Top 10 Wishes for the 2010-11 Premier League Season

Two people pulling on a wishbone

Looking ahead to this upcoming Premier League season, I’m more excited about this one than any other in the past. Part of the reason may be that I’m hoping to find solace in the league that I didn’t find in the World Cup after England’s exploits came tumbling down. But it’s also because I prefer club football over the international brand. It’s a different dynamic, but it’s consistent, week-in week-out and filled with plenty of contrasting styles on the pitch and soap operas off it.

Thinking ahead to this 2010-2011 season, here is my Premier League wishlist:

  1. More panache from lower-table sides. When soccer supporters criticize the Premier League (most of them are MLS fans), they often regurgitate the comment, “Who wants to watch boring teams such as Stoke City and Wigan Athletic play?” The irony is that Stoke against Wigan last season produced one of the goals of the season when Maynor Figueroa scored from 60 yards. But the sentiment is understood, and it’s my hope that lower-table clubs such as Blackburn Rovers, Stoke City, Bolton Wanderers and Wolves play more of an attractive brand of soccer during the 2010-11 season. I’d like to see more panache from these teams. Each of them have players that are capable of it.
  2. Fewer one-sided thrashings. I’m all for seeing plenty of goals in the Premier League, but last season there seemed to be more one-sided thrashings than usual. Take Chelsea for example. Last season they clobbered Blackburn 5-0, Bolton 4-0, Wolves 4-0, Sunderland 7-2, West Ham 4-1, Portsmouth 5-0, Aston Villa 7-1, Stoke 7-0 and Wigan 8-0. As a neutral observer, I much prefer to see closer scorelines in all the games I watch.
  3. A new contender at the top. When a new season begins, it’s quite common to see a newly promoted side perched near the top of the table for a week or two (Burnley and Hull City were two good examples recently), but those clubs quickly fall down the league table. What I would like to see during the 2010-2011 Premier League season is a new contender at the top. A club that no one expected to be in the top five, and a club that has the skill and enthusiasm to stay up there for as long as possible during the season. Yes, it’s wishful thinking. But clubs such as Reading and Wigan have proven it in the past.
  4. No more Portsmouth’s. I don’t like seeing football supporters suffer especially when the future of their favorite football club is out of their hands and all of the dirty laundry is aired in public. In thee types of situations, football supporters are helpless. All they want to do is see their team play week-in week-out without any of the high court drama. So one of my wishes this season is that clubs begin acting more financially responsible and sort out their futures. Aston Villa has started to do so with Randy Lerner limiting Martin O’Neill’s transfer kitty, and we all know what happened there. But more tough decisions like that need to happen this season. And at the same time, I don’t want to see poor ownership of clubs such as Gillett and Hicks dragging Liverpool into massive debt and breaking promises.
  5. Better defending. I thought that some of the defending last season in the Premier League was woeful, so I’m hoping that the standards will be raised this season. Comical defending can be funny at first, but when it keeps on popping up throughout the season, something is wrong.
  6. Enthusiastic support. When asked why people love the Premier League, many of them say how the passionate singing fans wins them over time and time again. The reality is that the supporters of Premier League clubs are quieter than ever. This season we need to see more passion from football supporters instead of watching the couch potatoes glued to their seats in Premier League grounds across the country.
  7. European glory. One of the things that adds a spark to a Premier League season is European success by English clubs. For example, when Chelsea has a league game against Arsenal but a few days prior to that the Blues play Barcelona in the Champions League, it adds a different dynamic to the Premier League. How will the Champions League match affect the club’s team selection? Will the club adjust their tactics? Can the clubs around them in the league gain an advantage by a team slipping up in the Premier League because they’re so focused on the Europa League or Champions League?
  8. No more horrible injuries. There’s no doubt that there’ll be injuries this season. There always are. But let’s hope that pivotal players such as the likes of Michael Essien aren’t out for large portions of the season like they were last year. Even with Fernando Torres, it seemed like he was never able to regain his form completely because he was always recovering from injuries. Let’s hope we see less of that this season and plenty of fit players who can play to their potential.
  9. New stars. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the Premier League to unearth some new stars on us. Players that surprise us, excite us and dazzle us with their skills. Rather than just rare flashes of brilliance from Danny Rose and Zavon Hines, I want to see a player unfold in front of our eyes so we can see him rise to fame this season and so we can see him grow on the pitch. Wayne Rooney comes to mind. And that’s my hope. That we get to see a player who we least expect that will blow us away this season.
  10. English glory. If ever there was a time for young English talent to break into Premier League sides and give England fans hope for the future, this is it. There’s a sense among England supporters that it’s a time for a changing of the guard. A new breed of English footballers are needed who not only have the speed, but also the clinical finishing and mental aptitude to take on the best in the world. If some of these players can get experience in the Champions League too, it’ll give them the opportunity to play against some of the best players in the world and to get them ready for the international stage. England needs new heroes. And the 2010-11 Premier League season could be the one to unearth them.

What do you think? What are your hopes and dreams for the new Premier League season? Share them in the comments section below.

17 thoughts on “Top 10 Wishes for the 2010-11 Premier League Season”

  1. “Who wants to watch boring teams such as Stoke City and Wigan Athletic play?”

    I for one, much prefer the lower end of the table to the top for exciting games. Sure the play isn’t as precise or pretty, but it is usually a spirited game, especially around relegation time. The relegation battle is almost always more exciting than the battle for the crown.

    …. and this from an MLS fan 😉

    1. I can agree with you here. Watching a game last week between Leeds-Derby, for example, was a great prelude to the Premier League season. This week I look forward to seeing Nottingham Forest-Leeds on Sunday morning before the Liverpool-Arsenal match. Sometimes you don’t know all of the players, but the teams go all-out and it makes for exciting football most of the time.

  2. How about Defoe playing a full season with the glimmers of quality we see from him on occasion?

    If not I’d settle for some Welsh glory in the form of one Gareth Bale :-)

    As a disclaimer I am biased being a Spurs supporter :-)

  3. Dear Gaffer

    My one wish for the upcoming Prem season – is to stay up and show all those so called “experts” and wanna be experts in your other article, that Blackpool are not here to make the numbers up, we are not an easy 6 points banker playing us and we will do better than Derby. We will fight tooth and nail for everything ..

    All pundits and bookies were all wrong last yr – some of us were wrong too at the start of the season. I thought Holloway wasnt the right man BUT how wrong we all were and how happy we were we were wrong.

    All the established Prem clubs fans probably dont know or cant remember what its like to get here… ITS MAGIC…

    You have been warned.. BLACKPOOL ARE BACK
    Let the dream commence…
    Atlanta Seasider

  4. Who wouldn’t want to watch a Stoke home game? The crowds are always into it. That really gives the game a lot more life.

    Oh, and my first wish… no horns. So I’m 1 for 1.

  5. I’d just like to comment on each section if I may.
    1. More panache from lower-table sides: “Who wants to watch boring teams such as Stoke City and Wigan Athletic play?” If MLS fans do indeed say that they are more deluded that a Spurs fan! A Wigan or a Stoke are better teams than any in the MLS. More panache, all they care about is survival and that’s what makes it interesting, not flair and “panache”… (rolls eyes)
    2. Fewer one-sided thrashings: So they are meant to do what? Stop playing once they get to 4-0? On one hand you talk about spreading the love of the game across America (the job this site does really well I feel), then one of the things most Americans say they don’t like about “Soccer” is the low scores… Make your mind up!
    3. A new contender at the top: Just be thankful that we have 5 possibly 6 teams with the potential to win this league. Unlike Italy, Spain and Scotland where they have 2 or 3 at most.
    4. No more Portsmouth’s: Can’t argue with that!
    5. Better defending: Can’t argue with that either!
    6. Enthusiastic support: Is a problem for bigger club especially. Arsenal is a prime example, the culture of the club has changed over the years as it’s gotten bigger and a new breed of fan arrived with that. The boring, lifeless, I applaud a back-pass kind of fan. Something needs to be done!
    7. European glory: I don’t fully understand this one. This happen every season without fail right? At least one of the Prem’s teams will be there or there abouts to at least the semi-final. European magic is always alive and well in the Premier League.
    8. No more horrible injuries: While I agree whole heartedly with this I can’t help but bring up the horrific injury to Aaron Ramsey (because you didn’t!). That’s what I thought this was gonna be about, not Torres’ big toe or Essien’s thigh! Should have maybe called it “No more long-term injuries”.
    9. New stars: Personally I am looking for this with Arsenal. Chamakh and Koscienly look to be great new additions. Wilshere and JET will hopefully get some proper playing time, they look to have the potential of world beaters in them. And I’m looking for Carlos Vela to have a break out season, he has always teetered on the brink but he has taken on the number 11 shirt and is one the US version of Fifa 11!
    10. English glory: No real opinion on this, I don’t think the new rules will change the landscape of the game as much as they think. Not yet anyways…

  6. Good 10 points. As an 11th Respect the Overseas Fans. We all by now know the EPL is funded by overseas interest and players. The talent pool of English players is simply not sufficient to feed the need for world class talent that the fans of the league desire. Summer friendlies are fun but the real thing would be great. Ok, give us the 39th game. The NBA and NFL can play in London but Stoke City can’t play West Ham in Miami without claims of Western Civilization coming to an end.

    Point 12-Create New Traditions – part of the above point, but going to a playoff system would create world wide interest and a ton of cash for the league. That’s only one idea and others apply more to English football as a whole but a reduction in total matches may help, times of games, eliminate draws and replays in Cup matches.

    1. I don’t think anyone in England gives a flying F*** about the fans overseas. SKY TV is what makes this league rich and SKY spend that money because there are millions of people in England buying the top package so they can watch the games.
      Fans from overseas came after, they came because the Prem was the top league in the world. If SKY hadn’t of spent all that money since 1992 do you think Prem teams would have been able to buy the players they have? If Prem teams hadn’t bought the players and made the league what it is do you think anyone overseas would watch?

      Sky spent this money in 1992 because it was good business on what they could make from the viewers in England and the UK in general, whatever deals they make overseas now just puts more money in the pockets.

      1. The gap between how much TV revenue generates for the Premier League in the UK and globally is reducing. The UK TV rights deal is £1.782bn for the next three seasons. The global (outside of UK) deal is £1.4bn. While you may not care about the overseas viewers, we are a big reason why the Premier League is so popular and how clubs are investing in the league and buying some of the top players.

        The Gaffer

        1. Gaffer, your stats only highlight my point, More money is made from the UK than the rest of the world combined.
          A lot of that TV money goes to the clubs and that allows them to buy the top players.
          Do or did SKY spend that kind of money back in 1992 because of the overseas fans? Hell no, there was no money overseas back in 1992.

          SKY TV and the fans in the UK that subscribe to their package made this league what it is, overseas fans came later and now just put more money in the bank.
          To say the Prem is funded by overseas fans is crazy, the Prem is and has always been funded by the fans in the UK.

    2. Point 10: The 39th game proposal was a horrible idea. It wasn’t rejected because it would “bring western civilization to an end”, but because the whole point of the league format is that it aspires to some kind of fairness in its schedule – everyone plays every other team once at home and once away. How can that be achieved if everyone has an extra game against a random opponent, so that no two teams have the same schedule???

      Point 11: This is the kind of “Americanization” proposal that football fans laugh about (like increasing the size of the goals, having unlimited subs and time-outs). We don’t need a “play-off” format for the same reason I mention above – the fairness of the league schedule. Everyone plays each other twice, every team plays a total of 38 games, and after we’re all done, the best team is the champion. Not some silly scenario where the 7th place team can get a run of good luck at the end of the season and call itself the champion.

      All said, the EPL already has world-wide appeal…why would it want to go emulating the American play-off system?

  7. 1. Man City in title contention
    2. Bob Bradley to Aston Villa and they play well
    3. Newcastle and or West Ham relegated.
    4. Lots of upsets in domestic cups.

  8. “When soccer supporters criticize the Premier League (most of them are MLS fans), they often regurgitate the comment, ‘Who wants to watch boring teams such as Stoke City and Wigan Athletic play?’ The irony is that Stoke against Wigan last season produced one of the goals of the season when Maynor Figueroa scored from 60 yards.”

    As a fan of both MLS and EPL, it works both ways. Some of the best MLS matches don’t include LA, New York or Chicago, and there have been some wonderful goals from the run of play that would rival just about any in the Premier League. Sure, the pace is slower and the technique isn’t at the same level, but the games can still be as compelling.

  9. 1. Chelsea wins the League
    2. Chelsea wins the FA Cup
    3. Chelsea wins the CL
    4. Gael Kakuta becomes a star
    5. Danny Sturridge becomes a star
    and finally….
    Chelsea sign Sergio Aguero.

  10. Alright Gaff. Just thought I would leave a few of my comments from this post.

    This is exactly why the English say North American’s don’t know anything about soccer. This is coming from a Canadian with English-born parents.

    1. More panache from lower-table sides.
    Did Burnley not beat Manchester United? Did Wigan not beat Arsenal? The small teams do come up big and it does happen to the big boys too. The reason they play safer against the teams around them is because they don’t want to make a mistake and give the other team a leg up on them. For example, West Ham were beating Wigan 3-0 at the end of the season and decided to play defensive. They let in two goals, but they held on for the win. Defence wins championships and no team wants to play an attacking-style and risk their goal differential being threatened. That is usually decides who goes down and who stays up.
    2. Fewer one-sided thrashings.
    I totally agree with Fee on this. You can’t expect the teams to stop playing once they are so far ahead. In this league, goal differnce is vital and makes the difference between safety and survival and the Champions League and the Europa League.
    3. A new contender at the top.
    It looks like Spurs, Villa, Everton, Liverpool, and Man City have a shout to reach the title. The Premier League is a lot closer than the La Liga where Barcelona and Real Madrid always come first and second. This year we saw Chelsea and then Man Utd come in. The year before it was Man Utd and Liverpool. It isn’t much of a change, but atleast it was a change.
    4. No more Portsmouth’s.
    I agree with you that it is bad to see a club go into administration, but I for one like to know what my teams finances are like. I agree it was talked about way too much, but the media do this with every World issue in the news as well. So why would journalists treat sports any different?
    5. Better defending.
    That is something for the teams to sort out. But sloppy defending can also be interpreted as good attacking. You attack your opponent when he is weakest. Concentration and patience from attackers is needed to score goals.
    6. Enthusiastic support.
    Did you attend a game last year? You know that the microphones on the pitch don’t pick up all the noise right? I was at the West Ham vs. Spurs match in August last season. They are more than enthusiastic. There is all types of name calling and taunts going on. Of course it is a derby match, but I’m sure you could find this at any match. Also, there was that match between West Ham and Milwall where half of the crowd ended up on the pitch incase you forgot. I think that was pretty enthusiastic. You can’t expect teams that do well year after year (Man Utd and Chelsea) to be packed with die hard fans. Teams like that are bound to pull a lot of bandwagon jumpers. Real fans cheer for their teams through and through.
    7. European glory.
    Did Fulham not make the Europa Cup final, or was I just dreaming? If that isn’t glory to you then I don’t know what is. A team like Fulham isn’t expected to get in the final of anything. Imagine what it was like when they beat Juventus, a team who has had so much success in Serie A. You seem to turn a blind eye to the teams under the top seven.
    8. No more horrible injuries.
    This is something that can’t be controlled. You can’t ask the players to be less aggressive. This is their job. They have to be competive. Of course, no one is told to go out and hurt another player. If injuries were taken away from the game, the intensity level would drop significantly.
    9. New stars.
    Javier Hernandez, Bebe, Chamakh, Balotelli, Yaya Toure, David Silva, Jerome Boateng,(just to name a few). Are they not new? Man City has spent over 100 million pounds in foreign talent and you are complaining about new stars coming to the Premier League? I think at least 70% of the teams have added a player of foreign talent, with most of them being from a foreign league. Not to mention that the transfer window isn’t closed yet.
    10. English glory.
    Incase you haven’t been looking, there is pretty good English talent out there. Just because Fabio Capello doesn’t put them on the team, does not mean there is nothing there. Chris Smalling, Gary Cahill, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshire, Danny Sturridge, Jack Rodwell, Adam Johnson, Dan Gosling, Darron Gibson, Ryan Shawcross, Danny Rose, Victor Moses. There is a lot of young English talent. Just open your eyes and pay attention to all the players on the pitch. West Ham and Everton have developed a lot of good English players. Their youth academies are very well known and it doesn’t take a genius to see that.

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