Football

Premier League: Underachieving trio could be title contenders

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While talk has been rife of whether Jose Mourinho can bring back glory to Chelsea, how David Moyes will fill the boots of Sir Alex Ferguson and who Manchester City should buy to win the title, little has been said about the chances of the other big teams who aren't far away from being real title contenders.

Liverpool and Arsenal have been on the decline over the last few years, while Tottenham have been steadily increasing in that time.

However, with a bit of tactical nous and financial investment in players, who knows how far these teams could go in the 2013/14 season?

Arsenal

The last time the Gunners won a trophy was 2005, and it is difficult to pinpoint exactly why this is the case. Of course, they lost the majority of their "Invincibles" but Arsene Wenger has attempted to create a team from the roots up, with a dedicated youth policy, which, while it should be applauded, is not always the most lucrative or successful method. 

I like Arsenal's style of football. It is attractive, attacking and fast-flowing. They have a core of players with real quality who can easily stamp their mark on the league if surrounded by equally talented individuals who can gel easily.

Jack Wilshere is a star in the making and a future England captain, in my eyes. At only 21 years of age, it is actually frightening how much tactical ability he has been blessed with and how calmly and confidently he moves the ball around the field.

If he just improves his discipline a touch then he it is hoped that he will lead a new golden generation for English football. I also highly rate Bacary Sagna and Theo Walcott as individuals, and I think their team-play has come on leaps and bounds in recent seasons. 

The key for Arsenal now is investment. The club can no longer justify not spending big or they will just continue to fall behind their more financially well-endowed rivals.

They have to stop signing sub-par players like Gervinho, Andriy Arshavin and even Olivier Giroud, who has only managed 11 goals in the Premier League.

The Gunners desperately require world-class talent to intercept the superb passing that comes from the sheer talent of Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere, then they may be on the road to better things.

With Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny probably leaving, they also require a centre-back with real presence and commitment to the cause, working alongside the ever-present Per Mertesacker.

Can they win the title?

They have a great core of players and, if they are willing to spend big this summer, I see no reason why they can't at least make life uncomfortable for the so-called big three.

Liverpool

The Anfield club are a different kettle of fish altogether to the other teams in this article as they have been attempted massive financial investment - the third highest in the league since the Premier League began - yet failed to produce any real improvement.

Much blame can be placed on the individuals who bought the players whether that be manager or director. Spending £75m on Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson is just ludicrous business.

However, hope does remain for Liverpool, with Brendan Rodgers appearing to steady the sinking SS Anfield.

One outstanding signing that he made was Philippe Coutinho, who looks to be an absolute steal. Also Jordan Henderson shows signs of improvement, which will allow fans to breathe a sigh of relief. Once again, investment is needed but it needs to be done in the right way. Steven Gerrard, while still world-class on his day, is past his best and a player of his quality will be much needed next year.

Should Liverpool get rid of the disgustingly talented Luis Suarez? Probably, as the money can be invested elsewhere on talent that will not bring disrepute on this once-legendary club.

Can they win the title?

Almost certainly not, as the investment required would be in the £100m bracket and I'm not sure even big-spending Liverpool can afford to do that.

Tottenham

Unlike the other two clubs, Spurs have been on the up in the last five seasons and it is a credit to previous managers Martin Jol and Harry Redknapp that they have done so, along with the financial flexibility of Daniel Levy.

If you look at the core of Tottenham, it is world class. Hugo Lloris, Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele, Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe are especially noteworthy, although the latter must improve his consistency if he wishes to retain his place in the starting XI.

Spurs are highly likely to make big changes this summer, with players such as David Bentley, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Emmanuel Adebayor and Jake Livermore all being rumoured as potential exits.

This will free up space for vital signings to be made, especially in the striker and playmaker positions. Leandro Damiao and Christian Eriksen are both high on Andre Villas-Boas’ wish list.

The main priority, however, is keeping their world-class superstar Gareth Bale. If this is achieved then it is likely that other talented players will be attracted to Spurs.

Can they win the title?

With the players they’ve got and if the right signings are made, Spurs could be up there by the end of the season, as Villas-Boas finally appears to have settled in the Premier League. Keeping Bale could be the key.

 

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Topics:
Football
Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Arsenal

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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