Will this be the the toughest premier league season ever? In recent times, while Chelsea and Man Utd were always fighting for the title, the other rival teams didn’t really last till the last lap. While Chelsea and Man Utd share the first and second spots of the league of champions, the other rivals have a league of their own for the champions league spots. Do we see this changing this season? Personally, I don’t think so.
Chelsea and Man Utd are the real contenders. Arsenal have been running close but never truly looking to win the title. Liverpool and Spurs are busy keeping themselves in champions league spots. This season, I see Arsenal and Man City swapping roles. I think Man City will run close without really looking serious to win the title. Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs could battle for the the fourth spot. And this could be a very interesting battle. For this reason, this could be a more interesting season.
Man City have spent a lot of money and they are not getting it’s worth. This will be a win-or-bin season for Mancini. With the kind of team they have to finish first or second. You only need to see the community shield match to see why they will struggle this season. Liverpool have been doing their business as well. They have bought players for £50m and have bought some good players. Liverpool are certainly improving under Kenny Dalglish. Won’t really challenge for the title though, yet. This season could be the beginning of the end for the Arsene Wenger project. He’s been lucky to delay the inevitable but his time will surely run out this season.
The real battle for the premier league title is still between Chelsea and Man Utd. With two more weeks to go for the closure of the transfer window, it’s hard to say who’ll have a better squad to win this premier league title. Both teams have made some good signings. Both teams are yet to make their signing of the summer. Sneijder would surely join Man Utd. That would put them as firm favourites to retain their title. If Fergie can keep Man Utd so competitive with a midfield that contains Carrick, Fletcher and Park, imagine what whe would do with a Sneijder. Chelsea need to keep up with the champions on squad quality and strength.
Okay now, the Chelsea’s first premier league match of this season would be tomorrow. Andre Villas Boas would make his debut for Chelsea in a competitive match. Josh McE could make his first premier league start. I will be very eagerly and curiously waiting to observe Chelsea’s style and approach under Boas. Looks like he still has not concluded on his first choice playing eleven. We would play 4-3-3 and that would be our first choice formation.
We have a near-full squad to choose from except Essien, Luiz and Sturridge. Torres seems to be available for selection despite the concussion episode. If he’s fit and available, I’d pick Torres to start. Torres would be the main striker, supported by Drogba and Benayoun on either sides. The midfield will be Lampard, Ramires and Josh, with Josh playing slightly ahead of Lampard. Terry, Alex, Cole, Ivanovic in defence and who else but Cech on goal.
The obvious thing about this line-up is the continuation of our desire to play 4-3-3 without genuine wingers and relying solely on the full backs to provide width in attack. I don’t know how long will this continue. This formation needs one striker and two wingers. For the one-striker spot, we have Torres, Drogba, Anelka, Sturridge and Lukaku – that’s a collection of top strikers. For the two winger spots, we have not one quality winger. Malouda and Benayoun are not genuine wingers. So, technically, we don’t even have one proper specialist winger but 4-3-3 will be our formation.
I’m keen to see how Boas’ 4-3-3 works. It’s possible to organise play even in 4-3-3 in such a way that you may not always need two top quality wingers. So, I’ll see how we play. I’m praying for Torres. Hope he makes a strong start and keeps it going. He’s gotta do it this season. And if he does, that would be our answer to Man Utd’s signing of Sneijder. An in-form Torres this season would be like a new signing.
Playing your first premier league game of the season at Stoke is not a great proposition. Hope Andre Villas Boas’ winning run continues at Chelsea. I’d love to see Chelsea open up a lead on the league table early on. Chelsea always start the season strongly while Man Utd are traditionally slow starters.
Meanwhile, the day one of the premier league threw no surprises – Arsenal and Liverpool dropping points. Liverpool were good but could not win while Arsenal were terrible. What a boring match that was. If not for the Barton-Gervinho quarrel, there’d nothing to talk about that match.
Chelsea to beat Stoke tomorrow. Hmmm. 3-0. Torres, Drogba and Malouda. Let me end this post with this quote from Andre Villas Boas:
I will not be satisfied if I don’t win the Premier League, that’s it.