If you’ve ever seen a man trip up in the street, land face first in a discarded kebab and then be attacked by a flock of ferocious urban pigeons AND you found the whole thing hilarious then you’re probably one of those fans that takes absolute delight from seeing Premier League teams crumble.
If you’re that kind of malevolent fiend, as most of us surely are, then this season is probably not yet meeting our thirst for failure. The true ‘Car Crash’ of a Premier League season is usually fully, and dramatically, established by this stage. But while Sunderland and Crystal Palace both appeared to be plummeting rather rapidly into the ‘abyss’ (a rather unflattering media depiction of the Championship) there are signs that they may not be the disaster we were all hoping for.
At Sunderland Paolo Di Canio’s reign of insanity and badly damaged suits is now over and the steadier influence of Gus Poyet has taken control. Already Poyet finds himself with a mountainous task to reinvent a team that was reinvented, rather unsuccessfully, just a few months ago. However, a win in the Tyne and Wear derby against Newcastle will certainly have lifted spirits. The fact that Di Canio achieved the same feat last season and then went on to emotionally and professionally implode is a stark reminder that there is plenty more work to be done. Poyet however, may well be the chap to turn their fortunes around and there are undoubtedly enough points left for Sunderland to salvage their season.
Palace have also jettisoned their manager, or at least Ian Holloway walked away from the job essentially for reasons that he was feeling a little bit sleepy. The future for Palace is not quite so optimistic as their fellow occupants at the foot of the table. Their squad seems ill equipped in terms of ability and mentality to cause problems for Premier League sides. Being battered by a Fulham team that has itself looked largely ineffectual was perhaps the writing on the wall that Palace should, as the patronising old cliché goes, just ‘enjoy the experience’.
Speaking of Fulham, they are quickly shifting from an outside tip for relegation to genuine contenders. Martin Jol has never particularly steered Fulham on an upward trajectory and despite such veteran quality as Berbatov, Bent, Parker and Sidwell they seem unable to establish a real identify for themselves. But before you reach for your pocket and slap your gas bill money on their relegation, it’s not inconceivable that they too might look for new leadership. And the right man in charge of that squad could well make enough of a difference.
Then there’s Norwich and given the amount they’ve spent, and the quality of their acquisitions, they should be doing better, according to https://sports.bwin.com/en/sports/4/betting/football . If they fail to gain any momentum a season of real hope for the Canaries could quickly become one of panic and regret.
As for the other new boys to the division Cardiff seem closer to the relegation fight than Hull, although, as a speculative punt, backing Hull to have a back-season collapse after their excellent start is not an impossibility.
Whoever it is that falls through the trapdoor and whoever’s fans we see on the final day of the season, weeping into their scarves and shaking an anguished fist at the sky one thing is certain. If it’s not your team, you’ll have a chuckle at their pain.