The thing to be said is that no team has done it 4 years in a row, United has done 3 in a row before but never 4 but then the same doubts existed before United did 3 in a row, so wont put it past them. So heart and brains both say United. I also rate Arse above plucky pool and Chelsea. A fully fit Eduardo is twice the player that Adebayor is and fully integrates with the way Arsene likes his football to be played but quite frail at the back, so if the defence is fixed I would pick Arse to finish ahead of the traditional also rans and Chelsea. Pool has a great team but a poor squad and the loss of Alonso was played out too long and is a big reverse to the team and the manager. Kudos to Alonso, Rafa wanted him out last season, he fought that and stayed. Rafa wanted him this season and he fought hard and left. That is a fact! Also a fact - that they had a fantastic 2009 so will I think it’s the bronze for them this year ahead of Chelski. A great team that Chelski are, they will suffer from the Terry drama and there is no equivalent of a Pirlo in their team, they have a Gattuso in Essien and a Kaka in Lampard(in the EPL there is no better) but no Pirlo!
Top 4: Manchester United, Arsenal (with Eduardo fit), Liverpool and Chelsea.
Will little Mickey become a hit?
I will say 15 goals and he is a hit. Score the winner at Anfield and he is a hit, there is so little expected of him and that is his biggest advantage, the only thing that would make him a flop is to get injured for a very long time.
Will Liverpool cope without Xabi Alonso?
He never had a season as good as his last one, but then that goes for Pool too so whether they are inter-dependant, I am not so sure. As a United fan, I would love for it to be true but I would attribute last season’s best of the rest run to using Gerrard as a second striker than Alonso’s form. So a younger, faster Aquilani should be a improvement for them, so yes, they will cope without Alonso but I would be glad if they don’t!
What will happen to Man City?
5th at best, they have some excellent finishers but who is going to create them? I am not sure Robinho, Petrov and Ireland can be considered World class and their defence still counts Richard Dunne as its best player. They have a world class keeper and a brilliant strike force but am not convinced with the midfield or their defence and looking at how badly they were chasing Kaka and Terry, Hughes is not convinced either.
Which of the 3 promoted teams will stay up?
I surely like Burnley, they were brilliant in the cup games last year, ask Arsene, and he will tell you. They play good football and deserve to stay up. Birmingham has enough players with EPL experience to stay up although not sure of their strike force, Wolves had a great strike force but not sure Knightly can be as effective as he was in the Championship so Burnley would be the surprise amongst the 3 of them but their purchases in the close season have only shown that they are planning to be in the Championship very soon, Steven Fletcher from up North is the high profile one.
Who will be relegated?
Hull for sure, I am still surprised how they escaped the last time. I would also pick Wolves for the simple reason that other than their strikers and Knightly they don’t have anyone to draw inspiration from. The final slot will be filled by one amongst Birmingham, Bolton and Wigan.
Who will be first Manager to lose his job?
Mark Hughes would be the popular choice but for some strange reason he has been shown tremendous loyalty by the new management so I guess that is not going to change overnight although his expenditure is an excuse for the media witch-hunt on him. The Wigan manager Martinez is unproven at this level, although his resume is far better than Paul Ince’s was. Mr. McCarthy may not have the rub of the green and the same for Mr. McLeish.
Best Summer Signing?
Securing Jo for another year is a good one, Everton need a bit more quality so as to not miss Cahill and Arteta. If Lescott stays and he is happy, then I would say that would be best signing of the summer. Exciting ones like little Mickey, Glen Johnson, a fully fit Eduardo or Hargreaves can all be major players and be highly influential
Silly Mistake of the Season?
Not convinced with Valencia so there is one for a starter, Mickey Owen on the Doctor’s table would have the London Press laughing at Sir Alex. A unhappy Lescott could be a big mistake, but nothing can beat not selling John Terry for £40 million. It is too much money for an overrated Donkey. They have proved that Man City cannot bully them, kudos for that but then silly money does not come around every day.