In the weeks leading up to the new season in England we'll hear how theres at least 5 or 6 teams in the race for the title, always happens every new season.
It happenend last Summer too, before the opening match day kick off the headlines were that Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs and Man City were all title contenders. And before the season got under way the media were right however once we entered full swing each contender hit the floor as if punched by David Haye until by January we were left with one. (Sorry Arsenal fans but you had no chance from the start and you know it.) Chelsea did make a comeback of sorts but failed, Man City were more content with 3rd place while Spurs ran out of juice due to European involvement. The Man United title winning team were hardly a classic (as proved by the Catalans in May) but they were delt the biggest slice of luck in their rivals implosion early on.
Now onto this season our would-be title contenders are Man United, Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool. Spurs not included as I think they'll fade out of the top 4 challenge picture altogether. While Liverpool (by themselves and the media) have been talked up a lot, time to put the money where their mouth is.
Arsenal - like many people I too am part of the WWW (Wenger Well Wishers). I admire him for the beautiful game crusade that he is on, yet his constant ignorence on Arsenal's problems has cost him dearly... prehaps he's just too used to sticking to his guns? But at this stage I think even non-football followerers know what needs solving at the Emirates. I don't even have to go into it as you should know yourself but unless Wenger reaches inside his brain, turns on the light bulb and then dips into the transfer funds we always hear is there to spend, a major rebuilding process is needed at the club, this must start with ending the Fabregas saga and unless these things happen there is no moving forward for Arsenal this season will really show us Wenger's strength of character. Prediction: 5th
Liverpool - The Reds are going through a transitional period at the moment, this is often a fragile time for any club. One era ends and so starts a new one or in this case re-starts an old era, the Kenny Dalglish era. King Kenny's impact since his return has been nothing short of demi-God like, he's reignited the fans and players, been active in the transfer window, finished a healthy 6th and has set his sights on reclaiming a certain perch. But there's the words again 'transitional and fragile', hardly words you'd use in describing title contenders. Yes Luis Suarez looks likely to give teams a headache and has been a good buy but Andy Carroll.... hmmm.... The lad from the north has a lot to live up to (£35 million to be clear) and so far he has not ratteled any cages, expensive flop? You tell me. Liverpool's team varies from brilliant (see Reina, Gerrard etc.) to average or poor (Lucas, Johnson, Agger etc.) with some intresting youth coming through. This team will not be there come next May but expect a strong challenge for a Champions League spot. Prediction: 4th
Man City - Ahh Man City a team that resembles the Justice League more and more each month, you have Batman (Tevez) who may not have laser vision but by pure will can drag a team to victory and help himself to a hat-trick while at the same time thinking 'Does Gotham City have a decent travel agent?'. Then you have Superman (Mancini) a guy who must be made of steel if he can survive a season with these guys to a fine 3rd place finish and a cup to go with. I have the upmost respect for Mancini, the guy takes a lot of flak, stress and whispers behind his back but yet he can still get the job done (and look great with a scarf). But sadly I just do not think he will last much longer, he's a good manager but the way his players act will cost him. Infighting, rumours, the pressure of the league and the Champions League combined will no doubt trip City up unless they offload some baggage (Balotelli, Tevez etc.) and bring in people who actually want to be there. No nonsense players but with the new 'Crazy Gang' you're 'aving a laugh! Prediction: 3rd
Chelsea - A club seemingly always in turmoil of some sort (cheating players, sacked coaches etc.) Mr. Abramovich can take some credit as the clubs chief downfall arcitect last season. I think he must love seeing Blues fans scratch their heads in depression and disbelief, and as latest reports go Andre Villas-Boas is set to take a boiling hot seat. Very promising young manager he is, wonder how long he'll survive in Roman's land? The best Chelsea fans can hope is that the owner sees the error of his ways and uses Villas-Boas as a long term solution, to give him time, control and funds to make Chelsea a more successful and admirable club. So hope, the 'New Mourinho' and a mad billionare will they all go hand in hand? Prediction: 2nd
Man United - Yet another team in transition but fresh off the back of a league win, United have marched into the Summer transfer market with ambition for the present and future. Another humbling Catalan experience at Wembley has given Ferguson the kick he needs and will use as motivation for the coming season, out goes Van der Sar, Neville and Scholes, in comes De Gea, Jones and Young, United are in transition no doubt and their current team are only by a small margin Englands best and yes they are another planet away from Barcelona but they are stable, much more so than any other Premier League club, the current crop have gained more experience and are a team strongly together led by Sir Alex Ferguson, the iron fist of Old Trafford. Ferguson will want another title and another crack at Europe more than anybody, expect to see a different United to previous seasons. Prediction: 1st