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Premier League: The Ecstatic Fans

Baggies and Swans join Manchester duo to lead the list

By | 14th December 2012
michu swansea city

In the fifth and final article in the series Premier League: The Happiest Fans, Premiership Talk joins to take a look at the four teams whose fans are ecstatic with the start their clubs have made to the 2012-13 campaign. In other words, these are the happiest fans in the Barclays Premier League at the moment.

So what determines who the happiest and most ecstatic fans are? After all, even the most troubled teams have loyal supporters singing loudly and proudly for them from the terraces on a weekly basis.

Hence, it may be difficult to determine just how happy fans are feeling with their clubs based on simply how they behave during the matches. It may be suggested that the league position may have a direct correlation with the most ecstatic set of supporters.

Then again, if that were the case, the top four teams in the Premier League table would end up in the top four of this list as well. But as you can tell from process of elimination using all prior articles in this series – covering the angry fans, the annoyed fans, and the happy fans – that’s not the case either.

Factors determining the four teams whose fans classify as happy include the team’s on-field performance (success, entertainment level), off-field performance (performance trends, success in rivalries), value for money (ticket prices, brand value), and organization (management’s reputation, stability).

Using the aforementioned factors, it was found that Manchester City, Manchester United, Swansea City, and West Bromwich Albion have made their supporters the happiest in the Premier League this season.

Defending champions Manchester City have encountered some bumps in recent weeks but at least for now, the club radiates confidence about retaining the crown without hitting the panic button.

As if elimination from all European competitions as well as the League Cup was not bad enough so early in the season, City’s Premier League campaign has been slammed against the wall too.

Roberto Mancini’s men have won only one out of their last four fixtures, winning 2-0 away to Wigan. Draws against fellow top-four incumbents Chelsea and Everton, as well as the recent 3-2 derby defeat at home to bitter rivals United, has all contributed to a nightmarish December.

In their next five outings over the course of the festive period, they face Newcastle, Reading, Sunderland, Norwich, and Stoke City. That schedule seems relatively favorable and the Citizens could very well overcome a six-pint deficit to United en route to recovering the top spot in the standings a month from now.

To accomplish that, they need the type of consistency that has been missing this season. Granted, they had been unbeaten long enough to turn Etihad Stadium into a fortress and keep their fans very much behind them ahead of last weekend’s derby defeat.

However, draws won’t cut it from now onwards. They need to win very frequently to live up to their brand value and expectations. To reiterate, they remain a stable club with a happy fan base and no signs of panic just yet but to preserve that stability, the champions must ramp up the momentum.

Manchester United, on the other hand, have symbolized words such as consistency and momentum this season. Aside from defeats against Everton, Tottenham, and Norwich, the Red Devils have won all their matches, not even bothering to play for draws.

A lot of times, they have needed to come from behind and secure all points rather late. But despite any criticism they may get for leaking goals, the fact remains that they are six points clear at the summit and command the respect of not only their own fans, but also the rest of the league.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that Sir Alex Ferguson’s men also won their Champions League group to bounce back strongly from last season’s group stage elimination.

Aside from the League Cup elimination at the hands of Chelsea, just about everything has gone their way on the pitch this season. Furthermore, signing Robin van Persie to partner Wayne Rooney up front has been a tremendous success with the club’s fans.

If they avoid stumbling along the way like they did last season, United are tipped for even happier times ahead. But in the Premier League, it’s never easy to keep up such a high success rate either.

Swansea are not competing for the Premier League title like their two Manchester counterparts but the Welsh outfit has offered tremendous value to its supporters early in this campaign.

Those who feared that Brendan Rodgers’ departure in the summer would threaten the Swans’ entertaining yet effective brand of football have taken very little time to embrace the tactics of new boss Michael Laudrup.

The Dane has guided the team to a tremendous recent run where they have only lost once in their last nine matches in all competitions.

Instead of even giving a passing glare to the relegation battle, Swansea are sitting comfortably in eighth place in the league standings, with a Capital One Cup semifinals berth also sealed earlier this week.

On top of all the causes to celebrate on the field, the squad has been strengthened considerably with the signings of Spanish duo Michu and Pablo Hernandez. The team is often dubbed as the “Barca of the PL” for their fluid attacking style but the supporters at Liberty Stadium pay only a fraction of those who attend matches at Camp Nou.

In a nutshell, Swansea City are here to stay and so are their elated supporters.

Lastly, a team that has offered its supporters a plethora of ecstatic moments against all odds this season is West Bromwich Albion.

The Baggies have seemed to have undergone a renaissance of sorts under Steve Clarke, becoming the most successful team in the Midlands at the moment with sixth position in the Premier League.

Before their last three fixtures, all of which ended up being losses, West Brom were in the top four and certainly earned that spot with four consecutive wins over Southampton, Wigan, Chelsea, and Sunderland.

With far limited resources compared to bigger clubs, Clarke has orchestrated a team that shows up to play a robust brand of football, particularly at home.

WBA have won six of their eight fixtures at The Hawthorns this season, which is only matched by the two Manchester giants.

Keeping up the pace will certainly be a challenge for this West Brom squad for the remainder of the season but for now, the fans have every right to enjoy the team’s achievements and stay fully behind their hard-working group of players with the same ecstatic spirits.

Do you agree with these rankings of the Premier League’s four happiest sets of fans? Comment via the Facebook plugin below for a chance to win a pair of Sondico goalkeeping gloves endorsed by Wigan Athletic’s Ali Al-Habsi.

Reader Comments

The below views are those of our readers and do not reflect the opinions of Premiership Talk or its employees.
  1. Humza Usman says:

    The Baggies and The Swans have a big reason to be ecstatic at the moment. Swansea started the season on a roll and even though their performances have dropped a bit, they still are doing pretty will. The Baggies are in 6th after 17 matches. People would have expected West Brom to be a mid table side but, at the moment, they are in contention for a European spot. I am a bit surprised to see Manchester City on this list becasue they are six points behind United in the table and put on an embarrassing display in the Uefa Champions League by getting only two points from six matches.It is obvious why the Red Devil fans are happy as United sit at the top of the table and have made it past the group stages of the Champions League.

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