Queens Park Rangers
The London club have had some troubles in the Premier League so far, but Harry Redknapp has come in and taken on a hell of a job. QPR are unbeaten in 5 games now and have kept some vital clean sheets against Manchester City and Chelsea. Julio Cesar has put in some vital performances in goal and has been a key player in getting points. He has to be just as consistent in the next part of the season if QPR have a chance of staying up. Adel Taarabt is one of the best play-makers in the Premier League and is the joint top goal scorer for QPR with 4 goals. He will certainly be a vital player in the future to help assist goals for his squad. After spending so much money, QPR simply cannot afford to be relegated, so I believe it will be the players’ responsibility to keep them up.
After winning the Championship last season, Reading entered the Premier League with the hopes of staying up. However, they did not win their first game until the November 17. Since the 26th of December, Reading have won 3 out of 6 games and only lost 1, and are showing a lot of fight to keep themselves beyond the dreaded Relegation Zone. At the end of January, they finished 19th, but picked up great results against Chelsea, Newcastle, and West Brom, and have now earned themselves the new nickname of the “Come Back Kings.” Adam Le Fondre has been on great form the last couple of games, after scoring 5 in 3 games and scoring 12 goals in total this season. I think even though Brian McDermott has what it takes to keep Reading up, the team is simply not strong enough to weather the likes of QPR, and will likely be relegated back to the Championship the following season.
At the start of the season, the Saints would have been one of the teams predicted to participate in the relegation battle. However, a good start to the season from Nigel Adkins has left them in a convincing position. In January, a surprise sacking of the manager left the Saints with a new manager, who, unfortunately for them, cannot speak English. Mauricio Pochettino has lead the team to two draws and one loss since then. A key player this season has been the experienced Rickie Lambert, who has scored 11 goals, but the Saints have relied on him to score goals too many times. The signing of Gaston Ramirez, who joined in the summer for around £12 million, has been disappointing so far. He has scored only 3 goals after being brought in by Adkins to help Lambert and take pressure off of him. I think Southampton, with their new manager, will have to start turning draws into wins, and Pochettino will have to bring the best out of his players if they want to end the season in a higher position.
Tony Pulis’ men had a great start to the season, and were probably the hardest team to beat due to their strong defense. However, recently, they have not been in the best form and have been conceding way too many goals for their liking, a total of 17 in their last 7 games. A key player in Stoke’s season so far has been goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. The Bosnian international has attracted a lot of attention from clubs due to his superb form but is getting let down by his defensive partners at the moment. Stoke’s top scorer is Jonathon Walters with 8 goals, and they will need him to carry on goal-scoring if they want to finish the season well.
Martin O’Neils team have had a fairly average season so far, finishing 12th at the end of the season. Steven Fletcher has scored 10 goals for the team after joining for 12 million in the summer from the Wolves. A lot of people would have thought he was not worth the sum they paid for him, however, he has proved that he was worth it and has exceeded the expectations of Sunderland fans. After joining from Manchester City, Adam Johnson has been in great form for Sunderland, and has been providing Fletcher with the assistance he needs. I think Sunderland are in for the same kind of finish they are in at the moment, however, will have to keep picking up results as they are only 8 points from the Relegation Zone. This will certainly be on Martin O’Neils mind throughout the remainder of the season.
Written by PAFCBake