Preview to the Season – Part I (Arsenal-Chelsea)By: Rob | August 13th, 2008
So the entire country (and a fair few from elsewhere) breathes a sigh of relief on Saturday when the season finally kicks off again. After a summer without England in a major tournament, and several protracted (read: Dull) transfer saga’s, it’ll be great to have it back. But what of the teams? Here I’ll preview the season for the Prem teams this year.
Last Season: Put of a surprising fight for the title, which for a long time – right up to an odd collapse after Eduardo’s injury – they looked like they might go all the way for.
Story of the Summer: Adebayour: I want to leave…Adebayour: I want to Stay….Alex Hleb runs away to Catalonia, Flamini goes to Milan in revenge for almost being loaned out to Boro. Samier Nasri eventually signs.
Who’s The New Boy? Samier Nasri. Comes with alot of promise and potential, though he didn’t get a chance to show it in France’s awful Euro 2008 showing. Has been compared with Zidane, like all French midfielders of recent times.
Who Needs a Big Season? Theo Wallcott. Last season he began to show why Sven Goran Eriksson loved him so. With Hleb gone, he’ll have that Right Wing to himself, its time to step up.
Prediction : 3rd.
Last Season - In flashes suggested that they are a really good side. Had a good start and a couple of good runs. A bigger squad and a being a bit more consistant would mean really stepping up.
Story of the Summer – Something about Gareth Barry wanting to go to Liverpool for £18m. You might have heard about it.
Who’s The New Boy? Steve Sidwell. Obviously only went to Chelsea for the money (or else he’s deluded) Sidwell now has to remember what its like to play every week, with Villa’s tiny squad.
Who Needs a Big Season? Gabby Agbonlahor. Started last season with a bang and everyone started to talk about England. If he can refind his start of last term form, he’ll be a regular by the end of this season.
Last Season – 7th, after looking quite good for most of the season. Utterly different side now though.
Story of the Summer - Sparky going back to Manchester – just not to job he was expected to return to. David Bentley, Brad Friediel etc all followed, and Paul Ince became the EPL’s first Black Manager.
Who’s The New Boy? Paul Robinson. Unwanted by Spurs after going to pieces following his loss of form, Robbo now has to prove he can be an established Prem keeper again.
Who Needs a Big Season? See above.
Prediction - Mid Table I think, its gonna take a bit of rebuilding, So i’m gonna say, 10th
Last Season – Collapsed under Sammy Lee following Big Sam’s departure for Newcastle. After they got rid off him, they managed to salvage their season and stay up.
Story of the Summer – Kevin Nolan got married. Awwww.
Who’s The New Boy? Johan Elmander. Bolton forgot all about the frugal Big Sam days with this, £10m signing. He looked good for Toulouse last season.
Who Needs a Big Season? Kevin Nolan. Remember when Bolton were in the top half of the Prem? Back then people were calling for him to get an England place.
Prediction – 15th
Last Season – Came second in just about everything. Lost Jose early on after a poor start, got in Avram Grant who everyone seemed to take a disliking to. He promptly took Chelsea to the the Carling Cup Final, took the title race to the wire, and was within the width of the post of winning the Champions League. If only Nicky Anelka hadn’t sulked…
Story of the Summer – Big Phil Scolari decided he’d come to England. Michael Ballack came second. Again. Ballack gets married. Frank Lampard is going to Inter. No he’s not. Yes he is. No he’s not. Etc.
Who’s The New Boy? Deco. Was accused of underperforming for Barca, but when he’s on song, Deco’s vision and brilliance makes him a wonderful asset – he was Portugal’s best player in the Euro’s. How he’ll fit in with Lampard and Ballack remains to be seen.
Who Needs a Big Season? Frank Lampard. He’s now gonna spend the rest of his career at Chelsea apparently. So he needs to make sure that was the right call.
Prediction: If Man United don’t sign Berbatov, I think they’ll win it.
Parts II, III, and IV coming up. Comments and predictions, always welcome.