Who Should You Cheer For This Premier League Season? An Investigation.
Have you ever needed an excuse to start drinking at 6am on a Saturday? Do you want to say sexy things like 'pitch' and 'kit' and 'Tottenham Hotspur'? If you said yes, then maybe Premier League football is for you! What's that? You don't have a team you support? You've come to the right place my friend.
I DON'T WANT TO PUMP FOR A LOSER ALL YEAR
There are really only like six or seven teams that could win the title this year, so if you want a shot at glory you should hop on one of these bandwagons:
Pros: They will always finish in the top four. Great history, winning pedigree. They play in London, so it's a great destination to visit if you want to catch a game. True heads respect their hustle.
Cons: They will probably never win the title again, they seem content to settle for top 4 most years. They're not Tottenham. They count some of the worst humans as fans, so if you ever wanted to be associated with Bin Laden and Piers Morgan, you'll have that now.
Notable players: Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Granit Xhaka, Per Mertesacker (lol)
Famous Supporters: Osama Bin Laden, Piers Morgan (lol), Jay Z, Mick Jagger, Chris Wong (not actually famous)
Shirt Appeal: If you're a dumpy mofo like me and most humans you should maybe skip them, they have a deal with Puma to manufacture their kits, which look OK I guess, but will definitely be too tight and make you (me) look like a fat sausage. I recommend picking up a 2013/14 Nike made kit, the fit will probably be a bit better and they have a nice blue accent on the sleeves that make them look pretty primo.
Pros: They're pretty rich, if that's what you're looking for. New coach Antonio Conte has a pretty impressive resume. They will always be in the mix to sign world class players. Will probably win something.
Cons: You will look like a total asshole cheering for them. John Terry. Team owner Roman Abramovich might be morally questionable. Antonio Conte might be out of a job by February.
Notable Players: Eden Hazard, Nemanja Matic, Thibault Courtois
Famous Supporters: my future ex-wife Nigella Lawson, Geri Halliwell, famous pile of garbage Jeremy Clarkson
Shirt Appeal: They're completely fine, I guess. They put out the same shirt seemingly every year.
Pros: Another super-rich team that has bought their way to the top. Probably most likely to win the title. Incoming coach Pep Guardiola has won with every team he's coached, so they got that going for them. Sergio Aguero can score in his sleep.
Cons: They play in Manchester, can't imagine anyone wanting to visit there. People will 100% know you're a new fan, if that sort of cred matters to you. Some of their top players are getting up there in age. Sergio Aguero is probably the best player in the league when he's healthy, which is becoming more and more rare.
Notable Players: Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, Joe Hart
Famous Supporters: Johnny Marr, uhhhh... Alan Carr, Timothy Dalton. It's not great, but at least you don't have Bin Laden.
Shirt Appeal: Powder blue, not very exciting in my eyes. This season they've gone back to the nautical badge they previously used in like the 60's. So if you like boats, there's that.
Pros: I guess Jose Mourinho is entertaining if nothing else.
Cons: They're trash. in my eyes the only fans lower are Chelsea fans. OK, Liverpool fans are maybe worse.
Notable Players: David de Gea, Paul Pogba, the ghost of Bastian Schweinsteiger
Famous Supporters: Channing Tatum? Danny Boyle, Enrique Iglesias
Shirt Appeal: Yeah man, if you want to wear a giant Chevy logo on your chest, go hog wild.
Pros: Jurgen Klopp has the best hair transplant in Europe, and is a terrific coach. They have money to burn. Lots of notable fans, so you'll be in good company.
Cons: Their roster is kind of hilarious. They're probably going to finish sixth.
Notable Players: Phillippe Coutinho, Mario Balotelli (lol), Daniel Sturridge
Famous Supporters: Lebron James, John Oliver, Clive Owen, Kim Cattrall (?), Gaddafi's son.
Shirt Appeal: Do you like the colour red? Because they are very very very red. They have a kinda cool weird bird crest. They're manufactured by New Balance, so they're ideal if you're a middle aged man.
Pros: They're on the come up, they play in London, and they love to attack. Out of the top six they have the most hipster appeal, if that sort of thing matters to you. Let's be real, if you're in North America and want to get into Soccer, it probably matters to you.
Cons: Definitely historically a loser team. Might completely fall apart this year and finish fifth. They always end up selling their best players, it's kinda heartbreaking.
Notable Players: Harry Kane, Hugo Lloris, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen
Famous Supporters: Adele, Steve Nash, Jude Law, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Salman Rushdie, Steve McQueen (director)
Shirt Appeal: Classy white, but to be honest you'd be wise to skip this years shirt, they look like St Louis Blues jerseys, unless that appeals to you. I recommend last years look, or the 2013/14 look which was very strong.
LET'S GET BUCKWILD HERE
So you don't want to be obvious and cheer for a team you'll actually see on TV more than once a year. What are your options? Everton, West Ham, Southampton, Swansea, and last years champs Leicester City are good picks if you want to get on board with lower expectations. Of the bunch I might go with Swansea for no other reason than they occasionally have cool white and gold shirts and I'm shallow like that. Southampton always exceed my expectations of them and are basically a farm team for the top teams in the league.
Leicester is up in the air, they shocked everyone when they took the league title last spring. Where are they going to finish this year? Nobody knows, but I would consider a repeat to be incredibly unlikely. Last year they were blessed with very few major injuries and were less fatigued due to not playing in any continental competitions. That changes this year where they'll be playing in the Champions League in addition to their domestic cups and the league, they aren't the deepest team and I picture them dropping a lot of points due to fatigue from mid-week matches. The possible exit of Riyad Mahrez would also be disastrous for Leicester, as he was their clear best player last season
Everton is basically a lock for an 8-10th place finish every year, they're under new managment this year with Roberto Martinez getting sacked and replaced by Ronald Koeman. Romelu Lukaku is a top 5 striker in the league, so you'll know who's name to put on the back of your shirt.
DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME
Avoid Watford, Burnley, Bournemouth, and Hull for your own mental health.