Sky are finally recovering from a summer in the wilderness where the spotlight was taken by some other two-bit corporations masquerading as sport broadcasters, but now it’s back. Super-duper grand-slam opening extravaganza weekend is upon us as the bestest league in sports kicks off. Fan dabby dosey!
Premier League soccer finally gets underway tomorrow at around lunchtime as we are given a dose that any junkie would be well and truly knocked out by were it in hard drug form, Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City. The opening weekend also gives us the chance to see Roy Hodgson’s Liverpool tested by Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal as well as the yearly opening thrashing Chelsea dish out to whoever the chosen promoted club are.
What for the season itself though? As we know it’s a sprint not a marathon, or is it the other way round? Either way it’s exciting, but there’s plenty to look out for in this season’s Premier League.
First stop Manchester, and the blue side in particular that belongs to a certain Abu Dhabi quadrillionaire. Their summer has consisted of going about trying to buy just about everything in the entire world, hell they’ve even tried to buy the universe off God who told them where to get off, and now have a squad capable of challenging the top four.
Everyone bemoans the fact that with the differing personalities present at the club they could well implode, but if I were them I’d be worried that due to the amount of players they actually have on their books then the changing room could actually explode were they all to pack in there.
The one signing they really need to complete this pack of jokers is Mario Balotelli, who is the like of nothing we’ve seen before. You think Wayne Rooney having a dig at England’s fans was a swipe, at least he wasn’t pictured in a Germany shirt. Enter Super Mario.
Across the city you’ve got the Glazer’s plaything, United, who have set about buying up young talent the untrained eye has never really heard of, and even resorted to buying a homeless orphaned child from Shelter for about £7million, after being told by a spokesman that he was good in the box.
Next up the duo of team’s who have occupied spaces in the hallowed halls of the top four since time began. The moral guardian’s of the game of football, Arsenal, will be looking to improve on last season’s third place, and, although they haven’t bought anyone, the fact they’ve persuaded Cesc Fabregas to stay could be a stroke of genius. How to make sure he performs even better? Change the strip to red and blue, and give his midfield partners Xavi and Iniesta masks to wear.
Chelsea are last season’s Champions of course, and it would take an almighty effort for anyone to take the title off them, however, the loss of Ricardo Carvalho will likely be felt strongly by Casanova himself, John Terry. Going forward they still have Didier ‘I want to be as one with the floor’ Drogba, so expect goals and rolling around the floor in equal measure.
Last season’s fourth placed side were Tottenham, but it could be a little much to expect them to repeat this feat, especially if they reach the Champions League group phase after the qualifiers with Young Boys. Much will depend on how much money ‘arry is given to offer in backhanders to sign players before the closing of the transfer window. Even if they don’t finish as high as last season, at least they’re always entertaining.
Just behind this is Hodgson’s Liverpool side who finished a disappointing seventh last term, but if Joey Cole and Fernando Torres manage to protect their glass-like bodies then we could see them re-emerge. Torres gets injured though and there’s literally a vast expanse of striker-less space which Woy has yet to tend to. You could imagine he’d quite like to use it as an allotment if that’s ok with yous scousers?
After these sides you’ve of course got the mish-mash of sides who operate exclusively in the middle of the league: Aston Villa, Blackburn, Bolton, Everton, Fulham, Newcastle, Stoke, Sunderland, West Ham, and Wigan.
Relegation dogfight? There wont be one. I fully expect Blackpool to set a top-flight record of having the least amount of points ever, and if they don’t win a game it would surprise no one. Marlon Harewood being your marquee summer signing doesn’t bode well, and as they weren’t the best Championship side last season you fear for Ian Holloway’s charges.
West Brom will do what West Brom do. Play nice football, but not score enough goals and disappear back into the Championship.
And the last place could be any of around five or six teams, but second season syndrome could plague one side – Birmingham. Alex McLeish’s summer signing of Nicola Zigic suits there lump it up front style of football, but you cant imagine teams are going to have as many problems working them out as last year.
So that’s it. You needn’t even watch the season now you’ve read that. Although as long as Mario Balotelli arrives we’re sure for an exciting enough season.