I’m not one for jumping on bandwagons, nor am I one for getting carried away with things after a team plays one good game, so last weekends results have no real bearing on my predictions for who I believe will win the Premier League title this year.
In fact I’m not even predicting who will win the league title this year, I vowed not too make my choice until after the close of the transfer window and I’m sticking to that.
The reason why I want to wait is because you never know who clubs will sign, for all we know Arsene Wenger might shock us all and go out and buy Gary Cahill, Wesley Sneijder and Samuel Eto’o over the next seven days and totally change my view (no, I’ve not gone mad, I know there is more chance of Norwich winning the league that that happening).
This is why I wish the transfer window would close before the season starts.
One view I have held over the summer – and as things stand with the transfer window still open – is that the title will remain in Manchester in one shape or form.
I just (currently) don’t see where a real challenge is going to come from. Manchester United have strengthened their squad while City already had a top class one.
So what have the other candidates done? Well Liverpool have shown intent, while Chelsea haven’t bolstered their squad, and neither have Arsenal or Spurs.
I can see Liverpool doing ok this season, they have good strength in depth with their summer signings and now have the players to play differing systems as the season goes on. One area I would like to see them strengthen, is at centre back. Don’t see Liverpool winning the league, but can see them having a good run and wouldn’t be surprised to see them finish 3rd.
I wrote this time last year that Chelsea were a Michael Essien injury away from having a poor season, I haven’t seen anything from them in the transfer market to suggest anything different this year and a lot of their already ageing squad are now another year older.
I do expect Fernando Torres to come good for them though, he can’t carry on in as bad a form as he showed last year. I don’t believe at the moment that their squad has enough depth to win the league, I’m also not convinced by the managers credentials.
Onto Arsenal and it’s hard to see them challenging. Their seems to be a lot of doom and gloom around the club and the natives are restless with an unprecedented number of fans calling for Wenger’s head and making their feelings known at games. They could surprise us all and make a signing or two between now and the end of August, but until they do I am writing them off and have them down as 4th or 5th place.
Tottenham need to add a world class striker if they are to challenge and I don’t see them signing that player. If anything they will do well to hold what they have before the end of the transfer window. Can’t see them currently finishing higher than 6th at present.
So who will win? Well I believe that could depend on Mancini, if he releases the shackles then I can see City winning the league, if he shuts up shop and goes ultra cautious then I believe it will be Manchester United again.
It will be interesting to see what tactics Roberto Mancini employs when City first travel away, or how he sets his side up when they play one of the bigger teams. I once heard Alex Ferguson say you need to take chances to win the league, until Mancini can adopt that approach then I don’t think City will. If he can change his ways, then who knows.
I will re-evaluate my position at the end of August after the transfer window closes and after I’ve had time to see how Mancini approaches this season. But for the moment, I don’t see the trophy leaving Manchester.