Straight Outta Relegation – What Promoted Teams Bring to the Premier League
Club football is back after an exhilarating FIFA World Cup 2018. Football fans are ready to watch their favourite players playing for their respective clubs, with some exciting transfers having taken place during the transfer window. There is a lot of hype, especially around the Premier League (PL) – arguably the most competitive league amongst all.
Twenty teams will fight it out for the coveted PL crown in the new season – the top 17 teams from the previous season and three teams that got promoted from the second tier, that is the English Football League (EFL) Championship. The newly promoted teams are Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. (returning to the top tier after six years), Cardiff City F.C., and Fulham F.C. (both making a comeback to the top league after four years, after being relegated in 2014), replacing Stoke City F.C., West Bromwich Albion F.C., and Swansea City F.C.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club
The Wolves (as they are commonly called) have forced their way into the Premier League after winning the 2017-18 EFL Championship and will compete in the league for the first time since the 2011-12 season. The team has enjoyed a glorious past, being one of the founding members of the football league in 1888, the first league competition of its kind and having been the champions of England thrice. Apart from the last six seasons, they have always been around in the top two tiers of English football. After a string of managers, the team has finally found its rhythm under boss Nuno Espirito Santo. Their consistency and ability to grab chances as well as create them has been remarkable and is the main reason for their success. With UEFA Euro Cup winners Joao Moutinho and Rui Patricio; and players like Ruben Neves and Conor Coady in the mix, they seem to have a well-balanced side. Attacking midfielder Diogo Jota was their top goal scorer in the Championship and will also be a key player for them in the top league. They also have new signings like Jonny Castro (on loan from Atlético Madrid) and Raúl Jiménez (on loan from Benfica) to strengthen their squad.
Cardiff City Football Club
This football club from Wales has shown great spirit. The appointment of coach Neil Warnock, who seems to have a knack for taking teams to the top tier, with Cardiff City being the fourth team he helped achieve this feat (something no other manager in the world has done.). The 69-year-old’s confidence in his team and players is what has rocketed them this far. Cardiff City is the only team outside of England to have won the Football Association (FA) Cup, and have won the Welsh Championship a record 22 times, but haven’t quite left a mark on the Premier League yet. Unlike their competitors Fulham and Wolverhampton, who have had the means to strengthen their squads, the best performers for Cardiff have been players who were reclaimed from other clubs or unwanted elsewhere. Their style of play is not necessarily the most aesthetic, but Warnock has based their game play on team spirit and bonding. The squad is basically a bunch of misfits woven together beautifully by the manager. Junior Hoilett, Sol Bamba, Callum Paterson and Aron Gunnarsson are some of the players to watch out for in the Premier League.
Fulham Football Club
The third team to be promoted to the top tier is Fulham F.C. It is also the oldest team from London to play in the Premier League. With no major trophies to their name, Fulham will be looking to start of their PL campaign on a high after a motivated entry into the top tier. The team has a very tight midfield consisting of Stefan Johansen, Kevin McDonald and Tom Cairney. They also have a very sharp attack which will be further strengthened by the arrival of World Cup winner Andre Schurrle (on loan from Borussia Dortmund). The German is excited for his new challenge at the club and has said that it feels like home at Fulham. The nippy forward will be the biggest asset for his team this season. He has already had a taste of the Premier League glory during his days at Chelsea F.C. and will be looking to capitalise on that experience. The first ever promoted team to have spent over 100 million in the transfer window, and with players such as Ivorian midfielder Jean Micheal Seri, Serbian attacker Aleksandar Mitrovic and English youngster Ryan Sessegnon in their ranks, the Craven Cottage seems to be awaiting some exciting football.
It will be interesting to see how these clubs fare against the ‘Big Six’ of the Premier League, who have already completed multi-million-dollar transfers and further strengthened their already mighty squads. The fans are going to have a treat nonetheless – as the new season unfolds.
Featured Graphic Courtesy: Muhammad Bilal
Edited by: Tarush Dhume