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I guess if you make enough predictions you’re bound to get one right at some point in your life. Not that picking Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool to finish in the Premier League’s top four during our preseason predictions was going out on a limb, but nailing the order of the top four is somewhat satisfying after the Red Devils claimed their 10th league title on Sunday. While last season it was just Man U and Chelsea at the top, this year the top four were separated by just 11 points. So for a little revisionist history here is where each club finished with my preseason pick in parentheses.

1. Manchester United (1)-Best player, best manager, best depth=best team.

2. Chelsea (2)-Jose or no Jose they still play boring, dull football, and still came within two points.

3. Arsenal (3)-Looked like world beaters at times, colossal choke jobs, injuries and team turmoil in the final third of the season doomed them. Young guns will need to fortify and the transfer kitty will have to be splurged with to make a jump into the top two next season.

4. Liverpool (4)-Fernando Torres was spectacular, Steven Gerrard was his usual consistent self andLiverpool again finished an underwhelming campaign with more questions than answers.

5. Everton (9)-My first big miss, seeing as I had Tottenham Hotspur here. No matter how well they played and how many saves Tim Howard made, it was always a battle for fifth, as they were 11 points behindLiverpool.

6. Aston Villa (6)-Back to my Nostradamus-like ways. Too bad Gareth Barry is on his way to one of the Big Four.

7.Blackburn (8)-Best buy of last summer=Roque Santa Cruz and his 19 league goals.

8. Portsmouth (10)-David James was arguable the second most important player to a club this season, behind Ronaldo.

9.Manchester City (11)-The hot start had City pushing the Big Four, but an owner/manager struggle and dip in form proved costly. Elano was a revelation to the league.

10. West Ham (12)-Did well despite the loss of Carlos Tevez who helped the club almost single-handedly stay in the top flight a year ago.

11. Tottenham (5)-Swing and a miss. Only finished 30 points out of fourth. Maybe the most disappointing and underachieving side in the league, and yes that includes Derby. Please let Berbatov leave and go to a club that can utilize his talents!

12. Newcastle (7)-Oh how I drank me some Sam Allardyce Kool-Aid before the season only to see Kevin Keegan swoop in and still the Magpies are disappointing. At least their fans can still pretend like they’re a big club.

13.Middlesbrough (13)-Back on track, and the club’s name says it all.

14.Wigan (19)-Thought they were relegation-bound, but in fact had the steel to stay in the top flight after barely avoiding relegation a year earlier. The club should be lauded for this finish.

15.Sunderland (16)-Uh oh the transfer season is near and already Roy Keane is throwing money at useless players (as long as they used to play for Man U).

16. Bolton (15)-The fall was expected after Allardyce left and with Nicolas Anelka gone it was a surpriseBolton ever scored a goal.

17. Fulham (17)-If Brian McBride doesn’t return from injury, Team America is plummeting to the depths of the Championship.

18. Reading (14)-Disappointing after their eighth-place finish a season before and the fight they showed to get there. Reading should be back in the Premier League next season.

19. Birmingham (18)-I count this one as being right because relegation is relegation.

20.Derby (20)-One win against 29 losses and a negative-69 goal differential puts Derby in the argument as the worst top flight side ever.


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One Comment

  1. Philip!
    WOAH. congrats on the uncanny accuracy with which you placed Middlesbrough at 13th! That to me is the most astounding feat of your list, as everyone can guess who the mid-table horses are going to be but few can pin them down so deftly.