Jamie’s season preview

This summer it’s been all change in the Premier league. We have Manchester City who have spent millions to bolster their squad. Rivals Liverpool are currently in a state of change in terms of manager, players and owners. We also have new men in the hot seats at West Ham, Fulham and soon to be Villa. The clubs outside the top four are all recruiting players with the new home-grown rule in the back of their mind. This sign of change is not only exciting, but I’m sure this season will be the most competitive one both at the top and the bottom of the league.

The top six is very difficult to predict. However, I think you can more or less guarantee the two favourites Man United and Chelsea will be there or there abouts – first or second. We then have Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City and now possibly Spurs who could all put up a challenge to the title.

Looking at last season, as Harry Rednapp has quite rightly pointed out –Spurs have one of the best squads in the league and if they can add one or two quality, experience players they could put up a serious challenge to Chelsea’s title this season. At this moment in time I see Spurs finishing an impressive and in some people’s mind surprising third.

Arsenal have managed to keep hold of their main man and captain Cesc Fabregas which is like a new signing in itself. Not to mention the capture of what looks like a top finisher in Marian Chamakh. You can never count out the Gunners. I’m predicting a fourth place finish.

Although they possess a star studded team, I think it’s a year or two too early for Man City to walk away with the title, but I’m sure they won’t be too far off the mark. Fifth.

Similarly to the Gunners, Liverpool will be delighted they kept hold of both Gerrard and Torres. With Joe Cole playing in between the two they have a frightening front line, but I feel that their problems lie at the back.  If they can keep hold of Masherano they could do well, but replacing the want away Argentinean will be a tough ask. They can’t afford to rely on Gerrard and Torres as much as they did last season, but if one gets injured for a long period I feel they will struggle for goals. Sixth is where I honestly see Liverpool finishing up.

At the bottom of the league I can only see one outcome. Blackpool just don’t have the strength to stay up I’m afraid, West Brom have seemed to always struggle in the top flight, whilst I feel times caught up for Mick Mcarthy’s Wolves.  Wolves, West Brom and rock bottom Blackpool is the way I see it.

As for United, I have been impressed with the performances in Pre-season and the Community Shield, but as we know friendly’s are a different kettle of fish to the Premier League.

Young Chicirito looks like a young Michael Owen – quick, plays on the last defender and clinical! He could turn out to be one of the signings of the season. As Fergie’s pointed out, our youngsters have another year of experience under their belts and therefore should do well – if they are given the chance that is.

Berbatov has also had another year with United and I feel this is the season we see the clinical player he was at Spurs and Leverkusen.

Nani showed glimpses towards the end of last season why we paid the money we did for him back in 2007 and he can only improve again this season. However, I feel that Valencia on the opposite flank could be one of our most important players. As we saw in the Community Shield Valencia was quality. He showed ‘the world’s best left back’ up many a times not to mention getting on the score sheet. To me he is the best out and out winger in the league. Yes Lennon, Walcott etc are good, but there final ball lets them down. With Valencia his final ball is second to none – Wayne Rooney will tell you that and once again I see his goal scoring tally benefiting as a result.

If I was to be picky I along with many others feel we could do with signing a creative goalscoring midfielder as Scholes can’t do what he did in the Community Shield every week! Although Fergie seems to think young Tom Cleverley can fill the ‘huge’ boots of Scholsey hence the reason he refused to let the youngster go out on loan. Let’s hope he can.

Hopefully United can do us proud and bring the title back home where it belongs!