If you take a glance at the final Premier League table this season, are there really any shocks in where every team finished? Apart from an excellent 7th place for Wolves, there are no surprises anywhere else I believe.
The top six, are the top six as per usual. Man City and Liverpool have made the fight to be champions a lot more exciting than usual.
When looking at the three sides promoted, it was clear early on last season that Wolves were much better equipped to look after themselves in the top flight. Cardiff, with the experienced Warnock at the helm, were going to scrap and fight tooth and nail to survive. They weren’t too far from achieving their goal. Unfortunately, Fulham who made it through via the Play-Offs knew their team were not strong enough to survive the EPL. They decided to splash the cash on virtually a whole team of new players. This hardly ever works. It takes time to build a new squad, but it’s much harder for a team to bond quick enough in the top league. So, no real surprise to see our team fail miserably then.
Onto next season, back in the Championship. Do we really believe that this team that new manager Scott Parker puts together, especially if we lose a few of our best players, will be strong enough for another promotion push? Look at Norwich and Sheff Utd. Who would have given them a chance of automatic promotion? I believe Leeds will beat Villa in the Play-Off final and earn the 3rd spot. They should have really gained 1st or 2nd but fell away a bit of late. They have a strong team and hold possession well, and the manager is quality. So out of those three, I would suggest they would fare the best next season if promoted.
As for who will get promotion from the Championship, can you see another Wolves there? If Warnock stays, I would suggest Cardiff will be the team to beat, as they were never a push over this season. Then there are the usual contenders; Aston Villa, Derby and Middlesbrough who should all be battling for a top six place. Some of the ex-Premier League teams of recent years could be contenders, such as; Swansea, who have a great young team now, Hull City and Stoke City should be up there too.
So, Fulham’s chances of a swift return will be extremely difficult to say the least. If they do manage to keep the services of Sessegnon and Mitrovic, with Cairney, McDonald and the great return of Johansen and goalkeepers Bettinelli and Rodak to choose between, then they do have a chance. Two or three new defenders, preferably with EPL or Championship experience to bolster our leaky defence, and a good start to the new campaign is vital.
Nobody could predict the final Championship league table as easily as they could the Premier League one. That in my mind, makes next season more exciting than the one we have just witnessed, especially if you are a Fulham fan.
BRING IT ON! ……………………… COYW ……….
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