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1967-68 Season Begins – Charles Buchan Predictions Team by Team / 1967-68 Season Begins – Charles Buchan Predictions Team by Team

1967-68 Season Begins – Charles Buchan Predictions Team by Team

By on 17 August 2017

The benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing and never more so than when you look at football history through the pages of the top football magazine of the 1960s era. Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly used to pick each division in the Football League at the beginning of the season and give their general opinion on each team’s prospects for the coming season. As we all dive headlong into a new season in 2017, SoccerAttic has gone back 50 years to September 1967 and re-published Charles Buchan’s predictions for the First Division sides back then.

All in all we think they did a pretty good job when you view the final Division One table that we have also published below the article. By way of some background, Coventry City were beginning their first season in the top flight having been promoted the season before with fellow Midlanders Wolves. Manchester Utd were Division One champions having won the title by four points from surprise runners-up Nottingham Forest.

You can also read it as it was originally published by tapping or clicking on the pages and zooming in for clearer vision. Throughout the article, where you see italics in red, hover or click for more background information.

CLUB PROSPECTS: Our Experts Weigh Up the New Season

 ARSENAL (7): They need more striking power to upset the best of their rivals. Defensively they are more than adequate, having tightened up considerably last season. A hard side to beat now they have put greater determination into their game. But two players only reaching double figures in goals spotlights the big need.

BURNLEY (14): The loss of Willie Irvine (broken leg) for half last season was a big handicap. It cannot gloss over the poorest season at Turf Moor for years. The fact that Burnley went into the transfer market tells its story. One of our most attractive teams, they now face a minor transitional period. A mid-table rating is the forecast.

CHELSEA (9): A fully-fit Peter Osgood, a much improved home record and a tighter defence … Chelsea must be hoping for all three happenings. Colin Waldron, from Bury, might help with the last. Chelsea will make the rest go . . as they have done these past few seasons. Look for a better League showing this time.

COVENTRY (P): Their first tilt at the top set and the wonder is if they carry enough class. They may struggle to keep abreast and, since survival alone won’t suit their ambitious makeup, will be forced to buy. No first-time fireworks expected, but they should be comfortable enough in the lower regions.

EVERTON (6): May be a season short yet of full promise as their youngsters take time to settle in, but still to be reckoned with for the honours. The best is yet to come from such as Harvey, Hurst, Husband, Kendall and Royle. Add Alan Ball and a compact defence and the signs are good times at Goodison.

FULHAM (18): If they could impart some consistency to the exciting football they produce . . ! A bad start to last season left them among the stragglers, yet their better days saw them averaging four home goals a game for a couple of months. They should continue to entertain, free of any background worries . . but only just.

LEEDS (4): Always on the fringe of bigger things. United stand poised for the breakthrough. Last season proved their strength in depth when, with countless changes, their youngsters came through splendidly. Like Everton, the best is yet to come for them. Experience is still limited in some cases, but expect a great bid for honours.

LEICESTER (8): Just short of the stuff of which top sides are made. City should be thereabouts without quite getting there. Only Man. Utd. and West Ham scored more goals in the First Division, but the defence succumbed too easily. Another bright, entertaining side, but short of the resolution needed to win medals.

LIVERPOOL (5): Judged by their wonderful record of the five previous seasons, the Antield club failed last term. Roger Hunt losing his goal-touch explains much of this, but in fact re-building was called for . . . and Bill Shankly has certainly set about this. Hateley, from Chelsea, and Hunt, suggest much more power up front. With Shankly still looking around the “Reds” are bound to be a major force again.

Colin Bell, Manchester City

Colin Bell joined Man City in 1966

MANCHESTER CITY (15): Last season was a “holding” period for City, fresh to First Division. Grimly defensive, they gave little away, but only two teams in the Division scored fewer goals . . . and one of those was Blackpool who went down. There is little to suggest that taking points from City will be easier this time, but they will hardly set the world aflame.

MANCHESTER UNITED (1): It is difficult to see how United can be kept out of the honours again. Their all-round strength is greater than ever. Last season they scored more goals than any of their rivals, only two teams conceded less. It is only European Cup commitments which might take their eyes off the main home prizes long enough for them to slip up.

NEWCASTLE (20): Disappointing last time and cannot be unduly optimistic about what lies ahead. Even with Wyn Davies, United were still woefully short of attacking power. Not one forward made double figures in the meagre 39 goals total. Nor did the defence—81 goals lost—match up to its task. A resurgent United would boost North-east football, but they could be struggling again.

Joe Baker Nottingham Forest

Joe Baker struggled to find form after his injury

NOTTINGHAM FOREST (2): Forest are determined to break into the “inner circle” of the big clubs, following up the tremendous improvement in their fortunes. They have put a sting into their stylish game and a tactical emphasis on defence which brought them the best record in the League, save for Queen’s Park Rangers. With Joe Baker back they look set for another fine season.

Mick Jones Sheffield United

Mick Jones left for Leeds Utd soon after this article was printed

SHEFFIELD UTD. (10): The same again here. Homespun, hard-working United lean heavily on the spearhead of Jones and Birchenall for goals. Not enough were forthcoming last term, only three First Division attacks scored less. Without any real changes it is difficult to see any big advance.

SHEFFIELD WED. (12): Disappointing last season, but could command greater respect if McCalliog and Ritchie hit it off. Wednesday are capable of better things and a big improvement is anticipated. Dependable in defence, they must look for progress with a more dominant attack. This should lift the Hillsborough side to a much higher rating.

SOUTHAMPTON (19): The Saints have long been among our most attractive sides, with the accent heavily on attack. They live excitingly—and dangerously. But last season’s concession of 92 goals—only Doncaster were worse off—must show the red light. The defence, or the tactics used, must be altered to plug the leak this time . . . or else. Not a top team, but they should fare much better.

STOKE (11): City promised early on, then failed to stay. Their high position, however, flattered them. The coming of Gordon Banks and John Mahoney proves City’s readiness to go for better things, but they appear to have reached their level for the time being. They may be pushed to finish as high as last time.

SUNDERLAND (17): Difficult to see any reason why there should be anything but the same story at Roker Park. It would be nice to see a real revival, but while one or two youngsters have begun to come through there is no evidence to suggest other than that they will be battling it out in the lower half.

TOTTENHAM (3): That unbeaten four month run which took in 24 League and Cup games, points to the Cup-holders being right in the picture again. Spurs improved considerably as a team. Their quality, individually, was always there. Expect them to carry on where they left off. Which means another very successful season.

WEST BROM (13): A team seemingly doomed to relegation, the Albion made a great recovery in the second half of last season. They won their last five home games, lost but one of their last eight away. Now they have a new manager, Alan Ashman, from Carlisle. With a stouter defence and with forwards like Brown, Clark, Astle and Kaye—look for West Brom making a more sustained—and better—showing this time.

WEST HAM (16): Ron Greenwood has bought to strengthen his defence. He needed to with a side which had 84 scored against them The Hammers got the goals, only Man. Utd. of their rivals, scored more . . . but the leak at the other end was too big for comfort. On their day no side are better to watch, but the old poise is not there and the re-moulding which has to go on may not see them much above the half-way mark.

WOLVES (P): Very much on trial, now they are back in the First Division. A most lively, competent side, with deep resource of talent. They are back where they should be, and are expected to give a good account of themselves. Players like Hunt, Bailey and Knowles should be even more at home in this class, and with Dougan in form they can make the rest go.

[End article]

 First Division Final Table 1967-68 Season

Pos Team Pld W D L F A G/A GD* Pts
1 Manchester City 42 26 6 10 86 43 2.00 43 58
2 Manchester Utd 42 24 8 10 89 55 1.618 33 56
3 Liverpool 42 22 11 9 71 40 1.775 31 55
4 Leeds Utd 42 22 9 11 71 41 1.732 30 53
5 Everton 42 23 6 13 67 40 1.675 27 52
6 Chelsea 42 18 12 12 62 68 0.912 -6 48
7 Spurs 42 19 9 14 70 59 1.186 11 47
8 WBA 42 17 12 13 75 62 1.21 20 46
9 Arsenal 42 17 10 15 60 56 1.071 4 44
10 Newcastle 42 13 15 14 54 67 0.806 -13 41
11 Nottingham Forest 42 14 11 17 52 64 0.813 -12 41
12 West Ham 42 14 10 18 73 69 1.058 4 38
13 Leicester 42 13 12 17 64 69 0.928 -5 38
14 Burnley 42 14 10 18 64 71 0.901 -7 38
15 Sunderland 42 13 11 18 51 61 0.836 -10 37
16 Southampton 42 13 11 18 66 83 0.795 -17 37
17 Wolves 42 14 8 20 66 75 0.88 -9 36
18 Stoke 42 14 7 21 50 73 0.685 -23 35
19 Sheffield Wed 42 11 12 19 51 63 0.81 -12 34
20 Coventry 42 9 15 18 51 71 0.718 -20 33
21 Sheffield Utd 42 11 10 21 49 70 0.7 -21 32
22 Fulham 42 10 7 25 56 98 0.571 -31 27

* Goal difference is included for interest sake but didn’t count for anything back then.


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