Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughPromoted Sides Planning To Stick Around - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Promoted Sides Planning To Stick Around - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Promoted Sides Planning To Stick Around

For the majority of last season the Championship was a one-horse race, with Queens Park Rangers, under the guidance of Neil Warnock, sealing a return to the top flight for the first time in 15 years. Once dubbed “the richest club in the world”, Rangers should be looking to add the vital experience and quality needed to maintain their status in the Premier League. However, as of yet there has been limited activity in the transfer market with failed moves already for the likes of Danny Graham, Steve Morison, and Craig Mackail-Smith, although interest has re-opened in terms of bringing the latter to Loftus Road. Speculation is rife that with Flavio Briatore now back in charge of affairs behind the scenes, he wants to bring a big- name Italian to the club, Fabio Cannovaro the latest to be linked with a move to West London.

Fans were beginning to worry Neil Warnock may be axed with Briatore stating publicly in the past it would be a dream of his for Marcello Lippi or Claudio Ranieri, to manage the club in the Premier League. On Thursday Rangers released an official statement on their website dismissing any such rumours, and reiterating Neil was trying his hardest to bring players into the club, and although there has been limited success as of yet, he hoped to bring a least a couple of new targets to the club within the next few weeks.

Warnock has insisted his side’s firepower must be significantly improved for them to stand any chance of surviving and the offer from the club to Blackpool for the services of DJ Campbell on Thursday underlined this ambition. Rangers, along with West Ham, activated the £1.25 million relegation clause in Campbell’s contract giving Rangers permission to talk to the striker. If Warnock was able to pull this deal off, it would be considered an extremely shrewd bit of business, down to the fact Campbell netted a respectable 13 goals in 31 appearances last season, and was a star performer in the Seasiders’ fairytale campaign where they so nearly pulled off the great escape on the last day of the season at Old Trafford. Considering Warnock made a reported £4million bid for Mackail-Smith, a player unproven at the top level, the deal for Campbell would be a bargain buy for Warnock, and a definite step in the right direction.

Reports have also linked the club to free agent Jay Bothroyd, who scored 18 times for Cardiff City last season. Bothroyd is now available on a free transfer and Warnock is believed to have made contact with the England international about a deal to bring him to the club but rumours are that Bothroyd was demanding as much as £50,000 a week, double the club’s wage budget, although this has not been confirmed. Rangers have also been linked with moves for the likes of Jermaine Jenas, Robbie Keane, Kyle Naughton, Ryan Bertrand and Jimmy Bullard, but whether any of the deals come into place remains to be seen.

Speculation is growing as to whether the mesmeric yet unpredictable Moroccan Adel Taarabt will be at the club next season, with reported interest from Chelsea, Arsenal, Newcastle, PSG, and Atletico Madrid, just a few to name. Taarabt has claimed the asking price of £10 million has put off any clubs making a formal offer, and although stating he would love to move to a bigger club, he has insisted he is happy in the capital, and at Queens Park Rangers, so any deal would rely on whether the club felt the offer was good enough and if Taarabt wanted to move to the team in question. On Friday Paris Saint German made a reported £13.5 million bid for the Moroccan, although nothing has been confirmed by the club officials currently. However Rangers would receive only £8 million from this transfer if it was to go through, as Tottenham put a 40% percent sell-on fee to be received to them from when he leaves Rangers, a tidy bit of business from Spurs considering how low the sum they initially sold him for. Along with Norwich and Swansea, Rangers must ensure they are active in the transfer market and sign players good enough to keep them at this level. With the current squad relegation is a certainty, but with 4 to 5 additions to the squad they should do enough to avoid an immediate return to the Championship. Strengthening the defence and forward line should be on top of their priority considering the amount of talented midfielders they have at the club, such as Alejandro Faurlin, Jamie Mackie and Adel Taarabt.


Prediction: 15th

Norwich capped two memorable years at the club by achieving back-to-back promotions taking them back into the Premier League. Under the guidance of Paul Lambert the success at the club has been nothing short of relentless. After easing away with the League One crown in 2010, they achieved automatic promotion from the Championship in 2011, with the likes of Grant Holt imperative to the reason why they were promoted.

Already the Canaries have been busy in the transfer market acquiring the services of strikers James Vaughan for an undisclosed fee and the £2.5 million signing of Welsh international Steve Morison who netted 17 times for Millwall last season. Also arriving at Carrow Road has been the highly-rated winger Elliott Bennett from Brighton and the arrival of young Belgian defender Richie De Laet from Manchester United on a season-long loan. Subject to paperwork Norwich will also clinch the signing of Bradley Johnson, who excelled during his time at Leeds United, and when his contract expired last week, Norwich made him their fifth summer signing as of yet.

Lambert is also expected to strengthen up at the back with a few more additions wanted before they set off for their pre-season tour in mid-July to Germany. They were unsuccessful in bringing the talented defender Steven Caulker to the club on a season-long loan, after fellow newly-promoted team Swansea City beat them to his signature, but Lambert remains confident of adding a few faces to the team strengthening the squad he already has at his disposal.

Goals are a must at any level, and especially in the Premier League. Holt scored 21 goals last season firmly establishing himself as one of the top players in the league, however underrated he has been deemed in the past. After an uneasy start at the club, Simeon Jackson enjoyed a rich vein of form towards the end of the season ending up with 13 goals for the season after a spell out on the sidelines. With the additions of the talented Vaughan who has previously played in the Premier League with Everton, and the so-called ‘wildcard’ in Steve Morison Norwich should have enough attacking quality to pose threats to teams in the league, with the pace of Jackson, Morison and Vaughan undoubtedly set to cause problems to defences, with the strength and experience of Holt also essential to any chance Norwich have of avoiding relegation.

Defensively Norwich must look to strengthen with players of Premier League experience a certainty. In terms of their midfield they were quite a solid unit with the likes Of Wes Hoolahan and Andrew Surman continuing to impress, with the addition of Johnson only increasing the competition for places.

If Norwich get off to a decent start, and more importantly make Carrow Road a fortress, beating the sides in and around them, they could well avoid the drop, however I feel defensive reinforcements must be made to achieve this, without this I think they will heading back to the Championship.

Prediction 19th

Swansea City sealed a return to the Premiership for the first time in 50 years after defeating Reading in the Championship play-off final. Scott Sinclair was a stand-out performer as the Swans, under the guidance of manager Brendan Rogers, flourishing with their ‘total’ football approach, being dubbed as the Arsenal of the division due to their brand of play.

As of yet Swansea have strengthened their frontline with the signing of prolific front man Danny Graham from Watford for a fee believed to be in the region of £3.5 million pounds and secured the season-long loan of highly-rated Spurs youngster Steven Caulkner in a move to bolster their defence.

However for Swansea to stand any chance of survival they must react imminently to replace Dorus de Vries who left the club on a free transfer to join Wolves. De Vries was outstanding last season and played every minute of every game in the Championship, a mean feat in itself. To add to that, midfield man Darren Pratley also sealed a move to Bolton on a Bosman free after his contract expired. Brendan Rogers knows he must obtain a goalkeeper fit to follow De Vries footsteps’ and add some much needed experience and quality in the midfield area, otherwise the Swans and their expansive football could struggle hugely, as Blackpool eventually did, with their insistence to play counter- attacking football contributing to their own downfall and eventual relegation. In more positive news right-back Angel Rangel put pen to paper on a new three-year extension to his contract, and they are also set to sign promising Spanish striker Jonathan Soriano from Barcelona B. The 25 year-old was the top scorer in the Spanish second division last term with 26 goals and looks set to spurn the advances of Wigan and join the Welsh team.

The connection between Rogers and Chelsea may come in use, especially when promising youngsters like Ryan Bertrand are available on loan. Fabio Borini starred for the Swans on loan, and was offered to join the club on a permanent basis, a notion he rejected as he joined Serie A side Parma.

Swansea will struggle unless they find a new number 1 goalkeeper and add at least two midfielders to their rank. Scott Sinclair should provide his fair share of assists and goals along with livewire Nathan Dyer, but another front man to partner Graham should also be looked into, as goals are what keep teams in this division up and without them you are doomed. I have a funny feeling if Swansea make a few more wise acquisitions in the transfer market they could well stay up, whether they make these signings is another question.


Prediction 18th (17th if prolific striker is obtained)

Sean Gallagher


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *