Premier League top four predictions
Premier League opinion: Who will win next season's league title?
Who will be crowned Champions? Who will play second fiddle? Will the managerial changes dictate the season?
These are questions on everyone's lips this summer. Here I'll be making my predictions based on a number of different things.
This is my own opinion, and shouldn't be taken as fact but don't be afraid to comment below with your predictions.
1st - Chelsea
'The Happy One' has returned, and he vows to bring Chelsea back to the top of English football, the club he excelled at from 2004-2007, winning two Premier League titles in the process.
With club favourites John Terry and Frank Lampard out of favour in some respects under Rafa Benitez, Jose will be sure to give them a bigger role, reuniting old bonds from his first spell at the club.
The Europa League winners will be playing in the Champions League again next season, and Mourinho will want to win the only title he couldn't bring to Stamford Bridge the first time around, the Champions League trophy.
I'd say it's a good time to be a Chelsea fan.
2nd - Arsenal
Stability, consistency, class.
Words often associated with Arsenal over the last eight seasons.
It's been too long since Arsenal's famous 'Invinicibles' dominated, and it's fast becoming a fading memory.
Unlike the teams around them, Arsenal haven't changed managers, and their entire team is untouched as of yet in terms of transfers.
With the debts for the Emirates Stadium all but paid off, Wenger can express himself in the transfer market.
Although Arsenal are often ridiculed for not winning a trophy in eight seasons, finishing with a Champions League spot for 16 consecutive seasons is nothing short of astonishing in both financial, and footballing terms.
This won't be enough for Arsenal fans though, but I believe Arsenal have a strong chance of winning one of the domestic trophies next season. Don't be surprised if they're fighting for the league.
3rd - Manchester United
United became champions for an unprecedented 20th time last season.
Although they relatively strolled to the title with an under performing Manchester City stumbling behind them, the performances of Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick helped them there.
The end of the season coincided with the end of an era. Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement from the game after a substantial time in the game, and Everton boss David Moyes was selected to replace him.
Although Moyes was handpicked my Ferguson himself, you can't help but believe there will be a relative lull in success for United; replacing someone of Ferguson's stature is not an easy job.
With a six-year contract under his belt though, Moyes should be able to build his own dynasty at United.
Patience may be the word to savour.
4th - Manchester City
Let's be honest here, those of us who weren't of a United persuasion were going mental when Aguero scored to seal a super season for City by winning the league.
Roberto Mancini masterminded a comeback with United far ahead going into the final stages of the 2011-12 season.
A poor season by City's new standards though saw Mancini lose his job, and Manuel Pellegrini has been charged with winning a trophy every season for the next five seasons. If that isn't pressure, I don't know what is.
The squad is full of massive egos, and massive wages, but also those used to winning trophies.
Losing the FA Cup final to Wigan last season was a damp end to a pretty fruitless season for City, and consequently cost Mancini his job, unfairly in my opinion considering he led City to a first top-flight title in many years.
Next season will be difficult for City, with teams like Tottenham and Liverpool looking to take that fourth spot away from them, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if this happened.
I think fourth spot is a realistic, if not painful prediction for the champions of 2011-12.
End of an era? Yes. I think so.
For many years, Sir Alex Ferguson has brushed aside competition, with a few notable exceptions (Arsenal's Invincibles of 2003-04, Manchester City's final minute title winner 2011-12), but with his exit from club management, doors will open for new teams and new managers to express themselves.
A new era is amongst us, whether we like it or not. Only time will tell who takes a stranglehold on the Premier League now, but we sure will be taken on a roller-coaster to find out.
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