Newcastle United – In A Rut

April 20, 2015

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“As Newcastle United’s passionate supporters endure yet another frustrating season, it all seems a far cry from the days when they were known as “The Entertainers”. Mid-table mediocrity appears to be the pinnacle of the club’s ambition, while a cup run is to be frowned on, as it might weaken the chances of remaining in the top flight, where they can continue to benefit from the lucrative Premier League TV deal. Most of the fans’ displeasure is aimed at owner Mike Ashley, a highly successful businessman who has turned around the club financially, but who clearly favours profit over performance. He has made a series of strange choices, such as hiring his mates Dennis Wise and Joe Kinnear, that have slowly drained the supporters’ spirits, leading to widespread protests and even an organised match boycott.’ The Swiss Ramble


Tottenham Hotspur – The Bottom Line

April 16, 2015

“Being a Tottenham supporter must be a pretty good test of whether you are a glass half-full or glass half-empty type of person. On the one hand, the club is consistently at the higher end of the Premier League, memorably qualifying for the Champions League in 2010 and only missing out on a technicality two years later (due to Chelsea’s European victory); but on the other hand, it’s often a case of ‘close, but no cigar’.” The Swiss Ramble


Sunderland – Distant Sun

April 3, 2015

“These are tough times for Sunderland. Last season was also difficult, but finished on a high with an appearance in the Capital One cup final and the ‘great escape’ as a run of late victories avoided relegation. However, the club is currently just outside the relegation zone, leading to the sacking of Gus Poyet. As chairman Ellis Short explained, ‘Sadly, we have not made the progress that any of us had hoped for this season and we find ourselves battling, once again, at the wrong end of the table. We have therefore made the difficult decision that a change is needed.’ It remains to be seen whether former Dutch national team manager Dick Advocaat is the right man for the job, but it is clear that the club is completely focused on retaining its Premier League status, especially with the blockbuster new television deal on the horizon.” The Swiss Ramble


Aston Villa – Lost In The Supermarket

March 24, 2015

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“For a club of Aston Villa’s rich history, the past few years have been profoundly depressing, as they have spent most of that time at the wrong end of the Premier League table, desperately trying to avoid relegation. Their managerial merry-go-round has failed to improve matters, merely bringing their own version of doom (Alex McLeish) and gloom (Paul Lambert). This has been matched by a dismal performance off the pitch with the club bleeding money through some hefty losses, financed by the American owner Randy Lerner pumping vast sums of money into Aston Villa – with no tangible success. Little wonder that this toxic combination has caused Lerner to put the club up for sale.” The Swiss Ramble


Swansea City – A Design For Life

March 19, 2015

“The past few years have been pretty successful for Swansea City. After becoming the first Welsh club to gain promotion to the Premier League in 2011, they have since firmly established themselves in England’s top tier, finishing 11th, 9th and 12th in the three seasons since then. During this period, they have also won the Capital One Cup, which qualified them for the Europa League, where they reached the knockout stage before being eliminated by Napoli. In the process, they have continued to follow a prudent financial strategy As the club explained after promotion: ‘Our long term goals will cater for Swansea City remaining as a top flight club, but not in any way that puts the company’s financial stability at risk. This remains paramount in our management philosophy.’” The Swiss Ramble


Liverpool – A Show Of Strength

March 11, 2015

“It was so close. Although Liverpool supporters would naturally have been disappointed that Brendan Rodgers’ team narrowly missed out on securing title winning glory in the 2013/14 season, objectively speaking their surge to second place in the Premier League represented great progress. Not only did they improve significantly from the previous season’s seventh, but they also qualified for the Champions League, a competition that has played an important part in the Reds’ famous history.” The Swiss Ramble


Liverpool – A Show Of Strength

March 9, 2015

“It was so close. Although Liverpool supporters would naturally have been disappointed that Brendan Rodgers’ team narrowly missed out on securing title winning glory in the 2013/14 season, objectively speaking their surge to second place in the Premier League represented great progress. Not only did they improve significantly from the previous season’s seventh, but they also qualified for the Champions League, a competition that has played an important part in the Reds’ famous history.” The Swiss Ramble


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