Everton 2018-2019 Transfer Review

Note: This is the latest breakdown of transfer moves leading up to the 2018-19 Premier League season. This post will be updated throughout the transfer window as appropriate.
I think that ultimately I’m going to pick Everton for a midtable finish this year. My concerns from the Primer are far from alleviated. I wrote about the need for a consistent striker with Rooney departing for the MLS. Despite the substantial sum spent on Richarlison, I’m still not sure that has been rectified. We all know that Richarlison can be good, but my question is can he be good enough, every week? And based on what I’ve seen, I just don’t have that much faith yet (maybe he will give me a pleasant surprise). I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see Everton try to secure an additional striker on a paid-loan at least as interim support.
As things stand, I really just think it’s a roll of the dice. I don’t have faith that Everton will score enough goals to keep them as high as they want to be in the standings. Obviously, Pickford is a sensational keeper and there are some nice complementary pieces — I just feel like Everton has shown very little to be excited about from the goal scoring side of things.

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Picking a Football Club – Finals

We’ve reached the end.
What started as a journey to football fandom has morphed into something else, and I am perfectly okay with that. I have read more about English football this week than almost any other subject in a very long time.
As an American, it’s hard to move away from the way sports work in this country, but I have also grown in appreciation of the way that association football works in Europe and around the world. The United States will probably never change – even Major League Soccer, the youngest (major) professional league in the country cannot be incentivized to change – and I fear that it will be one of the major reasons that USA Soccer will continue to lag the rest of the world in football. We can’t even qualify for the World Cup currently, and our best young players, the future of our domestic team, don’t play in their domestic league.

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Watford 2018-2019 Transfer Review

Note: This is the latest breakdown of transfer moves leading up to the 2018-19 Premier League season. This post will be updated throughout the transfer window as appropriate.
Watford is one of those teams I always seem to be on the fence for, I feel like if they can stay healthy (and focused) they could cause a relative upset and finish in the top half. However, on the flip side, I see the potential for them shipping a ton of goals in the wrong direction, with balls sailing right past Foster/Gomes. I do like the moves they’ve brought in to supplement their squad. However, when I wrote in the Premier League Primer about the successes I thought they would have, they still had Richarlison.
For me the biggest concern (and elephant in the room) is what they are planning to do to cope with the loss of Richarlison. They really don’t have anyone they can expect a significant number of goals from, and that concerns me a lot heading into this season. Their top goalscorer was a midfielder with 7, and I just worry that unless they can get a target man to funnel the attack through that it will end a lot like last season (with a few lower places in final position). My write up discussed that as being my biggest concern then, and it’s more so now. Their goals allowed isn’t horrendous, but when you are towards the worst in the league in goals scored, it needs to be exceptional if you’re going to succeed. I still think this team is good enough to avoid relegation, but I am far less optimistic about their chances, I think a lower-mid tier is probably the best they can hope for.

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AFC Bournemouth 2018-2019 Transfer Review

AFC Bournemouth 2018-2019 Summer Transfer Review

Note: This is the latest breakdown of transfer moves leading up to the 2018-19 Premier League season. This post will be updated throughout the transfer window as appropriate. 

AFC Bournemouth has laid low so far this transfer window, and despite their 1 acquisition (with another due to be announced shortly)  (update: now up to 3) and the 7 leaving, I’m not really concerned. I think the Cherries proved last year they have enough to stay up, and I don’t believe they’ve lost important enough pieces to put that in jeopardy. And, a roughly $12M transfer surplus is likely to make the bosses happy. (update: their latest acquisitions moved them out of the elite club who profited from the transfer window.) I think that Bournemouth assesses their needs and if they identify something urgent, they can address it in the winter transfer window (where almost every transfer is more expensive, based solely on the timing). Although, I don’t imagine they’ll show any holes unless the injury bug comes out in force, or a whole batch of Cherries goes bad (I know — I know, I couldn’t resist) I think they stay solidly mid-table.
If I’m Bournemouth, I think I’m personally looking for possible youth transfer targets that I can secure for a reasonable fee now and use as collateral for later or, possibly, just work on a homegrown starting squad. Generally speaking, this club has shown that they have a good eye for talent and have been able to acquire low and sell high, but when you are in a position where you can’t groom your own talent, having a transfer budget is going to really important.

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Picking a Football Club – Semifinals

I am days away from figuring out who I am going to dedicate my Premier League fandom. It’s been quite a journey, and as way of review, here’s how we reached this point:

This semifinal post is going to be much shorter, as I won’t have to go as far in depth with the clubs as I have before. Feel free to refer back to the quarterfinal posts if you want more than I provide here in these matchups.

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Huddersfield Town 2018-2019 Transfer Review

Note: This is the latest breakdown of transfer moves leading up to the 2018-19 Premier League season. This post will be updated throughout the transfer window as appropriate.
Good news Terriers fans! I think that Huddersfield Town (HTAFC) has a good shot of staying up this year, their two big problems from last year (kind of major ones… ) goals scored and goals allowed. But the management seems to be ready to do business to get these fixed, they’ve been free-spending on some key cogs from last year, and have brought into some great youth prospects.
While they haven’t added any out and out strikers,  Right after I finished this article, they did add a striker in 22-year old Adama Diakhaby from AS Monaco (formerly also from Stade Rennais). I think that the moves they’ve made will improve the service to their current forwards, which should be able to bag more goals between them than the team did last year. The Terriers have got to figure out how to get the ball in the goal, 28 goals scored (tied for 2nd lowest) is not going to cut it. The goals allowed is much more respectable and would put them about middle of the field, but allowing this many goals while scoring so few means that you have a horrendous goal difference and that will kill anyone’s chances.
I’m interested to see if there are any changes in the tactical formation of this team for the new year, they’ve brought in good right and left backs to complement the defense. I expect this team to play with a little more freedom (at least in the attacking-third) based on their addition of multiple attacking (central) midfielders. While they could stretch the field by adding some width, I wouldn’t be surprised if this team fluctuates between a very narrow attack (almost exclusively through the middle) and a very wide attack with most of the action coming from the left/right backs whipping crosses in. I think either one could be successful (depending on the opponent), but I definitely still think there will be games that the Terriers need to pack it in and play for a draw. I’m anticipating a low-middle table finish, but I think they have enough to stave off relegation again and then the real fun will begin with another season of Premier League money and some more transfer magic.

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