We continue with our look at potential summer spending with the teams that finished 13th to16th.
Stoke, Stoke, Stoke. Where do you start? Please play some proper football? Nah I shouldn't go on too much. Stoke had a relatively decent season which was capped by an appearance in the FA Cup final. However, their style of play will only ever get them as far as they got. It won't win cups or championships and it won't get them higher in the table. As far as transfers go, your guess is as good as mine. Anyone over six feet tall usually does the trick, regardless of actual skill or technique. Personally, a couple of Charlie Adam-esque players would be good for this team. They would lose none of their physicality but they would gain some creativity.
Maybe I am a bit hard on Stoke but we'll see what happens over the summer.
Bolton were a lot like Stoke but they have begun to evolve over the last season and a half. They are starting to play with the ball a little more and some of their stuff really impressed me last season. I still think they turn to the long ball more than they should but they are improving that is for sure. Because of the change, it is difficult to see who Bolton will go for, however, Charlie Adam would be a great signing (but they won't get him) and holding on to Daniel Sturridge will be key for their future too. Whether or not they can buy him from Chelsea is another thing though, especially with bigger and better teams interested in the young striker.
Blackburn are one of those anonymous teams in the League. They have been floating around mid-to-bottom table for a number of years and I don't know how they are going to get out of it. They don't have the capital and they don't have the squad. There are rumours of Joe Cole being sought after which might improve things slightly, but more than likely it will be a waste of money in wages. Blackburn need to take a long, hard look at their entire squad because it needs some serious repair work if they are going to ever repeat that 94/95 season.
Wigan play good football and I like them a lot. I was pleased that they stayed up but if their season showed anything, it is how defensively fragile they are. Their midfield, minus that whingey little bitch Charles N'Zogbia, is not up to the task either. Hopefully they will get rid of the annoying, but talented, Frenchman and put the money from his sale to good use. They need two centrebacks and a couple of midfielders. Yes, I have said his name a lot so far but Scott Parker would be great for this club. Wigan also need a good, 15 goals-a-year striker. Where they get these people from is a mystery to me. Wigan may be struggling next year too.
Keep checking back for the next set of teams!