Ladies and Gentlemen! Mark your calendars!! The 17th of August is upon us.
What is so special about the day you ask? The 17th of August marks the beginning of a new season of the English Premier League. For the uninitiated, the EPL is arguably the most famous football league in the world. So now that the ladies have moved on to another article and I have the attention of all you football hooligans. Let’s Go!
This is the dawn of a new era in the premier league, one not too many of us a familiar with. The ‘Godfather’ of English Football, Sir Alex Ferguson has finally hung his boots. For too long now, SAF has been the epitome of English Club Football and the battle to stake claim to his throne has begun. The season also marks the return of “The Special One”. The prodigal child is back at Chelsea - and this time he’s out to make a point. Jose Mourinho is definitely the favorite to be the new ‘Daddy’ in England, the only manager in England to have won the Champions League now that SAF is gone. His path surely looks clear.
But don’t rush just yet. The rest aren’t just gonna sit there and do nothing right?
So let’s take a look at the hurdles he will need to conquer to be titled King of England.
1. The Sheiks of Manchester
The Blue half of Manchester is back with a vengeance. The biggest challenge to the shrewd Portuguese has got to be the Sheiks and their prowess in the transfer market. A trophy less season seems to be just the Impetus City needed to stock up on their already heavy arsenal at the Etihad.
Jesus Navas, Stevan Jovetic, Alvaro Negerdo and Fernandinho are just a few of the big signings made by City. And the transfer market isin’t over yet. Add to that the experience and coolness of the incoming Manuel Pellegrini and Manchester City is definitely a force to reckon with.
2. The Legacy of Old Trafford
Well SAF may have retired but his legacy is here to stay. Sir Alex or no Sir Alex, Manchester United have and always will be favorites to win the title. The incoming David Moyes may be a new comer to the power end of the premier league, but his valiant effort and relative success on a shoe string budget at the Goodison Park is a testimony to his potential greatness. He is the “Chosen One.” Handpicked by ‘the Godfather’ himself to carry forward the legacy of Old Trafford. He inherits a title winning team in good shape and morale and an apparent 100 million kitty to splurge on renovations.
3. The North London Rivals
Not many of you may agree that Arsenal pose a realistic threat to Jose along the way to Premiership glory, and at most times I wouldn’t agree with it myself.
But hey, it’s the beginning of the season. The period where the Arsenal faithful come out of hiding and amuse us all with their optimism of winning the League “this year”!
The amount of times I’ve heard the Gunners ranting and raging at the beginning of the season - I don’t know whether to laugh or sympathize with them anymore.
Apparently this season, Arsne Wenger has Big Money to bring some Big Names to the Emirates. Either that or we’ll see some new kids going through finishing school at Arsenal before being picked up by another club. When did Arsenal become a feeder club?
But who am I to argue. As they say: In Arsne We Trust!
4. The Power Struggle At SW6
While every other factor may just be a hurdle in his way, the real challenge for Jose is closer home.
Mourinho may be the shrewd tactician that he is and may want to run the club his way but at Chelsea, Roman Abramovich holds the seat of power and he is not afraid to show it. In the nine years as owner of Chelsea, Roman has had as many managers - and his impatience towards his managers is common knowledge now.
We are all aware of the ugly spat between Roman Abramovich and Jose Mourinho back in September 07, when Jose was shown the exit after falling out with Roman in spite of winning the Premier League title in his first two seasons in charge and also winning the FA Cup and two League Cups. So it will be interesting to see the equation between the two this season as both love to feed on power and will not bow down without a fight!
So this season surely promises to be Epic. Besides, the 17th of August is right round the corner.
So pull out your team scarves, get those beloved team crests back on your chests, raid the Sport’s Bars, guzzle down those beers and screech aloud your team anthems!!!
The Premier League is back!!