How’s It Gonna End? — English Premier League 21/22

OH HEY LOOK
It’s another guy you’ve never heard of and don’t care about predicting the Premier League based off a gut feeling and how they feel about transfers

Well since you don’t care about me, I won’t piss about. Let’s talk about FOOTBAAAAAALL

I predict the Premier League each year and I give myself a score at the end of it using the difference between my prediction and where they actually end up. For example, if I had Newcastle finishing 17th and they actually finished 15th, that would net me a score of -2.
Using this system, these have been my results:-

2018/19-56
2019/20-72
2020/21-56

So I can only assume I’m gonna score -72 again.

But let’s find out.

Well not right now because we don’t know how it’s all gonna play out, but let’s get my side filled in at least.

How’s the 2021/22 Premier League gonna end? Like this says I.

— —

ARSENAL

Right, I’ve been putting Arsenal in the top four in my predictions for a few years now, assuming they’ll return to former glories, and I think, I think, it’s because I like Arteta’s hair. Any man with that ‘do should be able to achieve Champions League football.
But I have to let go of that hypothesis. Arsenal are in a deep era of recovery, and it’ll take more than a good mousse job that bring ’em out the other side. They’re heading the right way about it, like. The signing of Ben White is huge for the a defence lacking leadership and identity, and with youngsters finally getting ingrained into the first-team, we’re seeing how high they can fly. But the fringes of the squad need aligning — there is a lack of consistency, an imbalance throughout the side, and if anything is to change, those chakras need to get seen to. Otherwise the club won’t ever be right.

Prediction: 7th

ASTON VILLA

At time of writing, it seems Villa are resigned to losing talisman Jack Grealish. Now, I ain’t saying Villa are a one-man team, but there was a considerable drop-off in form from their good start last season when Jacky G was injured. There’s no doubt he was/is a game changer, and Dean Smith’s side will have to recover if he is to depart. They do appear to have the signing of Leon Bailey clinched, and one of James Ward-Prowse or Todd Cantwell could be coming in as new midfield maestro, but they’ll still struggle along occasionally. They’re more of a unit than when they arrived here, and they’ll comfortably survive, but this Summer’ll still be seen taking one step back before making that one step forward.
That’s if all of this stuff happens. None of it is confirmed. Though imagine Grealish and JWP in the same side. Jack winning the free-kicks, JWP finishing them off. He’d have about thirty a season.

Prediction: 11th

BRENTFORD

The new kids on the block — the 50th unique Premier League team. They’re a club with a good, sensible philosophy and that’ll always hold ’em in good stead, but there is no substitute for experience. In the entire side, they have under 100 minutes of English top flight experience, and that’s all on Ivan Toney — probably the best place to have it actually. While this will hinder The Bees, they’ve strength enough to push on, and wit enough to hold on. I reckon it’ll be tight for a long time before the rope suddenly snaps and down they go.

Prediction: 18th

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION

Here’s where we need to start seeing something. Graham Potter is a good manager, but he’s been talked about as one of the finest in the league, and while his workrate might be stellar, the end result is not. Brighton are an eternally frustrating side that promise a lot and deliver so little. You can put a few missed chances in one game down to bad luck, but when it’s season-long it’s either a curse or you’re missing a trick in training. If it’s two seasons long, then it’s definitely a curse.
This side should have a little something, but I do only mean little.

Prediction: 15th

BURNLEY

A strong defensive signing is exactly what they already had. But they made another one. They are stone at the back, and they are Wood up top. That’s the long and the short of it. There are 22 senior players in the Burnley side and 13 of those are defensive players. That midfield is not sorted, Burnley.
Regardless, they will obviously stay up. Because that’s what they do. It will at times be ugly, but they will also be surprising in almost equal measure. Because when half your team is solid gold, it draws the eye away from the rust.

Prediction: 12th

CHELSEA

I was against Thomas Tuchel at first. Five-a-side in Fulham, great player. But I was also opposed to his management style. Then he won the Champions League and conceded like, half a goal in the league. Now I’m all in. Probably too far in.
He can obviously get the players he’s got playing, and with one more tasty slice of toast on top of the pie, Tommy and the boys are gonna be real contenders. He’s just gotta find and attain that missing ingredient.
Who puts toast on top of pie?

Prediction: 2nd

CRYSTAL PALACE

Speaking of all in, The Eagles have gambled. They gambled when they didn’t hire me as a waiter two years ago, and now they’ve gambled on Patrick Vieira. They also released half the squad. But transfer activity has been pretty fly… Marc Guehi was a standout in the Champo last season, Joachim Andersen was a standout in the Prem, plus the most overrated underrated player Conor Gallagher, Michael Olise, and… Remi Matthews. There’s talent here, but it’s whether it will be stunted as in previous seasons. Vieira’s style should give the likes of Zaha and Eze the chance to break out, but soar too close to the sun and you’re asking for trouble.
There’s a disconnect between freedom and focus, and Palace might just find the line in time. There’ll be a sweat on though.

Prediction: 17th

EVERTON

Right, there’s always promise at Goodison and I’m sick of saying it. BUT WAIT. They’ve never had Rafa… Sure, his storied arrival has come alongside numerous allegations and other questionable squad behaviours, as well as players wanting out of the club in general. BUT STILL, baby steps.
I’ve no doubt Rafa can do a job, and do a good one because he is one of three football managers I would trust with my life. He’ll square ’em up and get ’em ticking, getting folks onside this season, but it’ll be next season when evertyhing’ll come to life. This’ll still exceed a lot of expectations with how the season has started though.
And can we stop dissing the signings? EXPERIENCE, MATE. Plus, Andros has always been a firecracker.

Prediction: 10th

LEEDS UNITED

Okay, I promise I’m not getting over-excited about their form from last season when I say that Bielsa and his boys can win this entire thing. I’m not gonna predict that here, but they can, and I’m sticking a tenner on it. (actually about eight quid)
Some lovely names have left, but so have some bad vibes, and the signings have been pretty solid. Back-up goalie, Harrison on a permanent, Junior feckin’ Firpo, youth signings — this is a side gearing up for the long haul in the top flight. I am torn between putting them 7th, which is boring, and 1st, just so I can say I called it.
I’m just gonna have fun watching them, man.

Prediction: 1st (FUCK YOU)

LEICESTER CITY

They’re planning for the future and forgetting about the past — they ain’t gonna be a Champo side again anytime soon. Instead, they’re gonna be aiming for the Champo.
Patson Daka is a kinda Vardy replacement who will eventually oust him and he joins a squad that is the definition of depth of quality. Every position has a formidable competitor right behind the incumbent and they seem to move from strength-to-strength as sensibly as possible, forming a gellatinous footballing machine as they go.
Fear The Foxes. For when they finally make that real push for top four, you won’t be able to stop them.
For now, just set a trap.

Prediction: 5th

LIVERPOOL

They gots to bounce back from what will have been a disappointing season to many. The back-line should be helped out no doubt with van Dijk back and Konate added, and you can never write off the front-line, you can never get close to writing them off — if you see them, it’s pens down. Bolstering will be needed in the middle as Gini leaving was a bit of a knock, but if they can find that right cog, they’ll be right in amongst it again.
If.
If not, they’ll still do alright, I reckon.

Prediction: 4th

MANCHESTER CITY

Here we are then, champions elect, yeah? Well obviously not because Leeds comes before Manchester alphabetically. What can I say about them like? They’ve got the most highly rated players, the most highly rated manager, and all the money. But (amazingly) those things don’t win titles. And they’re gonna be knocked here, they’re gonna be caught relying on that quality and (somehow) it’s gonna catch them out.
I don’t quite know how to say it really… I guess… They’re gonna have been so good in previous seasons, that this is gonna be them running at breaking point and they’ll need to settle and recover.
Obviously I’m just making excuses to get Leeds up top, but this is my very realistic way out.

Prediction: 3rd

MANCHESTER UNITED

They seem set for the first time in a while. But if you wobble the mould there’ll still be some spillage. They’re not ready just yet. They haven’t been ruthless enough with the squad and I reckon it’s ‘cos they’re scared. Shipping out Paul Pogba ain’t something you do lightly. Or at least, it’s not something Man U do lightly. They need to start answering for decisions and they might start to this season.
They’re stand tall, but they’re fragile. They’ve got power, but it’s focused. Aim for the soft, gooey parts and you’ll have ’em on toast.

Prediction: 6th

NEWCASTLE UNITED

I just don’t think they can keep staying up. I think the pressure’s gonna build and the wall’s gonna come tumbling down. And when it does, there’ll just be this train of apathy, of ‘I told you so’, of expectance, and then quick acceptance.
They’re gonna stack it. I can’t believe, from everything that’s ever happened in the history of the world, that this running of a club can sustain it’s status.

Prediction: 19th

NORWICH CITY

They’re playing that Paul Warne game with promotion. Taking little steps each time they come up, learning about the enemy, adapting, going back down, and then coming back. Too good for the Champo, not good enough for the Prem. Are they good enough yet? I cannae say so, no. I don’t think they’ve changed enough, and there are big players that haven’t been replaced. They’ll compete, but not for as long as everyone else.

Prediction: 20th

SOUTHAMPTON

They cannot lose JWP. The squad is just looking a bit threadbare at the moment, they need a little extra. I’ve every faith in the defence, but if JWP goes and then Ings follows, they could be up a creek without a paddle. Having to call on that expert scouting is no-doubt draining, and can’t come good every time.
This could be the last chance for Ralph, but The Saints are gonna be marching ’til they get lost if they don’t sort somet soon. They’ll hang on this time, but as I say, there’s a future in the balance.
And they’ll probably just be aiming for no 9–0 scorelines this season.

Prediction: 14th

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

You can just tell it’s gonna be a tricky one for Spurs. I think it’ll get a bit messy too. I can see it being one of those seasons where they’re written off early, by Christmas they’re well in the bottom-half, and then by the end of the season, everyone has laid off all the jokes and they start to string some results together, beat Man City once and get a tight win in the North London Derby, and they’re able crack 60 and record a decent finish, with everyone ultimately saying Nuno didn’t do a bad job while they also say they should be doing better.
In the circumstances, I’m sure it’s hard to take for Spurs fans, but I’d still take it.

Prediction: 8th

WATFORD

The Hornets are saying to me that this is as ready as they’ll ever be, and I bet sheer grit will see ’em through this season. They’ll dig in, they’ll fight back, they’ll show they’re good enough, they’ll tell us that they belong. It will not be nice to look at from a rhythmic perspective. But they’ll hit hard and you’ll remember they were here.
Not that you’ll have to ‘cos they’ll be sticking about.

Prediction: 13th

WEST HAM UNITED

I said a year ago that this was Moyes’ image of the club, and he’ll be able to get them playing like he wants. And that’s worked. And it’ll keep working. They’re realistic in their approach, adaptive — smart. Then they can attack ya like the Dickens from anywhere on the pitch. They’ll be about this season, but they’ll drop some big points to see ’em out of European competish.
If they can pull off the signing of Nikola Milenkovic, I really reckon he could be worth an important coupla points a season.

Prediction: 9th

WOLVES

I just dannae rate them this season. I reckon there’ll be a quiet struggle. They’ll pull clear enough times to make you think there’s nowt wrong, but the pessimists (Wolves fans in this instance) will only notice how many times they’ve dropped into danger.
In the end though, they’ll be good. Well, not good, but fine. Maybe not fine, but alive.

Prediction: 16th

— —

Alright, let’s see what I popped where.

1. Leeds United
2. Chelsea
3. Manchester City
4. Liverpool
5. Leicester City
6. Manchester United
7. Arsenal
8. Tottenham Hotspur
9. West Ham United
10. Everton
11. Aston Villa
12. Burnley
13. Watford
14. Southampton
15. Brighton & Hove Albion
16. Wolves
17. Crystal Palace
18. Brentford
19. Newcastle United
20. Norwich City

YEP. Lock it in.

This is a bastard to call actually. This is normally the easiest. It’s like two tables. The bottom ten is gonna be tighter than a duck’s arse, and then the top six is a tricky fecker, plus the other four could all swap on the final day I bet. I started Villa off in 15th, but there were so many that started doing shitter than them in me heed.

I’ve missed football.

We English fans might not have proved that we deserve much, but dannae judge us all by that horrible feckin’ minority — if we did that, we’d all hate each other. Which we kinda do already, so let’s stop that and hey, Man U fans, give those Liverpool fans a hug.

Too far? Yeah, maybe.
I couldn’t possibly predict how they’d react.

But I can predict this. I can predict how the Premier League is gonna end.

Is this how it’s gonna end?

See ya in a lush coupla months.

Keep it streets ahead,

C.L.R.

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