2007/08 English Premier League Season
Now that the 07/08 Community Shield is done and dusted, we are less than one week away from the start of the new season.
More money and more talented players have been injected into the league. Both Chelsea and ManUtd have made key additions to their already strong squads. Liverpool were finally able to join the ranks and spend over 15 million pounds on a single player.
Position for position, Chelsea, ManUtd and Liverpool have the most "quality depth" in the league. At the end of the season, my guess is only 10 points will separate them.
Arsene Wenger thinks Arsenal will be title contenders. When he called a "undefeated season" in 2003/4, Arsenal did just that. There's no question that Arsenal's kids are extremely talented. Van Persie will probably have a breakout season this year, and Eduardo da Silva is very talented a perfect player for Arsenal's system.
However, the departure of both Henry and Ljungberg, and the absence of some of Arsenal's African players during next January's African Nation's Cup will be too much for Arsenal to overcome. I pick Tottenham to finish above Arsenal.
How the top teams play out against the mid table group, which is one of the best in years, will play a large part in determining the final standings. This group includes Portsmouth, Everton, Blackburn, Newcastle, Manchester City, and possibly Sunderland. I'd include Aston Villa but they haven't done much this offseason considering the quality of their manager in Martin O'Neil and the financial backing they have.
-With Roy Keane at the helm, Sunderland could be the Wigan and Reading from each of the last two seasons.
-Newcastle, although not yet very strong in defense, will be an irritating bunch under Sam Allardyce. A player like Alan Smith was a perfect signing for Fat Sam.
-With David James in goal, Sol Campbell and Sylvain Distin at CB, and an energetic Muntari protecting the back 4 just as well as he is going forward, this mini spine in the middle of the defense for Portsmouth is just good as any in the league. Harry Redknapp is not an elite manager, but has a wealth of experience and he's doing it with with Portsmouth
-Since the sale of Wayne Rooney, David Moyes has quietly built Everton into a Top 6 team. I hate to say it but Moyes is a very good manager.
-Mark Hughes, another great manager in the making, has added Roque Santa Cruz and retained his best performers from last season to make Blackburn's attack more potent...that's if Santa Cruz settles in the EPL just as well as Benny McCarthy did.
-If you didn't follow the English league, you'd think Manchester City were a top club by the way they spent this offseason. They've hired Sven Erickson who is proven at club level, and he was given a 50 million pound war chest. So far, so good. Manchester City could gel by the second half to fight for a spot in the top 6.
I think this is going to one of the most competitive seasons in the history of the English league. Can't wait.
There's my $0.02. Feel free to discuss, add you own analysis or your predictions for the upcoming season.