The Premier League will step into the unknown come next August. It will be the first season where Sir Alex Ferguson will not be present on the Old Trafford touchline, as David Moyes bids to continue his fellow countryman’s amazing work.
All of the top three will have new managers; it would seem Manchester City will be bringing in Manuel Pellegrini, a man never to have worked outside of the Spanish language, and Chelsea are set to welcome the ‘special one’ home. With Moyes’ departure, Everton will be looking at a new manager, with as many as eight currently in the window for the job. Former players Alan Stubbs, David Weir and Phillip Neville all included in that list. Lower down the league, and Stoke City will have a new man at the helm, after Tony Pullis left the club.
It will be one out of five who will win the Premier League title next season. As it stands the north London duo of Arsenal and Tottenham can happily boast managerial stability, over the likes of Manchester United, City and Chelsea. United may well be the most affected by all the managerial changes, as clubs like Chelsea and City are more used to a stream of manager changes. Moyes will have to gel in with the squad, and United fans should not expect him to win everything that is put in front of him.
He will be given time to prove himself with the club, as Sir Alex was, but he will bring his own identity to the side, his own way of playing, his own discipline and with that it means a lot of changes.
It's by no means certain that Moyes will be successful at the club. For City and Chelsea, the new man in will feel the expectant chairman’s eyes on his every move, as he will demand success at the first attempt. Jose Mourinho duly delivered when he began his first tenure at the club in 2004/05, winning the Premier League, and he will be expected to do the same again.
Given a few signings the aforementioned top three clubs should be extremely wary of both Arsenal and Spurs. No doubt, Andre Villas Boas will be looking to strengthen his striking department this summer, as that was a big reason for failing to qualify for Europe’s elite.If they hold on to Gareth Bale, and with a bit of tinkering here and there, Spurs could be a very strong force next season, and a title push is by no means beyond them. As for Arsenal, they have done wonders to stay as consistent as they have over the past ten years. They have been juggling the stadium debt, whilst selling top talent, but have consistently finished in the top four.
This coming season though is the year they have to push on, as the stadium has almost been paid off meaning Arsene Wenger has funds available and will have to spend this transfer window. It will be a vital year for Arsenal as lack of silverware this year, and they could be say ‘au revior’ to Mr Wenger. It maybe a season to soon for Liverpool, I would expect a top six finish from them though, and that is still good progress from a club firmly in transition.
The hardest job of all though maybe the one at the Britannia Stadium. Tony Pullis had a very rigid system of playing, and the incoming coach will find it extremely difficult to impose his philosophy of the club. Stoke had a miserable finish to this season, and next season could see the end to their top flight status. It is wholly dependent on who they bring in and how quickly the side can adapt to a complete overhaul in tactical system. I do however fear for them and feel that they will be one of the three to go down come May 2014.
It’s anybody’s guess at the top, and all that has been examined here is the managerial changes, we are yet to see any serious signings from any of the clubs, which obviously will also have a major factor on the team’s performances and cohesions.
On paper though, next season’s Premier League could easily be the most competitive yet.
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