Then Saturday Comes… the half decent football blog


Back with a boom: a look at the 2009-10 season

As you’ll notice from the brand new layout, TSC has hopped aboard the Obama bandwagon and embraced change.  Thankfully, the mantra of change has also been accepted by football during the two two months since we snuck out of your life.

And it’s all gone mental.

Best pun ever?

First photoshop of the new season... and it's an instant classic

Refreshingly, the most absurd thing hasn’t happened in the Premiership, but rather down in lowly League Two.

Ex-England, Lazio and Manchester City boss (and gossip site goldmine) Sven Goran Eriksson has bizarrely rocked up at Notts County.  If you don’t remember him, he’s a lovely geezer but don’t forget that he’s from Sweden.

Sven’s apparently only getting paid £250,000 a year at Meadow Lane, and says that he’s there because it’s the oldest club in the world.  I’m sure it had nothing to do with the impending bank-rolling to the Premiership by a Middle Eastern billionaire.  By the way, how many of  them can there be before it dilutes the market?

The Notts County revolution started with a 5-0 opening day win against Bradford, and I’d love to see them doing a ‘Gretna’ and blitzing their way through the divisions (as long as they only get promoted to the Premiership with Leicester City, obviously).

Hopefully in ten years the ‘big four’ will be current lower-league teams owned by insane moneybags.  To see Notts County, QPR and Ipswich outspend Liverpool, Man U and Chelsea into the Champion’s League would be hilarious.  To hear their moans about it not being fair would delight any football fan who has sat through the ‘big four’ bankroll their success for the last decade.
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Man City will finish in the top four... I'm super serial

Man City will challenge... I'm super serial

THE BIG FOUR – AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH

While Notts County and Leicester City have spent the summer setting foundations for a future Champion’s League assault, the ‘big four’ have done little to prepare for the impending threat.

The bright lights of Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal have greatly dimmed following a plethora of high-profile departures, inspired by Christiano Ronaldo’s hasty departure after the Champion’s League final.  His exit set the tone for the rest of the summer.

Of course, with all this weakening we must take note of the ominous goings on at Middle Eastlands.

Manchester City seem intent on compiling a team of overpriced players who couldn’t cut the mustard at a ‘big four’ team.  Still, an attacking line-up including Adebayor, Tevez, Santa Cruz and Robinho (remember him??) make them a genuine threat.  Their 11/1 odds from William Hill seem very decent.  Although I don’t think they will win the league, coming third (or maybe even second) seems fairly likely.

I think we’ll have to get used to the phrase ‘Big Five’, even if it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite so easily.  Unfortunately the team to drop out of the Champion’s League will probably be Arsenal – the only team that is built and not bought.  Still, it’s good to mix things up and it would be good to see them drop out and give someone else a go.

To celebrate the brand new football landscape, I ventured to watch three of the big five playing soccerball this summer.  First I took in Arsenal play against Glasgow Rangers in the Emirates Cup.  The big report is that Arshavin and Fabregas both looked great, if a little uninterested, and that Jack Wilshere is probably going to be in the World Cup squad.

Check this out, multimedia fans.  Interview with your humble host from 0.40;

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Next, I travelled over to Wembley to watch the Charity Shield game between Manchester United and Chelsea. Ancelotti’s charges looked a lot stronger than a Man U outfit that lacked midfield bite.  Although it’s ridiculous to say they will struggle, it’s hard to see how an old-school 4-4-2 with a midfield of Nani, Fletcher, Anderson and Valencia is going to set the world alight.

Their defence is obviously fantastic.  But apart from that, the only really top player they have is Wayne Rooney.  Oh, and Tom Cleverley.

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Cheer up Mickey, Jim's gone and fixed it!
Cheer up Mickey, Jim’s gone and fixed it!

MICHAEL’S GOWEN TO BE GREAT

A second feature about Man U?  Sitting with their fans at Wembley must have had a bad impact…

But we must touch on the big transfer that will make or break a former European Player of the Year’s career.  After Mickey Owen proved he’s not an absolute mental, the former Liverpool striker chose to go to Manchester United instead of Hull or Stoke.  I’m sure negotiations were tough.

At Sunday’s Charity Shield 85,000 fans witnessed the moment that might be the first sign of Fergie finally losing it, or proof eternal of his genius.  On 74 minutes Fergie brought on three subs with a combined age in the triple figures; Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and new signing Michael Owen.

Although all three are amazing players, this ‘Dad’s Army’ brigade seems a little risky to me.  It would be fine if the young players who will do the donkey work weren’t the plodding Fletcher/Gibson or the unpredictable Valencia/Nani.

That said, although he played like a 40-year-old last year, Owen is still only 29.  His goalscoring record is unbelievable and you just know he’ll do amazingly at Old Trafford.  The difference between his runs being picked out by Paul Scholes rather than Kevin Nolan.

I’d be surprised by anything less than 20 goals and a seat on the plane to South Africa.

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My predictions for 2008-09?

1. Chelsea
2. Manchester United
3. Liverpool
4. Manchester City
5. Arsenal

6-17. Other teams

18. Burnley
19. Portsmouth
20. Hull City

Top goalscorer: Darren Bent

In the two months since TSC snuck out of your life, football has jumped on the Obama bandwagon and embraced change.

The bright lights of Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal have greatly dimmed following a plethora of high-profile departures, after Christiano Ronaldo’s hasty departure after the Champion’s League final set the tone for the rest of the summer.

Of course, with all this weakening we must take note of the ominous goings on at Middle Eastlands.

Manchester City seem intent on compiling a team of overpriced players who couldn’t cut the mustard at a ‘big four’ team.  Still, an attacking line-up including Adebayor, Tevez, Santa Cruz and Robinho (remember him??) make them a genuine, if unlikely, threat.  There 11/1 odds from William Hill seem very decent.

I think we’ll have to get used to the phrase ‘Big Five’, even if it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite so easily.

To celebrate the brand new football landscape, I ventured to watch three of the big five playing soccerball this summer.  First I took in Arsenal play against Glasgow Rangers in the Emirates Cup.  The big report is that Arshavin and Fabregas both looked great, if a little uninterested, and that Jack Wilshere is probably going to be in the World Cup squad.

If you don’t believe that I was there check out this video, multimedia fans;

Next, I travelled over to Wembley to watch the Charity Shield game between Manchester United and Chelsea. Ancelotti’s charges looked a lot stronger than a Man U outfit that lacked midfield bite.  Although it’s ridiculous to say they will struggle, it’s hard to see how an old-school 4-4-2 with a midfield of Nani, Fletcher, Anderson and Valencia is going to set the world alight.

Their defence is obviously fantastic.  But apart from that, the only really top player they have is Wayne Rooney.  Oh, and Tom Cleverley.

MICHAEL’S GOWEN TO BE GREAT

Second feature and it’s also about Man U?  Sitting with their fans at Wembley must have had a bad impact…

But we must touch on the big transfer that will make or break a former European Player of the Year’s career.  Afer Mickey Owen proved he’s not an absolute mental, the former Liverpool striker chose to go to Manchester United instead of Hull or Stoke.  I’m sure negotiations were tough.

At Sunday’s Charity Shield 85,000 fans witnessed the moment that might be the first sign of Fergie finally losing it, or proof eternal of his genius.  On 74 minutes Fergie brought on three subs with a combined age in the triple figures; Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and new signing Michael Owen.

Although all three are amazing players, this ‘Dad’s Army’ brigade seems a little risky to me.  It would be fine if the young players who will do the donkey work weren’t the ploddnig Fletcher/Gibson or the unpredictable Valencia/Nani.

That said, although he played like a 40-year-old last year, Owen is still only 29.  His goalscoring record is unbelievable and you just know he’ll do amazingly at Old Trafford.  The difference between his runs being picked out by Paul Scholes rather than Kevin Nolan.  20 goals minimum.

My predictions for next season?

1. Chelsea
2. Liverpool
3. Manchester United
4. Manchester City
5. Arsenal

18. Burnley
19. Portsmouth
20. Hull City

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