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The Other 14


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Early days already suggesting that the Super League Six are probably even more likely than ever to occupy the top six positions in the table.

However, it looks to me as if the other fourteen teams could finish in almost any order.

Most people fancy Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth to land near the bottom come the end of the season, but not with great confidence. Neither look to be obvious candidates for sub-30 points this season.

Recent favourites from the chasing pack, West Ham and Leicester, have had poor starts and currently sit in the bottom three.

Early pace-setters Brighton have won 4 of their first 6 games but have had a managerial change thrust upon them. You still wouldn't be that surprised to see them set the standard for the bottom 14 teams but that disruption can't help.

Fulham are the other disruptors currently sitting above Chelsea and Liverpool. A great start in meeting their probable pre season aim of 17th or higher but you'd be surprised to see them well into the top half like this further into the campaign.

After that, you've got 11 teams who have shown the full range of form through the opening rounds of the campaign, with either 1 or 2 wins each out of their first 7 games (although Leeds have only played 6 so could elevate themselves from this category).

So how are we calling it? Who's going to get 7th? Which teams will finish up in the top half? And who is likely to take the plunge? Because I find it almost impossible to pick a favourite for any of those questions so far.

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Forest are about where many may have predicted.

Bournemouth & Fulham, history would suggest they could go into free fall at some stage.

Leicester & West Ham would perhaps be expected to come good at some stage & surge toward mid table. But they are where they are for reasons.

Palace & Wolves, may be an even split of those who may have been expecting mid table, or near where they are right now.

Villa, Everton & Southampton always contenders for bottom 8. Probably all thankful for so many of the above, right now at least.

Leeds & Brentford 2 of the biggest wild cards, in that top half or relegation battle would not have surprised too many.

Newcastle look like relegation should not be on the agenda.

Unless Brighton's new manager goes badly wrong, mid table should be the worst it can get.

So, the only 2 I would rule out are Brighton & Newcastle.

Forest plus 2 more about as confident as I feel on the relegation places. And that I have a feeling 1 of Fulham & Bournemouth will survive. Which would mean someone less expected going.

Edited by Reluctant Striker
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9 minutes ago, Reluctant Striker said:

Palace & Wolves, may be an even split of those who may have been expecting mid table, or near where they are right now.

No Palace fan is expecting a bottom five finish with the squad we have.

We've played six games. Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Newcastle, Brentford and Villa. Six points is a good return and we will expecting to build upon it after the Chelsea game.

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1 hour ago, The Palace Fan said:

Is this a joke?

An exaggeration, perhaps. Not a joke. I did say "almost" on purpose. I don't think it's controversial to say that the favourites to finish high up have been worse than expected and the ones expected to flounder have actually done fairly well points-wise. All closer to the middle of that group than expected. Any team in that group right now could be forgiven for thinking a top half finish could be on the cards if a not-totally-unreasonable number of things go their way, or for thinking they're in for a relegation scrap if a not-totally-unreasonable number of things go against them.

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Bournemouth will go still, I'm sure of it as time goes on. They have had a little revival under Gary O'Neil but I don't think that would last over a 38 game season.

Fulham are the one's that have surprised me because they have bucked the initial trend they tend to have. They have positive momentum now which means they may turn over a couple results you'd normally expect them to lose.

Forest need to find their feet with such a huge turnover of signings. It was always going to take time although they will be feelibg the pressure so early having lost home games from winning positions to the two other promoted sides. Right now for me, they are like a leaky bucket, they have to stop conceeding at the rate they are or they are outta here.

Wolves is the early funny one for me. They won a lot of games 1-0 last season which was fine, but it's when they don't keep a clean sheet, they struggle. Got rid of Coady which for team spirit may have had an adverse effect, new signing Kalajdzic out for 6 months up front, and the episode with Willy Boly not turning up all points to possible issues with Lage. They simply dont score enough goals. It will be interesting to see how they progress.

Leicester do have the quality to get out this situation but they need to be careful they nip things in the bud quickly before the negativity bogs them down.

Keep an eye on Villa too. They don't look a great watch at all fot me, and I can see them struggling.

Hopefully, we will be ok. I've seen enough to suggest we will be and I think Everton have got a much better team spirit and solidarity now to grind out points needed.

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My 2 Cents worth.

Leicester are not looking good now but they do have good players to turn it around and I feel they can do that,   I would say Forest and Bournemouth are not that good,  even after they mugged a point it was fraught with luck and that will be the way for Bournemouth to dig in and try make enough muggings,  but in general play they are boring.    Forest are just a mish mash together team that is not loaded with much quality. 

City, Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool for top 4 with Chelsea and Man U missing out. 

For my team,  8th or 9th is a good showing or in points terms 55 points would be my target.    

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The table looks a bit skewed at the moment. Some of the traditional 'big six' a bit slow to get going but they have enough depth and money to burn in January to recover. Man Utd will end up fine under Ten Hag; Chelsea will click at some point under Potter; and Liverpool will find their mojo eventually. 

As for the rest, with no disrespect and not to ignore the strong starts they've had, but I can't see Fulham & Brighton keeping the pace. There's been some unexpected results for them to pick up the points they have, same goes for the likes of Bournemouth and perhaps Leeds. Brighton's have Liverpool, Spurs, Man City & Chelsea all in October, a tough month. 

Below them, and given that only 6 points separate 7th and 19th, it just emphasises how open it could be this year. No-one really stands out to make their mark, unlike previous seasons where one of Leicester, Wolves, West Ham looked likely to challenge the big six but ultimately fall short. 

Of course I hope we pull ourselves out of the rut and what gives me some element of hope that we'll be okay is that the gap isn't as big as it could be. A couple of wins (!) changes the picture somewhat. 

 

If I had to nail any colours to the mast, I'd probably opt towards Newcastle or Wolves doing enough to get 7th.

Palace have a well-rounded squad and decent talent to go on a good run I think. A tough start they've done well out of - their next 5 are all bottom half teams (Leeds, Leicester, Wolves, Everton, Southampton).

I do like the way Brentford play and just generally how they seem to be run, but they appear to be faltering after the Man Utd game - they will do well to finish top half.

Having said the above about the gap being small, perhaps the starts West Ham and Leicester have made have given us too much to do to claw back and solidify a 7th or 8th. Mid-table at best this season.

 

With no disrespect intended, I don't think Everton, Southampton, Villa, Forest, Leeds, Bournemouth, Fulham will have enough in them to be the best of the rest. 

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I will go by what I picked in Stans PL Prediction Thread.

1. Spurs
2. Man City
3. Liverpool
4. Man United
-------
5. Chelsea
6. West Ham
-------
7. Arsenal
---------------
18. Bournemouth
19. Nottingham Forest
20. Brentford

Nearly everyone was predicting a City/Liverpool battle for the top spot but I will pick Spurs to come good as they have a serial winner as a coach in Conte.

If United's ET Hag keeps Maguire out of the first 11 and doesn't give him the captain's armband back then I fancy us just squeezing into the 4th spot.

Edited by CaaC (John)
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4 hours ago, RandoEFC said:

An exaggeration, perhaps. Not a joke. I did say "almost" on purpose. 

I was going to say, if we finish bottom I'd be absolutely disgusted 😂.

I think we need another five games before determining if we have a bottom fourteen mini league just because of the fixture turn we're about to witness. Leicester, West Ham and Crystal Palace in particular have favourable fixtures now. If they can't turn it round then we could be looking at a wide birth of clubs in a relegation battle.

 

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Just on Villa, there is an interesting run of 8 games, before the World Cup break / Liverpool on Boxing Day.

Of the 8 games, only 2 are against Top 6 sides, Chelsea & Man United. It does also include Brighton & Newcastle. But by Christmas, it could be a much clearer picture as to where Villa will be.

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45 minutes ago, Dan said:

We're getting relegated I think. We've been literally Derby 2007/08 levels of bad and the manager seems to be untouchable. It's completely depressing.

I think whether or not you get relegated depends entirely on when they pull the plug on Rodgers.

If they wait until mid-December or later, I think you'll go down. Dunno why my brain has come up with "mid-December" as the cutoff, but it has.

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8 minutes ago, Dr. Gonzo said:

I think whether or not you get relegated depends entirely on when they pull the plug on Rodgers.

If they wait until mid-December or later, I think you'll go down. Dunno why my brain has come up with "mid-December" as the cutoff, but it has.

It's basically down to that and how long they let this madness go on whilst doing nothing, but I'm increasingly concerned they just don't see it the same way. I've heard the odd rumour saying it's to do with a severance payment but he should've gone a while ago for me, I've no faith in them to make the right decision.

It's completely crazy. I've never seen anything so stupid from this regime. I'm losing faith in them day by day. None of this is irrecoverable but I really think we're playing with fire.

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Still early. Teams that are supposed to threaten the top 6 spots have shit themselves so far though. Everton, West Ham, Leicester. Newcastle seem like a much more solid team but they need to back that up with wins rather than draws.

 

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30 minutes ago, Dr. Gonzo said:

I think whether or not you get relegated depends entirely on when they pull the plug on Rodgers.

If they wait until mid-December or later, I think you'll go down. Dunno why my brain has come up with "mid-December" as the cutoff, but it has.

November before the World Cup is basically mid-Dec. PL games don't restart until Boxing Day. 

 

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6 minutes ago, Stan said:

November before the World Cup is basically mid-Dec. PL games don't restart until Boxing Day. 

 

Oh yeah, I keep forgetting about the mid-season World Cup that FIFA has gifted us :thumbdown: - cunts.

Okay then I guess we'd have to move my deadline for when Rodgers has to be out for you to be alright to November then. My worry is if he's left too long to oversee the rot happening at Leicester, you keep seeing the same shit performances and results and it starts to negatively impact too many of your players confidence in a way I'm not sure can be turned around in half a season.

Having said that, stranger things have happened than a quick turnaround of fortunes after someone's been at the helm for too long and entrusted to stop a rot they started.

30 minutes ago, Dan said:

It's basically down to that and how long they let this madness go on whilst doing nothing, but I'm increasingly concerned they just don't see it the same way. I've heard the odd rumour saying it's to do with a severance payment but he should've gone a while ago for me, I've no faith in them to make the right decision.

It's completely crazy. I've never seen anything so stupid from this regime. I'm losing faith in them day by day. None of this is irrecoverable but I really think we're playing with fire.

Honestly, I can sort of understand the thinking of the Leicester board. Let's not forget: you're not too far removed from when you won the FA Cup. You've still got good players. It's easy for owners of a club to think Rodgers has the unlimited potential to grow a club - Rodgers is probably telling them that every time he talks to them (because he lives up his own arse) and he's had a decent track record with Leicester before he's lost the plot.

If you look at it from the angle of: he's been at 5 clubs now and only really lost the plot once - he doesn't have a big track record of things going tits up... it doesn't look so bad for him. If you look at it from the angle of: at the one club where things went very stale and he had absolutely no answers other than throwing his players under the bus and refusing to take any responsibility - and he's moved before that could happen anywhere else... I think it paints a pretty different picture.

And even then, I'm not sure that description is that accurate because I think he ran out of ideas pretty quickly at Reading and was sacked there pretty promptly before making his way to Swansea.

I think Rodgers is a decent short-term manager, but he's not someone you want overseeing a long-term project and once he's out of ideas at a club it's time for him to be let go promptly. He didn't build his best sides (Swansea & Suarez-era Liverpool & Leicester), he did add to them, but he didn't build them. And once it was time to properly rebuild for the future... he just doesn't know what to do next. He'll try square pegs in round holes and then blame the square pegs for not fitting into those holes.

Idk if you've got a DOF or not... but for your sake, I hope he's a good one because I think he's got quite a bit of work to do to try to salvage this season for you. He's got to find the right manager to replace Rodgers and work with your current squad... as well as prepare for the signings of the future, because the last few transfer windows have been quite poor for you in all honestly.

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44 minutes ago, Dr. Gonzo said:

Oh yeah, I keep forgetting about the mid-season World Cup that FIFA has gifted us :thumbdown: - cunts.

Okay then I guess we'd have to move my deadline for when Rodgers has to be out for you to be alright to November then. My worry is if he's left too long to oversee the rot happening at Leicester, you keep seeing the same shit performances and results and it starts to negatively impact too many of your players confidence in a way I'm not sure can be turned around in half a season.

Having said that, stranger things have happened than a quick turnaround of fortunes after someone's been at the helm for too long and entrusted to stop a rot they started.

Honestly, I can sort of understand the thinking of the Leicester board. Let's not forget: you're not too far removed from when you won the FA Cup. You've still got good players. It's easy for owners of a club to think Rodgers has the unlimited potential to grow a club - Rodgers is probably telling them that every time he talks to them (because he lives up his own arse) and he's had a decent track record with Leicester before he's lost the plot.

If you look at it from the angle of: he's been at 5 clubs now and only really lost the plot once - he doesn't have a big track record of things going tits up... it doesn't look so bad for him. If you look at it from the angle of: at the one club where things went very stale and he had absolutely no answers other than throwing his players under the bus and refusing to take any responsibility - and he's moved before that could happen anywhere else... I think it paints a pretty different picture.

And even then, I'm not sure that description is that accurate because I think he ran out of ideas pretty quickly at Reading and was sacked there pretty promptly before making his way to Swansea.

I think Rodgers is a decent short-term manager, but he's not someone you want overseeing a long-term project and once he's out of ideas at a club it's time for him to be let go promptly. He didn't build his best sides (Swansea & Suarez-era Liverpool & Leicester), he did add to them, but he didn't build them. And once it was time to properly rebuild for the future... he just doesn't know what to do next. He'll try square pegs in round holes and then blame the square pegs for not fitting into those holes.

Idk if you've got a DOF or not... but for your sake, I hope he's a good one because I think he's got quite a bit of work to do to try to salvage this season for you. He's got to find the right manager to replace Rodgers and work with your current squad... as well as prepare for the signings of the future, because the last few transfer windows have been quite poor for you in all honestly.

I think the confidence is shot anyway. The rut has truly set in. We can start games fine, score goals, but our game management is terrible - we're terrified of holding a lead because of how many times we've let it slip. We're terrified of conceding a corner because of how many times we've conceded a goal from them. 

I feel like you're the only one on here that gets where me and @Dan come from xD

As in, the things you state about Rodgers above is exactly how we feel - up his own arse, loves himself, throws players and everyone/everything under the sun under the bus, refusing to take responsibility.

Definitely agree now that he looks a short term manager. He tarnished his own legacy here after winning the FA Cup because of how its panned out. His stubbornness is his downfall. 

We've got a DOF - Jon Rudkin. He's got form for good signings. But equally good form for some absolute shockers. A new manager with a decent style and track record will give so much life to these players. 

 

There's two bits of irony here. A few months ago, Rodgers said we needed a 'refresh' - who'd have thought it'd be in the managerial sense? And the other bit of irony is that we could do with the Rodgers that was hired in Feb 2019 here, as opposed to the Rodgers we have now. 

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7 hours ago, Spike said:

Wolves have a great squad but they are so mediocre it’s impressive.

Raul Jimenez was just on the verge of possibly making a big money move to a big club before that horrific injury. 

Once he got that injury they collapsed as an attacking force. They are literally toothless.

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Forest and Bournemouth are bankers to go down for me, the other side will be one of Villa, Fulham, Brentford or Leeds.

I know three of those four are playing well at the moment but we always see teams collapse after good starts and I expect it to be Fulham if I'm honest.

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1 hour ago, 6666 said:

Still early. Teams that are supposed to threaten the top 6 spots have shit themselves so far though. Everton, West Ham, Leicester. Newcastle seem like a much more solid team but they need to back that up with wins rather than draws.

 

We don't really deserve to be mentioned in that category and won't be back in it for at least a couple more seasons, maybe longer. We've signed a lot of players this summer in order to re-establish a balanced squad, which I think has been largely successful, so credit to the club for that, but in order to do so we have had to compromise on quality in some areas. We've ended up with less players that worry me out on the pitch but also less players that I'd be worried about losing to a big club now that Richarlison has left.

Back on topic, Newcastle do seem to have a certain steadiness to their performance levels over the course of more than half a season now. Brighton should be near the top of this group unless they have a massive drop-off without Potter. Palace and Brighton seem to "look" the best out of the remaining teams but only have 1 and 2 wins respectively as of yet. Palace have played three of the top six to be fair though. The rest, uninspiring. If I forced to put money on it now, those four teams would probably be my most likely to fill 7th-10th.

I still can't see Leicester getting relegated. It's hard to identify obvious alternatives though. Bournemouth are your obvious pick but they've actually picked up some decent points despite having a pretty horrible start facing Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City in their first seven. I still think they'll ultimately struggle. Fulham seem to have something about them though, I don't think they'll stay up where they are but they have a good chance of hovering just above the scrap for me. I'd say the same about Leeds potentially. Forest should be really worried in my opinion. Four points from the first five games including Spurs and City looked alright but the back to back home defeats to Bournemouth and Fulham really put a different complexion on things as does West Ham's poor form when you factor in that's their only victory. West Ham themselves should be fine. Enough quality in that squad to put enough points on the board even if they end up having to sack Moyes to kickstart their season.

If you're a Leicester fan and things don't improve, you're probably looking at the Everton, Wolves, Southampton, Leeds, Aston Villa group and hoping that one of them starts looking really and consistently shit but all of those sides seem to have at least some grit and consistency about them to pick up results. I can't believe they haven't kicked Rodgers out already really looking at the last two defeats and the manner of them. A poor result against Forest next could be disastrous for them.

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I agree with the original post that last year's top 6 will be this year's big 6 now United have their act together.

What will be panicking a lot of teams is that Fulham have started the season incredibly well (Silva doesn't get nearly enough credit), Bournemouth are picking up wins against the teams around them and Forest, although likely to go down, are putting up a pretty big fight rather than going out with a whimper like Norwich and Watford did. I think Leicester and Wolves are the teams with the most to be worried about. I actually don't see Everton badly struggling, I just think mid-table for them. Villa are a bit more of an enigma.

 

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On 21/09/2022 at 18:16, CaaC (John) said:

I will go by what I picked in Stans PL Prediction Thread.

1. Spurs
2. Man City
3. Liverpool
4. Man United
-------
5. Chelsea
6. West Ham
-------
7. Arsenal
---------------
18. Bournemouth
19. Nottingham Forest
20. Brentford

Nearly everyone was predicting a City/Liverpool battle for the top spot but I will pick Spurs to come good as they have a serial winner as a coach in Conte.

If United's ET Hag keeps Maguire out of the first 11 and doesn't give him the captain's armband back then I fancy us just squeezing into the 4th spot.

John you know I love you but that is the worst leagie table prediction  I have ever seen xD

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I think Nottingham forest and Bournemouth go down. After that I dont know. Would of gone for fulham  but they look good. I don't think it will be Leicester or west ham I think they have good squads and if they don't start winning a managerial change will probably see either stay up. Newcastle should get 7th at least. I did fancy them to finish above us but we have been good so far this season. Of topic but I think spurs may get second. I think Chelsea will decline now over  the coming seasons. I'm not fishing I just dont think their owners seem to know what they are doing. 

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