Saturday, August 13, 2016

Let the Premier League season begin..

Finally, after 12 weeks, we have a new season of premier league. You know there's something amiss even if your weekends are going fine. There's something lacking to make the weekends even better that it actually is. It's a lot like cooking, you know the food is great but maybe a pinch of salt will elevate it to an altogether new level. Just a small tweak. That's all it takes. For me, Premier League was that salt I was looking to add during the weekends. And it now tastes great!

English Premier League Logo image
So what's new? Both Manchester teams brought in new managers. Not just another manager, but the top ones. Manchester United has Mourinho and Manchester City has Guardiola. This will surely make Manchester Derby even more interesting than what we had in the previous seasons. When new managers come in, expect new players too. That's what has happened. United has Ibrahimovic and Pogba among others and City has Nolito and Gabriel Jesus. I expect Guardiola to buy defensive enforcements as City is poor defensively. I also expect United to follow Mourinho's defense first strategy, which means it will be relatively more difficult to score against United. 

Liverpool and Chelsea have also upgraded their teams. Klopp now has more years under his belt to make Liverpool great again with the players he need. Chelsea have had a terrible season by their standards. By bringing in Conte, they have again shown their intention of competing with the best. Conte is an astute tactician and will be interesting to see how he changes the way Chelsea plays. 

Leicester City are  the reigning champions. I still can't believe this happened. Premier League will now be closely watched to check if Leicester can maintain the same level of performance this season. They haven't done badly in the transfer window either. For starters, they have retained all their top stars except Kante. They also went on to buy value-for-money stars like they successfully did last season. But I feel they now need something more up their sleeve to surprise their opponents as most of teams will now be better prepared to tackle Leicester City's strategy of counter attack. 

And finally Arsenal. Same old, same old, I hear again. Arsenal are in dire need of a quality defender, despite buying a high potential defender in Holding. Arsenal are in dire need of a quality striker to challenge Giroud. With Xhaka, the midfield problem of having a tough tackling midfielder has been solved. What remains to be seen is how Wenger handles his midfield with all the talents at his disposal. I expect Wenger to dip into the market to add 1-2 players to cover his defensive and attacking gaps. The advantage Arsenal has is the form of youngsters like Iwobi and Chuba Akpom. Same old, same old, I hear again. 

What makes me excited about this season is the competition between top managers. With Guardiola, Wenger, Mourinho, Conte, Klopp and Ranieri vying for the top honors, you can't help but wonder who among these will accept failure this season. Add to it the fact that Wenger may leave his coveted post after this season makes the battle more intriguing. This is his final opportunity to win the league and leave on a high but this is by far the most toughest season he will face. 

Rest assured, we are in for a ride this season. Prepare to be amazed and saddened at the same time as the team you support may not win the league as you expected. Manchester teams are obviously the favorites. But count the London teams out at your own peril. 

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