Needless is it to say that the EPL is one of the best leagues in Europe if not the best. But amid statistical and historical comparisons or bragging rights on which is the best league, no other league compares to the EPL in terms of excitements.
As the new season draws nearer, illuminating expectations on the season among various teams even as transfer activities this summer becomes even more competitive than ever remain the top burner.
Firstly, nothing can be taken away from the EPL when it comes to fierce competition among competing teams; the division has a high erratic nature of result outcomes for matches: be it strong versus strong or strong versus minnows.
In analysing the possible exploits of teams in the EPL this season, consideration must however be on the top seven teams that has the composition of Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton, Tottenham and Man Utd. This is in view of how the teams fared last season and no disrespect to other teams.
For Man City, Manuel Pellegrini has shrewdly added depth to an already impressive squad with the capture of Porto’s Fernando and Arsenal’s Bacary Sagna. With the possible arrival of Porto’s defender, Mangala lurking very around.
Meanwhile, at Anfield is where major transfer activities of ouster and captures had been seen. Though Brendan Rodgers has made quick moves in the transfer windows, with the captures of Adam Llalana, Dejan Loveren, Rickie Lambert (all from southampton), Benfica’s Markovic and the likes but how the arrivals are able to raise already demoralised spirit at Anfield following the departure of 2013/2014 EPL best player, Luis Suarez and the potential limited participation of skipper, Steven Gerrard as pressed by Rodgers remained to be seen.
For Chelsea, once last season was ended, they began lurking around for players who can help push for glory both home and abroad for the next season. Last season, Mourinho repeatedly dismissed suggestions his side were title contenders; stating that his “little horse” needed to “learn how to jump” and was not ready to fight for the EPL crown. He was proven right as Chelsea finished the EPL season in third position. Chelsea secured the services of both Diego Costa and Felipe Luiz and welcome back Thaibaut Courtuois who has been on loan for three consecutive seasons from Atletico Madrid following the trio’s exploits for the Madrid based club lasr season. And in landing Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona, Chelsea have signed a player Mourinho described as the “missing piece” in his already amazing jigsaw. Drogba also came in as a free agent; for him, few words need to be put in for him having already known his exploits in his first stint with the club.
Arsenal have also caught the eye with the signings of Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu debuchy, David Ospina and teenager, Calum Chambers. And as opined by Arsene Wenger that few more players are expected in the coming weeks, this could be a big statement of intent by the north-londoners. And Arsenal fans around the world can dare to dream again.
Machester United have spent close to £60M on two players as they began life under the managerial acumen of Louis van Gaal. With some big names expected to be added to an already motivated squad, United fans across the globe can cheer up in optimism of putting the disappointment of last season quickly behind them following the promises that entrust in the mastery of the dutch coach as witnessed in the just concluded FIFA world cup.
Tottenham, Everton, have also bolsted their ranks and are again looking to challenge the so called big teams atop the division in what Arsene Wenger has described as a potential keenly contested season.
Newcastle, Westham, Hull City, Aston Villa, Sunderland, West Brom and the likes were also engrossed in various transfer deals. Surprises from these mid-table teams remain mouth-watering as ever. Southampton meanwhile, seem the biggest losers. Having seen their coach left for Tottenham and four-five of their biggest stars that shone brightly last season left for greener pastures, how they are able to prove critics wrong is a height they may never climb; even as top clubs still lurk around to feed on the remains of the already thin squad though without doubt, they have been the best youth developing club in the past five season having nurtured the likes of Chamberlain, Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott among others. Remember in 2002, when Leeds United decided to cash in on their star players…what is left to be seen is what became of them now.
Newcomers like Leicester, Burnley, QPR have also flown their wings in the transfer window; with QPR securing the services of veteran defender Rio Ferdinand from Man Utd. How the new boys are able to hold their own remain to be seen in what promises to be another enthralling season.
BY: ADEKUNLE AKEEM.
post by Funsho Fagbure