EPL...educate me & help me pick a team

One Red Seat

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My 2 sons (18 & 13) are Sox, Patriots, Celts, Bruins fans just like me. Have always enjoyed watching & going to games for those teams. Last couple of years though, they are far more in to EPL soccer and I know next to nothing about the league and teams. I played soccer in HS and still play in an over 40 league so I love the sport but I never watched any pro soccer until the last few months. I have enjoyed watching the games and want to get more into it in part to keep that sports connection with my sons. However....one son is an Arsenal fan and one is a Chelsea fan so for the first time, they are on different sides of the aisle. I really don't want to jump on board with either one of them for obvious reasons so, I want to find my own team.
 
So, who are the upcoming teams in the EPL that I can hitch my wagon to? Not necessarily looking for the Yankees or Sox of EPL, more like the Astros. Looking for a young and upcoming team to root for. Point me in the right direction. Which team(s) should I look into and try to catch a couple of games?
 
Thanks
 

DJnVa

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This is a few years old, but...Bill Simmons picks his team.
 
Part 1: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/060719
 
Part 2: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/060719_2
 
 
I did this a few years ago and went with Tottenham. Always good, but never good enough, so at the end of every year it's "wait til next year" and when that next year comes we're usually, except for URI, optimistic. For a few weeks. Usually we have a pretty entertaining thread. USMNT member DeAndre Yedlin signed with them last year,
 
Based in London, consistent top 6 or so finisher, moving into sweet new grounds soon, with the NFL committed to playing 2 games a year there.
 
They also just signed an agreement with Fanatics.com and their gear will finally be widely available over here.
 
They'll be playing against the MLS all-stars next week.
 
 
Other interesting, non-Big 4 teams: Swansea, Southampton, Everton. Bournemouth is in the EPL for this year for the first time ever. 
 

Cellar-Door

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If they went Arsenal and Chelsea maybe you want to go with one of the other 3 London teams.
Tottenham
West Ham
Palace
 
As a West Ham fan, you should pick them.
 
We're about to move into the Olympic Stadium, the team has a rep as one of the best player development systems in the BPL, but now with the new TV money we can actually keep our players more often. This year we have a new manager, and just bought up a bunch of young talent. Probably still not a top 6 contender, but should be solid.
 

AgentOrange

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One Red Seat said:
So, who are the upcoming teams in the EPL that I can hitch my wagon to? Not necessarily looking for the Yankees or Sox of EPL, more like the Astros. Looking for a young and upcoming team to root for. Point me in the right direction. 
 
It doesn't really work that way in the EPL.  European football leagues are super inequitable compared to American sports leagues.  There is no draft, no salary cap, no luxury tax.  Basically nothing in place to encourage competitive balance.  And then you have Champions League, a European-wide competition that the top 4 finishers from the previous EPL season qualify for.  Champions League is very prestigious; most of the truly elite players want to be on a club in Champions League.  It is also very lucrative.  So winning begets more winning.  Essentially you have a more or less permanent overclass and a permanent underclass in England.  Up and coming doesn't really exist IMO.  
 

SoxFanInCali

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Skrub did one of these threads a few years ago, picked Manchester United over nearly everyone's objection, and hasn't been seen in here since.
 

lowerB511

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Like AgentOrange said, there aren't really upcoming teams.
Over the past 10 season, the top two spots have been held by a combination of: Chelsea, Manchester United, Machester City, and Liverpool.  That's it.
I always get excited for the beginning of the season, but it gets boring as the top 4/5 teams quickly separate from everyone else.  Add in Arsenal and that basically your top 5.
 
Not to say you can't be a suppporter of a 2nd tier team.
Next month check out the Saturday matches and see which teams you are drawn to.  Check out the stadium atmosphere, the style of the team play, see if there are any players you are drawn to, etc.  You don't have to pick a team immediately.  Let the team pick you.
 

URI

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SoxFanInCali said:
Skrub did one of these threads a few years ago, picked Manchester United over nearly everyone's objection, and hasn't been seen in here since.
 
Like Simmons!
 
Also DJ is wrong about something...I'm pretty much universally optimistic (like, I don't think that it's unreasonable to think Eriksen is a better player for Spurs than Ozil is for Arsenal, considering wages, transfer, and performance) until it's crushed out of me.  And then I turn into a gigantic pile of bitter tears, brown ale, and Scotch eggs. 
 
Root for Spurs if you want to feel like that, especially since it's a poke in the eye to your bandwagon jumping little shits.
 

URI

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lowerB511 said:
Like AgentOrange said, there aren't really upcoming teams.
Over the past 10 season, the top two spots have been held by a combination of: Chelsea, Manchester United, Machester City, and Liverpool.  That's it.
I always get excited for the beginning of the season, but it gets boring as the top 4/5 teams quickly separate from everyone else.  Add in Arsenal and that basically your top 5.
 
And don't listen to this guy either, as our Spurs (I'm picking for you here) has been in the top 5 7 times in the last 10 years.
 
So there isn't a whole lot of turnover in the top 5, but the combination that is "basically your top 5" hasn't happened once in the last 10 years.
 
Top 5 finishes over the last decade:
Arsenal - 10
Man U - 9
Chelsea - 9
Tottenham - 7
Man City - 6
Liverpool - 5
Everton - 3
Newcastle - 1
 
That's the other thing about our Spurs.  They don't get a whole lot of respect, because of the mixed and bizarre perception that both we should have performed better than how we have (top 4 twice in 10 years) AND that we haven't had the talent/money as some of the other elite teams in the Premier League.
 

SoxFanInCali

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
I remember my high school English teacher being a huge Wolverhampton fan. Are they still EPL or have they been relegated?
They actually fell into League One (the 3rd division) a couple of years back, but got promoted back to the Championship (2nd division) right away. That's where they are now.
 

teddykgb

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I always give only one piece of advice. It is the only good piece of advice I know but it is one of those inviolable laws of the universe. Don't root for Manchester United.
 

Cellar-Door

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teddykgb said:
I always give only one piece of advice. It is the only good piece of advice I know but it is one of those inviolable laws of the universe. Don't root for Manchester United.
Well there is another rule, but it doesn't apply since he ruled out Chelsea.
 
Never put yourself in a position where you hope for anything but terrible things to happen to John Terry.
 

mascho

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Support Newcastle. We're on the way up. We actually have spent money this transfer window. We're gunning for a top tier finish and you can get in on the bottom floor!
 
*This advice is only valid until January. By that time, as history has shown us, we'll be a meandering mid-table squad on the verge of firing our manager and selling players at the transfer deadline. So if you love disappointment and the feeling of having your nuts slammed into a car door, follow NUFC.
 

SoxFanInCali

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And now the advice we always end up giving in these threads...

Just spend the first few weeks watching, eventually some team will stand out to you. We all have reasons we ended up supporting a team, and ultimately the why doesn't matter.
 

DLew On Roids

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SFiC is right. Just watch a lot of games and eventually something will jump out at you. Maybe it'll be Crystal Palace's insane fans or West Ham's "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" song. Maybe it's the bizarre level of self-regard of Aston Villa's manager, Tim Sherwood, or the self-loathing of Newcastle fans. Every club has an identity and one will grab you.
 

fletcherpost

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DLew On Roids said:
SFiC is right. Just watch a lot of games and eventually something will jump out at you. Maybe it'll be Crystal Palace's insane fans or West Ham's "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" song. Maybe it's the bizarre level of self-regard of Aston Villa's manager, Tim Sherwood, or the self-loathing of Newcastle fans. Every club has an identity and one will grab you.
 
So true...and if one has benign racist leanings, Chelsea are always there for you. John Terry will never turn you away.
 

soxfan121

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DLew On Roids said:
He's also right that Seven is a glory-hunting toolbox of the highest order and should never be permitted to forget it.
 
His father in law must hate him so, so much.
 

Merkle's Boner

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Some of my reasons for choosing Spurs:
I wanted a London-based team thinking that if I was going to get over there it would be easier to see a game in London. By the way, one of the joys of the EPL are the home grounds (stadiums). They have names like Upton Park, Craven Cottage, and of course White Hart Lane, where Spurs play.

I also wanted the team to have an American presence. At the time I became a Spurs fan Casey Keller was their Keeper. As mentioned up thread, I am excited now about Yedlin getting some playing time.

I also wanted my team to have a chance to play in Europe. That's the interesting thing about the EPL. Most teams have no shot at winning the League, but if you finish in the Top 4, you make the Champions League, which is massive, and if you finish 5th or 6th you make the Europa League, which is sort of like the NIT, but better!
 

Seven Costanza

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soxfan121 said:
 
His father in law must hate him so, so much.
 
Oh, of course.
 
Since the conversion my sister in law has found gainful employment with Chelsea Football Club.  So there's that as well.
 

The Allented Mr Ripley

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Take a gander at these similar threads... with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight:

http://sonsofsamhorn.net/topic/22282-skrub-picked-his-football-clubs/

http://sonsofsamhorn.net/topic/35821-picking-your-team-or-how-to-become-a-hooligan/

http://sonsofsamhorn.net/topic/37195-i-need-a-premier-league-team-to-root-for/

http://sonsofsamhorn.net/topic/48297-help-me-pick-an-epl-team/

http://sonsofsamhorn.net/topic/57943-help-me-pick-an-epl-team/

Word of warning: the common thread among these topic starters is that none of them seemed to stick with the sport or a team. Make of that what you will.

There was also this thread where a bunch of us explained why we were fans of the team we support (not limited to English clubs), it might be little more informative than the cyclical "help me pick a team" thread.
 
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Rwillh11

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The Allented Mr Ripley said:
Honestly, if you're a Sox fan looking for a club to support, you need a really compelling reason to not choose Liverpool.
As an Everton supporter, I was pretty annoyed when Henry bought Liverpool, but its kind of been fun to root against them. 
 
Everton could be a fun club to pick, lots of young talent (Deulofeu, Barkley, Stones (if he isn't sold), Lukaku), Tim Howard in net and a long tradition as a top club. They sucked last year, and are always withstanding pressure to sell their best players, but they generally hold on to them, and more often than not are at least pushing for a spot in Europe. 
 
Whatever you do, don't pick United or Chelsea.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Right. Your boys support London clubs. You could pick another London club as mentioned above so you'd each have one, or you could pick a team away from London. And for God's sakes don't pick Chelsea or Man U. You could pick Man City which is of course a huge rival to Man U and is right up there competing for the championship, I suppose, but they're spending at least as much money as Chelsea and Man U these days.
 
You'd probably want to pick a team that you'd be able to watch on TV a lot, which might rule out some of the smaller, interesting teams like Palace.
 
I follow Norwich City, which has been a yo-yo team up and down from the Premiership over the past few years. When City was relegated I followed Aston Villa for my Premiership team, but they're not really that good this year.
 
Just watch the matches and find a team that sticks out to you in some way. Maybe it's the way they play, or their shirts, or their goofball-looking manager, or the songs their fans sing. Just watch a bit and you'll find one. Watch with your boys and see the teams their clubs play against. One will stick out to you for reasons rational or irrational.
 

candylandriots

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I agree with the "let the team pick you" thing. I went to my first game a couple of years ago between Crystal Palace and Arsenal. I went in there expecting to have Arsenal become my team. Exactly the opposite happened.
 
It's been up-and-down (both of the past two seasons, Palace were candidates for relegation until a new manager came in and turned things around to end 11th and 10th), but it's been a lot of fun. The atmosphere at Selhurst Park, as Dlew said, is amazing, they have some really interesting talent in Yannick Bolasie, Wilf Zaha and Scott Dann - and just made their biggest ever transfer in Yohan Cabaye. They're in London and despite that, no one will call you a front-runner.
 
But prepare for some bad days too.
 

Lukiewerle

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Regarding the up and coming team thing: Why not watch a few Southampton games?
 
Great youth academy, back to back promotions in 2010-11 & 2011-12 to return to the Premiership and now look to set to stick around.  They were raided for several of their best players last summer and many had them tipped for relegation, yet with a new manager, youth, and some shrewd business went on to have their highest league finish ever.  
 

canderson

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I was going to say Southampton too. We just spent some time in Portsmouth and walked around their shitty stadium and talked to their owners (ie any resident) and I'm solidly on board following them be the worst in the country for a while. 
 

DJnVa

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Even though it's only been about 10 years supporting Tottenham, I find it's just as absurd to think about changing EPL teams as switching from the Red Sox.
 
Although the Sox are really trying my fucking patience.
 

Zososoxfan

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I watch a fair amount of EPL, but I don't have allegiance to any specific team. Year to year, these things change. Two seasons ago, I was firmly on the Everton bandwagon. Last season, I was backing Southampton. Any team that shocks the system over the first half of the season basically has my support. Hell, I remember back in the early 2000s being really pumped that Chelsea were becoming a player because I was so sick of MANU-Arsenal dominating. MANC have added to the top of the table dynamic and I typically support them because I like their players. Being a neutral-ish fan or supporting a team that competes for Europe spots but not the title will give you a refreshing perspective. Even though MANU is a beast of a club, I've had less trouble rooting for them post-SAF, especially with Chelsea being so so unlikeable in the Mourinho years. 
 

Infield Infidel

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Heck, you don't have to pick a team to enjoy watching the sport. I rooted Sonics, and after a few years of not watching any NBA, I started watching again a couple years ago, and it's kind of liberating to just watch and enjoy games on their own merit without any rooting stake involved.
 

DJnVa

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Also, join the SoSH Fantasy EPL league. That will help with learning the players as well.
 

candylandriots

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One other thing if you end up with a second tier team is the fun you'll have busting your sons' balls when your team gets a win over Chelsea or Arsenal.
 

mikeford

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fletcherpost said:
 
So true...and if one has benign racist leanings, Chelsea are always there for you. John Terry will never turn you away.
Unless of course... you happen to... you know...
 
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FYI I am an Arsenal fan but I would suggest Everton or Crystal Palace (after Arsenal but I'll try to keep the bias out of it). Highlights of each team:
 
Manchester United: Tons of Championships. Act like they deserve to win every year. Spend boat loads of money. Owned by the Glazers who are awful people and saddled the club with debt that it ignores. Legendary manager just left and they've been in shambles since. Current manager is more arrogant than the club itself. Good chances at winning the league
 
Manchester City: Print their own money. Who wants to root for a team that has an unlimited budget. Plus the owners have horrible human rights records in the Arab country they run. Good chances at winning the league
 
Chelsea: Russian oligarch owner who was the first to popularize the unlimited bank account to build a team. Now can be outspent by other clubs making them more likable but doesn't change the fact that the owner looks like the bad guy from a Bond movie (and rumors are that he acts like one sometimes as well). You either love or hate the manager (most hate). Have some great players. Good chances at winning the league.
 
Arsenal: Manager has been there forever and is a Frenchmen with a PhD in economics. He's called Le Prof and is unintentionally hilarious. Play very attractive and attacking football but have developed a reputation for choking and just coming up short. Team has been on resurgence last two years after paying of new stadium debts. Alexis Sanchez is the most entertaining player in the league based on this guy's opinion. Has a history of some well-known unsavory fans (not at the stadium because they'd be arrested the moment they stepped on British soil - that's only describing the ones who haven't been killed by American special forces). Solid chances at winning the league.
 
Liverpool: Owned by Henry and co. Won lots of titles long ago. Fans seem to think that the club carries the cache of a team that has won lots of titles but nobody else in the world agrees with them. Manager is either a genius or a complete buffoon. They buy tons of player each summer so there's always something to get excited about until the optimism is crushed by the performance on the field. Going to struggle to get back to the Champions League spots. Potential to catch some magic and win the league in a special year.
 
Tottenham: Rival of Arsenal. Think they're going to overtake Arsenal every season and get into the top 4, never do. Once finished in the top 4 but didn't make Champions League because Chelsea finished 5th but won the Champions League, qualifying automatically. It was hilarious. Building a new stadium so unclear on what financial cuts will need to be made on the footballing side during that time period. Will they ever make the Champions league? Certainly won't ever win the league in the current climate. The North Koreans hacked all the tickle-me-elmos and turned them into killing robots that took out the previous five clubs chances at winning the league.
 
Southampton: Moved from the English Football league up to the premiership a few years ago and have been performing above expectations ever since. Incredible player development but can't ever keep them for long (Bale, Walcott, Oxlade Chamberlain, Luke Shaw, Nathaniel Clyne, Schneiderlin, Callum Chambers). On the south coast just a train ride from London. Nothing to dislike about them. Never going to win the league though.
 
Everton: Roberto Martinez is the manager and he's definitely interesting. His hair seems to be stuck between complete balding and trying to fight back which can lead to great drinking games if you get creative. Some exciting young players. Play entertaining football. In Liverpool so not an exciting place to travel. Few worries of relegation. Sometimes make a run at the top clubs. Rivals with Liverpool but do actually get the best of them every once in a while (unlike Spurs with Arsenal).
 
Crystal Palace: Promoted two years ago and had a storming season last year. Small stadium in London with a raucous atmosphere. An eagle soars across the pitch before every match. They play some entertaining football and are on their way up. Rumors that they'll be bought by US private equity which could infuse them with some cash. Could be a bit of a hipster pick but as expectations would never be too high you'll be ecstatic with a top 10 finish. If they can stick around in the premiership a couple more years should be able to consolidate promotion and manage to stick for a bit. No chance at the league with somewhat of a chance at relegation but you may get more emotionally invested than you would with a top team.
 

page 2 protege

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Way to keep that bias out, ORS you can also form your opinion based on the fans on this board.
 
I would do as everyone else said and just watch, it will probably be a player or two that catches your eye and influences your allegiance.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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The only truly wrong answer is Manchester United, the club which won 13 of the first 21 Premier League titles.  You don't want to be the guy choosing a team that has been that recently dominant: It would be like deciding to become a Yankees fan in 1962 or a Celtics fan in 1970.  Also, while you wouldn't know it from this forum since our United fans like Zomp and Bailey are a good bunch, United global fandom in general is marked by a massive and grotesque sense of entitlement as well as an equally unlikeable but very strong bandwagon element.  Think Yankees fans circa 2001 mixed with Heat fans circa 2013.
 
All that said, I really don't think there's anything wrong with picking any of the other more competitive teams.  I'm an Arsenal fan so obviously I have my biases in this regard.  But there's a way in which these conversations inevitably lead people to only consider supporting teams that have almost no shot of winning anything and I think that's kind of silly.  There's nothing wrong with supporting a team that actually might win the league or play deep into the Champions League knockout bracket (not that Arsenal have done either of those things recently but that's another story).  These teams - City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool - all attract a lot of shit talking from other fans for their perceived flaws (or monstrous moral failings of their owners...) but you shouldn't take it so seriously that you rule them out from the start.
 

SoxFanInCali

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Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
Also, while you wouldn't know it from this forum since our United fans like Zomp and Bailey are a good bunch, United global fandom in general is marked by a massive and grotesque sense of entitlement as well as an equally unlikeable but very strong bandwagon element.  Think Yankees fans circa 2001 mixed with Heat fans circa 2013.
 
Don't sell Zomp short. He can be as obnoxiously Manky as the next guy.
 

One Red Seat

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Wow, some really great info/advice in this thread. I appreciate all of the responses. I think I am going to go with the approach many of you have mentioned....I am going to watch some games and see if any team jumps out to me and "chooses me" as someone referenced. I just don't want to latch on to the Brewers or Padres of the EPL. I don't need to jump on board with the favorite(s) but I would like to have a reasonable chance to win in any given year.

When I do decide, I am going to wait until that team plays one of my sons teams and hopefully wins. I will make a spectacle of it, tearing off some pedestrian tee shirt to expose my new teams jersey underneath. Maybe mix in a bit of LeBron drama and announce that I am taking my fandom to the South Beach equivalent.

Thanks again for all of the input. Some great stuff
 

Dummy Hoy

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If you don't pick a favorite, you won't have a reasonable chance to win in any given year. It's a rigged game. PL titles go to very few teams...you need to be content with cup titles and European bids unless you want to root for one of 4-5 teams who are mostly frowned upon by the majority of fans.

I think you should be an Everton fan, but that's just me.
 

soxfan121

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One Red Seat said:
 I think I am going to go with the approach many of you have mentioned....I am going to watch some games and see if any team jumps out to me and "chooses me" as someone referenced. I just don't want to latch on to the Brewers or Padres of the EPL. I don't need to jump on board with the favorite(s) but I would like to have a reasonable chance to win in any given year.
 
Ok, you don't get it. But that's alright because you're new to it and lots of vacuous windbags have been pimping their teams instead of explaining it clearly. 
 
Every year, there are three (maybe four) teams with a chance to win. Out of twenty. None of the other sixteen or seventeen have a snowball's chance in hell of "winning" the League. If you are not a fan of Man United, Manchester City or Chelsea...and sometimes a fourth club, but not always ... you aren't "winning" jack or shit. So, if you want a "reasonable chance to win every year", you must choose one of those three clubs. 
 
Now, the noisy contingents of Arsenal, Liverpool and even Tottenham fans will quibble with that assessment. But they're noisy windbags with selective memories. Arsenal and Liverpool used to be in that top group, but aren't anymore and haven't been for a decade or more. Tottenham never was, and as such, their fans tend to be a bit more realistic about their lot in life - spoiler for one of the "big clubs", as well as a place where great players develop into world class talents before departing for Real Madrid. 
 
But outside those six...you are rooting for the Brewers or Padres. No one else (sans Blackburn, who are now in the equivalent of AA) has ever won the league. No one else has really gotten close without it slipping away, like there's banana peels on the pitch or something. And no one ever will break this cycle of dominance. The money disparity is to great, the rules built to keep the rich super-rich and the not-as-rich, well, not as rich.
 
The slim chance of "winning" is to catch fire in a Cup competition or to excel in the Europa League (the poor cousin of the big clubs European Championship tournament) and to try and steal a "top four" finish from one of the behemoths. That's a "winning" season - finishing fourth or winning a tournament that the big clubs use to get their uber-talented teenagers match experience. No, the goal of the majority of the EPL is simply to survive, to avoid relegation and to David a couple of the Goliaths on any given Saturday. 
 
I'm sure the Chelsea, Man United or Manchester City contingents will be happy to welcome a new "winner" to the bandwagon, especially if you buy a shirt or two and help them avoid FFP fines for their profligate spending. The chasers will tell you "this is the year!" and dispute the idea they are losers without a chance of winning...but scoreboard. They're losers, without a chance of actually winning. 
 
So, these are your choices: 1) Super-club with no soul, a bloated bandwagon and a Yankee like history (excepting City, who are just filthy rich with Qatari oil money and human rights abuses); 2) The second tier of wannabes and delusional chasers who think they're in tier 1 and will make a lot of noise about "competing" for titles while winning nothing; or 3) rooting for a club that will never, ever, ever "win" anything. 
 
Like you, I got into EPL action without a team. And eventually, I found my team. They don't win much (after January) because the owner is a profiteering scumbag who sells the best players in January of every year and dreams of owning a shitty Scottish Premier League team. Our fanbase is large, and largely populated with extremely corpulent gents with excessive tattoos and an accent that could choke a water buffalo. Our uniforms - another silly thing soccer fans are way too into - look like someone raided a Foot Locker and took the employee bin clothing. The team captain looks a bit like Bob Ross and Dan Shaughnessy had a love child. 
 
Rooting for this team is painful; because the owner is cheap and an asshole, long losing streaks happen every year, some with increasingly improbable outcomes that seem designed to sap a fan's will to live. They will never, ever, ever win anything because they aren't very talented and if they got close, the owner would sell the best player and funnel that money to Scotland or into his shitty "real" business. 
 
Yet...there's something to being a Newcastle fan. Maybe it's the shared camaraderie of rooting for a hopeless loser. Maybe it's the bizarre ways they find to lose games. Perhaps it is the joy of watching Fat Geordies do Fat Geordie things. Perhaps it is the incomprehensible accents of the fans bemoaning the latest indignity. 
 
Rooting for Newcastle is like rooting for the Red Sox when they were in the midst of the 86 year old drought; you're just waiting for something to go wrong, for the inevitable collapse, for the latest indignity to roll off the assembly line. It is...weirdly fun. We win by existing. We win by spoiling other team's fun. We win by staying up. 
 
If you want to WIN...the pickings are slim (and slimy - all of those super clubs are packed to the gills with pretentious shitheads). If you want to have fun and enjoy the game, find a proper club and enjoy the losing. That's how life works - you're poor, you don't win, you die. Have fun with it.
 

soxfan121

JAG
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Dec 22, 2002
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Yeah, teddykgb really fouled that up. The "new ownership, lots of titles" thing was sitting there for him and LTF and neither invoked it.
 

djhb20

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For what it's worth (very little), I was one who tried to pick a team and get into it. I simply could not - too many things in life that made it too hard to adopt a team that I wasn't raised with a connection too.

I tried most of the advice in this thread and couldn't make it work, which I why I vanished from the EPL stuff. This is despite being a huge fan of international soccer, where I have two strong allegiances and move my schedule to be able to watch games.

My advice, then, would be to make sure whatever you choose is tied to your kids, so that you'll have an external reason for following/rooting. For me, at least, trying to manufacture a reason and slowly build an allegiance was just impossible.