Date: 19th February 2019 at 6:00pm
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Written by NWCherries98

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Points

5. Arsenal 26 15 5 6 53 37 16 50
6. Chelsea 26 15 5 6 45 29 16 50
7. Wolves 26 11 6 9 34 33 1 39
8. Watford 26 10 7 9 34 34 0 37
9. Everton 26 9 6 12 36 39 -3 33
10. West Ham 26 9 6 11 32 39 -7 33
11. AFCB 26 10 3 13 37 47 -10 33
12. Leicester 26 9 5 12 31 34 -3 32

There is always plenty of discussion about the relegation places, might as well have one for the race for the mythical 7th place. Looks like it’ll probably be between these 6 teams: AFC Bournemouth, Wolves, Watford, Everton, West Ham and Leicester. I’d say we’re comfortably the best team out of this lot at full strength, but then I’m arrogantly confident in our squad.

Wolves I find distinctly average, watching them play just reminds me of Watford V2; quite poor but picking up wins. Massively overrated by the media, and we’ll see how well they do once they pick up any key injuries. Can’t deny that they’ve done well so far, but a lot can change in 12 games.

Watford are the same as they’ve always been; a pretty bad footballing team picking up points from everywhere at a consistent rate. We’ve finished above them the last two seasons and I don’t expect that to change. We’re pretty close in terms of quality when both teams are at full strength though, I suppose.

Everton aren’t as good as they should be. Silva is revealing himself to be an average manager, and they seriously lack firepower up front. POSSIBLY have the best squad on paper, but they’re another team I find distinctly unimpressive.

West Ham have excellent flair and attacking players that can win them games but are generally weak in the middle and at the back, which you can see by their Goal Difference- arguably similar to us in that regard. I feel like they’re the team that would be most likely to be dragged back down into the lower midtable range, but that’s just my opinion.

Leicester are hard to judge; they could easily be where Wolves are, with the amount of “bonus points” they’ve won, but they haven’t really capitalised. Tielemans is a fantastic signing for them, and Vardy is always a threat when starting… I’m running out of things to say about all these teams; they’re all decent enough and any one of them could finish 8th behind us.

So why are we going to finish above all these teams?

1. Stability
So there are 12 games left of the season, and many of us will be having, or be in the middle of, bouts of poor form. We have the huge advantage of club stability (from a performance point of view). We’ve just been through arguably our worst Premier League run of form, and there wasn’t a whisper of Eddie Howe’s job being in danger, nor were there any signs of the players playing to get him sacked. I can easily see all of the other teams (except Wolves) having this problem; Leicester players seem unhappy with Puel, West Ham are always one bad run of form away from rioting, Everton fans will no doubt be expecting at least Top 8. Watford have mellowed a bit recently but still have it in them to go sack happy. We don’t have this problem, and are probably more likely to both turn around the bad form and maintain good form than anyone else.

2. Attack!
Quite simply, we have the best attack outside of the Top 6. We’ve scored the most goals, have the best spread of goals throughout the squad and have the most players with 6+ goals in the league. Burnley were the exception, not the rule. The more goals you score in this league, the higher you’ll finish. There’s a reason players like Johnny Evans go for £2 million and players like Bobby Reid end up going for £10 million+. A strong attack is always better than a strong defence in my opinion (Obviously it would be good to have both!).

3. Run-In
From March, we have one of the easiest run-ins out of all these teams. “There’s no such thing as an easy Premier League game!” Yes, there is. You’re not Eddie Howe, you don’t have to be polite to the other teams. Huddersfield is an easier game than Man City, Fulham is an easier game than Liverpool etc. On paper, we have a run of about 8 games that we could win, which is 24 points. Even being cynical, just 4 more wins takes us to a record points total. With an easier run in than most, we’re in with the best chance of finishing 7th given our current points total.

Thoughts? I’ll probably update this thread as each match goes by. I’m happy for everyone who would still take 17th, but I think we should honestly be aiming for at least Top 10, and I think that’s what Eddie Howe and the players would agree with too.

Your say…

Monmouthred wrote…

Callum Wilson and David Brooks also back for that run in.

We also haven’t (I think) lost at home to a non top 6 side since Burnley in December 2017. I would expect us to get the majority of the points available in Newcastle, Burnley and Fulham games.

The defining moments will be can we repeat our Watford and Fulham away games in those last five away games to pick up 8+ points?

Or will we see Burnley, Newcastle and Cardiff type performances? – Join the conversation, click here.

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11 Replies to “Best of the Rest”

  • What a load of rubbish, you cheated us out of six points along with doing the same too Watford the season you got promoted, you remind me of the Southampton teammates ( but smaller) in the sixties when they were branded animals.
    Clubs like yours should not be allowed into the premiership with your conference league ground, the only claim to fame you have is that you are a holiday town.
    It doesn’ t matter what happens on Saturday you will always be in our shadows, for that matter you will always be in the shadows of the other 91 league clubs, I hope your rock and women are better because you are shite!

  • Some harsh comments here. As a WHU fan I think you could probably put us all in a bag and shake us. We’re all where we are because we’ve not been able to perform consistently. My concern for us is what Arnie will turn up for the rest of the season? I’m optimistic because Lanzini will hopefully be like a new signing. I’d have to go with Wolves because they got the points at the moment. Based on squads I’d probably have Bournemouth nearer the bottom of the pile. I think you got a good manager that gets the best out of the team.

  • Bournemouth squad is nowhere near as talented as Wolves. We have only used 18 players and 11 of them are full internationals. We boast Neves who Man Utd are looking at paying £100m for and the signing of the season Moutinho @ £5m. Throw in the likes of Doherty, Jonny, Coady, Boly, Jota and Jiminez and you can see why we are 7th. If we had an injury to Jiminez we may struggle but we have loads of talented youngsters. Of the teams mentioned I see Watford as the biggest challenger. West Ham were awful at Molineux and Everton have a terrible manager!

  • “Quite simply, we have the best attack outside of the Top 6. We’ve scored the most goals,” No don’t keep reading across the next three columns you absolute weapon 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • My review on Bournemouth. Done well over the last couple of years, organised at best. A bit meh, and their novelty value is wearing off. Oh and lost to the average Watford v2 2-0 already this season. Living on borrowed time.

  • How on earth did this muppet come up with this I sagest you stay off the Dorset ale its pickled ya brain pal Wolves and WHU will finish 7-8th but would not bet on which of the two pips 7th place . Bournemouth cheated its way out of the championship remember the Molineux game getting players sent off deliberately to gain the points. I lived in Bournemouth for many years lived in Winton used to go and watch them in there 4th division days . now hate them with a passion at there cheating at the Molineux. Hope you get relegated soon.

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