Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Half way through the season - assessment

Spurs - on their day, more impressive than at any time for a long number of years but still susceptible to the (too frequent) off day. Inability to break down resolute defences (Stoke and Wolves at the Lane), coupled with continuing difficulties against the top three mean that capturing a Champions League spot remains a challenge. High points have been Aaron Lennon, the free flowing football when we're up for it and the emergence of Michael Dawson as a defender of real quality. At last, a new Mike England. Prediction - 4th by a whisker.

Everton - dangerously close to the drop zone and alarmingly content to be stealing home points against teams they would have beaten comfortably a few years ago. Two home wins certainly dispels the concept of fortress Goodison. Should improve with return of key players from injury but doubt remains that Moyes has taken them as far as he can and is burnt out. Sadly little money there to improve the quality of the squad or change the manager. Kenwright's beleaguered position also worrying. Club badly needs an injection of enthusiasm a la Big Dunc - a talisman is needed. Prediction - 14th.

Chelsea - surprisingly, the Russians have been stuttering badly and one begins to wonder whether the new manager is up to the job. Key players have gone flat (Lampard and Terry) and a new goalkeeper is an absolute priority. Should have enough in the tank to get over the finishing line first but it will be close. Likely to be stretched during African Cup of Nations but so will most teams, United aside. Prediction - 1st.

Leeds - look unstoppable in Division 1 and will be a welcome addition to the Championship. Doing what they have promised for the last couple of years and winning all around them. Bates will need to get the chequebook out if they want to impress at a higher level, but in the meantime Snodgrass and Beckford will see them through. Prediction - 1st Div 1.