Monday, May 23, 2011

Picking over the relegated carcasses

By their very nature relegated teams are not overloaded with talent worthy of the Premier League. That is not to say that West Ham United, Blackpool and Birmingham City do not have players who will attract interest from top flight clubs. Some players are already the subject of approaches.

West Ham have a core of English players who, whilst generally have been disappointing this season, will be attractive due to their Premier League experience and native nationality. Scott Parker would be a decent addition to any Premier League squad, but Carlton Cole, Robert Green, Mark Noble and the out-of-contract Matthew Upson would do a job for most mid-table outfits. Those following the Premier League odds wouldn't be surprised to see these players in the top flight again next season.

The Upton Park hierarchy will want to retain the younger brigade to rebuild around, but Jack Collison, back to action after an injury nightmare, Freddie Sears, James Tomkins, Zavon Hines and Jordan Spence will surely have their head turns by top flight interest.

Charlie Adam is already packing his bags for a big move, but there are bargains to be had elsewhere in the Blackpool squad. DJ Campbell was the second highest Premier League scorer and can expect a bid, whilst journeymen such as Keith Southern, Ian Evatt and Alex Baptiste have proved themselves in the top flight relatively late in their careers.

Birmingham were the division's lowest scorers, so their strikers and creative players will not be under consideration and in fact the biggest target on their books might be an injured player. Scott Dann has been missing since January, breaking up his central defensive partnership with Roger Johnson, a big factor in the Blues' slide. Both men, along with the consistent Ben Foster and Craig Gardner will be on plenty of radars.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chelsea already planning for next title hunt

John Terry has issued a warning to Manchester United by stating that Chelsea are now focussed and determined on winning back their Premier League title next season.

The Blues captain saw his side effectively hand the title to United when they lost at Old Trafford at the weekend, meaning the Red Devils are six points clear with two games to go and need only one point to be crowned Premier League champions.

Chelsea endured a roller coaster of a campaign; they started off firing on all cylinders and looked like they would defend their Premier League title with ease.

Over the new year period they then slumped and went on the club's worst run for 15 years which put them 15 points behind United at one stage in the title race and the Premier League betting suggested they could struggle to make the top three.

Terry claims Chelsea need to be applauded for recovering from that position to put themselves in title contention for so long, but it was that slump that turned out to be "vital" in them handing their title to United.

But the England skipper reckons United should not get too attached to the trophy and it will not be long until Chelsea win the Premier League title again.

Speaking about losing, he stated: "It does hurt when you do it, and it drives you on as well.

"You get a focus for next year and we will be aiming to take it off them."

Newspapers reports have not begun speculating about the future at Chelsea and who they could sign to bolster their title bid for next season and those looking at the Premier League best odds need to bear this in mind.

The likes of Kaka and Javier Pastore have been linked with Stamford Bridge, but it remains to be seen who will be in charge as there is some speculation Carlo Ancelotti could leave the club.