We are back, finally! It has been a long three months and I for one am energised and ready to go. The English Premier League has received a major facelift for the coming season, for the first time in twenty six years Sir Alex Ferguson will not be in charge at Manchester United. David Moyes the ex-Everton manager was the man chosen to fill the hot seat at Old Trafford and while there have been no major additions to the Premier League Champions squad as of yet, they have managed to hold onto Wayne Rooney,at least they have up until this article has been completed. Manchester United were the best team in the league last season by quite a bit and it was their work in the Transfer market last summer where they brought in the brilliant Robin Van Persie that made the difference. For United fans the quietness of this summer may cause some apprehension but when the team is as good as it was last year maybe there is no need to worry.
Chelsea have gone back in time and re appointed Jose Mourhino as their manager, can the Special one come back and lead the blues back to glory in the league? Can Fernando Torres turn into the World Class striker he was and can he lead the Chelsea front line? Chelsea have added some strength in depth without really signing any top players. But the addition of Mourhino is huge, he has been successful everywhere he has gone and although his time with Real Madrid was tumultous to say the least the Portugese Supremo will bring his colourful style of management to the best league in the world and I for one am looking forward to the press days!
Manchester City have made some managerial changes as well with Manuel Pelligrini now in charge and the former Mallorca manager has been busy in the transfer market, the sky blues have spent close to £100million pounds with Jesus Navas, Negreda, Jovetic and Fernandino coming in. Of all the transfers the blues have made though one player that has left Carlos Tevez maybe the one that is felt most in the Manchester City stadium. Tevez was a workhorse and a leader and he will be missed, Jovetic is an interesting signing and I think the former Fiorentina man could be huge this season.
Arsenal have been linked to everyone and their mother in terms of transfers, but havent signed anyone as of yet. Sound familiar Arsenal fans? Lots of noise from the Emirates about transfer kitty's and spending money but yet to see a dime spent, its worrying to say the least. Wenger though has proven time and time again that he can get Champions League football with almost anything and he does ensure his team plays good football at all times, but I think the Arsenal fans want silverware and a big money signing will be needed to help the Gunners get to the promised land.
Tottenham Hotspur, well I dont want to say their entire season depends on whether they can hold onto Gareth Bale but it does. Spurs have signed some decent players in the off season Soldado and Paulinho but they simply must hold onto Bale. The current PFA player of the year was sensational last season and his loss would be detrimental to the work Andre Villa Boas is doing at White Hart Lane. Simply put Mr Levy do not sell! as a neutral I want to see Bale in the Premier League as well , his explosiveness and talent just can not be replaced.
So that is my take on the top five this far and I'm going to have a look at all twenty teams in the league over the coming days. What I have done though is look at some of the long term markets and while I personally dont see the draw in commiting my money for an eight month period I have found some value for all of you who like the long term bets.
Firstly the betting without market-
Betting without Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea:
Current prices - Arsenal 8/11, Tottenham 11/4, Liverpool 3/1
For me right now Tottenham are a much better team than both Arsenal and Liverpool, the addition of Soldado will be massive and I fully expect the former Valencia man to net 20+goals for Spurs this year. Of course the problem with taking this price right now is that Tottenham may lose Gareth Bale and Arsenal may sign someone possibly from Liverpool(Luis Suarez). But at the moment with the current squads I just cant see anything other than Tottenham coming out on top.
Current Prices- Van Persie 4/1, Aguero 15/2, Rooney 16/1,Bale 16/1, Benteke 18/1, Torres 20/1, Soldado 20/1, Giroud 33/1
Van Persie is rightly favourite here and could very well make it a hat trick of titles this season, which would surely place him in the conversation for best striker in the Premier League ever. But with an e/w market here paying the first 4 at 1/4 the odds there are some interesting options on the board. Firstly Giroud will be leading Arsenal's line and at 33/1 he looks a value bet if the Gunners do not recruit more firepower, the former Montpellier man has an eye for goal and with a season behind him in the league I think he will do better this year. My favourite to actually win the top goalscorer outside of Van Persie though is Torres, with the way Mourhino likes to play I think we could see Torres come back to the player he was with Liverpool. There is so much creativity in that Chelsea midfield and so much pace on the wings, I think we are getting good value here on Torres and 4/1 on the Spanish man finishing in the top four seems like a solid bet to me. Soldado is again another interesting player with a decent price but I guess this is really dependent on whether Bale stays or goes. For a couple of big outsiders with chances W Bony at 50/1 has looked good for Swansea and Frazier Campbell at 200/1 for Cardiff could come into the equation if the Welsh side can get enough goals to stay up.
That's all for now folks, its great to be back! Looking forward to the season even more now.