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April 11 2017 3 11 /04 /April /2017 15:51

With the Premier League coming to a close teams are looking at the magical 40 point mark that makes your top level football safe for another season. 

But do you really need to reach 40 points or will fewer points still mean you can stay in the Premier League. 

Looking back at the past 5 seasons it would suggest not:

Last season we lost Aston Villa 17 points, Norwich 34 points and Newcastle 37 points. In this season it was Sunderland who stayed up with just 39 points. 

Back in 2014/15 season we saw 3 clubs end on less than 40 points and stay in the league. Hull came 18th that season with just 35 points. 

In the 2013/14 campaign we saw the lowest point tally in the last 5 seasons. West Ham came 13th this season with 40 points and Norwich again were the unlucky ones with just 33 points and an 18th position. 

The season 2012/13 saw Sunderland end in 17th place with 39 points again, below them Wigan with 36 points and an FA Cup trophy to their name, but ultimately relegation. 

Finally all the way back in 2011/12 two more teams stayed in the Premier League with less than the magic 40 points, QPR and Aston Villa both remained a top flight side despite failing to get to 40 points with with Bolton going down with 36 points. 

This shows in most seasons you only need an average of 37 points to stay in the league. 

With this in mind: Crystal Palace only need 3 points for safety from 7 games. Hull 7 points from 6 games. Swansea 9 points from 6 games. Boro will need 13 points from 7 games and Sunderland would almost have to double their points tally, they need to rack up 17 points from 7 games. 

 

Calum Anderson

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March 1 2016 3 01 /03 /March /2016 18:48

People are still waiting for Manchester United to be challenging for titles, so I have had a look back at their side who last won the title and where are they playing now.

Goalkeeper:

Anders Lindegaard was the man between the sticks for Fergie's last game. The Danish goalkeeper was being alternated with David de Gea for most of the season. Lindergaard was given the nod for the final game but then let in 5 goals. He is now applying his trade in the Championship as he is Preston North End's number 1. He is currently on loan from the team he played his penultimate Premier League appearance for the Red Devils, West Brom.

Defenders:

At right back was Antonio Valencia, this was Ferguson's new plan as he was clearly worried about Rafael as his right back and Valencia showed that he was versatile enough to be able to play in the right back position. Since Ferguson has left Valencia has made 89 appearances with just 4 goals and is currently out injured as is many of LvG side.

Phil Jones also started the game and was meant to be stopping the West Brom powerhouse striker on the day Romelu Lukaku. Jones was signed as a young defender who had a lot of potential but some argue he is yet to reach the heights that he should have. The English centre-back has played 78 times since the departure of Fergie and has 3 goals to his name in that time. He is also currently out due to an injury.

Jonny Evans was the man deployed next to Phil Jones. The Northern Ireland man was another player who didn't reach his true potential at United. The man who came through the academy was sold by Louis van Gaal to West Brom for £6.25m. Evans was a key player for David Moyes in his first and only season playing 17 games in the league before getting injured and missing the final run in. He totaled 46 games with 2 goals for Manchester United and 25 games and 1 goal for Pulis' WBA this season being a vital man for them with his versatility.

At left-back was Alexander Buttner who was a questionable signing from Ferguson but he was a player who would always put in the effort in and would be intent on attacking in every single game. LvG sold the defender to Dinamo Moscow where he failed to impress and is now on loan at Anderlecht. He played just 15 more times for the English champions with Moyes. The next season with Dinamo Moscow he played 31 times but also collected 7 yellows and 2 reds in that time. This season he has played just 7 times for Anderlecht being used as very much a cup player.

Midfielders:

Michael Carrick is the first player we look at in the middle of the park. He has been an ever present in the United side ever since he left Spurs. He has been as important as any in the middle as he dictates most games and is vital to any manager. He has played 89 times over the past 3 seasons. The only games he missed during the 2014/15 campaign was due to injury but he has been important for both Moyes and van Gaal. He only has 4 months left on his contract and could be a free agent this summer.

A player everyone raved about before he joined United and showed some glimpses of magic, it's Anderson. The Brazilian won an impressive 7 trophies in his time at Old Trafford including a champions league medal. After playing just 8 games for David Moyes he felt he wasn't the right player for him and was sent out on loan to Fiorentina. He played an extra 9 games that season. Anderson was later sold to Internacional for a free transfer where he has made 36 appearances for the Brazilian side.

Tom Cleverley was the next central midfielder in this game. A player who was highly disliked by all it seemed as there was a petition for him to never play for the England national side again. He was a player who Sir Alex had a lot of faith in and a player who used the ball well for his side. The Basingstoke born midfielder played another 32 times for United, that includes just one game for Louis van Gaal who thought he wasn't good enough as he was shipped out to Aston Villa where he played 37 times for his loan club. He was then signed by Roberto Martinez who was a big admirer of the ball playing midfielder, he has played 21 times for Everton this season.

Shinji Kagawa, a player Jurgen Klopp said when the attacking midfielder was on the bench: 'My heart breaks. Really, I have tears in my eyes.' Klopp could only take so much heart-break and re-signed the midfielder in the summer of 2014. The Japanese play-maker played 30 games for Moyes. But his return to Dortmund saw him get 71 games with 14 goals and 20 assists in all competitions.

Javier Hernandez, a striker who was admired by all, a defenders nightmare, someone who doesn't stop running and gets all types of goals. The Mexican striker was an important player for Moyes getting his side 9 goals in 35 games. Since then he has played a total of 68 premier league minutes for LvG. He played 35 games for Real Madrid with his one season on loan where he also got 9 goals and 9 assists. This season has been his most impressive with 23 goals in 35 games for Bayer Leverkusen.

The final man to start the game was Robin van Persie. The striker who chose to leave the club that gave him everything just to go win 2 trophies with United. The flying Dutchman did go on to play 57 more times for the Red Devils and got 28 goals for his side. But when Fergie left it did have a huge impact, with injuries and jaded form he then left to join Fenerbahce where he has played 35 goals scoring 14.

Substitutes:

David de Gea has gone from strength to strength in recent seasons and after the failed transfer to Real Madrid he is firmly a fan's favourite at the club. He can now be argued as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League. He has played 127 times getting 47 clean sheets in his time after Fergie.

Patrice Evra was an ever presence in Sir Alex Ferguson's side from 2006. The left-back was a key player for United and helped them win 14 trophies in his time there. He played 45 times for Moyes, but was shipped off to Italy after playing 60 games for Juventus in his 2 seasons so far including the Champions League final where they lost to Barcelona 3-1.

The one time world's most expensive defender Rio Ferdinand was the last ever substitute that was used by Ferguson. Rio was very much a bit part player after Ferguson left. He was very much a squad player for his final season at Old Trafford playing just 23 times. He then moved to QPR on a free transfer where he played just 12 games but was going through a family trauma. He is now retired and occasionally pops up on the BBC and is on the BT Sport pannel.

Nemanja Vidic, a player some would consider one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League history was another key player in Ferguson's back line along with Ferdinand and Evra. But all three were getting on. Vidic was a player who suffered a lot of injuries during his career. Vidic played a further 34 games for United. He was then sold to Inter on another free transfer where he played just 23 games. He then retired earlier in this season due to injuries.

Ryan Giggs, a true club legend. Someone who played for Ferguson since the 2nd March 1991 where they played Everton. Giggs played a remarkable 24 seasons at Old Trafford and retired when he was 40 years old. The winger turned central midfielder was a key man to any Manchester United side. The Welshman won an impressive 36 trophies in his 24 seasons. He played just 22 games for Moyes. But at the end of the season he was given the player-manager role for 4 games. He currently has a 50% win ratio as a manager. He is now the assistant coach at Manchester United.

Paul Scholes, was the last man to pick up a yellow card for a Ferguson side after being brought on mid-way through the second half. That game proved to be his final game as he went on to retired. The man is now a pundit which is a surprising job for a player who would never come out and speak to the media but now he works for it and is giving everyone his opinion, even when we don't want it.

The final player is the youngster who has big potential that we are all waiting to see if he reaches it. Adnan Januzaj, the man who took Giggs number, huge boots to fill. The Belgian midfielder was someone David Moyes put a lot of faith in and he looked like a good player in that season. He played a huge 35 games in his break through season. He played just 21 games in van Gaal's first season, the Dutchman hasn't been overly convinced by the youngster I feel, as the next season he was loaned out to Borussia Dortmund where he played just 12 games. He was recalled in January and has played 4 times for United this year.

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