Ex-England Captain Alan Shearer has claimed that the Barclays Premier League is a two-tier league with seven teams that will never get relegated whilst any of the thirteen other teams could see themselves in a relegation scrap to avoid the dreaded drop.
However is that statement something said in the heat of the moment or is it actually the sad case these days?
What we can all agree with Shearer is that it unlikely any of the top seven will get relegated in the near future, that top seven consisting of Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, the Merseyside clubs as well as both Manchester teams.
That leaves us with thirteen teams all vying to avoid relegation? Southampton and Newcastle finished 8th and 9th respectively last season so is it really possible they could plummet to 18th or below this season?
Southampton’s problems have been well publicised with a mass exodus totalling £92 million worth of players leaving. However, the likes of Victor Wanyama, Jay Rodriguez and finally Morgan Schneiderlin are all staying on the south coast. New manager Ronald Koeman has also brought in new faces of his own, including arguably the best player in the Netherlands last season Dusan Tadic and England internationals Fraser Forster and Ryan Bertrand.
This appears enough for them to avoid being in a dog fight come May time. The same could be said for Newcastle who have only strengthened since the end of last season having again turned to the French market to bring in some genuine quality.
Last season at times they lacked fire power up front, however, the signings of Emmanuel Riviere from Monaco and Facundo Ferreyra on loan from Shakhtar Donetsk will provide plenty of goals especially with the support of Siem De Jong and Remy Cabella from midfield.
So already Alan Shearer’s statement seems to lack any real logic especially when you consider Swansea have managed to keep star man Wilfred Bony and provide him with an equal strike partner in the form of French muscle man Bafetimbi Gomis. Mark Hughes has also strengthened on his Stoke side that finished 10th last season by bringing in former Barca man Bojan as well as securing Victor Moses on a seasons long loan deal.
This being said below this top 11 it is difficult to split the rest with Hull having to deal with Europa League, the future of Sam Allardcye at West Ham still remains unclear and Pulis departure from Crystal Palace leaves them needing to get off to a good start.
Overall Mr Shearer’s statement may have some truth to hit but if you take it a closer look the League can be split into a top seven, a middle four and bottom nine. But football is a fickle sport and much can change throughout the season