Friday, August 16, 2013

Opening the 2013-14 Premier League season

This weekend the best league in the world is finally starting! And it will surely be an interesting season with all the new signings and deals. One of the most interesting aspect, more than the eternal rumours of high-level transfers, are the many new high-level managers in Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea. And personally, I believe the winner of the league will be among one of these three.
Manchester City is perhaps my favourite to win the championship. With Manuel Pellegrini they will have one of the best managers in the world, and hopefully he can create harmony in a team with stars such as Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta, Samir Nasri, Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Edin Dzeko. On top of it, the team has just bought the fashionable Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo, so they will at least be one of the most interesting sides to follow.
Chelsea will also be a title contender, and what most people will be watching is surely Jose Mourinho's return to his old club. Hated and loved, he is surely one of the most controversial figures in football, and expectations will be high. The team has not changed that much since he was there, except for the notable absence of Didier Drogba. But perhaps Mourinho is the man to get the best out of Fernando Torres, Oscar and Eden Hazard.
Manchester United is starting a new era with David Moyes as manager. He will undoubtedly face pressure in the shadow of Sir Alex Ferguson, who said goodbye to the job with the title. While surely still a strong team, they have vainly been looking for reinforcements this summer.  Much will rely on some of their current stars such as Robbie van Persie and Antonio Valencia, while the rumours about Wayne Rooney's possible exit only seem to give the side instability.
Arsenal will not win the title. Under Arsene Wenger they continue to be one of the most interesting sides to see young super talents play at the highest level, but the fans, eager for a title, seem exasperated at not having a major signing. For me, this just shows how little appreciation Arsenal fans have for a side that even with a major signing, would not be likely to take the title.
Tottenham is surely one of the most interesting sides. Having finished fifth last season the club has ambition for more, and have made two big signings with Roberto Soldado, coming from Valencia, and the super-talented Paulinho, who caught the attention of Europe after the Confederations Cup, but who had been brilliant for Corinthians for a couple of seasons already. It seems unlikely that they will be able to keep Gareth Bale, who is likely to join Real Madrid, but they are surely a team to watch nevertheless.
Everton will also be starting the season with a new coach, Roberto Martinez, after David Moyes signing for Manchester United. They have not made major signings until now, but rumours say that Marouane Fellaini may be on his way to Manchester United. Like their neighbours Liverpool FC, Everton is unlikely to make much headway this season.
Liverpool are fallen giants, and most news from the club have been about the Luis Suarez soap opera. Really, they should just let the clown go... In the meantime, the club has tried to reinforce themselves with Aly Cissokho from Valencia, and are in the bid to get the Brazilian Willian, from Shakhtar Donetsk.
There are other teams that will surely be interesting to watch and who can play against any opponent (this is what makes it the best league in the world!): Swansea under Michael Laudrup  has ambition for more having been able to retain Michu. Sunderland under Paolo Di Canio has been upgrading its side with the signing of Josy Altidore, while West Bromwich Albion has gotten veterans such as Diego Lugano and Nicolas Anelka.
Be sure there is a great season ahead of us!

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