A Season Of Hope for Premier League Clubs Outside the Sky Six

And so another new Premier League season draws near. In two weeks time we will be in the midst of the first round of fixtures, possibly the most intoxicating time of the season. At no other point for the next nine months will the majority of us feel so full of hope, so innocently expectant.

This is also, with the possible exception of FA Cup third round day, the most cliché ridden time of the year. But even in the most overused clichés there is a backbone of truth. This is the time of the year where we all look forward with hope for our team and try and predict what the next few months will bring.

This summer has seen a few interesting plots develop that look likely to shape the coming season. The continuing emergence of Manchester City, the arrival of Andre Villas-Boas at Stamford Bridge, King Kenny’s revival at Anfield and the return of QPR to the top flight. But all of these have already had thousands of words written about them. The true joy of the start of the season is that all teams are equal, so let’s look at some of the teams that might not normally be in the spotlight.

Blackburn Rovers fans would be forgiven for entering the new season with a little fear. Things have not really gone too well since the Ewood Park club were taken over by the Venkys chicken consortium. There is not too much confidence in the manager Steve Kean and if their start is slow then the pressure could soon ratchet up. With stars like Chris Samba posturing for moves, it appears that all is not well in Lancashire.

In Merseyside, as usual, the focus has been on Liverpool. However, the club on the other side of Stanley Park are perhaps the greatest example of what it can be like to be left behind as football’s gravy train rumbles on. Another summer and another quiet one for Everton fans has led to yet more calls for a buyer to come forward from Bill Kenwright and yet more speculation as to what the Toffees can expect this year.

The Everton story is possibly the most important one this year. If they can still be competitive at the right end of the table on such a meagre budget then there will be hope for all clubs as the financial fair play rules loom. If they struggle and slip further away from the European places then warning bells should start to ring for some of clubs who are spending big to try and force their way up the league.

Finally for this tour around the stories less read, we have Stoke City’s Europa League adventure. While Everton’s story can be seen as quite sad, Stoke’s shows what can be done with a well run club. From dwelling in the lower echelons of the league, The Potters will now embark on an adventure on the continent that their loyal and loud fans richly deserve. It is refreshing to see different clubs representing England in European competition other than the usual suspects. It gives hope to clubs like Sunderland and Newcastle who will both be looking at Stoke and thinking that there is no reason that they can’t do the same.

The beauty of the Premier League is the intriguing stories throughout the league. Even the teams who are almost certain to sit in mid table come the season end have dreams of cup runs and upsetting the odds. I just hope that this year we as fans don’t get sucked into thinking that the top stories are the only stories, or indeed the best stories.

What are you looking forward to this season outside of the top five or six clubs?

12 thoughts on “A Season Of Hope for Premier League Clubs Outside the Sky Six”

  1. Will Aston Villa survive with another mid-table finish, or will they tumble down, possibly into the red?

    1. For as tough as their season was last year, they still finished in 9th. Can’t think they’ll be any lower than that again.

      1. Im personally not a fan of Villa or a hater in any way, but the middle of the table was so tight last year and I believe they started that day in 12th and got results their way. Think about it, Bolton for the majority of the year was better and finished 2 points behind, which was 14th place (im not a bolton fan either). The newly hired manager just got relegated because of his lack of striking efforts. He just lost Young, Im really concerned about those at Villa Park.

  2. I’m looking forwards to seeing the continued progression of Wolves, a club that is bucking the trend of financial mismanagement, and showing that young teams can be built and grow together into a force with fairly modest additions.

    Plus I’m looking forward to seeing our new North Bank continue to rise from the ground!


  3. The team I worry about is Wigan. How could they let Charles N’Zogbia go for just £9.5 million. He’s deserving of at least £15 million. They could’ve bought someone cheap but reliable from Football League One to at least bolster the squad and show them that they care about the progress of this team. Now they are the favorites to go down. It’s really a difficult managing a team that is limited in it’s resources and constantly fending off pressure from the big clubs which are trying to prize away their best players.

    1. Arsenic,

      You are right to worry about Wigan and I personally agree with you regarding N’Zogbia’s value. However, it appeared that no other teams agreed with us as AV was able to bargain pretty hard on his price. Either it is his off-the-pitch issues or discipline or something, but his value on the market for transfers appears to have been less than you’d think when watching him perform on the pitch of late

  4. hahahaha the sky 6 hilarious man city were not gonna do anything remember ? short memories u idiots eat ur words 1 season later the “sky 6” seriously funny

  5. love this site, but you guys need better editing to be taken seriously, case in point:
    “At no point for the next nine months will the majority of us feel so full of hope, so innocently expectant.”

    should read, “at no OTHER point”

    1. Show me any site (BBC, The Guardian, etc) and there will be proofing errors. We do our best to proofread every article so no errors occur, but now and again we will miss one. Thanks for pointing it out.

      The Gaffer

      1. very true, but that one specifically changed the whole meaning of the post. just some constructive criticism. cheers.

  6. Personally, i’m really looking forward to seeing Wigan prove all the doubters wrong.

    I’m not a Wigan fan, but I really think they have built a great young core of players.

    Despite losing N’Zogbia, players such as James McCarthy, Victor Moses, Ben Watson, James McArthur, Connor Sammon, Franco DiSanto, Hugo Rodallega are creating a really bright young core. Alcaraz and Caldwell, Figeuroa, Al Habsi…all intersting characters!

    I think this young team is probably the least fashionable team in the league, but they are on the up. They have a great young manager who has stuck by them too…

    I fully expect them to be the suprise package of the season, and they will win at least 2 of their first 3 games….

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