We ask Rob McCaffrey, the face of Showsports’ match coverage, what we can expect from the new season
Position last season: 4th Top scorer last season: Robin van Persie (11) First game: Everton – August 15 Rob says: ‘Hard to predict, but Wenger always pulls it out of the bag.’
Position last season: 6th Top scorer last season: Gabriel Agbonlahor (12) First game: Wigan Athletic – August 15 Rob says: ‘Maybe top six if they can hold onto Ashley Young.’
Position last season: Promoted, 2nd. Top scorer last season: Kevin Phillips (14) First game: Manchester United – August 16 Rob says: ‘Alex McLeish is a top guy, so I really hope they do well.’
Position last season: 15th Top scorer last season: Benny McCarthy (10) First game: Manchester United – August 15 Rob says: ‘I don’t expect them to be in relegation trouble this time, but I don’t expect them to be troubling the top 10 either.’
Position last season: 13th Top scorer last season: Kevin Davies (12) First game: Sunderland – August 15 Rob says: ‘I think Gary Megson did great last year. If he can keep them mid table, he’s done well.’
Position last season: Promoted via playoffs, 5th. Top scorer last season: Martin Paterson (19) First game: Stoke City – August 15 Rob says: ‘Will struggle, but Owen Coyle is a bright manager and they play attractive football.’
Position last season: 3rd Top scorer last season: Nicolas Anelka (19) First game: Hull City – August 15 Rob says: ‘Ancelotti is an interesting character. But bizzarely Man City and Madrid’s millions have left them hunting in the bargain basement.’
Position last season: 5th Top scorer last season: Tim Cahill (8) First game: Arsenal – August 15 Rob says: ‘Everton seem to over perform every season. You wonder when they’ll run out of gas, but they don’t.’
Position last season: 7th Top scorer last season: Clint Dempsey (7) First game: Portsmouth – August 15 Rob says: ‘Brilliant last season. Need to add a few more players, though. A couple more.’
Position last season: 17th Top scorer last season: Deiberson Geovanni First game: Chelsea – August 15 Rob says: ‘Phil Brown kept them up and he got people talking about Hull. I’d expect good things.’
Position last season: 2nd Top scorer last season: Steven Gerrard (16) First game: Tottenham Hotspur – August 16 Rob says: ‘They have Glen Johnson – he’s my player to watch – so could be top two.’
Position last season: 10th Top scorer last season: De Souza Robinho (14) First game: Blackburn Rovers – August 15 Rob says: ‘Will be wonderful to watch. If you’ve got all those players together, you’ve got half a chance.’
Position last season: 1st Top scorer last season: Cristiano Ronaldo (18) First game: Birmingham City – August 16 Rob says: ‘Won’t be the same without Ronaldo, but who would bet against them?’
Position last season: 14th Top scorer last season: Peter Crouch (11) First game: Fulham – August 15 Rob says: ‘I think they’re going to struggle just because of all the uncertainty behind the scenes.’
Position last season: 12th Top scorer last season: Ricardo Fuller (11) First game: Burnley – August 15 Rob says: ‘I think they’ll be alright again, because they are so strong – just a sensible manager, Tony Pulis.’
Position last season: 16th Top scorer last season: Djibril Cisse (10) First game: Bolton Wanderers – August 15 Rob says: ‘If Steve Bruce can get them mid-table, that’s fine – you’ve got to have a bit of building going on.’
Position last season: 8th Top scorer last season: Darren Bent (12) First game: Liverpool – August 16 Rob says: ‘With Keane and Defoe, they’ll have goals in them for sure.’
West Ham United
Position last season: 9th Top scorer last season: Carlton Cole (10) First game: Wolverhampton Wanderers – August 15 Rob says: ‘There were just some wonderful managerial performances last season – if they finish 10th again, I think it’ll be fantastic.’
Position last season: 11th Top scorer last season: Amr Zaki (10) First game: Aston Villa – August 15 Rob says: ‘Hard for Roberto Martinez coming in after what Steve Bruce did. They lost Antonio Valencia – it’s going to be a difficult.’
Position last season: Promoted, 1st. Top scorer last season: Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (25) First game: West Ham Utd – August 15 Rob says: ‘He’s one of my big mates, McCarthy, and an outstanding manager. I absolutely hope they can survive.’ The Premier League begins on Showsports on Saturday, August 15. Full game schedule can be found at www.premierleague.com. Info on Showtime at www.showtimearabia.com Barasti Screens: 26 including one big screen Average pint: Dhs30 Deals: Buy Carlsberg for a chance to win a VIP trip to see Liverpool play. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi (04 399 3333)
Liverpool With a grand total of 600 Reds at The Underground, Habtoor Grand, for the Chelsea v Liverpool game at the end of the last season, was a cracker. Members of this club get 30 per cent discount at The Underground and 20 per cent off at all other Habtoor Grand restaurants (except Grand Grill). It’s quite an organised outfit, with sign-ups directed to their website, www.dubaireds.com. Communications manager and dedicated Red, Russell Overy, reckons Liverpool are on for a good season: ‘They did very well last year, but I’m holding out judgement until we’ve got the final words on signings. Man United are weakened with the departure of Tevez, I think it’ll be a close run this season.’
Manchester City The MCFC Supporters’ Club will be kicking off the season with a session at the Crown and Lion in the newly opened Byblos Hotel, Al Barsha. After that, venues are yet to be confirmed. Keep an eye on mcfcdubai.blogspot.com for info. No joining fees.
Manchester United Dubai’s Red Devils return to Harvesters, Crowne Plaza, for yet another year of discount-fuelled devilry. Get a membership card by emailing email@example.com, and enjoy 20 per cent off beverages and 25 per cent off food on match day. A popular, active club.
And then there’s Tottenham… Tottenham Hotspur fans once made Waxy O Conner’s their yard, but rumour has it the group has dispersed. You will still find a few Spurs fans floating around this Royal Ascot bar, however, come match day.
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Tim Ansell Aug 30, 2009 09:14 am
Good to see a Premiership season review but I was sorry to see no mention of the UAE Chelsea Supporters Club which I started ten years ago, and which has been affiliated with Chelsea FC since 2000. The club was officially inaugurated by Ken Bates (then Chairman of Chelsea) here in Dubai. The current Secretary of the Supporters Club, Lee Sporle, sat for two years on Chelsea's Fan Forum, traveling to the UK several times to advise Chelsea FC about the views and needs of overseas supporters clubs. So we pretty well established!!
We meet at Fibber Magees on Sheikh Zayed Road for all televised matches, where members enjoy F&B benefits thanks to the management of the bar. For details of the club see www.uaecsc.info
The club is planning a trip to Cyprus to watch the Apoel vs CFC Champions League match on 30th September. One of the benefits of being an affiliated club is that Chelsea's overseas supporters clubs have a certain number of tickets allocated for them, so we can usually obtain tickets for matches, including Champions League. These are available only to paid up members of the supporters club - another good reason for joining.
Maybe you can find it in your hearts to give us a plug as soon as possible?
By the way, I know what happened to the "Dubai Tottenham Supporters". He got a job in Qatar and left in May.