Originally published on Sixth Feb
Football is back! It's finally back! As such, its time to dive into some predictions that will be completely forgotten after the first set of results prove them to be completely meaningless. Unless they are somehow accurate at the end of the season, in which case I will be retiring from football journalism to become a full time Paul the Octopus impersonator. I'm pretty sure there's more money in that anyway.
15. Watford/ Leicester City
Quique Sanchez Flores was a Europe League winning manager, who led Watford to a comfortable 13th place finish on their first attempt. Mazzarri is a manager who took over Inter after they finished 9th, and was sacked for somehow still being there a year and a half later. So obviously to the Pozzo family, Mazzari is a man who can improve a team, while Flores has reached his ceiling. The fact that Flores is only in charge of Espanyol now is obviously proof that no clubs as big as Watford trust him.
16. Swansea City/ Leicester City
I'll be honest with you, I forgot Swansea were in the Premier League. This is very much a case of "hmmm, someone has to finish 16th I guess." They really have become quite irrelevant since Laudrup won the League Cup three years ago. Back then they were THE lower league success story. Southampton and Leicester have usurped that title somewhat. For god's sake, Jamie Vardy is getting a Hollywood biopic. Swansea City, on the other hand, are apparently very excited about buying Borja Baston. He was last seen playing at Eibar.
17. Bournemouth/ Leicester City
Have you heard of Eddie Howe? Apparently he's the next big thing in British management! Yeah, I hadn't heard of him before either! Maybe the media are giving him a break, and letting him develop at his own pace. I mean, can you imagine the kind of pressure he would be under if they had linked him to the national job after only a couple of decent seasons? It's a good thing they aren't putting too much pressure on him to become the country's great managerial hope. I'm sure Bournemouth can only benefit from having a man in charge that won't have to answer for every little mistake on his learning curve.
18. Burnley/ Leicester City
This summer has been dark for fans of British managers. Ever since Sam Allardyce was appointed manager of England, it's been hard to decry the FA and the media as anti-local managers. No longer could we complain about how British managers are underrated compared to those 'foreigns.' Yet, there is hope! Here comes our ginger savior, astride on his Irish hare! Sean Dyche, the new carrier of the mantle proclaiming "Hey, I'd be offered a top four job if my name was Sean Dici."
19. Leicester City
The more astute readers may have noticed that I have placed Leicester's name alongside every position in this prediction. That is because I am legally obliged to say that I have no idea where they are going to finish this season. With no betting companies claiming 5000-1 odds of them finishing in any particular position, how else is an intelligent pundit supposed to make an educated guess as to how Leicester will do?!
20. Hull City
I may get into legal trouble for not predicting Leicester to finish dead last, but even I'm not stupid enough to assume that they will finish lower than a Hull side attempting to break Derby's record for least points in a season. When you don't have a manager, no incoming transfers, and Abel Hernandez as your best player, the only direction is down. It's only a question of when their relegation will be confirmed. I'm going to plump for Christmas because, well, schadenfreude more than anything else. I think I might be a little sadistic.
To read parts 1 and 2, click here