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EPL three talking points: Swansea's £120m gamble and more

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

01-08-2016 18:25 BJT

Welcome to EPL3TP, where we take a glance at three key talking points from the Premier League. This week: Swansea takes a £120 million gamble, Leicester's set to invest, and Everton might be the Premier League's most entertaining team.

By Colin Robinson

 

Swansea's £120m gamble

Swansea likes to do things unconventionally, as it proved in February 2014, when the club's directors surprised everyone by promoting veteran player Garry Monk to replace experienced head coach Michael Laudrup.

It was a risk that paid off in the short to medium term: the Swans pulled away from the relegation zone, and things got even better last season, with Monk leading the club to an eighth place finish, its best league position since 1982. But after a great start to this season, things quickly went downhill. And last month, with the team hovering just above the drop zone once again, Monk was fired. 

Caretaker boss Alan Curtis has since won just one of five games. But on Thursday, Swansea announced that he would remain manager until the end of the season. With the Swans lingering in 17th position, this is a strange time to take a punt on a 61-year-old with no managerial experience.

And with Swansea's directors waiting until the end of the season to appoint a new permanent manager, they run the risk of a second half of a season comparable to Sunderland's in 2009 or Newcastle’s last term.

After Roy Keane quit Sunderland in December 2008, the Black Cats promoted coach Ricky Sbragia, a managerial novice, to replace him. And under the Scotsman, the team limped over the finish line, only guaranteeing its PL status on the final day of the season.

Newcastle tried something similar last season, asking rookie manager John Carver to fill in after Alan Pardew left for Crystal Palace. And the results were disastrous: the Magpies won just three of 20 games under Carver, and set a new club record of eight consecutive league defeats. 

And Swansea is taking an even bigger risk than either of those clubs, as the amount of money to be made from staying in the Premier League is expected to reach £120 million next season.

Leicester's set to invest

Leicester's title challenge has slowed a little, with the Foxes picking up just one point from its last three matches, but the underdog team sits just two points behind league leader Arsenal. And with the transfer window now open, the club may never be in a better position to lure top players.

As well as bringing in some new faces, the club also has to spend to keep its star players. With James Vardy and Riyad Mahrez tearing up the league, more established and wealthy clubs will surely make offers during this transfer window.

In light of interest from Premier League rivals, Leicester is hoping to extend Vardy's contract, which has more than two years remaining, and is reportedly willing to double his wages.

Mahrez signed a new deal in the summer, which lasts until 2019. But his head could be turned by the prospect of more money and more trophies elsewhere, so Leicester will want to convince him that it can compete with its more established rivals and match their ambitions. And maybe the best way to do that is to sign some quality players.

Unsurprisingly, overachieving Leicester was one of the first Premier League clubs to make a move this window, bringing in highly rated young winger Demarai Gray on January 2. And as the club looks capitalize on its great first half of the season, more will surely follow.

Everton: the new entertainers

Every now and then a Premier League grabs the public's attention: Newcastle's "entertainers" of the mid-nineties, the Leeds side that reached a Champions League semifinal in 2001, Liverpool's title-chasing side a couple of seasons ago.

All of those clubs have since declined significantly: Newcastle now lurches from one disaster to another, Leeds has becoming England's crisis club, and Liverpool has slipped back to mid-table PL mediocrity. But this season, Everton is shaping up to fill the role; probably not in terms of success, but certainly in terms entertainment and goals.

In fact, if you like goals, there has been no better team to watch in the Premier League this season. Everton has scored 36 times, a total bettered by only Manchester City and Leicester, and it has conceded 29; only two teams outside the relegation zone have a worse defensive record.

That all add up to 65 goals in 20 matches. And that total will surely increase in Everton's next game, as it takes on the league's top-scoring team, Man City.

Email the author: 2477978701@qq.com

 

( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

 

 

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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