The time is almost upon us! For most households, the summer without the football on has been a quiet and depressing period. From your Saturday Mornings with a Bacon Sandwich and Soccer AM to Geoff Stelling on your screen all afternoon shouting how Ipswich have gone 1-0 against Burton Albion, we love every part of it and it’s almost back!
The transfer market has been an absolutely crazy one, it’s felt like this year more than most the prices have inflated at a crazy rate and most Premier League clubs are spending like there’s no tomorrow, none more so than the two clubs in Manchester!
Manchester City start the season as firm favourites for me, they’ve improved the part of the squad that most needed improving, the defence. With the additions of Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo. They have a slick attacking manager in Pep Guardiola, the only question mark over him is his one-dimensional style, he won’t ever go to take the 1-0 snatch and grab.
Manchester United have followed suit from the last 3-4 transfer windows, spend big until it all comes together. You think it’s only a matter of time until Mourinho turns Manchester United into a huge force across Europe, he found his first season a hard one but you can guarantee he hasn’t lost the magic touch in winning Trophies, he won them last year and hadn’t even got started… With the signings of Lukaku, Matic and Lindelof, they will be a physically imposing side capable of playing the Mourinho way.
Chelsea are strange ones. The reigning Premier League Champions had the best squad last season and have even added to that with the additions of Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Antonio Rudiger. Granted Bakayoko and Hazard haven’t featured yet but they’ve lacked something pre-season and it doesn’t seem a completely settled camp. If they sign a couple of his targets and start winning, you can only imagine they’ll be right in the mix come May.
A real frustrating one for Tottenham really. They haven’t signed anyone and now doubt is creeping in about some of their regular starters. Kyle Walker has already departed for rivals Manchester City and it now seems Danny Rose is fed up. His astonishing interview with The Sun has highlighted what most Spurs fans think, but has even showed his admiration for other clubs and even said he’s worth more, disrupted camp maybe? On paper their XI is among the best in the league, squad depth is the issue with Spurs for me.
On to Merseyside! Liverpool have not had the greatest window for me with just the signings of Mohammed Salah and Andrew Robertson. Yet what I have watched of them they have been very impressive on the field. Maybe the philosophy of Klopp to bring the young players through will pay off but they simply have to keep hold of Coutinho.
Finally, Arsenal. Will it be same old Arsenal? They have added a fantastic striker in Alexander Lacazette no doubt, but like most Transfer Windows, is it enough? They looked great in the Community Shield against Chelsea, but has that papered over the cracks that their squad isn’t a title winning one, possibly. The fans were less than pleased about a renewed contract for Arsene Wenger, and I can kind of see their point. If he was going to work miracles once again, surely, he would have done it by now. I can see the inevitable decline mid-season again unfortunately, and maybe even the departure of a certain Alexis Sanchez. However, no Champions League will help no doubt.
What about the rest?
I think there has been some successful clubs in the transfer window who will have a good season. I think West Ham have bought really smart. Javier Hernandez is a great addition as is Marko Arnautavic. Good things in store for the Hammers. Watford have surprised me, I think Andre Gray and Chalobah are great signings for the Hornets, and I expect them to do well this season. Everton also, Wayne Rooney is a natural goal scorer however he looked last season and Michael Keane could prove to be signing of the summer, a real top talent. Could they finish above Liverpool?! Time will tell…
In terms of teams in trouble I think Huddersfield will find it incredibly tough in the top flight and I think Burnley this year could follow after losing Andre Gray. Teams who I think could be in the fight for relegation are Brighton although I think they’re a club on the up and a story to be admired. Also for me I think Stoke and Swansea could be a bit hot under the Collar come May after their lack of transfer activity and loss of key players if Sigurdsson does leave Swansea, and the already confirmed loss of Arnautovic for Stoke.
Anyhow, it’s back, and we can’t wait for the action to begin! The highs and the lows, the wonder goals and the dodgy back-passes, the roar from the fans and the local derby’s…Bring on the season!