Premier League: Football is finally back
Finally, that time has come; no more walking round shops on a Saturday, no more pretending to be interested in sports you couldn’t care less about because football is back. Even better, it’s a World Cup year!
With the impending start of every season comes all the usual excitement and optimism, but it also brings the inevitable summer transfer saga and this year we’ve been treated to three. Okay, ‘treated’ was perhaps a little tongue in cheek because it’s all become tiresome and quite frankly, a little boring.
The will he/won’t he moves, fees, stances, behind the scenes, etc etc surrounding Luis Suarez, Wayne Rooney and Gareth Bale has dragged on too long, even though we’ve still got few more weeks of it to go yet. Thankfully, actual competitive football should break it all up somewhat. It has, however, got to the point where I believe Sky Sports News would be under a duvet, eating chocolates and crying if the transfer window system was scrapped.
Like I said, thankfully, football is back and this season promises to be one of the most competitive Premier League title races in years. Usually, stability is stressed as such an important factor for any club looking to challenge for the title, but this year, the three main protagonists all have new men at the helm.
For the first time since 1986, Man United start the season without Alex Ferguson as their manager. David Moyes is the man charged with taking over from one of the greatest managers in the game and despite him not winning a trophy in his managerial career (sorry, but the Community Shield is not a trophy), the experience and know-how in the squad he’s inherited means they will be there or thereabouts at the business end of the season.
A few months ago, it would’ve seemed inconceivable that Jose Mourinho returning to the Premier League would be overshadowed in the build-up to the new season, but that’s just how overbearing the coverage of Suarez, Rooney and Bale proposed moves have been. Many of us were expecting a near constant Mourinho tick-a-tape on Sky Sports News this summer, but the lack of attention and previous experience, coupled with him returning to a club where the fans love him should help Chelsea this year.
The return of Lukaku and De Bruyne after successful loan spells, as well as the additions of Schurrle and van Ginkel gives the Blues squad a good blend of youth and experience. Personally, I think both Manchester United and Chelsea are short of a top quality centre midfielder.
Manchester City also changed manager this summer, with Manuel Pellegrini coming in to replace Roberto Mancini. I wrote last season about how Mancini’s domestic record as a manager was very good, but his record in European competitions was poor and that, as well as his reported strained relationship with many at the club, likely led to his departure; so on the face of it, Pellegrini is a smart appointment: a good tactician, diplomatic with the press and renowned man-manager, his Malaga side impressed many in last season’s Champions League.
Their transfer business also seems smart: Navas, Fernandinho, Negredo and Jovetic address improvements that were required in last season’s City side, with perhaps a defender being the only squad weakness that remains.
Published with permission from O-Posts .