Premiership Preview 12/13
Previewing the Top Eight Clubs from last season and how they look going into the new season.
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Last Season Summary
It was a truly exceptional season in 11/12. It had everything from freak results, fabulous games between the Top 4 and the potential of a breakaway of the top six. Manchester City won the Title on the Final Day in Truly dramatic fashion in a moment that has firmly been etched into Football History. Manchester United were the reigning champions and gave their City rivals a massive battle and without a freak result at Old Trafford against City they would have arguably picked up their 20th Title which they will undoubtedly be out to get this season after losing out on the last day of last season. City and United both displayed some exceptional Football last season and if United had won the Premier League you could have made a case for City losing the Title which they had their grasp on at many points during the season so I don’t believe United choked, Manchester City were the marginally better team over the whole season and as a result they won their first Premier League Title.
Anyway that is in the past now and we have to look at the new season which is quickly upon us, tomorrow is the start of the new season and plenty of changes have been made around the League and Fans, players and Managers will have a renewed sense of optimism. I believe that this season truly has the makings of being an even better one than last which if that happens it will be a truly astonishingly good that would well and truly cement the English Premier League as now the best Football League in the World. As a Manchester United fan I was devastated to lose the Title but the way that Manchester City did it was truly an extraordinary moment which was a truly brilliant advert for the Premier League. So in this article I will preview the New season for the top 8 of last season and look at what each team have done during the close season and how they might fare next season with the additions they’ve made as well as the departures.
2012-2013 PREMIER LEAGUE PREVIEW
After winning their first Premier League Title and first League Title for 44 years, Manchester City will look to defend their crown and push on and cement their own Dynasty over the next few seasons. With the likes of Aguero, Tevez, Balotelli & Dzeko (If he stays) they have an extremely potent strike force that will score plenty of goals and with a fine Midfield and strong defence they certainly have the pieces to defend their Title. Sometimes the first one can be the hardest to win and I doubt that things could be as dramatic as last seasons final Day yet anything is possible. To date they’ve only signed Jack Rodwell in the Transfer Market this Summer so they must seem pretty content in their ability to defend without too much tweaking and Rodwell will be a Squad player. City are certainly capable of winning the Title again but I believe that Manchester United will be even harder to beat this season.
IN: Jack Rodwell
OUT: Owen Hargreaves & Stuart Taylor (Released).
Manchester United were awesome at some stages of the Premier League season but ultimately fell short on Goal Difference behind Manchester City after a truly dramatic last day of the season. Both Clubs gave up leads during the season but with the strengthening that Sir Alex Ferguson has done this Summer I feel that United will retain their Title from City, key signings but also an incredible ability to respond to setbacks and defeats that for me gives the impression of American spirit. Shinji Kagawa and Robin Van Persie are fabulous acquisitions which will undoubtedly strengthen the Club. Nick Powell is also a promising player for the future, Angelo Henriquez signed yet he will go out on loan as part of his deal. I believe the key signings of Kagawa and Van Persie plus United fabulous mental strength will seal a 20th Title this season as they always come back stronger. The combination of RVP and Rooney could become one of the best duos in Premier League History and with United healthy I feel they will be Champions.
IN: Shinji Kagawa, Robin Van Persie, Nick Powell, Angelo Henriquez (Out on Loan).
OUT: Park, Michael Owen (released), Kuszczak, Paul Pogba
Arsenal had a shocking start last season thanks to the initial refusal to sell Nasri and Fabregas and eventually selling them after the start of the season. They managed to get themselves together with new signings and Robin Van Persie had his best seeason with an amazing 37 goals in all competitions, Alex Song also had a fabulous season in Midfield with several assists for RVP. Initially Arsenal were behind Spurs and managed to come back and take third from their North London rivals. Van Persie expressed his wish to leave this Summer and Arsenal made signings to replace/entice RVP. Podolski and Giroud are decent strikers who can address the goals that RVPs departure would have lost. Santi Cazorla could prove to be a great signing and Arsenal have actually done relatively well to work fast and find players to rebuild the team. Alex Song is off to Barcelona and could prove to be a big loss in the Midfield. Arsenal may still have a good season but for me won’t challenge the Top 2 enough.
IN: Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud
OUT: Alex Song, Robin Van Persie
Another team that had a Poor start were Spurs, this was down to the Luka Modric saga which saw Daniel Levy act like a Dictator. Once the situation was sorted Spurs threatened a fabulous season in 3rd for much of the campaign yet somehow lost their form at a crucial time which led to Arsenal beating them to 3rd as they eventually finished 4th which proved to be not enough to return to the Champions League as Chelsea took the fourth CL sport as they won the Champions League for the first time. The Modric deal to Real Madrid is almost done and Spurs seem to be in a mini transitional period with a new manger in Andre Villas Boas. Sigurdsson and Vertonghen have come in and the key for Spurs must be to bring in Adebayor on a permanent deal after his storming season. Louis Saha leaving may create an opportunity for another striker to come in too. If they do invest before the end of the transfer period then they could do well and pip Arsenal but fourth is still possible again. Ledley King could be a big loss as he has had to retire due to Injury problems.
IN: Sigurdsson, Vertonghen
OUT: Coruluka, Kranjcar, Pienaar Saha, Nelsen (Released) Ledley King (Retired)
When Alan Pardew came to the Club as Manager a lot of Newcastle United fans were umimpressed and some even protested the move. I was confident that he would be a good appointment though as I have respect for him as a Manager. He proved his critics wrong with a fabulous season which saw some fine performances and his fantastic scouting proved to be a massive difference as he signed Cabaye, Ba, Papiss Cisse & Davide Santon for around £20m in total which proved to be real bargains as they finished 5th in an impressive season. He has looked good again with Romain Amalfitano & Vurnon Anita. Not as striking as last season yet very solid all the same and I believe they can certainly replicate the performance of last season. Alan Pardew is key to the success of the next couple of years though. Good team to watch too.
IN: Romain Amalfitano & Vurnon Anita
OUT: Leon Best, Danny Guthrie, Fraser Forster, Lovenkrands
The season started with the highly rated young Andre Villas Boas in charge, The Players failed to buy into his system and for a number of reasons the Club stuttured in a poor League Season. Though after Roberto Di Matteo was promoted from the Chelsea staff when AVB was sacked Chelsea won the FA Cup and the Champions League. This led to him getting the Job on a permanent basis although I don’t reckon he was key to their success as he had a worse record in the League than AVB. Eden Hazard, Thorgan Hazard, Marko Marin & Oscar have come in for Chelsea Eden Hazard, Marin and Oscar are decent signings and they will make an impact but they are light in the striking department after the departure of Didier Drogba and the uncertainty over the form of Torres and Sturridge. They have the potential to do well yet need to get a good start otherwise things could get difficult. Salomon Kalou could be a loss to the Club even though he was under pressure.
IN: Marko Marin, Eden Hazard, Thorgan Hazard, Oscar.
OUT: Drogba, Bosingwa, Kalou,
Everton are perenial slow starters but under David Moyes then conistently find a way of finishing the season well and finish higher than their expenditure might suggest. They finished above their Liverpool rivals last season and finished extremely well. Nikica Jelavic was a terrifc signing and his much needed goals were key to the late run that the Toffees made. They’ve brought in Steven Naismith & Steven Pienaar who’s loan move from Spurs has been made permanent. He wasn’t the same at Spurs and was backing to playing well last season when the move was made. If Jelavic can bang in the goals again next season then Everton could again finish in the top 8 which would be a terrific acheivement although the departure of Tim Cahill to New York Red Bulls could have a big say.
IN: Steven Naismith, Steven Pienaar
OUT: James McFadden, Marcus Hahnemann, Tim Cahill, Jack Rodwell, Joseph Yobo
Despite winning the League Cup and reaching the FA Cup Final last season it was a very disappointing season for Liverpool in the League. Luis Suarez’ disgusting behaviour towards Patrice Evra and the way the Club handled the situation left a bitter taste in the mouth to say the least. Liverpool hit the post or bar so many times last season and drew far too many times. Kenny Dalglish was sacked at the end of the season and new man Brendan Rodgers got the Job after guided Swansea to a fantastic season. Liverpool tend to not know how much certain players leaving will impact on the team, case in point Xabi Alonso, I knew they would not be the same since and what has happened? exactly that. Could they struggle again with the loss of key player Dirk Kuyt who is such a hard worker for the team and chips in with key goals, Aurelio, Bellamy, Maxi and Aquilani have been sold despite being decent players and I don’t look at the new arrivals with the same respect for their games. Borinni is a talent yes but Joe Allen and Assaidi could well flop. This is a key season for Liverpool and I would not be surprised if Rodgers was sacked next year. Had I taken the Job I would have got rid of Luis Suarez.
IN: Borrini, Joe Allen, Assaidi
I believe that Manchester United will win the Title as they have shown their intent with the new signings which are very good indeed. City will still dominate teams but the difference could well be the Manchester Derbies, I don’t believe we will see such a freak result as 1-6, As a Manchester United fan that was hard to take and had United not dropped off in Injury time that day they could well have won the League. Arsenal, Chelsea & Spurs will be fighting for the Champions League spots again and it will be interesting to see if there is indeed a top six breakaway which will leave the rest of the League behind by a big points difference.