Premier League transfers after Brexit

The UK left the EU at the end of 2020 and with the end of freedom of movement came a new regime for football transfers with players coming from an EU country now requiring a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) to be able to play in the UK. The January transfer window was generally quiet with not much money being spent (impact of Covid has perhaps some responsibility for that) but the only comments I can find regarding the new system from a prominent manager came from Sam Allardyce. The West Brom head coach made comments early in the window that the new system was making it harder for him. On January 4th, he told reporters…

Sam Allardyce. [Image from the Premier League].

‘I have found three players already who were capable of coming here and they’re not allowed. It’s a shame. Due to the new regulations in terms of the permit they were unable to come to this country, whereas (previously) they would have done. I have to look at that and think ‘can he qualify?’ read more

Sam Allardyce in at West Brom, Slaven Bilic out: Will he keep them up?

The 2020/21 Premier League season got to the 13th round of games and while that number is unlucky for some, it was cruelly unlucky for Slaven Bilic. My choice of the sack race didn’t come off (I eventually went for David Moyes) and the Croatian was removed from his role as Head Coach of West Brom following their very credible 1-1 draw at Manchester City. The Hawthorns [Image above from West Bromwich Albion] club statement read:

West Bromwich Albion have today parted company with Head Coach Slaven Bilić. Assistant Coaches, Dean Računica and Danilo Butorović, and First Team Coach Julian Dicks have also left the club with immediate effect. The Baggies are currently 19th in the Premier League table with seven points from 13 fixtures. Albion would like to thank Slaven and his coaching staff for their efforts in achieving promotion last season and wishes them all well in the future. The club will make no further comment at this time. read more

Premier League 2017/18 Battle for PL Survival: who will go down?

I have not done anything on football for a long time now. For my plans in 2018, I said I would commit to continuing to produce Match Thoughts posts when I caught up with the monthly review posts. This has not materialised due to a mix of personal circumstances and balancing other priorities. Instead, for the remainder of the season, I will turn to a series of questions to answer in the closing weeks of the season. This starts with the battle for survival in the Premier League.

As the Premier League returns this weekend following the final international break before this summers World Cup, most teams only have seven or eight games left and the bottom of the table could not be tighter. Whilst one team are well adrift in 20th, the other two teams in the bottom three are only a matter of nine points away from 10th. That means anyone of West Brom, Stoke City, Southampton, West Ham, Crystal Palace, Huddersfield Town, Swansea City, Newcastle United, Brighton & Hove Albion, Watford and Bournemouth are all in the relegation picture. But, who do I think it will be?

West Brom

Position: 20th, 20 Points
Played 31, 3 Wins, 11 Draws, 17 Defeats, 29 Goals Scored, 49 Goals Against, -25 Goal Difference
Manager: Alan Pardew
Top Scorer: Solomon Rondon 6
Remaining fixtures: Burnley (home), Swansea (home), Manchester United (away), Liverpool (away), Newcastle United (away), Tottenham Hotspur (home), Crystal Palace (away). read more

A Match Thoughts Double-header: West Brom 2-2 Newcastle United & Chelsea 3-1 Newcastle United

As November turned into December, the Premier League had its first set of midweek fixtures and the weekend to follow had a number of huge talking points to come as well.

Wayne Rooney stole the headlines in midweek with a hat-trick in Everton’s 4-0 win over West Ham with a sublime long-range effort for his third. Ashley Young continued his good run of form as Manchester United defeated Watford, Manchester City edged past Southampton 2-1 and Liverpool put four past Stoke while Chelsea just saw off Swansea City. Managers also took headlines too with Mr’s Pardew and Allardyce returning to management with West Brom and Everton respectively. read more