di Canio.

Poyet had transformed this team into a never say die team. Quality wise, Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher is still their leading men. 1 quick the other unpredictable.

However, Sunderland had proven in history that they can finish the league with minimum points, finish last and be relegated. Will this year be any different? Certainly a drop candidate, but their luck seemed to be changing. It will take a massive effort to save themselves.
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