Nothing changes: Watford, Norwich, Bournemouth plus guess who – already relegation favourites

Jake: 'Emirates heroics leave bookies unmoved'
Jake: ‘Emirates heroics leave bookies unmoved’

Andrew Pink, from the Square in the Air sports marketing firm, was trying to make me feel better.

He’d sent something about Betway cutting the odds on West Ham finishing in the top six from 18/1 to 14/1 after the appointment of Slaven Bilic as team boss. So where, I wondered, did Dick Advocaat’s return leave us? I told him I’d almost bet on them having us down for the drop anyway, on the basis that betting analysts would reckon we cannot keep getting away with it.

“It’s not all bad news,” came Andrew’s response once he’d lowered his eyes to the prognosis for that far down the table. “Sunderland are 4th favourites to go down….”

So poor old Dick has another relegation scrap on his hands if the bookies are to be believed.

But if we feel a sense of déjà vu at being written off as anything much more than the Fingertips Men – named in honour of what we’re always hanging on by – spare a thought for the newly promoted clubs. Betway has them as the top three for bottom three if you see what I mean.

It runs like this:

8/13 Watford

10/11 Norwich

11/10 Bournemouth

9/4 Sunderland

4/1 Leicester

9/2 West Brom

Our own supporters, plus fans of the other clubs even higher in the running order, may have something to say about that. Andrew’s list as sent stopped there and being in France means I cannot access certain betting sites. So I am unable to explore deeper and say where our friends up the road are placed in the relegation stakes.

But since I will have drawn in a few supporters of the Championship top three, let me make the annual appeal to those who consider themselves warm, witty or wise – one out of three will do – to volunteer for the Who are You? slots for their teams for next season.

Just write to and we will be in touch. Your sparkling prose may even win you a prize:


* In other news … thanks to Andy at Twitter for sending me a link to a Romanian site, encouraging me to summon all my linguistic powers (with on of those dodgy Google trandlations) and challenge the pipsqueaks complaining there that Costel Pantilimon needed to be at a “better club”.

This is how I and Google put it:

Pot exista echipe care sunt mai mari decât Sunderland. Pot s? v? asigur c? foarte pu?ine cluburi sunt mai mari. Aminti?i-v?: noi vindem mai multe bilete decât Chelsea. Dac? am început vreodat? câ?tig?toare, am avea nevoie de dou? Podul Stamford a ob?ine toat? lumea în?untru. Pantilimon joac? pentru un club mare! Scuza?i-m? pentru meu Google Român? . Sunte?i bineveni?i s? vizita?i salutsunderland

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake
M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

10 thoughts on “Nothing changes: Watford, Norwich, Bournemouth plus guess who – already relegation favourites”

  1. I agree with William. Villa may well struggle; their FA Cup Final “performance” was a disaster and the Sherwood bubble could burst. Leicester will have been rumbled and maybe Pearson is another Poyet – good at getting out of a scrape, but not brilliant about moving things on. And wouldn’t it be a real treat to see someone like Liverpool struggle next season. They could. Maybe we will replace them in the top 5.

    • There has been a lot of grumbling down here recently. Two of Brendan Rodgers’ coaching team left after an end-of season review but he kept his job.

      Will he have it a year from now?

  2. I don’t think it is any surprise that we are amongst the relegation favourites. Our recent history indicates a new manager achieving a miracle survival only to disintegrate the following season.

    However, Sir Dick is in a different league to the last two, and that should give us room for confidence.

    I think we have a poor squad in truth, and much will depend on who we can attract in, IMO [ and also who DA manages to get shot of ]

    At least one of the promoted clubs will go straight back, probably Watford. As others have said, Norwich and Bournemouth are well managed, but so were Burnley.

    Personally I think Aston Villa were very lucky to stay up, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in the mix again [ especially if they lose Bentecke and possibly one or two others ]

    I’m not convinced about Leicester either.

  3. It promises to be a very exciting season for those who will be (and are expected to be). at the bottom end this coming season. Norwich and Bournemouth have arguably the two very best up and coming managers in the game.

    The fact that they have such managerial talent may well give at least one of them a better than average chance of staying up. Forced to choose between them I’d favour Alex Neil to keep Norwich up.

    • Although the relegation of one newcomer is almost certain relegation of two newly promoted clubs doesn’t happen very often. Two went down last season. Should we expect it again? Maybe Norwich and Bournemouth will both stay up.

  4. Memo to Watford, Bournemouth and Norwich fans as well as Sunderland’s: come on here and tell us the bookies are spouting nonsense (or, er, getting it about right!) …. launch a campaign for Newcastle or even West Ham to take your club’s bottom three place … get yourselves signed up, as one Watford supporter has already done, as Who are You? interviewees

    • And tune in next week when I’ll be asking who’s going down.
      (It’s a dodgy numbers thing I do. Last year it resulted in angry QPR and Hull fans, but look what happened….)

  5. Can’t blame them I suppose , we’ve been in a relegation fight for the last four years . For it to change , player recruitment needs to be better . Advoocat seems pragmatic enough to get performances out of a scratch team but he needs quality to get an improvement . This depends on Conngerton and Short and it seems they’re going to act , I’m a bit more optimistic than usual but before signings are made the odds are sadly probably correct .

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