The Relegation Dogfight 3

As the new year begins, and as we stand at the halfway point of the season, the teams currently at the bottom of the league, QPR, Southampton, Reading in the relegation zone, are close to being cast adrift from the premiership pack, while, the likes of Aston Villa and even Newcastle can still consider themselves knee deep in the relegation dogfight. Other clubs possibly flirting with disaster and have a need for concern about being drawn into the fray include; Fulham and Sunderland.

The Relegation Dogfight

The Relegation Dogfight

QPR have the toughest task as they sit in last place on 10 points, 3 points behind Reading, having come through the holiday season picking up only a few points after going

QPR are already onto their second manager after dispatching Mark Hughes early November, hiring the much traveled Harry Redknapp to perform a magic act.
Redknapp has already revealed his disappointment with the quality of the squad , but the likelihood of adding new players to the squad is highly unlikely as QPR have spent large sums in the last 12 months and have a huge wage bill and a surplus of players. If Redknapp is to save QPR, he will have to do it with the resources currently available. And If he pulls it off, it’ll be his biggest accomplishment of his management career, eclipsing the job he recently done at Spurs.

Southampton and Reading, two promoted sides that have not seen the fortunes they had hoped for upon their return to the EPL, find themselves fighting for their premiership lives as they go into the second half of the season.

Both clubs are well run and have gone into the season with a responsible fiscal policy. They have not overspent and have largely kept the same group of players that got them promoted.

Unfortunately, what their league position clearly shows is, the talent and quality that got them out of the lower tier and into the premiership, is not necessarily good enough to keep them there.

Both clubs, face the crucial decision of whether to bust their budget and dip into the transfer market and gamble on bringing in new and expensive high price signings to help save the campaign, or to soldier on with their current personnel. If they chose to pursue this path, and are unsuccessful, they would run the risk of financial ruin.
They’re success will depend upon whether hey have the stomach for the fight.

Currently sitting above the relegation zone, Aston Villa and Wigan have two vastly different Short and long term histories. Wigan are small club that have done a fantastic job of punching above their weight have found there wherewithal to manage to avoid relegation and maintain their premiership status. Last year manager Roberto Martinez pulled off heroics by going on a 9 game unbeaten street in a miraculous run that kept them up.

Aston Villa on the other hand are a legitimate English heavyweight with European (Champions league) Cup in their trophy case and over 50 years of top flight football. if they were to go down it would be a tragedy to British football.
As it stands, it is not looking very good for Villa.

The American owner, Randy Lerner, has tightened his belt after multiple years of big spending and has sold many of his top players and big money earners to balance the books. Instead he has chosen to go with a talented, but extremely young and inexperienced squad. The results and current league standing bare that out. They have shown flashes where they have gotten it all right and have gotten the result, but most often against top experienced aids they have come undone, and either most recent run, they have conceded over 15 goals in 3 games, including there 8-0 loss to Chelsea. An injection of veteran and experienced players are needed desperately if villa are to arrest the current slide and keep themselves out of the danger zone.

The ten Christmas period is a drastic point in the year and depending how well you do or don’t, can make or break your season.