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What they want & what they will get: Premier League club-by-club guide

January 1, 2012

It seems most websites which have an interest in the happenings of the English Premier League are putting together articles citing what people can expect teams to do in this latest transfer window and for what remains of the current campaign. Highlighting perceived weaknesses both on and off the field, the writer/compiler will state what a team needs (opinion wrapped in the myth of portrayed “factual” evidence) which seems to miss the point with a league where everything is about the desires of those in power. It is what clubs want which is a core aspect of the Premier League not what fans desire. While the Premier League insists it put the fans first, let’s be honest it doesn’t unless you have fairly deep pockets. Needs and wants are two different things and so without further ado here is an attempt to look at what the clubs want and what the likely reality will be for each of the twenty clubs participating in England’s self-appointed best league. Please note that likely reality is subject to change in perception due to smiley happy football fans holding hands and ignoring the horrors that are meant to befallen onto them.

ARSENAL

What do they want?

Thierry Henry to return for a few months and inspire Arsenal to push on back into the title picture. Also to spend as little as possible, perhaps making on medium-sized signing to appease those fans desperate to see the club spend its hard-earned profits.

What will they get?

Thierry Henry to return for a few months and inspire nostalgia bordering on the benign, where written press will label him as a “huge influence” on Arsenal’s 23 year-old kids while he performs to a distinctly underwhelming average level.

ASTON VILLA

What do they want?

The fans to be convinced that Alex McLeish is not an agent sent from the Blue Noses to infiltrate their lair and cause significant damage to any hope Villans had of restoring anything resembling previous glories.

What will they get?

Fans who will not be convinced that Alex McLeish is not an agent sent from the Blue Noses to infiltrate their lair and cause significant damage to any hope Villans had of restoring anything resembling previous glories. They can still see through those few decent results which serve to merely cover up the wrong doings at hand.

BLACKBURN ROVERS

What do they want?

Bank money and people to stop asking so many questions as to just what the hell is going on. Steve Kean to become a media darling despite his obvious inadequacies.

What will they get?

Bank money and people who will not stop asking so many questions as to just what the hell is going on. Steve Kean to become a media darling despite his obvious inadequacies.

BOLTON WANDERERS

What do they want?

Owen Coyle to bring them back from the depths of relegation contention and to restore Bolton to mid-table, a land where they will prosper into nothing more due to a disdain of spending caused by a rather large financial loss.

What will they get?

Owen Coyle falling on his sword after relegation and questions as to what the club’s strategy actually was and indeed is.

CHELSEA

What do they want?

Andre Villas-Boas’ methods to bring results as soon as possible and for people to applaud them for signing an average English centre-back as opposed to a better but foreign centre-back.

What will they get?

Andre Villas-Boas’ methods to be applauded and derided in equal measure and for their signing of an average English centre-back to be ignored as quite frankly, nationalism is not high on the media priorities until May at the earliest.

EVERTON

What do they want?

Fans who understand that Bill Kenwright doesn’t just want to sell to anyone but someone who would have the best interests of the club at heart. David Moyes to get “I love Everton forever IDFST” on one of his buttocks.

What will they get?

Angry fans who don’t understand why Kenwright won’t sell to anyone with a large sum of preferably foreign currency.

FULHAM

What do they want?

To be back in the snug warmth of “comfortable” mid-table. People to finally understand the reason why the Michael Jackson statue was erected and not to make jokes of Jackson being erect outside the family area at Craven Cottage.

What will they get?

Bust-up rumours, shocking departures and safety while still speaking of their heritage in ways only a little club in London can.

LIVERPOOL

What do they want?

Kenny Dalglish to regenerate into a young spritely manager to take Liverpool back to where their fans believe they should be.

What will they get?

Kenny Dalglish to continue the ageing process and for fans of other teams to continue aiming their laughter at Liverpool fans who continue to believe they are the biggest club in England.

MANCHESTER CITY

What do they want?

Everything that Manchester United claim to have. And for Mario Balotelli to “mature”.

What will they get?

A lot but not quite everything just yet. And more importantly, Mario Balotelli to not “mature”.

MANCHESTER UNITED

What do they want?

Money and to supplant Barcelona as kings of Europe despite possessing a midfield lacking a genuine top-draw talent.

What will they get?

Money and Channel 5 to firmly press their lips on Sir Alex’s arse no matter what bands of merry men he sends into battle in the European club competition that shall not be named.

NEWCASTLE UNITED

What do they want?

To continue exploiting people whose emotional ties are “too deep” for them to turn around and boycott the club and to keep those exploited dreaming of Europe.

What will they get?

Just that.

NORWICH CITY

What do they want?

Safety, Paul Lambert to not be seduced by offers from sunnier climes and for Grant Holt to become England’s top striker.

What will they get?

Safety, Paul Lambert to stay (for the time being at least) and Grant Holt to be routinely ignored by the national team set-up.

QUEENS PARK RANGERS

What do they want?

Their band of cast-offs to work as hard as Neil Warnock claims to and to be safe from the dreaded trap-door to the Football League. Adel Taarabt to actually play as he says he can.

What will they get?

Neil Warnock to still not quite know how to manage players who’ve played nearer the top of the sport and for them to look safe with a few games to play only to be hammered and to fall out of the top division with barely a whimper.

STOKE CITY

What do they want?

Secretly, they want to be universally accepted and respected regardless of their tactical technique. Publically, what they want is to continue to surpass expectations.

What will they get?

Purists denying Stoke the acceptance they secretly crave and the respect they feel they deserve. They will insist on their use of Ryan Shawcross after all.

SUNDERLAND

What do they want?

To be the top team in the north-east as soon as possible and to beat their nearest rivals to a place in Europe.

What will they get?

A highly motivated team albeit one tactically non-descript who will be in the upper mid-table grouping, with their laughter aimed in the direction of the Sports Direct Arena.

SWANSEA CITY

What do they want?

To be vindicated in their continuation of their “fashionable and attractive” style of play by being safe from relegation.

What will they get?

Continuing their “fashionable and attractive” style of play, they slump into the bottom three and fail to break free from the Football League’s clutches.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

What do they want?

To be everyone’s “breath of fresh air” to the sharing of the title race being played out in Manchester. For people to stop thinking that Gareth Bale is the missing link and for Harry Redknapp to resist the call of his country.

What will they get?

Fifth place, Bale is actually found to be the missing link and for Redknapp to join the Army, sorry, to become England’s next manager.

WEST BROMWICH ALBION

What do they want?

To become the Midlands number one club thanks to the steady hands of the club’s board and Roy Hodgson while all amongst them lie in turmoil of some description.

What will they get?

The honour of being the team most likely to be forgotten about when someone writes the first draft of an article about all of the clubs in the Premier League: the greatest sign of mid-table mediocrity.

WIGAN ATHLETIC

What do they want?

To be liked by neutrals not just because of their manager’s approach but because they are a real top-flight football club.

What will they get?

Liked because of their manager’s approach and not much more. They are perhaps the perfect indication of what the Premier League is about.

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS

What do they want?

People to stop doing Mick McCarthy impersonations and to try and make actual solid steps to being an established top-flight team rather than little scurries before sliding back towards the relegation trapdoor.

What will they get?

Mick McCarthy impersonations to carry on and to stay in the Premier League for another season as quite frankly, there are at least three less-talented teams in the league than them.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 5, 2012 22:00

    Enjoyed that, though as one of the Newcastle United fans who have managed to cut their ties with the Premier League I’m compelled to point out that the ‘exploited’ tag could be justifiably aimed at fans of 18 or 19 other clubs in the division. Arsenal and the hundred quid tickets, Manchester United fans paying the Glazers to own their team…

    Sunderland fans aiming something other than envious looks at St James’ Park? That’ll be the day. I doubt they even know where Europe is 😉

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