Premier League Predictions 2009 – 2010

It’s that exciting time of the year again when European football starts anew. As much as I like scouring the gossip rags for potential player transfers, it’s no substitute for the enjoyment I get watching the league unfold week by week. Sitting, from my perspective, on the wrong side of the Atlantic Ocean, I’m in the curious position of lacking a real reason to support a particular side.

When I was about 10, my father returned from a trip to England with a t-shirt, hot off the presses, commemorating an Eric Cantona-inspired league title for Manchester United. Delighted to be probably the first person in Connecticut to own that particular shirt, I became a Man United supporter then and there. The few snippets of Champions League football shown on American TV over the next few years solidified my allegiance. Oddly, the two television moments I remember are Lee Sharpe scoring with an outrageous backheel and Nicky Butt firing over the bar, the announcer declaring that it just wasn’t to be United’s night.

More advanced age saw me play a great deal of Championship Manager, particularly the 2001/2002 vintage. I naturally brought Manchester United plenty of glory, with new signings Ruud van Nistelrooy and Juan Sebastian Veron basically unbeatable (more and less like real life). But I also became fascinated with the challenge and culture of the lower leagues, and soon established favorites in each of England’s professional divisions despite not being able to spot them on a map. The old Division 1 choice was Crewe Alexandra. In D2 it was Stoke City. In D3 it was Leyton Orient. And in the Conference, Farnborough.

At this point, I consider myself more a fan of the game than any particular team. Certainly I always find a reason to support one team over another during any given match, but I’d be delighted to see Everton, Aston Villa or even Fulham somehow win the league at the expense of my old favorite MUFC. This past spring, I attended the Man Utd v Liverpool match at Old Trafford, a 4-1 drubbing Manchester’s finest that was also my first live Premier League game. Needless to say, it was an incredible experience despite the scoreline, and I was left with the feeling that many Mancunians don’t appreciate how amazing it is to have one of the world’s best teams play in their city every fortnight.

And so I follow the action mostly via television and Internet. I’ve spent many a happy Saturday lounging on my couch with ale in hand and cat curled up on my chest. I feel I have as much right as anyone to make predictions for the coming season. And why not? It’s fun (even if my predictions from last year couldn’t have been more wrong if I’d tried). So without further ado, here’s how I think they’ll finish this season in the English Premier League, with each team’s key player in brackets.

  1. Chelsea [Frank Lampard]
  2. Liverpool [Steven Gerrard]
  3. Manchester United [Wayne Rooney]
  4. Arsenal [Andrei Arshavin]
  5. Tottenham [Luka Modric]
  6. Manchester City [Robinho]
  7. Everton [Tim Cahill]
  8. Aston Villa [Ashley Young]
  9. Sunderland [Darren Bent]
  10. West Ham [Dean Ashton]
  11. Fulham [Clint Dempsey]
  12. Blackburn [Nikola Kalinić]
  13. Wigan [Jason Scotland]
  14. Bolton [Kevin Davies]
  15. Stoke City [Rory Delap]
  16. Wolves [Michael Kightly]
  17. Hull City [Alvaro Negredo]
  18. Portsmouth [Niko Kranjčar]
  19. Birmingham City [Seb Larsson]
  20. Burnley [Chris Eagles]

Champions: Chelsea

FA Cup: Arsenal

League Cup: Manchester United

Champions League: Barcelona

Disagree? Of course you do. Feel free to submit your predictions in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Premier League Predictions 2009 – 2010”

  1. Terrific post, even if I don’t completely agree with your predictions. I do, however, agree about being on “the wrong side of the pond” – my husband and I would pack up the family and move across in a heart beat if the opportunity arose. Like you, I have no “real” reason to have developed an affinity for one side over any other, but have become a relatively rabid Manchester United supporter over the last few years. In 2001 I broke my foot badly enough to be in a hard, non-walking cast for 6 weeks, and put on MSG to keep me company while working remotely from my couch with my foot in the air. I figured, “hey, it’s a soccer game, how could it possibly distract me?” Oh boy was I wrong – I found myself glued to the game, amazed at what the players were doing, much of which would have caused my kneecaps to spontaneously dislocate had I attempted any of it. Of course the team was Manchester United, in the midst of their summer tour of America, and I started following them online after that. Now I’m about as die-hard a fan as an American can be.

    That said, I’d like to respond to your predictions with my own. While I disagree with your choice of Prem winner, I reluctantly admit that I think my beloved Manchester will not retain the crown for a 4th year in a row. No matter how much wishing I do. I do, however, think Ferguson is going to throw everything at the Champions League – not sure why but I have a feeling he may see another CL trophy as his final act before going home to annoy his wife full-time.

    1. Arsenal
    2. Manchester United
    3. Chelsea
    [note: I think this will be the real battle of the season, and don’t think any more than a point will separate them at the end]
    4. Everton
    5. Manchester City
    6. Liverpool
    7. Aston Villa
    8. Tottenham
    9. Fulham
    10. Wigan
    11. Bolton
    12. Stoke
    13. Hull
    14. Blackburn
    15. Sunderland
    16. West Ham
    17. Wolves
    18. Burnley (I think they’ll surprise, but not enough)
    19. Portsmouth
    20. Birmingham

    FA Cup: Chelsea
    League Cup: Everton
    Champions League: Manchester United

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