I know it’s pretty impossible to tell what will happen in the Premier League, mainly because no one expected last season to end in the outstandingly entertaining way it did, but I would like to try. Here is my potential top five for the Premier League:
1. Manchester City:
In Villa Park yesterday it felt as though City were laying down a gauntlet in the 12 second half minutes in which they scored three goals. They still haven’t made a new signing, although a deal for Jack Rodwell is soon to be finalised, but do they really need to? Considering the fact Stefan Savic is back up to either Joleon Lescott or the imperious Vincent Kompany a top class defender is essential and Daniel Agger would fit the bill. All the talk of bringing in Van Persie seems a bit pointless considering they have a choice in attack between Balotelli, Aguero, Dzeko and Tevez.
Carlos Tevez will be vital for City this season as he will act like the new signing if he can stay as focused as Mancini claims he is. His link up play with Aguero could be one of the factors the boys in the MOTD studio are raving about if City reclaim the title next season. Although a lack of signings tends to be seen as negative City fans will gladly settle for a new centre back as well as Jack Rodwell, as long as reborn Carlos Tevez can play like we all know he can. If he does then I can’t see City finishing below first again.
2. Manchester United:
Although we haven’t had a revolution of new signings in the red half of Manchester this season Shinji Kagawa looks to be an astute one. After all the theatrics involved with Eden Hazards move, United fans will be pleased to hear that Kagawa has better stats lasts season than Hazard and played in a league viewed by many as playing at a higher level. However, something strange has been happening at Old Trafford this pre-season, instead of plenty of enthusiastic fans getting excited about a new season, a split is starting to appear.
Due to his uncompromising backing of the increasingly dodgy looking Glazer regime, Sir Alex Ferguson no longer has the total backing of the majority of the fans. Petitions are being written, letters sent to the Scot and fans even questioning that the reason for his almost blind loyalty is down to money not the love of the club.
If you told this to anyone in football ten years a go they would have laughed in your face before assuming you were a City fan incognito. With uncertain times off the pitch at least Fergie can rely upon Vidic to return and sort out a defence that looked nervy at best during last season. Not only that but United had 14 players missing through injury when things looked worrying and won’t be expecting the lightning strike of bad luck to hit twice in two seasons.
Even with all that in mind, I think they need to step up the pursuit of Van Persie or bring in another striker as they could be looking to the FA or League cup for realistic silverware. City’s potential dynasty could have begun last May and with the momentum on their side it’ll take a lot to stop them.
With a dazzling array of creative and exciting stars added to the midfield line up at Chelsea, you’d expect them to improve on their worst league finish since Roman Abramovich took control of the club. Although the glory of that final in Munich will still be sung about in the crowd the challenge for Di Matteo starts now.
With the addition of Hazard, Marin and Oscar means that Chelsea have addressed the lack of creativity in the midfield and after a good summer for El Nino picking up the golden boot, perhaps Torres will finally come good in blue. I am very excited about the new Chelsea line up as they now potentially have the best midfield in the league. For this reason I believe that they will finish top of the London league, which has some way to go to better the Manc alternative. Arsenal and Spurs have made changes but I think that due to the defensive resilience shown toward the end of last season, mixed with the creativity added this summer, all that is needed at Stamford Bridge is someone to convert the chances into goals. This could be the season that Torres returns.
Thanks to Manchester mania taking over the race for the Premier League last season, Arsenal’s third position in the League was under rated in my opinion. We all remember the atrocious start to the season Wenger’s team made, after what he described as ‘the most disturbed pre-season I know’, and to finish in third was a feat unfairly ignored. To replicate that finish will be even more difficult considering the reinforcements brought in at Chelsea and the threat of Tottenham under AVB.
In Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski are signs to be optimistic at the Emirates this season. For me Arsenal will do well to finish fourth as one of the reasons they did so well in the league last year was thanks to a terrible run by Spurs in the second half of the season and Chelsea’s own disaster start under AVB. Arsenal were able to capitalise on others hiccups tremendously last year so if I am wrong and they do replicate third in the league or better then I hope it is the start of something and not just the final hurrah under a Premier League legend in Arsene Wenger.
The debate about AVB will go on and on but it won’t be decided until Tottenham’s season begins. AVB’s time at Chelsea is better left as a bad sporting memory and will either be looked back on as a minor blip on an outstanding managerial career or it’ll be the first piece of evidence people use when damning him into the pit of Premier League failures.
Luka Modric looks set to finally leave much to the dismay of the White Hart Lane faithful. This could be a blessing in disguise with the money they should receive for him will allow them to finally add to an attack that, right now, only consists of Jermain Defoe. Deals are in progress, we are told, for Adebayor and Leandro Damiao, the latter could prove to be a fantastic signing, but with the kick off to the 2012/13 season just around the corner it’s hard to see where the goals will come from on a regular basis.
On the bright side though the addition of Vertonghen and Sigurdsson will make the lose of King and Modric, if/when he leaves, easier to deal with. Vertonghen’s arrival from Ajax is a real coup with many in the Dutch sides camp saying that he is better than Vermaelen was when he left Ajax for another North London club a few years a go.
For me though this is a year of transition for Spurs and a finish in the top four should be viewed as nothing short of excellent. However if we see any of the suicidal defending present this time last year at Chelsea we may not see AVB around for very long.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!