Four teams in trouble ahead of the start of the Premier League season

Vatsal Gupta
By Vatsal Gupta
8 Min Read

The friendly season is almost over and the competitive action is about to begin. As with every season, there are some teams who would be feeling confident coming into the new campaign, while some will be sweating bullets.

Be it because of losing a key player, having a nightmare transfer window, or general upheaval at board level, these teams below are in trouble ahead of the start of the Premier League season.

These clubs are not necessarily the weakest squads or even favourites to get relegated. However, if they don’t sort out their issues soon, they could be in for a rude awakening when the competitive bell rings.

West Ham United

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Your best player has left. You’re left with nearly £100 million in the bank with clubs ready to fleece you at the first sign of opportunity.

The manager wants one player, and the board wants another, causing friction at the boardroom level. Meanwhile, teams around you continue to make moves to strengthen, leaving you further behind.

This is the situation David Moyes and West Ham United find themselves in after selling Declan Rice for British record money.

We already covered Declan Rice replacements for the Hammers, but bringing them in for a fair price is another matter altogether.

Then there’s the difference in opinion between David Moyes and the Hammers board. They seemingly can’t get on the same page about prospective signings which has led to an unenviable point. Not a single player has been signed so far and their transfer kitty is about to get larger with the sale of Gianluca Scamacca.

It will further incentivise rival clubs to fleece West Ham who are looking like in a state of panic.

It is the worst possible time for them to play competitive action as pre-season has also dawdled to nothingness. A recent 0-4 loss to Bayer Leverkusen summed up their state at the moment.

Moyes did remarkably well to consolidate a PL spot last year and won the UEFA Europa Conference League. However, the high from that point means the Hammers might get hurt irreparably once the action begins this season.

Luton Town

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Unlike West Ham United, Luton Town have actually done some good business in the market so far. Tahith Chong and Mads Andersen are astute additions and Issa Kabore is a highly-rated prospect on loan from Manchester City.

However, their problem pertains to what is the most important thing for a promoted side- home ground.

Any promoted team arguably needs to win at least 50% of its points at home to secure survival but as things stands, their home ground is not even considered ready to host PL football.

Kenilworth Road is the smallest stadium in the Premier League this season and the lack of facilities for media and broadcasters mean that their first game of the season, at home vs Burnley, is already postponed.

The importance of getting off to a good start by feeding off a rabid crowd that hasn’t seen PL football in years can’t be understated.

Instead, they’ll now kick off away from home, likely to be huge underdogs, and with a loss on the cards.

A huge missed opportunity and one that is likely to provide a long-term hindrance.

Add to that the questionable quality of the squad, despite some transfers, and there is a recipe for disaster. Luton’s best hope this season might be to enjoy the fruits of the TV money that comes with being a PL squad and consolidate their future for the next promotion to the league.


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Sean Dyche managed to keep the Toffees in the Premier League last season, but that cannot be the aim long-term at such a historically successful club.

Years of reckless spending have led Everton to this point where they always feel like one transfer away from being sanctioned for breaching FPP rules.

Dyche is the survival specialist so Everton arguably shouldn’t be in relegation danger. However, the supporters deserve better and will soon get itchy and impatient if that is all there is to their season.

The transfers have been lukewarm. Ashley Young on a free transfer is a quintessential Dyche signing. His experience and leadership will stabilise the locker room which is too used to having great highs and devastating lows now.

Arnaut Danjuma is an exciting capture on loan but he hasn’t shown himself to be the matchwinner who takes the games by the scruff of its neck.

Overall, Everton have flown under the radar and the upcoming season might become an exercise in consolidation rather than progression. However, the problem with that strategy is that a bad start can snowball into something much worse. Then the plague affects everyone involved, from the manager to the board to the players.


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The Chinese owners came to the scene, Jorge Mendes wowed them, and they landed elite talents while being in the Championship. Wolves fans have been witness to the best of having rich owners.

Now they are experiencing the worst.

Fosun are struggling for money back in their country and as a result, the financing rug has been pulled from under their feet.

Julen Lopetegui arrived midway through last season and stabilised a sliding Wolves team. Now, they have lost the charismatic face of the club in Ruben Neves. Figureheads of the club like Raul Jimenez and Nathan Collins have also left, leaving the team bereft of its spine.

Only Matheus Cunha is the marquee transfer, arriving from Atletico Madrid, but the murmurs of discontent among the fans have already begun.

Lopetegui also doesn’t seem like the kind of manager who will stick around and put his reputation on the line if he doesn’t feel like he is given the tools to succeed.

Last season was bad by their lofty standards but was ultimately salvaged by Lopetegui’s arrival. His departure this season might lead to irreparable damage to Wolves this year.

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