Football

Everton’s failings against Arsenal and Co undermine top-four credentials

By Brian Sears 22 August 2014 Everton are widely and rightly expected to finish in the top seven places in the Premier League this season, as they have done for the past four seasons and in eight of the last 10 seasons. They are stable, consistent, have a talented (and likeable) manager in Roberto Martinez, and a squad with plenty of youthful potential, including multiple home-grown players. But only once in 22 completed seasons of the Premier League era - the 'monied era', during which they have lagged behind financially - have they finished in the top four, and that was in 2004-05....


Survival chances up but ‘at least one of Leicester, Burnley, QPR down’

By Brian Sears 15 July 2014  The Premier League is about to start its 23rd season, the 23rd season since England's top division was rebranded 'Premier League' and effectively broke away from the rest of English football. The 23rd season of the 'money era' when TV riches have poured into the game in ever-increasing amounts. The 23rd season when the difference between the 'haves' of the Premier League and the 'have nots' of the rest of English football is especially pronounced. That is the context for what is to follow: an assessment of the chances that this season's promoted clubs - Leicester City, Burnley...


Arsenal’s unbroken post-war top-flight tenure puts them top of 15 ‘deserved’ PL teams

By Brian Sears 8 August 2014 With the 2014-15 English football season about to begin, and with every fan still at the stage where they can dream that this will be the year, the notion of where a club 'deserves' to be is again a topic of relevance. Up and down the country there will be supporters who will assure you that their team 'should' be in the top four, or top six, or top division, or top two divisions. And there will be others who will assure you their team does not 'belong' in the lowly place where they currently reside. It is...