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Building A Club To Stay In The Premier League

By Sai Lee
Monday 5th March 2012
With the season drawing to a close the 3 promoted teams are experiencing varying degrees of success in their quest to maintain their Premier League status.

Norwich and Swansea have been a credit to the division this season, currently 11th and 14th respectively. The duo have been built on good financial footing under two hungry young managers in Paul Lambert (Norwich) and Brendan Rogers (Swansea).  Both have spent relatively little money compared to other clubs, avoiding signing established players with commanding transfer fees and wages.

Norwich under Lambert are a hardworking outfit, with no shortage of good ball playing players. They have invested money in players from down the leagues and kept the players that got them into the league, with the majority of the squad being British. Grant Holt has been their star man. The striker signed in 2009 for around £500k from Shrewsbury Town and, until now, has had a mixed career in all the lower leagues, including the Conference. But Lambert has got the very best out the player by playing to his strengths and he has scored 12 goals, to date, in a fantastic season for both him and the club.

Swansea have also relied on the players that got them up, with a few additions. Goalkeeper Michel Vorm, signed for around £2 million, has  been a great capture for the club and is now amongst the elite 'keepers in the league. Playing with a passing, possession game, often deemed as  a 'no go' strategy for promoted teams, the South Welsh outfit have stuck to their guns and maintained their playing style. They play a 4-3-3 formation that relies on possession and width as the main key qualities. Lloyd Dyer, the tricky right winger, has been in superb form this term scoring and assisting in the majority of The Swans' goals. Even in defeat Rogers accepts that this style might catch them out at times, but will still continue playing in this fashion.

On the other hand, there is Queens Park Rangers. Currently 16th and amongst seven clubs that are struggling at the foot of the table, relegation remains a real possibility. QPR have been on a rollercoaster ride in the last few season. Having been bought by F1 supremos Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone in 2007, they have since been sold to another billionaire Tony Fernandes. Their 'MO' was to get into the Premier League and try to remain in the league at whatever cost. This has come with heavy investment and a change in manager mid-season after Neil Warnock was sacked to be replaced by Mark Hughes.

In the January transfer window the club spent around £15 million to try and remain in the league, buying established talents such as Bobby Zamora and Djibril Cissé. Hughes will be hoping that the players brought in can gel and find form quickly. The club have only one win from six Premier League matches under Hughes with only 11 games remaining, including matches against both Manchester clubs away from home.

To surmise, there is no best or correct way to establish a team in the league. But, in my view, building a club on solid foundations, having a footballing ethos under one management stewardship and not being overambitious in the transfer market will stand a club in a better stead and leave them more capable of becoming an established Premier League team.
Sai Lee

Total articles: 2

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