The Premier League has really been knocked into two sub-sections. There is the top-six, consisting of Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United. Then, there are all the other teams who will think that they can finish seventh.
Everton fans may think that they should be included in the above list of big hitters, but in truth, they are still a couple of levels below that stratosphere. Leicester broke through the barrier a couple of years ago, but that seems like a fluke.
Southampton and West Brom have looked like teams that could lead the chasing pack at times, but they have lost some of the prior momentum in recent times. Crystal Palace and West Ham are sides that have ambition, but don’t seem to have much else going for them.
Everton are the side that sit atop the chasing pack on a continuous basis. Despite that, they never really looked like catching Manchester United last season and they’ve lost their top-goalscorer too.
Lukaku will be a huge loss for The Toffees. However, they have bought cleverly this transfer market. Michael Keane is a solid defender and Davy Klaassen and Wayne Rooney will no doubt improve their chances too.
West Ham had a season to forget last year, but have made some solid signings too. Javier Hernandez is going to score goals and Joe Hart is going to save some, so it would be surprising if they don’t improve too.
Leicester has less pressure than last season, so should be considered a good bet too. Their form in spurts is excellent, it’s just a question of consistency. Can Jamie Vardy and company keep playing well week-in, week-out.
West Ham chairman, David Gold, thinks that his side can challenge for the title – he stated: “We start the season in three trophies and our ambition is to win three trophies. I know it’s unlikely we’ll do that but you have to think we can win them.”
Meanwhile, Everton legend Graeme Sharp thinks his old team can challenge for trophies too. When discussing Wayne Rooney’s return to the club, he said: “Now he has an ideal opportunity at his boyhood club to show his career isn’t finished. Of course, there was an emotional pull for him but there’s also some unfinished business – he wants to win a trophy with Everton.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle United in going through a huge amount of turmoil. Rafa Benitez has indicated he is very unhappy in recent interviews. He said: “I’m not happy, but at the same time it’s a challenge. When I decided to stay it’s because for me it’s a challenge.
“I’m not totally happy with what we did, but I will try to do my best, working very hard with people at the club to try and improve what we have at the moment.”
This turmoil has to affect their chances of success.
West Ham’s ambition and summer signings suggest that they can lead the chasing pack and finish above all others aside from the top-six. They are 10/1 to win that race. The likes of Joe Hart and Hernandez should help them win it.