I'm the person others stay away from in casinos. I'm the infamous Cooler. If I put money down on a bet, which I never do since I don't gamble, it's because I'm comfortable losing that money. That money will be lost. If I say something will happen, it's not a matter of "odds" or "chances" that the exact opposite will occur. It is an absolute certainty.
With that said, along with my three bold predictions from yesterday (that, again, will probably not happen because I decided to publicly state them), I still decided it'd be a wise idea to attempt a prediction of where the twenty EPL teams this season will finish. Again, because I'm stating them, please feel free to bet on the exact opposite of every single one of them.
20. Burnley. Nope. They seem like a fun crowd, and I kinda dig their kits? But, no. Good job, good effort and all that sort of departing, depressing talk you give to the losers.
19. West Brom. They signed Joleon Lescott on a Bosman this summer, which tells you all you need to know about the career of Joleon Lescott and the painful, drawn-out decline of West Brom. Down they go.
18. Leicester City. Their first five fixtures of the season are home versus Everton, Chelsea away, Arsenal home, Stoke away, and Manchester United home. They won the Championship last season; the good news is that they'll get a shot at winning next season's Championship, too.
17. Southampton. When your new manager trolls the club on the first day of training by tweeting out a picture of an empty pitch, alluding to the summer squad hemorrhaging, it's not exactly the kind of karma one wants to see to start the season.
16. Aston Villa. I really want them to be better than they are. They have great support, a fantastic history, and one of the coolest stadiums in the country. They also still have Randy Lerner as an owner, which immediately knocks their predicted table finish down ten spots.
15. Queens Park Rangers. Hey, 2003 called and wanted to say that Rio Ferdinand still hasn't come in for his drugs test. Oh, they also wanted to tell you that in 11 years' time, signing him because of his name, and name only, is probably a bad transfer policy. Then again, Harry Redknapp is still managing QPR, so be fully prepared and ready when he introduces Mark Viduka in January.
14. Sunderland. Words cannot describe how happy it makes me to see what new signing Jack Rodwell had to say to fellow English players who are considering signing for Manchester City. Sunderland have brought in Rodwell, but look to be losing Connor Wickham to West Ham. The presence of another former Arsenal keeper, Vito Mannone, alone, might see them higher up the table.
13. Stoke City. You know what? No. I'm not going to say shit about Stoke City. I already have, in one of my first-ever posts as a writer for TSF. That's how I felt then, it's how I feel now, and it's how I'll forever feel about that club and their ignorant ass fans.
12. Newcastle. Mike Ashley's managed to alienate the entire fanbase against him, Geordies are punching police horses in their horsey faces, and they still employ Alan Pardew. They lost Mathieu Debuchy to Arsenal (thanks, and by the way, he hated his time at your club!), however they seemingly find a way to scrape up a mid-table finish.
11. West Ham United. Does anyone know if West Ham have their own in-house YouTube video series that Carl Jenkinson can star in, killing time before he's due back to Arsenal next summer? I don't want to see that part of his game suffer while away from the club.
10. Crystal Palace. Yes, I have a Tony Pulis side finishing in the top ten. They finished on a high note last season, killing Liverpool's title hopes in the process, and they also beat Chelsea at home thanks to a John Terry own-goal that will never cease to be funny. Pulis will keep them disciplined, tactically, while frustrating all neutral observers in the process. But Pulis will get results for his club, regardless.
9. Hull City. I probably have them way higher than they deserve, or should be, but whatever. I really don't know much about Hull City, other than what I've seen of them when they've played Arsenal, nor do I really care. They're my dark horse for reasons unknown, and that's why you pay the big bucks for The Short Fuse's premium content.
8. Swansea City. Lukasz Fabianski! I really believe the former Arsenal keeper can produce at a consistent level now that he's got a place to start week-in, week-out. As long as they hold on to their main goal-scoring threat, Wilfried Bony, I believe the Swans have a shot at a fairly-decent finish this season.
6. Manchester United. Sorry, but I'm not buying the radical improvements they've made in the span of three months. I think it's an entirely different story this time next year, but there's been far too much turnover at a club that suffered from a drastic culture change twelve months ago. Plus, they spent £30 million on Luke Shaw, which lol. We'll take Calum Chambers, for half that amount from the same selling club, for the win.
5. Liverpool. This prediction could easily change if they land a whale of a center forward before the window closes. But I can't see how they manage to produce enough goals in the league, while now having to focus on Champions League, without Luis Suarez there to provide them production. My Liverpool-supporting buddy might not talk to me for a week now so my apologies ahead of time, Brian.
4. Everton. For real, though. This is a strong ass club at the moment. They've lost little in terms of players. They made Romelu Lukaku permanent. They penned Seamus Coleman and Ross Barkley to extensions, along with the guy driving all this positive change, Roberto Martinez. Anyone who doubts their aspirations this year will have few sympathizers when the Toffees beat their favorite side this season.
3. Manchester City. They won the title on the backs of finally waking up from their four-month slumber to start the season, but it'll be a tougher challenge this season to duplicate those efforts. Stronger clubs now dominate the EPL, with six clubs believing they have what it takes to win the league title. Any sort of squad mutiny, or yet another slow start to the season, could see City slip down the table.
2. Arsenal. I really want to put them on top, especially knowing who the club is that I really believe will win it all, and the manager of said unnamed-yet club. I really want to believe this is the season Arsene Wenger gets all the pieces he needs to win the league title, that this is the season Arsenal stay relatively healthy and can put out their strongest side for most matches. And, yet, because I see the glass half-empty on most occasions, I'm inclined to believe the worst will eventually happen. But, dammit, Arsenal will be really fun to watch, and they now possess enough depth to keep them in the thick of the race most of the season.
1. Chelsea. Dammit. I really, really do not want to put them here. There are many reasons to hate this club, starting with Jose Mourinho. They brought in one of the dirtiest players in the game, Diego Costa. They bought Cesc Fabregas. They still have John Terry, and still have Ramires. And, yet, they still win a ton of matches. Losing Frank Lampard might hurt, but his role diminished at the club over the past couple seasons. They've gotten stronger, and there's not a lot that suggests to me they'll finish any lower than first.