It has been 96 days since the final whistle blew a close to the 2011-12 EPL season – not that we are counting. More importantly, it is less than 1 day till the commencement of the 2012-13 season – the 21st since the establishment of the Premier League. And like the lead up to a massive 21st birthday bash anticipation is high and speculation rife.
Thankfully The Blog FC is here to give you a comprehensive guide to each of the teams competing in this seasons Premier League, covering all the transfer news, strategic analysis and final predictions. Have a read, give us your thoughts and impress your friends with more interesting EPL facts than you can poke a stick at.
Man U |
West Ham |
2011/2012 Result: 11th
?Manager: Michael Laudrup
Ins: Itay Shechter (Kaiserslautern – Loan), Michu (Rayo Vallecano), Chico (Genoa), Jonathan de Guzman (Villarreal), Kyle Bartley (Arsenal – Loan)
Outs: Joe Allen (Liverpool), Ferrie Bodde (Free), Jose Moreira (Free), Casey Thomas (Free), Scott Donnelly (Free)
The big question for Swansea is – Can they replicate last year’s success without Brendan Rogers calling the shots, and Joe Allen bossing the midfield?
Three months ago, the answer would have been a resounding ‘No’. However, the shrewd recruitment of some genuine talent will have somewhat allayed those doubts.
Michu looks the goods, Jonathan de Guzman has definite star potential, whilst Chico and Kyle Bartley should have no problem buying into the Swansea style of play.
A big, Joe Allen-sized hole still needs to be filled in the centre of the park – something that new manager Michael Laudrup will certainly address before the end of the window.
Key Player: Michu
With 15 goals, Michu was the highest scoring midfielder in La Liga last year – a feat not to be sneezed at. He did this at Rayo Vallecano, who played some pretty mediocre football at times, so seeing him in a Swans shirt is a exciting prospect for fans and neutrals alike.
He has the tough role of replacing Gylfi Sigurdsson in the heart of the midfield – meaning he will need to find his feet quickly, or Swansea could be in trouble.
The Road Ahead
It’s pivotal for Swansea to get off to a good start this year. Self belief took the team a long way last year, and if they can carry that into the first half of this season, the transition into Laudrup’s reign will be an easy one.
If the Liberty Stadium can retain it’s fortress-like aura, and Michel Vorm can continue his heroics between the sticks, Swansea may just be able to prove the naysayers wrong and stay up this year.
Prediction: 17th. Avoiding the drop, by the skin of their teeth.
Although we aren’t big fans of Coronation Street here at The Blog FC, we are big fans of Scott Sinclair’s girlfriend – actress Helen Flanagan.