Hello again, dear readers. Yesterday we brought you behind the scenes to look at the secret moves contemplated by the bottom half of the table. Well get ready people, because we’re about to shoot you full of truth bullets from our journalism gun. Here’s a look at the covert transfer dealings at the top end of the table and the clubs looking to make a late run towards European football.
10. Swansea City – Swansea City represent the last bastion of footballing purity left in England. Probably because they’re not from England. They’re playing truly beautiful passing football coupled with an astounding defensive resilience. This team plays football the way it’s meant to be played. The way Jesus himself might have played when he first invented the game. Swansea are heaven-blessed. They even have their own Angel.
But it’s only a matter of time before the seedy nature of English football sinks it’s ugly fangs into the snow-white innocence of the Swans and taints them forever. Swansea need to protect themselves from the cruel ravagings of English football. And there’s only one way to do that.
9. Norwich City – Norwich are having a remarkable season by anyone’s standards. After back-to-back promotions they have stormed up the Premier League and find themselves in 9th place with half the season gone. Paul Lambert is an excellent manager who’s got his team playing some really good football. But in spite of their achievements, nobody at Carrow Road seems happy. How can this be? The fucking Glazers.
In a remarkable show of solidarity, Norwich City supporters have aligned themselves with the Manchester United Supporters Trust in their protest of ManU’s American owners. For some inexplicable reason, the Canaries seriously hate the fucking glazers. Every match day the stands are bursting with protestors demanding their resignation. This January, Norwich’s most pressing need is the assassination of Malcolm Glazer and everybody’s he’s related to.* It’s the only way the fans can ever be happy.
*4-5-2 does not condone the assassination of anybody. though if someone took out Sepp Blatter, we might not shed too many tears.
8. Stoke City – Stoke City play the ugliest, most loathsome brand of football anywhere in England. They’re a bunch of dirty bastards who haven’t scored a goal from open play since 1972. A quarter of their goals last year came off their big brutish defenders—more than any other team in the division. It will surprise no one when I tell you that they averaged less possession per game than any other team, controlling the ball a bugfuckeringly bad 40%. With a team this ugly, you’d think the best thing for them would be to go out and sign some actual footballers. Proper players who know how to pass and dribble and all those other footbally things footballers are supposed to do. But you’d be wrong. Stoke didn’t get to 8th in the table by playing football, and they’re certainly not going to start now.
What they really need is World’s Tallest Man Sultan Kösen. The Turk stands at a towering 8’3” and would be the perfect addition to Stoke’s squad.
It doesn’t matter what his skill level is, or if he even knows how to play football. I’m guessing that since he walks with a cane, he’s probably not the most athletic or even mobile individual. But Stoke don’t care. Stoke don’t give a fuck. He can just stand around in the penalty area all game long and wait for free kicks or long throws to come his way. All they need is for Sultan to stand perfectly still so Rory Delap and Ryan Shotton can throw balls at him until they accidentally bounce into the goal. To put in perspective just how tall this man is, picture Aaron Lennon standing next to Peter Crouch. Peter Crouch would look like Aaron Lennon if he stood next to Kösen, but only if Lennon were 6 inches shorter. The time of giants is cometh.
7. Liverpool – Liverpool have spent the past two seasons outside the Champions League and currently sit in sixth place in the league. Their best player is out for a stretch of eight games after coming down with racism. At first glance you may think another year of Europa League football is on the cards. But this is Liverpool. They never walk alone. Never. Ever. Never. Nerver. Evererner.
They have Andy Carroll, the future of English football. They have Jordan Henderson, the future of English football. They have Stewart Downing, who might get invited to play English football again in the future. They do not need your help. This team is winning the title.
6. Newcastle United – Mike Ashley wasn’t always the revered figure on Tyneside that he is today. It’s hard to believe, but there once was a time when people thought he was an incompetent cockney buffoon. But that’s all changed. Under his leadership, Newcastle won their first trophy in almost 20 years. And now his team’s playing some of their best football in the past decade. And the secret is: Modernization.
Newcastle are a proud club with a rich history. But Mike Ashley is determined to change all that. He’s dragged this club kicking and screaming into the 21st century whether they like it or not. His first brilliant modern technique was met with rave reviews from the Geordie nation. He decided to become more than an owner–he became a fan. And his hands on approach as a fan-slash-owner immediately paid dividends. The Toon Army fell in love with Mike Ashley, a man who transcended his role as an authority figure. He was one of them.
With the fans firmly in his corner, he implemented his next great forward-thinking plan. Rebranding.
St. James’ Park was a dignified and respectable name. But more importantly, it was archaic, out of touch, and the fans hated it. They longed for something modern, something snappier, but they needed Mike Ashley to show them the way. And he heard their pleas. He discarded their antiquated name, a relic of a bygone era, and gave them something fresh. The Sports Direct Arena. In a flash their stodgy old park, fraught with uncomfortable religious connotations, was transformed into a majestic Arena.
You’ve probably heard Mike Ashley’s praises being sung all along the Tyne after these two genius moves. But now it’s time for him to go for the hat trick. He must reinvent Newcastle’s jerseys. Newcastle has long been nicknamed the Barcodes for the black and white stripes of their unfortunate looking kits. But they deserve better. Barcodes are a fading technology. As outdated as St. James’ Park and an owner who doesn’t sit with his people. Once more, Mike Ashley must embrace the now and take the Geordie nation forward. Barcodes are a thing of the past. QR codes are the future.
There’s your look at the Premier League’s nearly men. Later today we’ll look at the top 5. The teams that are just one piece away from being your 2011-2012 Premier League champions.