Always interesting to see what others say about your club and I came across this piece by a journalist covering West Brom.
He has taken a look at Newcastle United, Brighton and Huddersfield, in terms of how they will impact on West Brom next season.
Hull, Sunderland and Middlesbrough were very poor this season and only managed 34, 24 and 28 points respectively, yet this West Brom perspective overall is that:
‘On paper, you would argue the three coming up are not as big a threat to the Baggies as the three relegated.’
The previous season saw Newcastle relegated with 37 points, Norwich with 34 and a dreadful Villa on just 17.
Surely this suggests that at the very least, both Boro and the Mackems were far weaker than your average relegated club, especially when it came to scoring goals.
The West Brom perspective on the three promoted clubs via the Birmingham Mail:
‘Rafa Benitez’s men pipped Brighton to the title on the final weekend having trailed the Seagulls for much of the campaign.
But you would expect there to be a far wider gap in points next season with Magpies owner Mike Ashley ready to sign off a massive budget for new players this summer.
A budget that will dwarf Brighton and Huddersfield’s and might even double West Brom’s.
That a good number of their players have already played in the top flight should stand Newcastle in good stead.
For all the players they are likely to sign, it’s those already at the club that might end up being the most important, namely Jamaal Lascelles, Jonjo Shelvey and Dwight Gayle.
Of the three new arrivals, Newcastle are the only one you can envisage beating the drop and potentially challenging Albion for a mid-table finish.’
Brighton and Hove Albion:
‘Chris Hughton has a wealth of experience of managing in the Premier League, not all of it positive though.
Two stints as caretaker manager of Newcastle didn’t go amazingly welll.
Hughton was sacked in December 2010, ironically after a defeat to West Brom, having led them to promotion the previous season.
He kept Norwich City in the top flight in 2012/13, but parted company the following April with the Canaries one place and five points above the drop zone.
The likes of Lewis Dunk, a player Albion have been linked with, Solly March and Anthony Knockaert have proved too good for the second teir.
They must also prove they can cut it in the top flight and be bolstered by shrewd acquisitions, else the Seagulls wings will quickly be clipped.’
‘You really worry about the kind of players Huddersfield will be able to attract.
David Wagner will have to work his magic with loan players on the fringes at big clubs and attempt to snap up some of the Championship’s leading lights.
The German’s knowledge of the European markets should help him to find one or two undiscovered gems, but you really fear for the Terriers.
Especially if their static display at Wembley was anything to go by.
Midfielder Aaron Mooy looks capable of handling the big time and Nahki Wells is a lively striker that could take to the top flight.
Albion versus Huddersfield is not likely to capture too much imagination next season, but it will certainly interest Tony Pulis who might already be licking his lips at six points.’
Considering Brighton were neck and neck with Newcastle, I think it is foolish to downgrade them his much.
Arguably they have at least as many players who look capable of stepping up to the top tier AND their owner has spent a fortune on both building a promotion side and their Amex Stadium. They are sure to be big spenders as the club’s owner will be desperate to make the most of this chance.
As for Huddersfield, it will of course be a major challenge but Wagner has shown a great appreciation of the German transfer market and in his use of loan signings.
With Premier League cash to spend (in advance) this summer, a few key signings could make them a lot harder to beat than people will be anticipating.
Here’s hoping though he is correct with his Newcastle assessment!