Guest Post from Louis Blackburn
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The 2013/2014 English premier league season was amazing in a number of ways. The news of the season was of course the crush of Manchester United. I will consider the top four in this article. These were Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal. I will also include Manchester United because with Van Gaal at the helm big things are once again expected.
Manchester United have managed to sign a number of players this summer, Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo. It is too early to predict the impact made for the Red Devils at this point in time, but a lot wil be expected of all three. The performance of the team will largely be determined by the ability of Van Gaal to inspire the team back to winning ways. The team Alex Ferguson left behind may have many previous medal winners however with departures of key players – Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Giggs and Scholes it is experience on the pitch which has potentially decreased. New Captain Wayne Rooney is expected to step up and drive this team forward as a new regime is brought in. The purchase of even more new players will certainly be a factor in how United perform this season however it is the new Manager in particular which may prove the crucial factor in enhancing performances.
Arsenal look best placed to benefit from the summer transfers especially with the acquisition of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona. The young Chilean certainly has an eye for goals and will be a big boost to the Arsenal squad. Arsene Wenger will only hope that this season he will not be plagued by injuries. With names such as Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain amongst others, they have what it takes to win the league based on their performance from last season it the talent is there. Injuries of players like Ozil, Walcott and in particular Ramsey arguably derailed a credible title challenge. Should they (including Alexis) avoid major injuries, they are a team to watch. Other acquisitions include David Ospina, Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy. I expect that they will boost the team, however it is the glamour signing from Chile who will draw the early attention.
Chelsea look set to benefit from the summer transfer window with the acquisition of two high profile arrivals, Diego Costa from Athletico Madrid and Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona. Mourinho’s biggest challenge will be how his two newly acquired stars will respond to his style of play. Both Spanish clubs play a passing game building an attack through set pieces. Jose on the other hand plays a defensive game banking on counter attacks to score. That may not be a problem though. Former Barcelona star, Samuel Eto’o scored several times for the blues. Chelsea has of course also had a boost from the return of goal keeper Thibaut Courtois from Athletico Madrid leaving them with an embarrassment of riches between the sticks. Didier Drogba is coming back free of charge from Galatasaray just as Samuel Eto’o is leaving. The Ivorian is a Chelsea Legend and his experience both on and off the field should not be underestimated.
Liverpool’s fairy tale last season seemed to have been narrated by Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. The loss of Suarez is therefore a big blow to the club. It is unfair to expect new signings Rickie Lambert or Adam Lallana to single-handedly fill the void left by the undoubted talent that was Suarez. One of the weaknesses of Liverpool, however, was conceding goals. Dejan Lovren coming may be timely as the key defensive signing of the Summer. If he can help inspire confidence at the back, and a new look attack can click straight away Liverpool may challenge again.
Manchester City transfer activity is always interesting. With an extremely strong squad to start with and an impressive spine to the team including Kompany, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero they have strengthened yet again. Key defensive reinforcements in the form of Sagna and Mangala provides even more options for Pelligrini. Joe Hart faces enhanced competition in the form of Willy Caballero and Fernando adds more muscle in midfield. The new signings enhance the current Champions further and they will be expected to be challenging yet again.
Louis adores independent journalism across multiple subjects. With vast experience as a researcher, he offers assistance through a dissertation service in London.