The beginning of a new footballing season in England is nearly upon us and we got a preview of what is to come in last weekends Charity Shield match between Man United and Man City. It promises to be the most exciting and tightest title race for a long time. As many as five or six teams will hope to be in contention for honours when the season draws to a close after a frantic summer in the transfer market.
Manchester United will be looking to retain their title and push on for further domestic and european honours. Confidence will be high after the magnificent 3-2 comeback they pulled off against local rivals City in Wembley last weekend. United have been busier than usual in the summer transfer market with the introduction of Ashley Young ,Phil Jones and David de Gea who all seem to have settled in well so far. They are still strongly linked with a move for Wesley Sneijder whom they hope will be the ideal replacement for Paul Scholes it is unclear whether a transfer will go through in this window. Uniteds On Loan players from last season Danny Wellbeck, Tom Cleverly and Mame Diouf all appear to have returned more experienced better players and will be hoping to compete for first team places.
Chelsea have made big changes this summer with yet another manager coming in at the helm. Andre Villas-Boas has taken the hotseat and looks to bring major trophies back to Stamford Bridge. Questions have arised as to whether the 33 year old can gain the trust and respect of some of his senior players but having served time under Bobby Robson and Jose Mourinho it wont be long before he stamps his unique style on the club. Chelsea have had a quiet transfer window and will hope that Fernando Torres can step up a gear this season and fufill his true potential. One new face at the club is the young striker Romelu Lukaku who comes in from Anderlecht, Dubbed the " New Drogba" because of his powerfull physique and goalscoring ability Chelsea will hope that they've bagged themselves a star for the future.
Arsenal have been plagued with misfortune and hassle in the off season. The Cesc Fabregas saga continues with the midfielder insisting he wants to go to Barcelona but Arsenal refuse to let him go unless its for right price. Another influential player has also voiced his longing to leave The Emirates in search of silverware is Samir Nasri who has been linked with Man united, Man City and Inter Milan. Its still unclear whether this unease will scupper Arsenals hopes of mounting a serious title challange. On a brighter note the money they spent on Ivorian striker Gervinho looks well spent as he wasted no time at all in notching up his first goals for the club. Arsenal have also signed highly rated youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton however Arsenal fans will will wonder whether another teenager is really needed when experinece is sorely missing.
Manchester City will be hoping to live up to the hype they have built up around themselves. Last season they qualified for the Champions League and won the F.A Cup and even knocked out local rivals United in the semi finals. Not content with bein the noisy neighbours anymore they have spent lavishly over the past few transfer windows in order to give manager Roberto Mancini the best squad to work with. Sergio Aguero singed for the Citizens last week with his eyes firmly set on silverware and sending out a warning to the other top clubs. However money does not always bring harmony as Carlos Tevez proved by insisting still wants away from the club despite saying he will honour his contract whatever may happen. Mancini will still have to deal the irratic Mario Balotelli who at times last season had the manager pulling out his hair. If City can get a sustained run of wins together early in the season there is no reason why a title challenge is beyond them.
Both Tottenham and Liverpool will once again bring up the rear but either one could spring a shock and replace one of the Premier Leagues superpowers. Tottenhams european exploits last season will have been a good experience for them and if they can hold on to Modric, Bale and Van Der vaart they can match any of the other top clubs on their day. kenny Dagleish is still building a coherent team at Liverpool and still needs to sort out their serious problems in defence. A Champions League place would probably be a bonus come the end of the season but the Kop faithfull will hope their beloved Liverpool will be able to bring home a trophy of some sort this season.
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