Premiership Clubs Who Should Be Worried?
Well, our win over Birmingham shows what a huge difference three points can make- this season has already proven, for the lack of a better word, the weirdest I can remember in Premiership history. Just poring over the results, a lot of the top sides have already lost more than they have over the course of an entire season for the past several. Who will win the title is anyone's guess at the moment, but I think it is fair to say whoever does will do so with the lowest Champions points tally on record.
The other end has it's own story to unfold. Last season, West Ham and Wigan stayed up with 35, and 36 points respectively, two less than the 38 usually expected to ensure survival, 38 being enough to secure us 15th place, 8 clear of relegation, which proved how weak the relegated three were.
Albion, Blackpool and Newcastle have all proven significantly stronger than last year's bottom three Portsmouth, Hull and Burnley.
7 games in, the table presents startling stats. Newcastle (8th), Albion (10th) and Blackpool (11th) are separated only by goals- of greater interest in their win/draw/loss ratio is exactly the same. All have won 6, all have drawn 4, all have lost 7.
We may still 'languish' in 19th, but Wolves have won the same amount of games as all three sides, and after Sunday's win, just for the record have now won more than Birmingham who of course remain above us, albeit only by three points.
9th, or anywhere in the bottom three is no place that any side or supporter can enjoy, but let's put things in perspective. Sunday morning, Wolves were six points behind Blues and obviously would have been 9 behind them had we lost. Going into the weekend, Wolves are now only 7 points behind Newcastle, and 7 points from 8th doesn't sound bad at all does it? Another derby win would leave us just 4 points behind Albion, and from the lofty heights of 11th, that could drag them down the table and into a potential relegation scrap which is what we helped drag Birmingham into.
This is all theoretical of course- based on this seasons results, we can say that if the three promoted sides can win 'just' 5 of their remaining 21 games, that would put them all on 38 points which should be more than enough to keep them up.
In the meantime, playing by the same numbers (aiming to earn a point a game), Wolves are suddenly just two short of this target with 15 from 17 games. A second consecutive derby win will garner 18 from 18 games, and back on course with a home game against Wigan to come on Boxing Day.
At the start of the season I predicted West Ham, Wigan and Blackpool for the drop. West Ham have in the main part proven dire, Wigan I think are truly poor, yet despite their great start I still think the Blackpool bubble will burst at some point- it is hard to see them going down considering how many points they have already taken so we have no option but to look at the other candidates, which of course includes ourselves.
Fulham do not look good, having won just twice from 17- only Wigan have won as few games. Everton are having a tremendous wobble, winning just 3 (18 points), Blues have won the same (18 points), Villa have not been much better and are in and around the zone with only 20 points.
Moving up the table, 12th and 13th can prove deceptively comfortable. Stoke (12th) and Blackburn (13th) also have identical records, 6 wins, 3 draws, 8 losses and are both on 21 points, just 5 above Wigan.
That brings us back to the three promoted sides, who's inconsistencies epitomize the season thus far. Wedged in between them, for the record are Liverpool's who's fall from grace continues- 9th has the fans in fury, they should be more concerned by their return of 22 points- a very poor Christmas, along the lines of 3 defeats say, could even see them slip down to 15th or so.
I predicted a draw against Blues and we thoroughly outplayed them. I predict a draw at Albion, perhaps they will surprise me and gift wrap that Christmas present to us in the form of consecutive derby wins.
With the Wigan game on our radar we suddenly have a very realistic chance of moving out of the bottom three before cold turkey sandwiches have been digested on Boxing Day.
Be a sport and share a thought.
New York City Wolf.