As the Premier League picks up pace, we examine the strengths and weaknesses of the title contenders.
Pros - Previous winner with then manager, Roberto Manchini. They have players of enormous talent to make it happen. They are unstoppable offensively and can score any team. Very fast on the counter-attack.
Cons - With a new manager who is not use to the pace and dynamics of the Premier League, he will need time get it right. They lack concentration at crucial moments. Man City can switch-off and allow opponents back into a game. A little fragile at the back - Joleon Lescot is a suspect.
Pros - They have a much better squad, and can play some fast attacking football, thus making it difficult for opponents to cope with. Great midfield.
Cons - With an inexperienced manager and players coupled with vulnerability at the back, they would be lacking at crucial moments. The departure of Gareth Bale would be noticeable as the league wears on - the attacking options of Roberto Soldado and Jermain Defoe clearly would not be enough to win them the league tittle. Tottenham would rue the miss on signing Willian.
Pros - They started the league as the over-whelming favourites. They have wealth of experience in their manager and the players. A great defence and midfield. Also very good at counter-attacks.
Cons - Mourinho distorted the team too much from what Rafa Benitez assembled and they are finding it difficult to adjust to the new regime. Chelsea are also struggling offensively (Mourinho must sort out the problem of his strikers loss of form - they cannot be relying on their midfield players to keep scoring). The manager would realise, it was a poor decision to loan out Romelu Lukaku. He must find a way for Juan Mata to start playing well - he lacks confidence at the moment.
Pros - Tremendous improvement from the Liverpool team of the past five years. Philippe Continuo brings guile and vision to their midfield. They possess a decent midfield in Steven Gerard, Lucas Leiva and Felipe Coutinho. With an attacking line of Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge, they attack with pace and precision.
Cons - They look brittle in defence and can also loose concentration at key moments. Inexperienced in winning the title - they sometimes loose games you don’t expect them to. Their bench is short in quality. They can be bullied up front giving the size of their three strikers.
Pros - They have a manager with lots of experience in winning titles - he has more Premier League titles than any other current manager in the league. Arsene Wenger knows exactly what it takes to win the title. Also, the arrival of Mesut Ozil has boosted their morale and they are playing with confidence.
Cons - They have too many injury-prone first team players - Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshire, Bacary Sagna, Tomas Rosicky, and Santi Carzola. They also lack experience and are mentally fragile.
Pros - The current league champions and boast of experience beyond any team - they have won more league titles than any other squad. Going forward they are a joy to watch - Manager, David Moyes has within him an enviable amount of attacking options to select from - Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck and Adnan Januzaj. If Sir Alex Ferguson was still the manager, winning the title would be a cinch.
Cons - Their managerial transition is no doubt affecting the old Trafford club negatively. Their defence needs rejuvenation - Johnny Evans and Chris Smalling should be giving the nod ahead of Nemaja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. They also have too many attacking players that are off-form. They manager has plenty of work to do.
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