Tuesday, August 14, 2012

EPL Preview Part 1: THE £40 MILLION GOLDEN PARATROOP DIVISION

By Alex Miles

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Coming at you with a Premier League preview for the ages. Well, actually, just for the 2012/13 campaign, but whatever. We’re gonna start from the bottom up, ranking each team, all twenty of 'em, just to tease your brains and build narrative tension. So let’s go.

THE £40 MILLION GOLDEN PARATROOP DIVISION (so named because those clubs who are relegated receive a “parachute payment” from the EPL)

20th – Wigan Athletic: Well, this is it folks. After years of limping to the end of the season - only to somehow manage to kick-start great escape after great escape with a series of miraculous results – I think Wigan Athletic are finally going to bite the bullet and go down. They’ve lost a key player in Diamé, and replaced him with apparently nobody: their signings have been Ivan Ramis (central defender) and Fraser Fyvie, who’s seemingly more attack-oriented.  I just can’t see them doing it again this year.

Key Man:  Ali Al-Habsi (GK) – Wigan’s opponents are going to be taking more shots than LMFAO



19th – Southampton: A glorious Premier League return for a more than deserving club. After years of exile in the lower leagues due to (understatement alert) financial mismanagement, the Saints are back in the Premier League. I’ll always have a soft spot for them, thanks to the dazzling abilities of average-schlub superhero Graeme Le Tissier. Nigel Adkins is a very good young manager, but I just can’t see Soton staying up. They lack Premiership quality players in several positions, and will struggle at times.

Key Man: Rickie Lambert (ST) – he scored 31 times in 45 appearances last season, and is hilariously built (seriously, Google his tubby self). The Saints will need him to repeat last season’s tally if they have any hope of survival.


Rickie Lambert: Redefining the term "pie hole" one magnificent half volley at a time

18th – Swansea: The darlings of the Premier League last season, Swansea delighted fans and pundit alike with slick passing and a high-tempo pressing game. One season later, they’ve lost their manager (Brendan Rodgers, to Liverpool), their midfield engine (Joe Allen, also to Liverpool), and their talismanic midfield scoring machine slash Viking (Gylfi Sigurðsson, to Spurs). Add to the fact they’re working with budgetary constraints, and we’ve got a sophomore slump in the offing. New manager Michael Laudrup had a glittering playing career, but remains a relatively unknown managerial quantity. He does have a history of avoiding the drop (Mallorca, 2011), but he also has a history of falling out with upper management and resigning mid-contract.

Key Man:  Leon Britton (Mid) – a midfield metronome, Swansea will need him to stabilize a freshly put together midfield. Britton is statistically the world’s most accurate passer, having completed 93% of his passes last year. I’m not lying about this. Google it right after you look up Lambert eating pies.


Britton fancies himself a fine dribbler at times on top of his supreme passing - notice how West Brom's Gianni Zuiverloon is made mince meat as Leon slices and dices.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of sportbroz.com's EPL Preview 2012/13!

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