One thing about each of the Premier League’s Sh*t Nine that makes us want them to survive
And don’t be getting upset about being called the Sh*t Nine. If you didn’t want to be called that then you shouldn’t have been sh*t. Or be one of nine. There’s a long and proud tradition of naming things by their number and defining quality. The Special One, the Terrible Twos, the Holy Trinity, the Fab Four, the Famous Five, the Big Six, the Magnificent Seven, the Hateful Eight, the Sh*t Nine.
See? Nothing personal. And to prove it, here’s something about each and every one of those clubs that makes us want them to survive.
Crystal Palace – The Hodgson Meme
Imagine how many banter accounts are going to post that GIF of him at Euro 2016 if his Crystal Palace comeback ends in relegation. Doesn’t bear thinking about.
Wolves – VAR
We find all VAR chat unutterably dull. Even our own VAR chat. Especially our own VAR chat. Relegation for Wolves, as the Sh*t Nine club most conspicuously bollocksed about by the oft unwelcome interference of technology, will prompt further debate and discussion and we can’t have that.
Leeds – Entertainment Value
Halfway serious one, this, so apologies for that. But while there are many reasons that lots of fans might want to see the back of Leeds they are the Sh*t Niner most likely to play a ludicrously entertaining game of nonsense. A team that can one weekend win 4-3 having trailed 3-1 and then the very next week lose 4-3 having led 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 is one that has our respect. They’ve also pulled off the unlikely trick of both winning and losing a game 5-2 this season, if we get slightly elastic and allow FA Cup matches to count. The 4-2 at Wolves was also entertainingly silly and controversial.
Everton – The Dyche Effect
Childishly important to us that Sean Dyche, the firefighter’s firefighter, rescues Frank Lampard’s Everton from disaster. We want to see Henry Winter declare Dyche a miracle man for guiding the Toffees to safety. After all, Lampard left the club in an even worse mess than he found it. Lampard’s Miracle was taking Everton from 16th to 16th. Dyche took over with Everton second bottom, and didn’t even get a Dele Alli.
Nottingham Forest – Yer Da’s Proper Premier League
We all know Forest are a Proper Premier League Team despite very rarely being an Actual Premier League Team. Yer Da was so happy when Forest came back up. Nobody needs to hear him lament their departure after just a year. Especially if we lose Leeds as well. And all while Sheffield Wednesday remain at least a year away from the Premier League even if they do get out of League One this time around. Also, rehousing all those players Forest signed is going to be a pain.
Leicester – Big-Six Bothering
Literally the most interesting Premier League team of the last decade thanks to an astonishingly unlikely narrative arc that involves improbable great escapes, an absurd league title win, thwarted top-four bids and FA Cup success. The Premier League 2015-present would have been a far duller place without them, and that continues to apply even now they are quite sh*t. Seven of the Sh*t Nine have scored 25 goals or fewer this season; Leicester have scored 38.
West Ham – Pending
There must be one, but we’re struggling to find West Ham getting relegated as anything other than very, very funny indeed. They still haven’t sacked David Moyes and thus pretty much deserve everything they get. Antonio Conte has been getting righteous stick for throwing his feckless players under the bus, while Moyes goes merrily (well, not merrily, but you know what we mean) on convincing himself that this is all somehow the West Ham fans’ fault. We’re firmly in Gareth Keenan calculator areas here. Sack Moyes, you fools. If only to give us a reason to want you to get out of this ludicrous mess you’ve made for yourselves.
Bournemouth – Goal Difference Record
The worst Premier League team ever to avoid relegation, measured in the only correct way of goal difference, was Wigan in 2009/10. They stayed up with a scarcely credible -42 goal difference that year. Leeds looked for a while like they might challenge it last year but ended up with a mere -37 as they stayed up at the expense of Burnley (-19). Bournemouth’s 9-0-burnished goal difference currently sits at -29, so there’s every chance. If and when they stop looking like they might break that record, though, they can frankly bugger off.
Southampton – Nathan Jones
We barely scratched the surface of how funny this inexplicably real Sherwood-Brent hybrid character was. If Southampton get relegated anyway, then sacking Jones and denying us another four months of mirth was all for nothing.