Southampton 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 tried really hard to find a scenario where I thought this would be a really good season for Southampton. But, despite my best efforts (and some good transfer moves) I’m just not convinced it’s enough. Let’s be honest, there’s not much worse they can get with goal concession, and I really think that Gunn will be a good addition to help mitigate this. On the goal scoring front, Tadic was a good creator for the club, but I also think that Elyounoussi will be able to provide at least that level of contribution. However, Southampton was 6th worst in the league at giving up goals last season, while also scoring the 6th fewest goals in the league.
Don’t get me wrong, I expect Southampton to get better, probably a 14-16th range, meaning that I think they will be able to avoid getting sucked into the relegation battle (mostly) with their signings. I think that given the stroke of luck they had managing to stay in the League with such a negative goal difference, only one other club had a worse goal differential (and they actually finished above Southampton). That being said, I see them finishing towards the bottom of the Premier League again with not much of a problem, they should be able to reinvest a substantial portion of their revenues from TV and league place. This gives them the opportunity to identify some good transfer targets and try to close deals early in the next windows for a cut-rate price.

Read moreSouthampton 2018-2019 Transfer Review

Picking a Football Club – Quarterfinal 2

Today’s matchup is between the 2-seed AFC Bournemouth and the 7-seed Southampton. First, a tale of the tape (most information from this wonderful post):
AFC Bournemouth
Nickname: The Cherries
Founded: 1890
Location: Bournemouth
Team Colors: Red / Black
Kit Manufacturer: Umbro (since 2017)
Primary Kit Sponsor: Mansion.com
Ground: Vitality Stadium (capacity 11,360)
Manager: Eddie Howe (since 2012)
Southampton
Nickname: The Saints
Founded: 1885 (as St. Mary’s Young Men’s Association F.C.)
Location: Southampton
Team Colors: Red / White
Kit Manufacturer: Under Armour (since 2016)
Primary Kit Sponsor: Virgin Media
Ground: St. Mary’s Stadium (capacity 32,505)
Manager: Mark Hughes (since 2018)

Read morePicking a Football Club – Quarterfinal 2

Picking a Football Club, Part 2

If you’ve been following along, I’m trying to decide on a favorite English Premiere League club. I have narrowed the list down to eight clubs, and you can read up why I eliminated the other 12 here.
As a reminder, here are the remaining eight clubs in alphabetical order:
AFC Bournemouth
Burnley
Crystal Palace
Everton
Leicester City
Newcastle United
Southampton
West Ham United

Read morePicking a Football Club, Part 2

Premier League Club Primer: 2018-2019 Edition

Ever had questions about clubs that you were afraid to ask? Here’s the rundown on the 20 Soccer teams competing in the top tier of English Soccer. Some historical facts, some questions to be answered, and some serious takeaways. Here is everything you wanted to know about the clubs but didn’t want (or know) to ask.
During the next couple weeks, we’ll be exploring each teams transfer business (In and Out) to see how well teams have addressed their needs!

Arsenal

Nickname: The Gunners
Founded: 1886 (Under a different name)
Location: London
Team Colors: Red/White
Kit Manufacturer: Puma (2014-present)
Kit Sponsor: Emirates Airlines
Ground: Emirates Stadium (2006-present)
Capacity:  59,862
Manager: Unai Emery (first season) replacing Arsene Wenger (1996-2018)
Website: www.arsenal.com
17/18 Season: 6th in English Premier League

Arsenal are a perennial Premier League team, with their only stint in lower-tier football occurring prior to World War I (as part of their progression to the Premier League). Since then, they’ve been a stalwart and are considered part of English soccer’s royalty, the “Big Six”.  While placed in this royalty, Arsenal’s recent form have had them finishing outside of the top-4 which is a perquisite for the UEFA Champions League.  Missing out on the Champions League is a big financial hit for the club, and has been a voiced concern amongst the players; some of whom have run out their contracts or joined rival clubs for the opportunity to compete at the highest level. One of these situations led to a winter transfer window swap for one of Arsenal’s top players, Alexis Sanchez, getting swapped for a Henrik Mkhitaryan who was in poor form for Manchester United so that they didn’t lose him to a free transfer deal.

Arsenal are on their first season Post-Wenger who’s been at Arsenal almost as long as I’ve been alive. So far, Unai Emery, has shown a couple of positives: he’s managed to get some top-tier talent for reasonable prices (by EPL standards) and one particular transfer, Sokratis, was able to overcome reported interest by other Big Six clubs. Arsenal is not a bad side, and I fully expect them to continue in continental competition. Arsenal’s Achilles heel last year was their propensity to give up losses, whereas their EPL opponents could fight for draws. If only a few of those losses were draws, they likely would have been in Champions League competition instead of Europa League.

I think the prospects for Arsenal will be good enough for Champions League this year. Arsenal has also had a larger squad than many teams which has caused some strife for its players (Olivier Giroud –last year, and Jack Wilshere – this year) which eventually have led them elsewhere. I think that clarified expectations under Emery could tighten up the rotation a little and keep continuity (especially in the back) which will allow them to hold on in tight contests.

Click here for an in-depth look at Arsenal’s transfers in advance of the 2018-19 season.

Read morePremier League Club Primer: 2018-2019 Edition