Every Premiership club received some votes. Man Utd got thirteen. Spurs and Arsenal (last relegated in the year the Royal Flying Corps established its first airfield) both got ten. Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea received six each, as did Stoke. West Ham were the second best fancied team, with four votes, while Everton received only two votes and are thus deemed most likely to stay in the top division (something they have managed every year since the end of rationing) but not entirely safe.
Given such wishful thinking I had to do some winnowing so I chose 100 votes as the cut-off, which gave me a reasonable number of 8 clubs to watch, and you can see the results in the title above.
Now the window has been open for a full month and the season’s not too distant it’s time to think about those eight. Which three of them are going down or, alternatively, are we being a little presumptuous?
Will it be Hull, managerless and apparently in turmoil as I write, along with Burnley, worthy winners of the championship but just behind Hull in the poll? Both came ahead of Bournemouth, whose need to avoid second season syndrome might explain why they were in third place.
What about ‘Boro, with perhaps an almost completely new team, or Watford, who have a new manager? They were the next two in the list.
What of Sunderland? Sam took us to the verge of stability and with 195 votes from the 2,203 cast (just under 9%) voters took us to sixth choice. This was an improved position relative to previous years but then the sweet FA stuck its oar in. Does it bode ill, or will David Moyes build on Sam’s foundation?
We were followed in the poll by West Bromwich Albion, who still have Tony Pulis. Surely that guarantees safety, although there might be fans from other clubs still fancying them for the drop. And in final place came Crystal Palace, who made the cut by getting just over 100 votes in the original poll. It has been a couple of seasons since Fulham went down. Is a London club due for relegation this season and, if so, will it be Palace?
Here’s your chance to reconsider your June choice and select three clubs from the narrowed-down list. (And if you think we are indeed being presumptuous you can select “another club”). The poll will run for a while, and I’ll report results just before the season kicks off, along with details of how I’ll be tracking the clubs.
For those readers who like to study clubs, as opposed to relying on bias and hatred, here’s a summary of transfer activity to date, as reported on the Premier League website at http://www.premierleague.com/transfers/summer:
you have 3 votes
|Hull||Manager resigned. One player in, two players out|
|Burnley||Three players in, five players out|
|Bournemouth||Eight players in, seven players out|
|Middlesbrough||Nine players in, four players out|
|Watford||Manager replaced. Five players in, seven players out|
|Sunderland||Manager replaced. No players in, eight players out|
|West Brom||One player in, three players out|
|Crystal Palace||Three players in, eight players out|
As always, your comments are welcome (subject to our normal expectations of civilised discourse) especially if you want to enhance any vote. What’s the basis for your choice? What are your thoughts? We’d love to know.