Blackburn Rovers – Burning Down The House

August 26, 2015

“This year marks the 20th anniversary of Blackburn Rovers winning the Premier League, a magnificent feat that only five clubs have achieved. Things are very different these days, compared to that golden period when Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton were tearing defences apart, as Rovers now languish in the Championship following a disastrous takeover. In November 2010 Rovers were acquired by Indian poultry giants Venky’s, who paid £23 million to end the club’s long association with the Jack Walker Trust. The new owners also took on around £20 million of debt, subsequently converting £10 million into share capital.” The Swiss Ramble


Ipswich Town – Forever The Same?

August 19, 2015

“One of the most surprising sides in last season’s Championship was Ipswich Town, who managed to reach the play-offs on a shoestring budget. Although they were eliminated in the semi-finals by local rivals Norwich City, this was a great achievement that highlighted the progress made under Mick McCarthy. When the experienced manager replaced Paul Jewell in November 2012, Ipswich were bottom of the Championship, but McCarthy successfully guided the club out of the relegation zone to finish in a comfortable 14th place. His first full season ended in a respectable 9th place in 2013/14, before he broke Ipswich’s many years of mid-table finishes by leading them to the play-offs.” The Swiss Ramble


Hull City – What’s My Name?

July 22, 2015

Hull City fans
“Hull City started the 2014/15 season with much optimism after the previous year’s exploits, when they had comfortably retained their Premier League status and reached the FA Cup final for the first time in their history, only losing 3-2 to Arsenal after extra time in a thrilling match. It was therefore particularly disappointing the way things turned out, as their Europa League adventure ended almost before it had started and, most painfully, they were relegated on the last day of the season.” The Swiss Ramble


West Bromwich Albion – Like Clockwork

July 17, 2015

“As West Bromwich Albion prepare for their sixth consecutive season in the Premier League, it’s fair to say that they have managed to have rid themselves of the unwanted tag of being a “yo-yo” club that constantly bounces between the Championship and the top flight. However, the fight to retain their Premier League status has not been without problems in the last two years. They narrowly avoided relegation in 2013/14 when they finished in 17th place, while Albion looked in some danger last season before the Tony Pulis effect kicked in with the results under the experienced manager enough to guide the team to mid-table security. Chairman Jeremy Peace said that this was ‘testament to the relentless intensity that (Pulis) brings to the challenge’ and the team’s improvement fully justified his decision to bring in the Welshman in January.” The Swiss Ramble


Lyon – All The Young Punks

July 11, 2015

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“At the beginning of the 2014/15 season very few analysts expected Lyon to be among the front-runners in Ligue 1, given that they had just changed their manager, replacing Rémi Garde with Hubert Fournier, and spent virtually no money. However, their exciting young side led the table for a lengthy period before finishing in a highly creditable second place behind the expensively assembled Paris Saint-Germain, thus qualifying for the Champions League. Expectations were on the low side, as Les Gones had endured much disappointment in the previous two seasons, failing to reach their previous heights by only finishing 3rd and 5th in the league.” The Swiss Ramble


Cardiff City – Bullet The Blue Sky

June 24, 2015

“Having tried so hard to reach the Premier League, it must have been a bitter pill to swallow for Cardiff City, as the Bluebirds only managed to stay in the top flight for one brief season before dropping back to the Championship. They had been knocking on the door for so long, being eliminated in the play-offs for three consecutive seasons, before finally securing automatic promotion after comfortably winning the division in 2013. The club had been guided to success in that memorable season by Malky Mackay, but a disappointing start to Cardiff’s first ever Premier League campaign, allied with a breakdown in trust over transfers between the manager and owner, Vincent Tan, resulted in the Scot’s departure in December.” The Swiss Ramble


Celtic – Everything’s Gone Green

June 18, 2015

Scott Brown
“So Celtic duly won their fourth consecutive Scottish League title in May in their first season under young Norwegian manager Ronny Deila, who had replaced the very successful Neil Lennon the previous summer. Despite this fine achievement, there was also disappointment, as the famous Glasgow club failed to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League, even though they had two bites at the cherry, having been reprieved after Legia Warsaw fielded an ineligible player, only to crash out against Slovenian champions Maribor. This was in stark contrast to previous great nights in Europe. As recently as November 2012, Celtic beat Barcelona 2-1 in front of a packed Celtic Park, as they made their way to the last 16 of the Champions League. Many believed that this would be the platform for greater things, but the club has not progressed since then, as they did not make the best use of the European cash windfall. Instead, they sold three key players at the end of that season (Victor Wanyama, Gary Hooper and Kelvin Wilson) and failed to adequately replace them.” The Swiss Ramble


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