As the Premier League clubs begin to plan their strategies during the summer to gear up for a fresh new campaign, the clubs from Manchester and Chelsea look the strongest on paper to vie for the crown. With substantial enhancements in the form of transfers most likely to happen before the next season kicks off in August, the race for the league title is undoubtedly going to be a tight affair.
It is interesting to note that Chelsea and the Manchester clubs will begin their respective seasons with a new boss at the helm due to contrasting reasons. While Sir Alex left United on a high by announcing retirement after winning yet another league title, City’s Mancini was sacked by the club officials after a trophy-less season and ironically on the anniversary of their league triumph. Mancini’s sacking can be termed unfair after the work he did at City during his tenure and perhaps his failure to inspire his players to consistent results and an upset loss at the hands of WIgan in the FA Cup might have contributed to his removal. Chelsea, where managers usually feel the least safe among the Premier League clubs has, according to Goal.com, re-hired the Special One after the interim manager Rafa Benitez guided them to a Europa League crown and a Champions League spot for next season.
Though the fact remains that there is bound to be uncertainty in these three clubs due to new managerial regimens, they do have the most balanced teams comparatively and will look to strengthen themselves with significant signings in the transfer season. United’s van Persie has continued his hot streak from his last spell at Arsenal and he looks poised to repeat the same next season. With the likes of Chicarito and Danny Welback, United have young and talented strikers to supplant Wayne Rooney who might be moving out. Young Phil Jones has had some great games under Fergie and De Gea looks more comfortable than he was during the start of last season. A solid midfield signing and United more or less looks set for a strong season again.
Chelsea, where a wealth of talent awaits Jose Mourinho, is looking to flex its financial might again to add to its arsenal of abundant impact players like Mata, Luiz, Ba and Lukaku (who had a great season on loan at West Brom). With the tactical brilliance of Mourinho beckoning, the club will look to make a strong impression in the league after fading off from a great start under Di Matteo.
City’s inability to kill off matches had come back to haunt them last season and as their gulf owners look to splash some more cash to bring in bigger players, it would be interesting to see how Manuel Pellegrini would mould the set of stars to play like a team. Pellegrini had an unsuccessful stint at Real Madrid and criticized the management for not giving him the opportunity to build a team. At City, he might be faced with a similar situation and City’s management would do well to put their trust in him to assemble a team of players rather than a team of stars.
With all that said, the Premier League is again headed to an interesting season with no more than four other teams in Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton hoping to dismantle the Manchester clubs’ domination at the top. The summer will be a preamble to each club’s fortunes and it is going to be an exciting transfer season from June.