The lads are back with part three of our best run Premier League teams list and there is some surprises here.
Under firm guidance of Roberto Martinez, (debatably) Brendan Rodgers and with a refreshing young squad, Swansea leapt through the English football league and firmly cemented their Premier League table in 2011. An amazing feat considering the side that won the Play-Off final previously contained a front two of Emile Heskey and Fabio Borini. Since then, Swansea have progressed in stature and grew to be everyone’s “second-team” due to their relatively amazing success, the pinnacle being League Cup champions in 2013. Yet, in recent times this club has gone down the swanny – forgive me – with fees accumulated from Wilfried Bony and Joe Allen of 43m not being correctly reinvested. Likewise, managers have found it difficult at the helm with 4 managers coming in since Michael Laudrup’s dismissal in February 2014. Admirable in years past, but a worrying decline recently sees Swansea poised in 10th.
Being a Boro fan in recent years must have felt like being the runt of the family. Sitting in the shadow of rivals Newcastle and Sunderland, it had been a rough few years following relegation from the Premier League in 2009. Since, Boro have found a system that ensures domestic stability, unlike their rivals, whilst spending very little. Canny signings such as Valdes on a free and having the panache to lure Viktor Fischer from Dutch Champions Ajax for a bargain 4.25m. From a managerial perspective, Boro’s board took a risk in 2013 following the departure of Tony Mowbray in appointing inexperienced Aitor Karanka. Karanka was previously Jose Mourinho’s assistant at Real Madrid and the board saw an opportunity to appoint a coach of solid pedigree and the reward has paid off. Boro have a long season ahead, but have a well calculated board and steady manager to ensure they will progress up our list.
8. Tottenham Hotspur
Personally, I have two issues with how Spurs are being run but these issues can retrospectively be seen as positive methods for running a club. Gareth Bale was sensational for Spurs and was their Player of the Season in 2012-2013 and left to join Real Madrid for a then-world record transfer fee of 100.8m, an incredible amount to receive for one player. Arguably, the profits from this transfer were redistributed into absolute rubbish such as Roberto Soldado and Paulinho. Yet, without the tight arse chairman Daniel Levy there was no hope in any other team requesting 100m for Gareth Bale. Spurs fans will point to players like Danny Rose, Dele Alli and Harry Kane but they were players who came out of nowhere as oppose to astute buys. The Spurs motto is “To Dare Is to Do” and so far this season Spurs remain unbeaten and the board have wisely invested in a stadium expansion. With these plans in place, Spurs with the help of Levy may creep up further than 8th next season.
7. Manchester City
Arguably, Man City should be accompanying their city rivals Man United in propping up this list however, due to some astute business plans they see themselves sat in a respectable 7th position. To begin, let’s not forget the amount of money that has been squandered by The Citizens. Robinho’s shock move to City back in 2008 cost 32.5m – a figure that would seem fitting to our current fluctuating transfer market. This money seemingly went to waste as the Brazilian fell injured during his second season at the Manchester City stadium and with this was sent home to Santos before being sold to AC Milan for a mere return of 18m. But to support Man City’s position we must look further astray from the men’s side – Manchester City Women’s FC. While remaining outside of Man City’s corporate structure, the club has been heavily financed and supported by its “father” club. This support has lead Man City WFC to becoming FA Women’s Senior League AND Continental Cup Champions in 2016. City also have large network of feeder clubs, a lot of which are (* wink wink, nudge nudge) “owned” by the club . This maybe be bending the rules in terms of financial fair play but undoubtedly has help the club.For all of the debatable transfers and buying Premier League titles, the investment in club-wide success has earned Man City this 7th spot.
6. Stoke City
Stoke City have been in the Premier League for eight years and have become an established Premier League Club in the process. In that time they have only had two managers Tony Pulis who set the foundation of the club (also taking the club to an F.A. Cup final in 2011) and Mark Hughes who has built an exciting team with players like Shaquiri, Arnoutovic, Bony, Imbula and Joe Allen. The club must be commend for the way it treats its fans. Owner Peter Coates (Englands 25th richest man and owner of Bet 365) has helped build a stable Premier League who is constantly improving, has very little debt and still values supporters as fans not “customers”. Fans outside of England forget Stoke is a small place in England. Stoke has built a great rapport with fans in recent years by using the extra revenue from television rights to help pay for away trips for fans. Forget Dortmund, Stoke are definitely the template for the way a club should grow to being an established club and not forget the people who helped get them there. The fans.
For more listen to the Pupcast Here.