The Race To Beat The Drop – Which Teams Will Bite The Dust
Author: Emily Pulham. Published: 24 January 2020 at 8:18pm
Written by: George M.
It’s an all too familiar feeling for us Hammers fans to be halfway through the season and find ourselves in the midst of a relegation battle. Far too often we have been at the wrong end of the table at this stage of the year and this season certainly looks like it could be the most competitive and tight relegation scrap in years. With 2 points separating 19th and 15th place, 6 teams will have their work cut out to ensure that they will not be starting the next season as a Championship team. Additionally, Norwich have occasionally surprised a few teams by getting all important wins, which only adds more fear and excitement in the race to survive. Now it’s time to rank which teams are most likely to beat the drop and which teams will playing in level 2 of English football next season.
BRIGHTON – Current Place: 15th
With 2 wins in their last 10 Premier League games, Brighton have slipped from mid-table security and now find themselves amongst the relegation scrappers. There is something about the Brighton team that means they are able to pick up the odd win here and there, and with Neal Maupay in their ranks and scoring goals, it seems that Brighton will have enough teams below them to survive.
ASTON VILLA – Current Place: 16th
Aston Villa were one of the summer transfer window’s big spenders with a total of £130m spent on incoming players. Villa failed to learn the lesson of Fulham from last season and the large influx of players seems to have had no effect on helping them find the mid-table spots. Their star player, Jack Grealish, has the ability to turn games around and snatch decent results for Villa and will be vital to their Premier League survival. Having signed a couple of players in January, it looks like Villa are prepared to try and fix their problems and start winning more games.
WEST HAM – Current Place: 17th
Where to start. The board, Pellegrini, the players, Roberto, Moyes, the stadium? There are many factors to blame for West Ham’s dismal season and things aren’t getting any better. Although Moyes’ tenure started off well with 2 wins, recent performances have not seen much improvement than those we saw under Pellegrini. Every West Ham fan is screaming for the board to pull their hands out their pockets and spend some money to help patch up our exhausted and broken squad. Currently it looks like the board aren’t willing to do so. The running of this football club is laughable and makes no sense to everyone but the owners themselves. How sweet it would be to wake up in the morning to hear the board are prepared to sell up and hand over the reins to an owner that knows how a proper Premier League club is run. We are the 17th richest club in the world but currently find ourselves 17th in the league. Simply not good enough. It scares every West Ham fan to think how the remainder of this season will go. Us fans would love to remain positive and have the confidence that the club will keep its Premier League status, but it hurts to say that we are one of the most underprepared teams in this battle. Let’s hope this scepticism is all talk and no show, but it just doesn’t seem like the good times will be coming in an abundance any time soon. It’s going to be tight but…
BOURNEMOUTH – Current Place: 18th
Bournemouth are always one of the teams that many football fans predict will flirt with relegation each season. However, the Cherries continue to prove the doubters wrong season after season. West Ham’s 4-0 win and Watford’s 3-0 win showed that Bournemouth are in trouble this year. Bournemouth have been suffering with injury problems since the autumn in which their dismal run of form saw them win just 2 wins in 13 games. Their injury problems have bettered slightly in recent weeks which saw them snatch a win against Brighton. However, the injuries show what problems lay underneath their squad. If those injuries were to repeat, it’s hard to see how Bournemouth could survive the drop.
WATFORD – Current Place: 19th
This is a prime example of how a change in manager can help turn your fortunes around. Watford were bottom of the table little more than a month ago and looked down and out with only one win. However, since Nigel Pearson’s appointment, the Hornets have won 4 out of 8 games and have only lost twice. It just goes to show how momentum and consistency plays such a huge part in winning football games. A 95th minute Aston Villa winner saw a slight barrier come in the way of Watford’s momentum, but they look like a completely different team now and are starting to play good football.
NORWICH – Current Place: 20th
Norwich have struggled for most of this season considering how well some of their players have played when you look at the likes of Pukki, Cantwell, Aarons and Buendia. Norwich are currently 6 points from safety which is quite a hefty gap when it comes to a relegation battle. The difference between Norwich and the rest of the teams on this list is that whatever happens, their players and fans can keep their heads held high after what would be a graceful relegation back to the Championship.