Midland Teams ready to take Top Tier by Force
By Guest Writer Rob Watts.
Forget talks of club takeovers, as of next season the Premier League could see a small influx of Midland teams competing in the top tier. With Aston Villa and Birmingham City both having terrific seasons, Wolverhampton Wanderers avoiding the drop and the imminent arrival of West Bromwich from the Coca-Cola Championship, next season promises to be exciting times for the four Midlands clubs.
Not since the 1983/1984 season have all four major West Midlands clubs been among the elite. Coincidently, that was also the last season when Wolves and the Baggies have been in the top flight together.
Aside from West Bromwich, whom along with their Midlands rivals Villa and Birmingham, have also had an excellent campaign, could be joined by another Midlands side in the Premier League in the form of Leicester City or Nottingham Forrest. Both clubs are into the play offs’s and with only Blackpool and Cardiff in their way, could be joining their neighbours in the top tier.
West Brom’s reputation of being a ‘yoyo’ type club may have eluded some of their fans in the past. However with young talent like Graham Dorran, Chris Brunt and Simon Cox, Albion fans may feel slightly more confident about staying up than the previous time.
Derby’s such as the North London encounter between Tottenham and Arsenal has always drawn media attention because of how close the clubs have become in the league over the past three or four seasons. The same applies to the derby matches between Liverpool and Everton, two sides that have an outstanding club heritage and are becoming ever closer, not just in terms of league positioning, but also improving their standard of football on a regular, consistent basis.
This season has seen the financial gap between Manchester United and Manchester City close and switch roles as City have now become the richest club in the world after their colossal takeover last year.
This shows that money really does talk. It also raises another issue of passion for the club. For years Man United had a reputation of having large amounts of their fans not actually residing from the Manchester. However with Man City now expanding into a global brand, will this have a negative effect on their homegrown supporters from the streets of Moss Side?
After the seasons that Villa and Birmingham have had, is it any wonder that both sets of fans are gearing up for next season already. The tension at derby games is always high, and the atmosphere is nothing short of electric. However with the two sides looking to push on from this season, seeing both clubs in the top eight of the Premier League could become a permanent fixture.