With another summer of transfer madness thankfully slowing to a gradual standstill, it seems that everybody has a different opinion as to who will win the Premier League.
“I’m going for Liverpool to win the title. They looked so good at the end of last season and I also think they’ll have the top goalscorer in Fernando Torres.” – Teddy Sheringham
“Adebayor up front with Tevez – unbelievable. And they have Roque Santa Cruz and Robinho too. What a strike force. That’s it. City are champions for sure.” – Jose Mourinho
“I think this season Chelsea will win it. Man Utd have done it for the last three years in a row but will find it just too difficult to replace Ronaldo’s goals.” – Matt Le Tissier
“Obviously we’ve lost two world class players in Cristiano and Carlos Tevez. We want to prove to everyone that we’re worthy champions and that we can win the Premiership again this season.” – Wayne Rooney
Even though the last one was a slightly biased opinion, it does seem that everyone has a different view as to whom will pick up the prestigious trophy come May. The majority think that it’s between United and Chelsea whilst there’s always a pundit who either thinks it’s Liverpool’s year or that Manchester City’s millions will reap the benefits.
However, in my opinion, Arsenal are going to be the team to surprise this season. History has shown that you should never write off Arsene Wenger. When Thierry Henry left in the summer of 2007, the media were predicting that the club were going to fall out of the top four with arch rivals Tottenham replacing them. If anything, the sale of Henry brought the squad closer together and had there not been any untimely setbacks such as Eduardo’s horrific leg injury, then there may well have been a different name on that trophy for the 07/08 campaign.
The scenario seems very similar this season. Selling the disruptive duo of Adebayor and Toure to Manchester City has undoubtedly strengthened Mark Hughes’ men but with the African Cup of Nations looming in January, it may well prove to be very shrewd business from Wenger. Early signs show that Thomas Vermaelen will be a more than adequate replacement for the declining Toure whilst Wenger will be hoping that Eduardo’s finishing is still as potent as when he first signed him.
I also think that Liverpool will surprise a few as well but not in a good way. The sale of Xabi Alonso is a bigger loss than Cristiano Ronaldo is to United in my opinion. Where as Sir Alex’s team has strength in depth and world class players wherever you turn, Liverpool are arguably reliant on their big players performing every week to cover the fact that their bench contains very few game changing options. All it takes is one or two lengthy injuries and the Merseyside club may well be in for a battle with possibly Manchester City for 4th place in what is sure to be the closest title race yet.
The new season – what will happen?