Go Wes, Young Man: The Premier League Review

A clearer picture is starting to form in the great crystal ball of top-flight football, with Leicester looking nailed on for the title and Newcastle's Premier League future in doubt.

by Will Magee
Apr 4 2016, 2:03pm

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This article originally appeared on VICE Sports UK.

With seven games left until the end of the season, a clearer picture is starting to form in the great crystal ball of top-flight football. In the swirling psychic fog beneath its glassy exterior, Claudio Ranieri's smiling face breezes past. His benign visage is swiftly followed by the menacing shadow of Mauricio Pochettino, which is in turn pursued by an eddying cloud in the form of Arsene Wenger's absurdly long coat.

This represents the future of the title race. It is one game closer to being realised.

With the fate of the whole league hanging in the balance, we've picked five talking points from the last few days that should provide some insight into our footballing destiny. If only we'd had these clairvoyant skills at the start of the campaign – we could have won a shitload of money on accumulators.

Wes Morgan Epitomises Leicester's Progress

Wes Morgan, veteran of the Championship. Wes Morgan, lovable chunk of hunk. Wes Morgan, former Kidderminster Harriers loanee. Wes Morgan, match-winning Premier League champion elect.

Wait, what?

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If there's any one player who epitomises Leicester's miraculous climb to the summit of English football, it's Wes Morgan. His rising fortunes perfectly reflect those of the team. Having spent the majority of his long career in the second tier of English football, and after visibly struggling for much of last season, he's now a man mountain at the centre of Leicester's rock-hard defence. Oh, and he can score a belting header when called upon. Take that, Southampton.

After nabbing the only goal in Leicester's win over the Saints – and sending his side seven points clear at the top in the process – Morgan may have just struck a decisive blow in the battle for the title. It's only fitting, really.

The Relegation Zone is Decided

That's right, we're calling it. Take this as a rubber-stamped, fully ratified, officially sanctioned Premier League prediction. Screengrab these words, tweet them far and wide. Go on, we dare you.

After Norwich's vital win over Newcastle and Sunderland's wasteful draw with West Brom, the bottom three (Sunderland, Newcastle and Aston Villa) have been cut adrift by four, six and 15 points respectively. Though the North East clubs have a game in hand on 17th-placed Norwich, there's little indication in their current form that they can take advantage of the situation. Sam Allardyce's side have now drawn four consecutive games, while Newcastle have taken one point from a possible 18 since early February.

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The fact is, Sunderland, Newcastle and Villa deserve to go down. They've been bloody awful for years, blighting the Premier League with their horrible, horrible football. Their own fans can hardly bear to watch, the rest of us likewise. Off to the Championship naughty step with them – let them have a long, hard think about what they've done.

Harry Kane is About to Inspire a Footballing Revolution

The days of free and open discussion are over. At this point, there can be no debate. Harry Kane deserves to start for England at the Euros. Nonetheless, we're almost certain that Roy Hodgson is going to go with an ageing, injury-hit Wayne Rooney instead.

After scoring a beautiful goal against Liverpool this weekend, Kane has once again proved that he's England's leading striker. He tops the Premier League scoring charts with 22 goals for the season and is the best option up front – end of discussion.

It will be an inherently conservative decision if Rooney starts ahead of him this summer. It will represent the shoring up of the old order, the preservation of the establishment.

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Consequently, England fans, we implore you – there must be a revolution. We must demonstrate, we must show the people's will. With Kane's name emblazoned across our official merchandise, with each of us wearing a cut-out Kane mask, with a thousand fortysomething men dressed as crusaders at the vanguard of our popular protest, we must strike at the heart of the status quo.

If Kane doesn't start at the Euros, Hodgson will bear witness to an entire stadium of England fans with their backs turned on the game. Sorry, but it's the only way.

Alex Iwobi, Amirite?

Out of every underwhelming Arsenal season, there comes a ray of hope. This year, it's Alex Iwobi.

After netting his second goal for the club in their 4-0 drubbing of Watford, the 19-year-old is leading the charge towards a bright and optimistic future in North London. It's just a shame he couldn't have made a breakthrough earlier in the season, in time to really affect the title race.

Always the way, unfortunately.

Aston Villa Will Go Down in History For Being Abjectly, Cringingly Shit

Above and beyond the other relegation candidates, a word for Aston Villa. Their performance against Chelsea confirmed the bleak reality of their season – this Villa side will go down as one of the worst Premier League teams of all time.

Rooted firmly to the bottom of the table having taken a meagre 16 points from 32 games, you might think the players would be embarrassed by their showing so far. Instead, they seemed practically nonchalant as Guus Hiddink's men thumped four goals past them this Saturday. They are abject, cringing and woefully poor.

As such, Villa deserve to be remembered alongside the dreadful Sunderland side of 2005/06, the pricey horrorshow that was QPR in 2012/13, and the infamously awful Derby County of 2007/08. Collectively, those teams represent an oddly gripping phenomenon – football so terrible, so completely shit, that we'll talk about it with something between pity and fondness for years to come.


Sunderland vs. West Brom, we told you so.

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