The premier league just recently released fixtures for the 2016/2017 season and the opening day promises to be a cracker with Liverpool locking horns with arsenal and the defending champions facing hull city. With the influx of quality coaches, premier league faithful are sure to be glued to their screens all season long.
The 2015/2016 Barclays premier league season has come and gone…in some style, the unlikely champions pulling arguably the greatest underdog triumph in a century…if you want to encompass it try imagining Las Palmas winning the La Liga…with Real Madrid and Barcelona in the same league….that’s how unlikely it was.
And Chelsea, Chelsea went from champions to chumps in quite a dramatic fashion. We saw the special one cave in for the first time in his very illustrious career, it was a sight to behold for some, and unbelievable for others. Well…you can’t always win.
I’m sure he’s put that behind him now, and is solely focused on taking Manchester united to greater heights…that I said with the most sarcastic intent ever, never in a million years did I expect Manchester United to sign Jose Mourinho as manager, a very big surprise, considering the fact that there was no love lost between the two parties, but they were smart, they have reignited a feud that began in La Liga, or maybe in Guardiola’s playing days who knows, but Manchester united are well aware of the fact that Mourinho, even if he vehemently denies it, will relish the opportunity to face his old foe, and when they meet in the first derby on September 10, that will be a sight!
So next season is shaping up to be sort of a Hollywood blockbuster, with all the stars in one movie. The premier league can now boast of the crème de la crème of the managerial world, and they are sure to put up a spectacle for the next three years at least, it would be interesting to see the players they bring in, the tactics they would adopt, and the numerous mind games, don’t we miss that…
CHELSEA: WORK IN PROGRESS
Antonio Conte takes charge of Chelsea, a demoralized and embattled side for most of the season, although Guus Hiddink helped steady the ship, he still has a lot of work to do, that Chelsea side needs a total overhaul, in terms of players and mindset, Conte is a known admirer of the 3-5-2 formation, that didn’t work out very well for van Gaal during his time at old Trafford, it would be interesting to see if the new Chelsea boss adopts the formation, or goes for a traditional 4-4-2, playing the 3-5-2 formation would need very good wing backs, as the premier league is very daunting, luckily they have one in Juan Cuadrado, after his first failed attempt at the bridge, he’ll be looking forward to proving himself, Conte is likely to bring him back to Stamford bridge, as he is known to be an admirer of the Colombian international.
It would be quite interesting to see the caliber of players Conte brings in, it is an open secret that he likes Italian players, so we know he’ll be doing most of his shopping in the Seria A. Chelsea have already been linked to Nainggolan with a deal seemingly on the brink of completion. Conte is sure to bring a lot of dynamism into a Chelsea side that needs rejuvenation. It remains to see if the Russian oligarch would let a coach last longer than three years at the bridge, because what Chelsea needs now is someone that can build a team, like the way sir Alex did with the class of 92, some may say the league is ever changing and that won’t work, but quick 3 years fixes are not the solution, as he has come to learn I’m sure.
JOSE MOURINHO: POINT TO PROVE
With the special one now at old Trafford, a lot will be expected of him in the coming years, and that will depend on how he’s able to structure the team for next season, Jose Mourinho has never been an admirer of Juan Mata, who was Chelsea’s best player for two seasons and got shipped off to a rival as soon as he made his second coming at the bridge, so we definitely won’t be surprised if Mata is the first to go, there has also been talk of a deal to bring Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Manchester united, he might be 34 but he is definitely still firing on all cylinders, netting 38 goals in league 1 last season, a good buy.
On style of play, Jose will always be Jose, and will win many matches right from the conference room, that part of him we can’t take away, but we expect he’ll up his game after his recent collapse with Chelsea, and with the arrival of pep Guardiola at man city, the two have been known to bring out the best in each other, if he isn’t able to get the quality defenders he needs, we might see a more attack minded Manchester united side, depending on the caliber of signings that is.
PEP AND A NEW DAWN AT CITY
Manchester city was always likely to be the destination of pep Guardiola when he announced he was leaving Bayern Munich, Chelsea had a chance, but a couple of friends in the right places, and a treasure chest to go after the best of the best was enough to sway the odds in favor of Manchester city. But pep will have his work cut out for him at city, most of their players are old, and he’ll need to inject more young blood into the team, no doubt the likes of Iheanacho and De Bruyne would go a long way, but pep is likely to do an overhaul of the whole team
It would be interesting to see if the champions league winner would want to implement the tiki taka football he perfected with Barcelona at city, that would demand, fast, agile players, from the defense right up to kun Aguero, whom I believe is good enough to survive the onslaught.
Pep is a tactical genius, as he has proved countless times with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, and that will do him a lot of good in the premier league, if he is able to find a way to utilize key players like kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling in various key positions across the forward line, man city could be an attacking force, and kun Aguero will definitely be a happy man, nothing like having Kevin De Bruyne supplying those lovely through balls. Pep will definitely be aiming for silverware in his first season. But building a very strong, long lasting team could prove essential to him in the coming years.
ARSENE WENGER: TIME UP?
It’s a surprise that arsenal have kept faith with Arsene Wenger up to now, and I daresay that last season was their best chance to win the league in 11 years or thereabout, but as usual they let it slip by, in the most dramatic fashion this time around. It could be that they are not ‘champion material’, who knows, but one thing’s for sure, they have their work cut out for them now, they need an upgrade, if Arsene Wenger is going to remain as coach in the coming season (which seems most likely), he’ll need to step up his game, considering the influx of world class coaches currently plying their trade in the premier league.
A marquee signing or two in key positions will certainly announce their intent, but more than that we hope to see an arsenal side willing to keep going till the end, that’s what champions are made of!.
KLOPP TO THE KOP FOR THE CUP!
Jurgen klopp’s side will definitely be hoping to make a statement next season, his first half season went well too, leading the kop to the Europa league final, which he lost, seems he has a thing for finals…and losing them. Hopefully that changes next season. He has a quality side, with players like Origi, Ibe, Sturridge etc. ready to light up the premier league next season, under the careful tutelage of klopp. He’ll be looking to bring in more world class players too. But that might prove difficult considering the fact that they are not going to be playing European football next season.
Klopp is the kind of coach to bring life into a team, he is energetic and charismatic, our very own Diego Simeone, with a toned down temper that is.
HIGH HOPES FOR THE FOXES
Leicester city will be a team which everyone will be expecting so much from come next season, and that might prove to be too much of a challenge for the defending champions (odd isn’t it?) as they are poised to lose some of their key players, with the likes of Jamie Vardy, Ryhad Mahrez And N’golo Kante being the most likely to find their way out of the club for a big payday at any of the supposed ‘big 4’ or abroad.
Leicester will have a point to prove though, that they are not a one season wonder team, and they’ll be playing in the champion’s league! That will lure quality players to the team which they are sure going to need if they are going to make any headway in the champions’ league.
KEEPING FAITH WITH POCHETTINO
Tottenham hotspurs had their best season in a long time last season, finishing third, although they let the second position slipped past them in a last game woeful performance. With Maurio Pochettino set to stay on as manager, it is expected that they’ll put in a good show, they don’t need to many new transfers, they have a young squad, with talent and zeal, with the right motivation I see them battering last season’s performance and even exceeding expectations in the champions league
All in all next season promises to be a cracker. Clubs are evolving at a fast pace and England is beginning to look like the destination for the world’s elite footballers, so we are going to be having a pretty busy transfer window.