Thursday, September 3, 2009

The picks

This first summer transfer Top 5 List is taking a long time to put together (so many shrewd shoppers!) and it won't be ready 'til tomorrow, sooooo I thought I would give a little sustenance thought morsel.

With the transfer window now closed, I will share my yearly exercise of predicting champions for a whole slew of top flight European leagues. Feel free to laugh at my choices or offer your own in the comments section.

Austria - Red Bull Salzburg
Belgium - Club Brugge
Croatia - Dinamo Zagreb
Czech Republic - Slavia Prague
Denmark - Aalborg BK
England - Liverpool
France - Bordeaux
Germany - Werder Bremen
Greece - Olympiakos
Italy - Inter Milan
the Netherlands - AZ Alkmaar
Poland - Wisla Krakow
Portugal - Porto
Romania - Dinamo Bucharest
Scotland - Rangers
Spain - Barcelona
Turkey - Galatasaray
Ukraine - Shakhtar Donetsk

- Greg Seltzer


Max Zeger said...

Sorry Greg, but Bremen without diego doesn't have a chance.

Also, Liverpool doesn't have a shot. If Gerrard of Torres goes down, they're finished.

Charley said...

i have to agree with Max about liverpool. all they did was lose good players and not strengthen the positions that needed it.

i'm going with arsenal. the kids are older, their backline is stronger, and arshavin is going to have a stellar year.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ Max: Allow me to introduce Marko Marin. Bremen were relying too much on Diego.

And you can't say "they have not shot" based on an "if".

@ Charley: They added Aquilani, Johnson and Krygiakos. Besides Alonso, who did they lose that was so important?

Charley said...

they also lost arbeloa. we can debate his effectiveness if you want, but really, they didn't strengthen when they needed to. It's not like they won the league last year. they got close, but they were missing that little something to put them over the edge.

so losing alonso and not picking up a replacement for him and another striker to backup torres will keep them from the title.

as for the picks they brought in:

aquilani is hurt, and prone to injury, krygiakos is unproven at this league, and really a 3rd or 4th choice centerback at best.

The one addition that does make sense is Johnson. he will be really great for them this season and for seasons to come.

i still don't see them challenging for the title though. if torres and gerrard stay healthy the entire season, maybe. but i think chelsea and arsenal are more likely to finish first.

Greg Seltzer said...

Johnson is better suited for the Prem, which I count as an upgrade over Arbeloa. He also adds more going forward.

Kyrgiakos replaces an aging Hyypia - I call that an upgrade.

As for Aquilani, he's probably back in a few weeks.

I gotta calls 'em as I sees 'em. And if I had to pick a back-up choice, it would be Chelsea.

Charley said...

very fair. we will see how it all goes. it should be a good race. i agree on johnson.

i think an interesting thing to see in january is if aquilani has adjusted to the prem by that time. if he has, it will make a huge difference in their chances.

Kurt said...

Good choice on Bremen. They were brilliant to move Diego while he was on his way down. I hope you're wrong though, I would like to see HSV get their second star.

Mike said...

Liverpool will not win the league because Torres or Gerrard will miss a few games which will see them go through a bad dip in form. They really needed to get another goal scoring threat if they wanted to win the league. Aquilani is an OK replacement for Alonso but I am hard pressed to say he is just as good. He has talent but does not always show it. To me he will always be a player that never was as good as advertised. It will also take a few games for him to settle with Liverpool which will make them take a few ties and losses. Chelski will be screwed if they get a few injuries during the African Cup of Nations. It will be between Arse and United

Anonymous said...

Greg you forgot your MLS pick:)

Greg Seltzer said...

I recently picked Houston as my favorite to Houston to win it all. However, my preseason pick was Chicago - sure didn't anticipate so much Fire strife.

Alex said...

I think we all know Everton is gonna win the Premier League now that they have Billy, Distin and Heitinga

KO said...


"Liverpool will not win the league because Torres or Gerrard will miss a few games which will see them go through a bad dip in form."?

"It will also take a few games for him to settle with Liverpool which will make them take a few ties and losses."

The problem with statements like that is that there is no hint of a "I think" or a "in my opinion." You make the statement as though you know exactly what will happen. It's marginally annoying and not helpful to a discussion.

Worm said...

Thanks for your confidence in Aalborg. Not sure I'm quite as optimistic, but top-3 is realistic.

Mike said...


I meant for them to read that they were "in my opinion" and not like I was omnipotent but I sometimes make the mistake of writing like that because I am in a rush. Of course those are my opinions on what could possibly happen.

That being said, in my opinion it will take Aquilani a while to fit in right away because he going to have to adapt to a new league. I just hope for Liverpool's sake he can stay healthy as he is a little injury prone(Averages 25 appearances over the last 5 years). I just wonder how he is going to fit in with Liverpool tactically as I do not see him as the same player as Alonso even though they are both class passers

In regards to why I do not think he is that good of a player,I just think with a midfield that Roma had they should have been killing teams instead of being mediocre. Who knows though, maybe he was in Totti's shadow and now he will be able to fully express himself out on the pitch