The Best Football Season Ever 14/15 – England Preview
The 2014/2015 Football Season will be the best football season ever and pre-season friendlies have shown that most of the English Premier League teams are firing on all cylinders with wins for Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United who have all seen major purchases and overhauls at the club. The English Premier League holds the throne once again for the highest overall market value, which makes for exciting and constantly elevating levels of competition and talent.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup was exciting, high paced, attacking and a joy to watch, Several stars emerged from the tournament and many of them have been snapped up by English clubs.[image src=’http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/25/Alexis_Sanchez_-_Spain_vs._Chile,_10th_September_2013.jpg’ width=’300′ height=’200′ title=’Alexis Sanchez signs to Arsenal’ align=’left’]
Arsenal signing Alexis Sanchez many regard as being a game changer for the club, A great attacking player with plenty of pace, flair and an instinct to score goals. Arsenal has been known as the 4th place team for many years but I believe they can do better this year.
Over the last 3 or 4 years Manager Arsene Wenger has piece-by-piece assembled a young, promising and determined team. They still might be short a “World Class” goalkeeper or striker, but they posses alot of players who are utilitarian and versatile.
In short – On the up, Possible Contenders.
Chelsea has been consistently strong and will continue to be. Sure, They haven’t won the league in a while but they have managed to pickup the UEFA Champions League and are regular stars in that competition. Jose Mourinho is a smart manager who not only has a great eye for talented players but also employs various other tactics to ensure his team is consistently competitive. Chelsea is a gold mine of Midfield talent and could probably field 2 teams worth of really good players.
The problem has always been strikers for Chelsea, the Internet has branded Fernando Torres as one of the greatest transfer flops of all time, Drogba is getting on in the years. But alas, Finally Chelsea look to have solved that problem with ex Brazilian come Spanish (the country swapping really discounts my opinion of him) in form striker Diego Costa. They did however lose long-standing rock at the back Frank Lampard.
In short – They have addressed their problems, Possible Contenders.[image src=’http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c8/Louis_van_Gaal_2013.jpg’ width=’300′ height=’200′ title=’Louis van Gaal coaches Manchester United’ align=’right’]
Manchester United were the laughing stock of last season, Management failures, player revolts…The list was long and made for a painful season, But a messiah has appeared for the red devils in Louis Van Gaal, widely regarded as the top performing manager of the FIFA World Cup and legendary figure of many top clubs who also mentored some of todays top managers. He has come into the club swinging the axe and pulling up the carpet.
No disrespect to any Man United fan but they really needed the overhaul. With good solid summer signings on the radar and with Van Gaal cutting the fat the squad on paper is solid and has been bolstered already by the signings of Luke Shaw and Herrera, with rumors of Daley Blind about to be signed up along with Argentina’s Di Maria, Chile’s Vidal and Sporting Lisbon Defender Rojo, things are looking up for the Manchester Camp, even if they don’t win the title, I’m sure the club, the fans and the players will all be happy they are back on the right track.
In short – Spent the money on defense and the future. Still a title contender.
Manchester City is rock solid still and has been for years, the title has come and gone…. and come again. But Manchester City boast a wealth of talent in almost every position, the money to invest in them and are developing a series of international farms by way of purchasing smaller clubs such as New York FC and Melbourne Heart (Now Melbourne City). They are investing the money injected into them a few years ago now very wisely and setting them up for a sustainable future and building a club, which they hope, can attract the top talents of the world.
Frank Lampard being the big name one it managed to lure this year, but was immediately loaned out to New York. They raided FC Porto’s defense and signed Mangala and Fernando and also snapped up Sagna from Arsenal on a free. They lost Jack Rodwell, but to be honest he really never was given a chance at the club and even spoke out about it warning other young players to be cautious when signing for Manchester City.
In short – Rebuild mode.[image src=’http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2d/LuisSuarez_CL_interview.JPG’ width=’300′ height=’200′ title=’Luis Suarez bites out of Liverpool’ align=’left’]
Liverpool, The big club of yesteryear has finally lost the battle to hold onto controversial striker and internet sensation Luis Suarez, but they didn’t let him off with a cheap price tag with FC Barcelona paying out enough money to make you wonder if Spain’s economic crisis is really that bad. The spending spree in Spain meant Liverpool got a cool 80 Million pounds to take straight to the front door of Southhampton and harvest all their best talent in one swoop as well as invest in some young promising talent to boost their depth in the squad.
Adam Lallana is the big name signing at left mid field and has alot of expectation on his shoulders as Liverpool try to string together an array of players to replace the attacking force they have lost. Pepe Reina has left the club also after years of loyal service to join German giants Bayern Munich on a questionable move, why would he join a club who already has the best goalkeeper in the world on their roster?
In short – Rebuild Mode, smart investing in players for the long term.
Tottenham Hotspur round out my predicted top 6 teams of the English Premier League and sadly the news isn’t good for them, After signing a stack of players last year utilizing what I’ll refer to as Bale Money (the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for 100 Million for you American readers) Tottenham had a pool of money you could have floated a whale in, They bought some great names, scoring Lamela, Paulinho, Eriksen and Soldado.
On paper those 4 players would inject a load of threat from the middle of the park to the front, but something just didn’t gel right and it didn’t go as well as expected for Tottenham last season and they have managed to sign talent who quite frankly will only warm the bench so far this year. Some great coaching and team bonding will be needed for Tottenham to gel together and be a threat to the top of the table.
In Short – Still Rebuilding, but great potential!
I’ll be continuing this series next with a preview of the German Bundesliga and other selected leagues after.