The Premier League saw 1063 goals scored with an average of 2.8 per match, the longest unbeaten streak reaching an impressive eighteen with the very same team picking up the accolade of champions of England. Manchester United then saw the legendary Sir Alex announce his retirement after a heroic season whilst chuckling at the frailties across the Manchester boarder.
At the wrong end of the table, Queens Park Rangers demonstrated how not to approach a Premier League campaign whilst both Reading and Wigan Athletic perished despite the latter lifting the FA Cup at Wembley in a momentous final.
With a matter of weeks before the 2013-14 season opens its doors and floodgates of supporters end their misery over the past couple of months, aside the lengthy transfer conveyor belt we now enter a phase of preparing for the hallowed match days, organising their travel arrangements and football tickets. All the football pundits give their predictions on who will succeed at the top, who will fall into oblivion, the Championship promotion contenders and domestic cup winners. Here’s a look at the ‘most likely to succeed.’
With only a solitary signing this summer, the lack of summer spending has become indicative of the constant negligence that Arsenal fans have simply become immune to.
Despite an apparent abundance of cash put into Arsene Wenger’s back pocket in order to boost the squad and being registered as the fourth most valuable association football club in the world, only an improved £40m and a pound has been tabled for Liverpool’s Luis Suarez after dismal attempts to sign new Napoli forward Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid.
Again, the talk of uncertainty rallies in the air at the Emirates, values and ethics have been put up for question as no one is assured of the club’s ambitions this football calendar.
The return of The Special One could prove invaluable. The minimum target this year will be to win the league and reach the heights of Mourinho’s first era as the Blues boss despite claiming his coaching style has changed and developed. The former Real Madrid coach has put a lot of faith in the current squad with only three additions to bolster the ranks so far, which already look fit and strong to compete.
This season will prove crucial to Rodgers tenure at the club, although his team are still short of the top five, qualification for Europe is a must.
Liverpool’s progression will be judged heavily by fans this year but the Kop will not be disillusioned by the lack of marquee signings. With Pepe Reina out on loan and the future of Luis Suarez up in the air time, tough may be ahead for the Reds.
City’s direction under Pelligrini is simply to impress and regain their number one status. Intelligent signings with a variety of skill and styles that are much more convincing then those made twelve months ago.
With Roberto Mancini out of the picture, City have moved on and seem ready to prove that Pelligrini is a wise choice and eradicate issues of the past.
Sir Alex acknowledged Davey Moyes as the new King of Old Trafford. United will give the former Everton boss time to build and reflect. Although new arrivals have not been heavily frequent, Moyes is aware of the power and experience in front of him.
The club will therefore use the next twelve months to allow their new manager to learn, bring in new ideas and develop an elite mentorship. Should Moyes win the Premier League he will be adored by all Red Devils.
Last season’s heartache of failing to finish in the top four has been quickly overshadowed by the potential world-record sale of PFA Player of the Year Gareth Bale. Despite impressive arrivals and the imminent signature of Valencia forward Roberto Soldado, the Lilywhites campaign will be determined by Bale’s club status.
Should Daniel Levy sale, the club will have a busy August to find the ideal replacement(s). 2013-14 could be AVB’s most important of his managerial career. UEFA Champions Football is the target and nothing less.