With the Premier League done and dusted it offers a chance for each club to reflect on their 38 game season. Unusually all three of the promoted clubs for this campaign survived and made a great effort in doing so with Stoke, Swansea and West Brom all getting the chop and heading to the Championship next season. The fact it was these three will not upset many down the country, these are clubs who have stagnated and have made it their prerogative to simply stay in the division with an uninspiring style to stay the least. So this got me thinking, in a league where money is everything and forces clubs hand of results over everything, what have the new clubs bought to the table in the 2017/18 season?
Newcastle United – 10th
What a stunning season it has ended up being for Newcastle. Prior to a ball being kicked I anticipated a hard fought campaign for the Magpies with a personal belief they possess one of the worst squads in the league. However the ‘Rafa factor’ was one that also meant I thought they might well have had enough and that proved exactly that and then some. In terms of what they’ve added, well they aren’t the most eye catching side in the division to say the least and that is to be expected. Newcastle were in the bottom three for the amount of goals scored in their games which highlights more so how competive they were with both low goals scored and conceded. This nature means they have been involved in some decent clashes but they have little indiviudal quality to get you out of your seat. Overall I think it would be unfair to say Newcastle have been a boring addition, they’ve added probably as much as they could’ve done with the players at Benitez’s disposal and keeping it tight at the back was always going to have to be the Toon Army’s way of finding results which they certainly did.
Value rating – 6/10
Brighton & Hove Albion – 15th
A side I have always admired throughout the Championship, I was interested to see how the Seagulls took to life in their first season in the Premier League because they are a more than capable technical side. Like Newcastle Chris Hughton likes to make sure they are resolute at the back so they are a tale of two teams. Away from home Brighton seem to offer very little, they’ve failed to score in 11 of their 19 away games and only scored more than 1 a couple of times. At home though they appear to be much better value for money, playing from the back and full of energy, they have individuals who have given the league something to admire this season. The three behind Glenn Murray are all exciting talents for different reasons, Jose Izquierdo and Anthony Knockaert have offered flair and unpredictability during the campaign while Pascal Gross has been one of the captures of 2017/18 and has showed moments of brilliance and genuine quality that has alerted the leagues elite. For this reason Brighton have been a solid addition but as previously mentioned it’s better to see them on home territory for entertainment.
Value rating – 6/10
Huddersfield Town – 16th
A highly successful campaign for the Terriers as they achieved survival with some fantastic results away at Manchester City and Chelsea. The buzz surrounding the clubs play-off heroics and clear togetherness meant I anticipated a high energy side to arrive with Wagner making the Yorkshire outfit hassle every opponent throughout. They’ve been energetic but it’s virtually been spent in their own half and to be honest I’ve been very disappointed with Huddersfield, not that they will care, mind you! They’ve only managed 28 goals all season, the joint worst record. They have been very uninspiring and while in equal measure the way they play for each other is admirable, that is all that seems to separate them from the likes of Stoke and Swansea. I’ve always liked Huddersfield as a club but their most entertaining moments from this season have occurred with their celebrations after the match and not during it, which is a shame from my point of view.
Value rating – 3/10
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