wyart lane's 2009-2010 season preview


For Arsene times are hard.  He couldn't see them coming, but the cold winds of change are blowing through the marble effect halls of Highbury.  No money from the building of the new ground.  No money from the sale of properties at the old one.  It is surely the time that he must start realising that you win nothing with kids.

His side has been stripped of two of it's more experienced players, albeit with Manchester City gifting them £41 million for them, but the players that won them trophies in the past are long gone and Patrick Vieira was being touted as one to come back, but hasn't yet.

The big victory this season will be to finish above Manchester City, but don't write off the ex-Arsenal pair of Toure and Adebayour to put one over their old team-mates, as their bling blinds the Arsenal defence .. .or what's left of it.

Still should have enough to finish top five, but Arsene's abilities will be put to the test.

Finish : -   5th
Signing another player
Credit crunch leads to crash in number of confectionery outlets in Holloway Road area

Thomas Vermaelen (£10m from Ajax)








Abu Agogo (free to Dagenham & Redbridge)
Amaury Bischoff (released)
Anton Blackwood (released - now Tottenham Hotspur)
Rui Fonte (released)
James Dunne (released)
Paul Rodgers (released)
Rene Steer (released)
Vincent van den Berg (released)
Havard Nortveit (loan to Lillestrom)
Emmanuel Adebayor (£25m to Manchester City)
Kolo Toure (£16m to Manchester City)
Pedro Botelho (loan to Celta Vigo)

Aston Villa
With Randy Lerner still feeling his way to the bottom of his pockets, it is a weird time at Villa Park.  There has been money available, but MON doesn't seem to have been able to spend it except on a player who is injured until December.  Downing might be fresh when others are flagging, but where will Villa be then ?

Their charge to near the top of the table dropped off when they drew a lot of games and their players didn't seem to know what to do, with the team ending up in a Europa League spot when their season promised much more.

The injury to Laursen which has caused his retirement and one to Bouma didn't help, but they had a good young crop of players who might have been over-played in the first half of the season.  I reckon the idea this summer was to boost the squad to allow rotation, but with a longer Europa League campaign ahead, combined with only a few incoming signings, means it could be a long haul for the Villains.

Finish : -    8th

Draw against one of the top four


Embarrassing losses to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City see Martin O'Neill leave to become manager of West Bromwich Albion, as they liked his jumping up and down on the touchline so much they thought he would be the ideal boss for the Boing Boing Baggies.


Courtney Cameron (undisclosed from Northampton)
Stuart Downing (£12m from Middlesbrough)
Fabian Delph (£8m from Leeds United)
Habib Beye (undisclosed from Newcastle United)
Andy Marshall (free - unattached)


Gareth Barry (£12m to Manchester City)
Stuart Taylor (undisclosed to Manchester City)
Martin Laursen (retired)
Zat Knight (undisclosed to Bolton Wanderers)


Birmingham City
When your own manager says the squad isn't good enough to stay in the Premier League, it doesn't fill a Bluenose with confidence on the eve of the new season.  So, City might find it a long season ahead, with the removal of the tax investigations over their directors' heads, the latest iceberg on the horizon is the return of Carson Yueng, who wants to buy the club again (after failing last time) and part owner David Gold believed ready to sell up and buy West Ham for himself.

Meanwhile ... back on the pitch, Alex McLeish has surrounded himself with some exotic buys and some well known faces to try to fight the club's way to Premiership survival.  For some players, Lee Bowyer, Barry Ferguson, Frank Queudrue, Lee Carsley, Liam Ridgwell, Stephen Carr and Kevin Phillips, they have all been in the top flight before, but this will be their last crack at it.  Some will be too long in the tooth to cut it, but with the wisdom of hind-sight, they will be hoping to keep their extraction from the Prem a possibility, but I think they they will be extracted by the end of May.

Finish : -    19th
Kick off of new season - hopeful, new kit and sunshine.  It was all downhill from there.
Their final position

Gregory Vignal (undisclosed from Lens)
Cristian Benitez (£9m from Santos Laguna)
Scott Dann (£3.5m from Coventry City)
Giovanny Espinoza (undisclosed from Barcelona SC)
Joe Hart (loan from Manchester City)
Roger Johnson (£5m from Cardiff City)
Stephen Carr (free from Newcastle United)
Lee Bowyer (free from West Ham United)
Barry Ferguson (£1m from Rangers)
James O’Shea (undisclosed from Galway United)



Scott Sinclair (end of loan - back to Chelsea)
Jamie Sheldon (released)
Dean Lyness (released)
Semih Aydilek (released)
Artur Krysiak (released)
Radhi Jaidi (released)
Mehdi Nafti (free to Aris Salonika)
Stephen Kelly (undisclosed to Fulham)
Robin Shroot (loan to Burton Albion)
Carlos Costly (end of loan - back to GKS Belchatow)
Kemy Agustien (end of loan - back to AZ Alkmaar)
Krystian Pearce (loan to Peterborough United)
Semih Aydilek (free to Kayserispor)

Blackburn Rovers
Sam Allardyce knows what he is doing.  Building a squad full of "never heard of 'ems" from near and far to form a team worthy of filling a bottom half berth,  While some of his signings this summer have potential to be talented individuals - Di Santo and Kalinic - two of the others have been on loan in the Premier League last season (otherwise you wouldn't have known them from Adam) and the other two are players you wouldn't know from Adam.

One thing he will demand from his players is that they are fit and organised.  The thrill factor of a couple of seasons ago when Roque Santa Cruz was knocking goals in for fun has gone and the Bolton style will somnambulise the crowd into permanent attendance by being induced to sleep and never going home.

When one of the star performers for the club is Keith Andrews, who was with MK Dons the season before last, either he has made a dramatic leap up to Premier League level or the rest of the squad are of MK Dons level. 

Should survive, but only because MK Dons are in League One.

Finish : -  13th
The height reached by the ball as it was pumped forward to Christian Samba being played as a forward.
Finding out that they are no longer the biggest club between them, Bolton and Burnley.

Elrio Van Heerden (free from Club Brugge)
Gael Givet (undisclosed from Marseille)
Lars Jacobsen (free from Everton)
Steven N’Zonzi (£1.7m from Amiens)
Franco di Santo (loan from Chelsea)
Nikola Kalinic (£6m from Hadjuk Split)





Aaron Mokoena (free to Portsmouth)
Roque Santa Cruz (£18m to Manchester City)
Matt Derbyshire (£3m to Olympiakos)
Josh O’Keefe (undisclosed to Walsall)
Andre Ooijer (free to PSV Eindhoven)
Tony Kane (free to Carlisle United)
Tugay (retired)
Keith Treacy (loan to Sheffield United)
Mark Bunn (loan to Sheffield United)
Alan Judge (loan to Plymouth Argyle)
Alex Marrow (loan to Oldham Athletic)
Gavin Gunning (loan to Tranmere Rovers)

Bolton Wanderers
Gary Megson has done alright at Bolton since he took over as manager from Sammy Lee, unless you are a Bolton fan.  Maybe they would have been happier with where Lee was taking them, but a mid-table placing has been less than they expect from Megson.

In truth, Bolton were punching above their weight for much of their time under Allardyce and he must take much of the credit for getting the collection of free transfers and old-timers to perform to a collective higher level than anyone thought they could achieve.

Now, the manager has made a few decent signings, as he tries to add to what he already has.  A good keeper, a solid defence, a hard working midfield and strikers who know what is expected of them.  Their ambition was shown by being linked with some top players this season, but it would take a persuasive tongue to get them to go to Bolton and they may suffer a little this season in comparison with some of the other mid-table clubs this season, but won't go down.

Finish : -   14th
A Bolton fan is heard cheering Gary Megson's name without the word "Out" after it.
New signing Sam Ricketts diagnosed with rickets.  They should have seen that it was what was on the tin.

Sean Davis (free from Portsmouth)
Paul Robinson (loan from West Bromwich Albion)
Zat Knight (undisclosed from Aston Villa)
Sam Ricketts (undisclosed from Hull City)
Lee Chung-Yong (Undisclosed from FC Seoul)



Blerim Dzemaili (undisclosed to Torino)
Tope Obadeyi (loan to Swindon Town)


Newcomers through the play-offs, Burnley face a season against the big boys after having success against some of them in the up competitions.  While they have had played some good football against Premier League sides over the last couple of seasons, Owen Coyle has them pretty well organised and at home they are a tough proposition, but away from home they don't seem to be as frightening.

The signings made for the Premier League campaign are less than inspiring, but will give effort and are the sort of player Coyle wants in his side, but Edgar and Mears have failed to make a mark previously and the others are players who do not inspire. 

The Turfites will get the odd result against the top half teams, but will find it a different kettle of fish playing top flight teams week in, week out, so may be heading back from whence they came.

Finish : -   20th
Wins over Man U, Liverpool and Chelsea
Being mistaken for West Ham

Steven Fletcher (£2.9m from Hibs)
Tyrone Mears (£400k from Derby County)
David Edgar (free from Newcastle)
Brian Easton (£350k from Hamilton)
Richard Eckersley (undisclosed from Manchester United)Fernando Guerrero (loan from Independiente del Valle)


Alan Mahon (free to Tranmere Rovers)
Gabor Kiraly (released)
Steve Jones (released)
Alex MacDonald (loan to Falkirk)


Never the most loveable of clubs under Mourinho and Scolari, Hiddink did much to re-form people's views of the side, so Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping to follow on the Dutchman's good work.  However, his prime aim will be to win things more important to Roman Abramovich than the FA Cup.

Sturridge is an interesting signing, as firstly he is English and secondly, not a top player just yet, so perhaps the Pensioners are looking to build for the future.  Turnbull had been less than impressive playing for Middlesbrough, so I am not sure what the thinking behind his signing was, although it is a bit clearer in buying Zhirkov and there will be more to come, with Pirlo being regularly linked with Chelsea.

There are things about Chelsea that raise questions.  Have Lampard and Terry reached the end of their shelf life at the club, will Cech have another dodgy keeper season and will Drogba be that motivated now he has his new deal ?  I think that they have the capacity to grind out results, which means that they can bore people into submission, but will the new coach have them trying to win in style or just win ?

Finish : -   2nd
Reaching the FA Cup Final again, winning a penalty shoot out against Manchester United
Reaching the Champions League Final again, only to lose on a penalty shoot out to Manchester United

Ross Turnbull (free from Middlesbrough)
Daniel Sturridge (tribunal fee from Manchester City)
Scott Sinclair (loan return from Birmingham City)
Yuri Zhirkov (£18m from CSKA Moscow)




Ben Sahar (£860k to Espanyol)
Slobodan Rajkovic (loan to FC Twente)
Jimmy Smith (free to Leyton Orient)
Tom Taiwo (loan to Carlisle United)
Miroslav Stoch (loan to FC Twente)
Ryan Bertrand (loan to Reading)
Frank Nouble (undisclosed to West Ham United)
Morten Nielsen (free to AZ Alkmaar)
Sergio Tejera (free to RCD Mallorca)
Franco di Santo (loan to Blackburn Rovers)
Scott Sinclair (loan to Wigan)
Patrick Van Holt (loan to Coventry City)
Michael Mancienne (loan to Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Jacob Mellis (loan to Southampton)

Always give 100% (more is not physically possible) under Moyes.  Everton are dynamic and with Arteta back, will have a dash of panache to add to that, but it is still the lack of spending that holds the Scot back from taking the Toffees further.

No real significant out-goings, despite Manchester City's protracted interest in Lescott, so they should all know each other and with Jo up front again, there is the real possibility of a regular goal-scorer getting a fair haul.  The other signings up to now are unknowns, so they will be on the fringes of what has to be a mainly youthful squad, but when injuries hit last season, Everton struggled. 

With Cahill, Howard, Fellaini, Arteta and Jagielka, there is the spine of a decent side, so if they can keep everyone fit they will be up for a Europa League place, but how long before that isn't enough for Moyes ?

Finish : -   6th
Finding out just in time that a secret Middle-Eastern benefactor wanting to buy the club was really Mike Ashley going to a fancy dress party
Receiving unbelievable stick for their pink and blue away strip

Mustafi Shkodran (undisclosed from Hamburg SV)
Anton Peterlin (nominal from Ventura County Fusion)
Jo (loan from Manchester City)
Luke Garbutt (£300k from Leeds United)


Andy van der Meyde (released)
Lars Jacobsen (free to Blackburn Rovers)
Nuno Valente (released)
John Ruddy (loan to Motherwell)
John Paul Kissock (undisclosed to Hamilton)

A surprise entry into the Europa League courtesy of some shrewd coaching by Roy Hodgson, Fulham were a team who got results when least expected to last season.  Some of his players were playing above expectations, with the whole side coming together for some point gathering victories which took them into the coveted seventh place to take the last place for Europe.

Much of the success of the last Premier League season rested on Mark Schwarzer being in uncharacteristically good form in goal and with strapping centre half Brede Hengeland in front of him, the defender has become a "must have" purchase this summer.  If they can hang on to him they will be a better side this season for it. 

There has been little movement at the Cottage up to now and if Hodgson is to do as well as last season, he will need to be able to motivate the side to great things, but with other sides around him strengthening, it might be a tough call to get them back into Europe unless they win the Europa League.

Finish : -   9th
Roy Hodgson earning a Harrods gold card from Mohamed Al-Fayed for getting Fulham into Europe.  Unfortunately, it doesn't work in the transfer market.
Bjorn Helge Riise is revealed not to be the brother of John Arne Riise, as Helge is revealed in the players tattoos as being an assumed name.

Stephen Kelly (undisclosed from Birmingham City)
Bjørn Helge Riise (undisclosed from Lillestrøm)


Moritz Volz (released)
Collins John (free to Roeselare)

Hull City
For the first half of last season they looked candidates for the Champions League.  For the second half, more like candidates for the drop, with so many points shed, you would have thought the Tigers had distemper.  With a relatively older squad than many in the top division, Phil Brown did what he thought necessary to keep them up, by giving the half time team talk on the pitch in one game and dealing with temperamental stars for their antics in his own way, but he did what was wanted from him, with a last day reprieve.

This time around, he has been trying to bring in a better quality of player to add to his strong, trusted core.  Some of the names he has bought are in the mould of previous signings, so it will be interesting to see if they add the quality he is looking for to keep the them afloat.

I feel that there might be a more evenly spread accumulation of points across the season this time, as the side will have benefitted from one season in the Prem, but they will still be there or thereabouts at the bottom at the end of the season.

Finish : -   16th
Phil Brown asks the children if they would like lessons outside today.
Dean Windass returns as an emergency striker on loan when injuries strike and the catering bill doubles.

Steven Mouyokolo (undisclosed from Boulogne)
Jozy Altidore (loan from Villarreal)
Seyi Olofinjana (£3m from Stoke City)
Stephen Hunt (undisclosed from Reading)
Kamel Ghilas (undisclosed from Celta Vigo)




Dean Windass (free to Darlington)
John Welsh (undisclosed to Tranmere Rovers)
Wayne Brown (free to Leicester City)
Michael Bridges (released)
Ryan France (free to Tranmere Rovers)
Sam Ricketts (undisclosed to Bolton Wanderers)
James Bennet (free to Darlington)
Matt Plummer (free to Darlington)

An enigma wrapped in a mystery.  How can you only lose two matches all season and not win the title ?

While we were thinking in January that we might need to go to Anfield to win to stay up, they were thinking that a win would get them the trophy they have been after for nearly twenty years.  But a great run under Redknapp and a clutch of points dropped in 11 draws denied the Reds the title and left them lacking the killer instinct to take the points when they needed to.

The side has been made more resolute with the signing of Glen Johnson being a better option than Arbeloa, although having lost Alonso, it could be a major talking point if Aquilani cannot fill the Spaniard's boots.  There might be more incoming players before the window shuts, but the other purchases seem to be for the future, but it is the present that will interest Liverpool fans, with a need to push home the advantage they have in a top scorer like Torres.  his fitness and that of Gerrard are key to their success and I am not sure if they can get as close as they did last season this time around.

Finish : -   3rd
Winning the League Cup
Being knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid.

Zsolt Poloskei (loan from MTK Hungaria)
Glen Johnson (£18m from Portsmouth)
Chris Mavinga (undisclosed from Paris Saint-Germain)
Stephen Sama (undisclosed from Borussia Dortmund)
Alberto Aquilani (£20m from AS Roma)







Sami Hyypia (free to Bayer Leverkusen)
Godwin Antwi (released)
Ronald Huth (released)
Gary Mackay-Steven (released)
Miki Roque (released)
Paul Anderson (£250k to Nottingham Forest)
Sebastian Leto (£3m to Panathinaikos)
Astrit Ajdarevic (free to Leicester City)
Jack Hobbs (undisclosed to Leicester City)
Jermaine Pennant (free to Real Zaragoza)
Ryan Flynn (loan to Falkirk)
Alvaro Arbeloa (£3.5m to Real Madrid)
Xabi Alonso (£30m to Real Madrid)
Adam Hammill (undisclosed to Barnsley)

Manchester City
Moneybags Man City are making themselves as unpopular as Man U and Chelsea before them, as they try to buy their way to the title, but I can't see it happening this season.  For all their star names they have bought, there is still a lot of work to be done by Mark Hughes, if he gets the chance to do so over a full season.

Still at a stage where they might not be able to attract the top world stars, especially without European football of any nature, Hughes has gone for proven Premier League players (although suspect in some cases) to try to bring the silverware the new Dubai owners desire.  Money is no object when they can build a stadium in their back garden for City to play pre-season friendlies in, so teams must be worried they will try and tempt their top players away, but credit to Everton for standing up to them and hopefully others will follow suit.

There is a high possibility that they will move up from their mid-table placing, but not as far or as fast as some people might wish, although many will be hoping the "project" falters.

Finish : -   4th
Pre-season spending
Being held to 0-0 draws in 17 of their 19 home games

Nils Zander (undisclosed from Schalke 04)
Gareth Barry (£12m from Aston Villa)
Roque Santa Cruz (£18m from Blackburn Rovers)
Stuart Taylor (undisclosed from Aston Villa)
Richard Martin (loan return from Burton Albion)
Carlos Tevez (£25m from MSI Group)
Emmanuel Adebayor (£25m from Arsenal)
Kolo Toure (£16m from Arsenal)







Joe Hart (loan to Birmingham City)
Daniel Sturridge (tribunal to Chelsea)
Darius Vassell (free to Ankaragucu)
Danny Mills (released)
Dietmar Hamann (released)
Jo (loan, Everton)
Michael Ball (released)
Gelson Fernandes (undisclosed to St. Etienne)
Richard Martin (released)
Angelos Tsiaklis (released)
Felipe Caicedo (loan to Sporting Lisbon)
Ched Evans (£3m to Sheffeild United)
Shaleum Logan (loan to Tranmere Rovers)
Elano (£8m to Galatasaray)
Valeri Bojinov (loan to Parma)
Donal McDermott (loan to Chesterfield)
Kasper Schmeichel (undisclosed to Notts. County)

Manchester United
Years of vile bile directed at the Red Devils seems to have abated as other hate figures have come into view over the last five years, so, while they are still not cuddly, the edge of the success has been taken off by some entertaining play and winning in the right way.

Losing Ronaldo will be a big loss, as it would to any side, but maybe the space and spotlight will be filled by others in the team, which now might mean the side are more of a unit than all the play going through the one player.  The two things they will miss form Ronaldo are his deadly free-kicks and his contribution to the goal tally, but then Rooney and Berbatov are both capable of filling that gap.  The wing play of new signing Valencia and Nani when he is fit will be a major source of chances for whichever front two are chosen ,one of whom might be Michael Owen, used sparingly to make sure his is fit when needed.

Consistency will be the key to their success and as many of them have been through it all before, they must be favourites.

Finish : -   1st
Dimitar Berbatov is voted player of the year by the Man U fans
Alex Ferguson is forced to retire form the game after developing an allergy to silver.

Antonio Valencia (£16m from Wigan Athletic)
Fraizer Campbell (loan expired from Tottenham Hotspur)Michael Owen (free from Newcastle United)
Gabriel Obertan (£3m from Bordeaux)
Mame Biram Diouf (undisclosed from Molde)
Paul Pogba (compensation from Le Havre)



Cristiano Ronaldo (£80m to Real Madrid)
Rodrigo Possebon (loan to Sporting Braga)
Fraizer Campbell (£3.5m to Sunderland)
Carlos Tevez (end of loan - back to MSI Group)
Richard Eckersley (undisclosed to Burnley)
Manucho (undisclosed to Valladolid)
Mame Biram Diouf (loan to Molde)
Danny Simpson (loan to Newcastle United)
Danny Drinkwater (loan to Huddersfield Town)

Newcastle United
Oh no.  They're not in it any more are they !!
A team (only just) who promised much until Harry Redknapp left, swiftly followed by most of their better players.  Years of spending beyond their means has meant that they are waiting on an affluent benefactor to complete the deal for a Dubai buy-out.  it has been going on longer than the John Terry to Manchester City saga and might not actually come to fruition (just like the Terry transfer). 

Struggling for players and those they have brought in are not from the top drawer, it is hard to see how Pompey have sunk from FA Cup winners to all but bankrupt Premier League side, but Paul Hart will need a small miracle not just a small fortune to keep them up this year, after just about achieving that feat last season.

James, Krancjar and Distin are still there and might form the heart of the side, if they can keep hold of then until the end of August.  If not, they will be left pulling in anyone they can to try and beef up the squad, but unfortunately for Hart, it looks like their Premier League stay will be arrested.

Finish : -   18th
Fielding eleven players and having a full bench
Depth of bank debt

Aaron Mokoena (free from Blackburn Rovers)
Steve Finnan (free from Espanyol)
Frederic Piquionne (loan from Lyon)
Antti Niemi (free from Unattatched)
Anthony Vanden Borre (loan from Genoa)








Djimi Traore (undisclosed to AS Monaco)
Theofanis Gekas (loan termination - back to Bayer Leverkusen)
Glen Johnson (£18m to Liverpool)
Andre Blackman (free to Bristol City)
Sean Davis (free to Bolton Wanderers)
Jerome Thomas (released)
Noe Pamarot (released)
Lauren (released)
Glen Little (released)
Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo (free to Standard Liege)
Arnold Mveumba (loan to Leyton Orient)
Peter Crouch (£9m to Tottenham Hotspur)
Callum Reynolds (loan to Luton Town)
Sol Campbell (out of contract)
Martin Cranie (undisclosed to Coventry City)

Stoke City
Tony Pulis made a good fist of keeping a fighting Stoke City side in the Premiership last season and even Ricardo Fuller's slap around his captain's head didn't seem out of place.  With a spirit in the team like that and a home crowd behind them that saw them get good results against teams from higher up the table, they finished in a respectable 12th position, a placing I believe they can achieve again.

With a direct game, embellished by a couple of quick wingers to play in crosses to the heads of their strikers, Stoke also are most dangerous at set-pieces.  A long-throw from Rory Delap can be more hurtful than a corner, so teams will have to make sure they defend the flick on at the near post and also mark up for the second ball.

Few ins and outs mean that they will be a unit familiar to each other.  Should be safe with the experience of a year in the top flight.

Finish : -   12th
Go on a long unbeaten run, until the top teams visit and have worked them out from last season.
FA hint at rule change to out-law the long throw

Dean Whitehead (£3m from Sunderland)




Vincent Pericard (released)
Jimmy Phillips (released)
Danzelle St Louis-Hamilton (loan to Vauxhall Motors)
Seyi Olofinjana (£3m to Hull City)
Ben Marshall (loan to Northampton Town)

With a new man at the head of the club and Steve Bruce coming in, there has been money available and a new boss to change the way the team play, which should end with a higher placement in the Premier League than last year, although not a huge leap in his first season as boss at the Stadium of Light.

Bruce did wonders at Wigan, but with a mix of foreign experience and Premiership tried and tested players, his management of some bigger name players will be tested.  After Roy Keane's exit, things didn't go smoothly for the Black Cats last season, so now there might be some consolidation before a push for Europe, but they have some ground to make up before they catch the top, top teams (as Harry would call them).  They can improve on their 16th place of last season, but with a lot of new players finding their way in a new side, there is an element of one week being very good and one week not very good.  It will depend on who they meet on which week.

Finish : -   10th
Steve Bruce leaking news of signing Ronaldo ... that's Ronaldo McDonaldo
Darren Bent replaced in attack by January signing Sandra Redknapp.

Lee Cattermole (£6 million from Wigan Athletic)
Fraizer Campbell (£3.5m from Manchester United)
Nick Colgan (released)
Paulo da Silva (free from Toluca)
David Connolly (released)
Lorik Cana (£5m from Marseille)
Darren Ward (released)
Darren Bent (£16.5 million from Tottenham Hotspur)





Arnau Riera (released)
Dwight Yorke (released)
Michael Chopra (£4m to Cardiff City)
Djibril Cisse (end of loan - back to Marseille)
Greg Halford (undisclosed to Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Peter Hartley (free to Hartlepool United)
Rade Prica (undisclosed to Rosenberg)
Dean Whitehead (£3m to Stoke City) 
Jack Colback (loan to Ipswich Town)
Martyn Waghorn (loan to Leicester City)
David Dowson (loan to Darlington)
Jean-Yves Mvoto (loan to Southend United)
Jamie Chandler (loan to Darlington)

Tottenham Hotspur
High hopes as usual will be dashed by the other teams who have strengthened and those top, top teams who will dominate the league again.  While Ossie and Harry claim we can make the top four, the only question I would ask is "What are you on ?"  The only thing that might assist Spurs in a move up the table is the lack of involvement in Europe, but then we have a lot of players to keep busy in just the Premier League and the two domestic cups.

Bassong will be an asset at the back, with Naughton also an adventurous defender-cum-midfielder.  Bringing in Crouch might indicate that Spurs will play direct this season, but his ability to hold up the ball might be more to Tottenham's style than Bent's need to run onto the ball over the top.  A decent enough goal-scorer, Crouch will give Harry options when we play tall sides (Hull for instance) or short defences (Arsenal).

Modric will be key to our ambitions and keeping at least two of our central defenders match fit will be important. 

Still more time for Redknapp to do what he does best in this transfer window, but I am not sure there will be much left in the coffers come January if he thinks he needs to spend again.

A run in the cups is our best bet, as other teams will probably end up edging us out of the top six.

Finish : -   7th
Peter Crouch
Aaron Lennon

Anton Blackwood (free from Arsenal)
Kyle Naughton (£7m from Sheffield United)
Kyle Walker (£3m from Sheffield United)
Peter Crouch (£9m from Portsmouth)
Sebastien Bassong (£8m from Newcastle United)














Ricardo Rocha (released)
Simon Dawkins (released)
Kyle Fraser-Allen (released)
Cian Hughton (released - now Lincoln City)
Danny Hutchins (released - now Yeovil Town)
David Hutton (released - now Cheltenham Town)
Jacques Maghoma (released - now Burton Albion)
Takura Mtandari (released)
Saulo Asajile (released)
Mark Clare (released)
James Dalton (released)
Ajet Shehu (released)
Fraizer Campbell (loan expired - back to Manchester United)
Didier Zokora (£8.62m to Sevilla)
Ryan Mason (3 month loan to Yeovil)
Steven Caulker (3 month loan to Yeovil)
Chris Gunter (£1.75m to Nottingham Forest)
Adel Taarabt (season loan to Queens Park Rangers)
Ben Alnwick (3 month loan to Norwich City)
Troy Archibald-Henville (6 month loan to Exeter City)
Gilberto (released)
Darren Bent (£16.5 million to Sunderland)
Adam Smith (month loan to Wycombe Wanderers)
Andros Townsend (month loan toLeyton Orient)
Kyle Walker (season loan to Sheffield United)
Jonathan Obika (loan to Yeovil Town)
Jake Livermore (loan to Derby County)

West Ham United
Ginafranco Zola has done a good job at Upton Park, with his assistant Steve Clarke probably having a sizeable portion of the credit through his coaching of the side.  However, trying to use his influence to sign new players isn't exactly overwhelming, as he explained that he can fully understand why Eidur Gudjohnsen might want to stay at Barcelona rather than join West Ham.  It is a decision we can all understand, but then he appears to have persuaded a lot of players form Europe who might never have heard about the Irons to join up.

Carlton Cole is being touted as the next best thing for England, but at the moment, he is their main striker and injury might cost them a scoring presence, while the midfield might lack a little pace apart from the new loan signing Jiminez.  As with a lot of the teams this season, the speed of gelling will decide the season ahead, but having been ravaged by injuries before and still possessing a number of players prone to being put out for a month or two by a puff of wind (Parker, Dyer, Ashton), they might suffer from lack of depth in the squad by the end of the season.

Finish : -   11th
Removal of blue from their kit
Signing undisclosed players ... it's a lottery

Luis Antonio Jimenez (loan from Inter Milan)
Jack Lampe (free from Harlow Town)
Peter Kurucz (undisclosed from Ujpesti FC)
Herita Ilunga (undisclosed from Toulouse)
Frank Nouble (undisclosed from Chelsea)
Fabio Daprela (undisclosed from Grasshopper-Club Zurich)
Peter Kurucz (undisclosed from Ujpesti Football Club)
Radoslav Kovac (undisclosed from Spartak Moscow)


Freddie Sears (loan to Crystal Palace)
Joe Widdowson (free to Grimsby Town)
Kyel Reid (free to Sheffield United)
Lee Bowyer (free to Birmingham City)
Diego Tristan (released)
Walter Lopez (released)
Tony Stokes (released)
Jimmy Walker (released)
Lucas Neill (released)

Wigan Athletic
Roberto Martinez forged a good reputation at Swansea City and did well with the Welsh club, making him a prime candidate to return to his old club Wigan when they needed a new boss.  Having brought in a couple of players who were at the Liberty Stadium with him and some he knew from Spain, he will be more familiar with some of the squad than others in the side will be.

Losing Cattermole will leave a hole in the midfield already vacated by Palacios and Valencia, so someone will need to step up and take the lead in that area of the pitch (N'zogbia, Koumas, Gomez), otherwise they will be over-run.  Martinez's sides always play good football and they could surprise on the odd occasion, but generally, I think they will feel the loss of key players and may be happy to stay up.

Finish : -   15th
Team renamed Dave Whelan Athletic
Attendance of just 1301 against Blackburn Rovers was thought to be a typo ... but wasn't

Jordi Gomez (£1.7m from Espanyol)
Hendry Thomas (undisclosed from Deportivo Olimpia)
Jason Scotland (£2m from Swansea City)
James McCarthy (£1.2m from Hamilton Academical)
Scott Sinclair (loan from Chelsea)
Antonio Amaya (undisclosed from Real Vallecano)


Antonio Valencia (£16m to Manchester United)
Lewis Montrose (free to Wycombe Wanderers)
Antoine Sibierski (released)
Henri Camara (released)
Lee Cattermole (£6 million to Sunderland)

Wolverhampton Wanderers
With a bunch of players brought in who have some Premier League experience, the Wolves side will need to get going quickly to give them a points buffer against relegation and those points will probably come from the teams around them, bolstered by those they can pick off the big boys.  Mick McCarthy has been there before and it is hard for promoted teams to stay up, but the manager will know what is needed and will have targeted certain games for points.

Some players, such as Kightly, Hennessey, Ebanks-Blake and Keogh will be keen to put their abilities to the test against the Premier League sides, but they have to ensure that they are not over-awed, as they did slip to some sloppy results last season when they should have wrapped games up.  The supply from midfield to their prolific strikers will be essential to their chances, with Surman's invention combined with Kightly's pace and delivery being at the heart of their game. 

Not a long ball team, they try to build from the back and use the pace of their players, so they will be a force if they get up a head of steam.  Might just make the cut to stay afloat.

Finish : -   17th
Points gathered from city rivals
Being mauled by the Tigers

Nenad Milijas (undisclosed from Red Star Belgrade)
Marcus Hahnemann (free from Reading)
Kevin Doyle (£6.5m from Reading)
Greg Halford (undisclosed from Sunderland)
Andrew Surman (£1.2m from Southampton)
Ronald Zubar (undisclosed from Marseille)
Michael Mancienne (loan from Chelsea)


Darren Potter (undisclosed to Sheffield Wednesday)
Lewis Gobern (free to Milton Keynes Dons)




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