Right, back from holiday, off to the football today. We haven't bought season tickets this year for reasons I've mentioned elsewhere. Still massively underwhelmed by football as a whole. There is something even more vapid and manipulative about it. But still...
Here are my predictions for the league.
2 Manchester United
3 Manchester City
7-16 I have to say I've totally lost interest in doing this already. There is just no excitement in it. Here are the three that I think will go down:
18 Blackburn Rovers
19 Queen's Park Rangers
20 Swansea City
FA Cup: Chelsea
Champions League: Barcelona
League One: Sheffield United
League Two: Crawley Town
Why so pessimistic about Rovers? We've lost three of the most influential players of last season - and three potentially big players for the one to come - Phil Jones, Jermaine Jones and it looks like Chris Samba will go too. I liked Kalinic, he could still be a decent Premier League player, but he's gone too. They are all big holes to plug. Who is there to replace them? Last season's pretty boys - Rochina and Formica - still have to get games under their belts and to learn. There isn't time to do that. Same with this David Goodwillie, the Scottish striker will not make it in time, the gulf in quality is a chasm. It will be Keith Andrews all over again.
There is chronic instability throughout the club, which matters. Sure the chief executive doesn't pull on a shirt and play a game, but the lack of one contributes to Steve Kean's uphill task. He will not be able to attract the game changing players that are needed and he doesn't have the network to do quick fixes.
If any of that is misplaced, offensive, or you think it is disloyal, then I'm sorry. This is one of those issues where I desperately want to be wrong.