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Sometimes, throughout a Premier League season, we are treated to some welcome surprises, but usually the campaign strolls along the predictable peaks and troughs, breaking news, broken legs and bore draws.
Here are 5 things I would put money on for next season.
1. West Ham will do worse without Sam Allardyce
Alan Shearer said what everyone was thinking on the final Match of the Day of the season. ‘Look what happened to Newcastle, look what happened to Bolton and look what happened to Blackburn when Sam Allardyce left.’
What happened? They got worse, plummeted down the table and were eventually relegated in the following few seasons. West Ham need to be careful what they wish for, and could well find themselves facing the drop next season.
Another Spurs title challenge faded by Christmas this year. Although they should improve under Mario Pochettino‘s guidance, my guess it is won’t be at the speed of those above with all their riches, plus the fact they will once again wear the fatal shackles of the Europa League.
3. Walcott, Wilshere, Costa, Sturridge and all of Man Utd’s defence will get crippled by long term injury
Most teams have at least one injury prone, bones-of-glass superstar who just can’t stay off the operating table. The most prominent culprits, named above, seem to meet this fate every single season. Walcott in particular has got into a rather concrete rhythm of injury, return, score goals and play unbelievably well, then get injured again.
4. Wilfried Bony will be sold to a mid-table team by Summer 2016
Bony has struggled to get minutes, and goals, since his arrival at the Etihad. True – Aguero rules the roost over there, but you would still have expected more from a big money signing only second in line to the starting eleven.
Bony is a huge talent, with strength, grit and a good finish. Those talents deserve to be serviced elsewhere. I’m thinking Bony at Everton alongside Lukaku could be interesting…
If it doesn’t happen in January then certainly by this time next year we should see him move on.
5. A startling new talent will come out of nowhere and then fizzle by Christmas
The season Sterling and Januzaj burst on to the scene a couple of years ago we all got rather excited. Cue December and they were hardly anywhere to be seen. Rodgers said Sterling had ‘lost his spark’ while Januzaj had just…well, gone.
This season we had it with Danny Ings and Saido Berahinho, both whose goalscoring form dropped dramatically come the new year.
Who will it be next season? Loftus-Cheek? We shall see.
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