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The Relegation Battle 2022


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It's that time of the year again

The table as of 12/02/22, before matchday games begin.

bottomhalf.png

Still a fairly open relegation battle and enough room for error for 10th to drop down if they really wanted to, though I'd say the battle is currently from Burnley to Brentford.

We've had a solidly bad run of form the past month losing 5 on the trott, think our record is 7 losses in 8 at the moment. Relegation form definitely, but a lot of that has been induced by injuries. Kristoffer Ajer who has been key to our ability to defend high up the pitch, and defend in general, has been out injured for about 8 games and has just returned. He also provides overlapping support on the right hand side which we have missed. David Raya has spent about 3 months out injured and his replacement just hasn't been good enough. Frank Onyeka has been in and out with injuriy and AFCON throughout the same period and Vitaly Janelt has also suffered injuries again throughout the same period. Also suffering more injuries at centre back to the point Janelt had to drop at LCB and he's a midfielder, and we now have 6 CB options.

We don't have the strongest squad overall, but we have a strong first 11 and if we have one or two players out for a game here or there then the squad is good enough. But if you're trying to replace 3-5 key players for long periods then we struggle and we've seen that.

We're now at a period where most of those players are back fit for us and more importantly, Josh Dasilva has finally made his return and will be lining up for a start soon after some sub appearances. Without doubt (at least pre-Eriksen) our best attacking midfielder. And then of course we now have Eriksen so it'll be interesting to see how that turns out.

I think this is a difficult battle to predict because there isn't really any dead and goners, Norwich looked like one but Dean Smith has rejuvenated them. Newcastle looked like one but the transfers they've made has given them a boost, as well as the takeover improving the general atmosphere around the club. Burnley were never actually performing that bad they just couldn't get results. Leeds aren't bad at all they just have a massive injury crisis. Watford are the only team you can potentially rely on to be shit, but who knows what Hodgson will get out of them, especially after the great work he dome with Palace. Everton will be hoping Lampard has it in him to turn them around but being honest they can't get any worse than under Rafa.

I'm banking on a Norwich, Burnley and Watford relegation but it could end up being a lot closer than it normally is.

Edited by Danny
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Burnley, Norwich and Warford for me.

Burnley have sold 200 away tickets for our fixture in two weeks. Shows how much the fans are up for this.

Norwich look more organised under Dean Smith but it may be too little too late. I'd be confident in another bounce back though.

Watford have had no bounce under Roy. I expected the first two results but that defeat is really disappointing.

 

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Yeah, if Newcastle and Everton put good runs together there might not be much of a battle at all. Leeds and Brentford look like the other teams that could potentially get drawn in but they're 6-7 points clear currently and apart from perhaps Norwich I just can't see the bottom three outscoring anyone by that much between now and the end of the season.

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Naturally, I'm worried about us being down there but equally, whilst those current bottom three occupy the relegation spaces, it feels a bit more reassuring.

This Burnley feels a bit different to the previous versions. For me, not beating Watford at home the other week was a big red flag. That's the games you have to win when down there and they just aren't pulling wins out the bag.

Personally, I feel we're the best footballing side down there but that doesn't count for much when we concede the amount of goals that we do. As disappointing as yesterday was, we do normally have goals in us so as much as we have struggled, we have one or two big wins in us like at West Ham the other week.

I think if most are honest, we'd all take the bottom three as they are now and gladly fuck them off. I get the 'it would be funny if Newcastle dropped' banter but I think this week has shown how good it is to see big clubs like them do well when the fans raise the bar as they have. St James' and Goodison were rocking and when you watch games at this level, that is what you want it to be and what it should be.

Edited by Lucas
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3 minutes ago, Spike said:

I still don’t get what a ‘big club’ is. Teams in big cities? Success? Hardcore local support?

It's a vague dick measuring contest. 

Manchester city are the most successful team of the decade, huge stadium, tallest flood lights, small club. 
Derby are in debt, useless for a decade and small stadium, never full. Big club because they used to be good? 

So in 20 years does that make man city a big club? 

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Just now, Devil-Dick Willie said:

It's a vague dick measuring contest. 

Manchester city are the most successful team of the decade, huge stadium, tallest flood lights, small club. 
Derby are in debt, useless for a decade and small stadium, never full. Big club because they used to be good? 

So in 20 years does that make man city a big club? 

Yeah that is what it always seemed to me. I’ve met fans from many countries and only the English have this nebulous concept of ‘big club’. Maybe they do but I never a Scot say, Aberdeen is a big club and that Partick Thistle is small time.

I guess most fans can’t say ‘haha my team won X’ because trophy is success is limited to the top 1% in England and they had to figure other ways to put down other fans

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25 minutes ago, Devil-Dick Willie said:

It's a vague dick measuring contest. 

Manchester city are the most successful team of the decade, huge stadium, tallest flood lights, small club. 
Derby are in debt, useless for a decade and small stadium, never full. Big club because they used to be good? 

So in 20 years does that make man city a big club? 

Derby a big club? Bad example to use as I doubt they've ever been a big club, by reputation or definition. 

Forest are probably a better example given the success in the 80s. Not been in the PL since 1999 (?) yet still famed for being a 'big club'. 

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30 minutes ago, Spike said:

I still don’t get what a ‘big club’ is. Teams in big cities? Success? Hardcore local support?

 

24 minutes ago, Devil-Dick Willie said:

It's a vague dick measuring contest. 

Manchester city are the most successful team of the decade, huge stadium, tallest flood lights, small club. 
Derby are in debt, useless for a decade and small stadium, never full. Big club because they used to be good? 

So in 20 years does that make man city a big club? 

You're both right to be fair, it's a cringeworthy term that some fans use.

City are the best team in the country right now and have been for a decade, they're laying the foundations now for an even brighter future and have a great mentality around the club.

Ultimately what matters is the now, and when clubs/fans/players get caught up in the hype of "we're a big club, we deserve to be higher", it just holds them back. Look at Liverpool, you could argue them being stuck in the past and banging on about how 'big' they were held them back for years. It's happening to United now, the whole mood around the club, from players, to former players and some fans(not all - make that clear) think they've got this god given right to be at the top because they're stuck in the past and "we're Man Utd". 

The lower down you go they're only really talking about fanbase, as clubs like Newcastle haven't won anything for 8 million years. 

It frustrates me when you hear stuff like "Yeah well Nottingham Forest deserve to be in the Premier League over Blackpool because they're a bigger club" No..... whoever gets to a position - deserves to fucking be there. 

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13 minutes ago, JoshBRFC said:

 

You're both right to be fair, it's a cringeworthy term that some fans use.

City are the best team in the country right now and have been for a decade, they're laying the foundations now for an even brighter future and have a great mentality around the club.

Ultimately what matters is the now, and when clubs/fans/players get caught up in the hype of "we're a big club, we deserve to be higher", it just holds them back. Look at Liverpool, you could argue them being stuck in the past and banging on about how 'big' they were held them back for years. It's happening to United now, the whole mood around the club, from players, to former players and some fans(not all - make that clear) think they've got this god given right to be at the top because they're stuck in the past and "we're Man Utd". 

The lower down you go they're only really talking about fanbase, as clubs like Newcastle haven't won anything for 8 million years. 

It frustrates me when you hear stuff like "Yeah well Nottingham Forest deserve to be in the Premier League over Blackpool because they're a bigger club" No..... whoever gets to a position - deserves to fucking be there. 

Maybe it is also a bit of ‘they were good when I was 10 and I value childhood nostalgia deeply as well as hating change’ 

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14 hours ago, Spike said:

I still don’t get what a ‘big club’ is. Teams in big cities? Success? Hardcore local support?

You’re a big club when you aren’t very good for 30 years and your club still manages to accumulate more trophies than most and dickheads around the world cry when you go on insane run to win the title.

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20 minutes ago, Dr. Gonzo said:

You’re a big club when you aren’t very good for 30 years and your club still manages to accumulate more trophies than most and dickheads around the world cry when you go on insane run to win the title.

So big clubs don’t exist?

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I've been touting Norwich & Burnley since Day One.

Getting it badly wrong with Watford though, who do look likely to be the 3rd side to go.

It would seem something of an injustice if Leeds, Everton or a few currently just above get sucked into it. And Newcastle seem to be turning a corner at the right time.

I struggle to see it as anything but 3 from the current bottom 4.

Edited by Reluctant Striker
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Worried about Leeds after that performance over the weekend.  Love Bielsa but he doesn't half bring some of the shit on himself with his stubbornness. 

Burnley are due and Watford seem hopeless.

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21 hours ago, Waylander said:

If Weghorst is out for an extended period I think this could be the season Burnley also go down.

 

I agree with this. He was easily Burnley's biggest threat against us - he actually looks like quite a good player despite his finishing looking a bit shit yesterday.

But without him I think Burnley will really struggle.

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  • 3 weeks later...

If I am a neutral right now with no bias, I'd be thinking it's Burnley v Leeds for survival.

Easy on the eye but with no follow through v Get it in the mixer for the big brick shithouses.

We know what usually prevails.

Gulp.

Screenshot_20220305-170455_LiveScore.jpg

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3 minutes ago, Lucas said:

If I am a neutral right now with no bias, I'd be thinking it's Burnley v Leeds for survival.

Easy on the eye but with no follow through v Get it in the mixer for the big brick shithouses.

We know what usually prevails.

Gulp.

Screenshot_20220305-170455_LiveScore.jpg

Everton are not exactly playing well either

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