Our readers debate who will take the Premier League crown, discuss the differences between Arsene Wenger and Antonio Conte, plus the injury problems at Liverpool.
If you have anything to add on these, or any subject, join the debate right here.
Title race is wide open
The days of being able to pick a winner out of a two or three clubs are over. My only prediction is that one of the big hitters will return to the top this season.
Speaking with just a little bias, I like my lads’ chances this season (Chelsea) as we have a talented squad who were champions only just over a year ago, and now have a new manager who I feel will get the squad playing to its potential.
Without any bias I have to consider the Mourinho first season effect. United will be top four as a minimum, unless Jose implodes early, which I doubt.
The most intriguing team for me will be City. In my honest opinion Pep has the hardest job of the those mentioned in this post, and has never before taken on such a difficult task. Can’t wait to see if he can justify the hype or not.
Dark horses: Tottenham.
Very difficult to make any predictions just yet with so much of the transfer window still to come.
I think Chelsea will have a better season than last season and will benefit from new manager bounce and no European football and I would expect Chelsea to be up there challenging for a top four place again.
I think Liverpool will progress although I’m not sure about a title challenge. I think both City and United will have good seasons and if neither win the title they won’t be far away.
Leicester I think will do well to finish in a EL place with the challenges of being the defending Champions and having to play CL football.
Spurs will be up there but the CL might impact on their ability to retain a CL place.
Arsenal if Wenger signs a quality striker and centre-back are my favourites for the title but it all depends on what Wenger does in the transfer market.
West Ham are an interesting one can the Olympic Stadium inspire them to a CL place?
Every season people predict Liverpool to finish in top four and they fail. I think we will finish sixth to eighth again, just far to inconsistent.
I think United will hit the ground running under Jose and I fancy them for the league. Not sure how Conte or Pep are going to adapt to the league.
Arsenal are Arsenal.
Spurs is a tough one as well. No matter what, I can’t see Chelsea, City and United losing as many games as they did last season.
Wenger vs Conte
I was just reading how Conte is not only keeping John Terry, but keeping him as captain whether he plays next season or not and there’s only really one good reason to do that – to keep the fans onside.
True, there’s no telling how complacent Conte, or any other manager, would get if they kept their current job for the next two decades, but compare to Wenger’s treatment of Henry.
Keeping Henry probably wouldn’t have won Wenger many points, but getting rid of him was not only a stupid and unnecessary move, it was yet another sign of how completely out of touch the manager is with the Arsenal fan base.
Wenger vs Conte – No contest! We will see Conte in action for Chelsea next season, and I’m actually looking forward to it. An intelligent midfielder, leader and winner during his playing career.
Now a good tactical manager who understands the man management and psychological side of management and knows exactly how to implement the best system(s) to get the best out of his players.
Make no mistake about it – Chelsea are a major threat and favourites for the Premiership, especially without the distraction of European participation.
I don’t think Wenger understands what’s going to happen next season. Guardiola, Mourinho, Conte, Pochettino, Ranieri, Klopp, Koeman, Bilic… These are managers either with proven or up-and-coming records, managers he has either never beaten or has struggled to beat in the past.
He will face a challenge like he has never faced before – not just for the league (which he’s already lost out on IMO before the season has even started!) but even for his beloved fourth place.
And, at the moment, he and his team are looking pathetically ill-prepared to meet that challenge.
Harry Kane deserves England criticism
Ledley King says Harry Kane can silence his critics by banging the goals in for Spurs. A very close minded view right there. I don’t remember Gerrard and Lampard escaping criticism when their poor international form, was transferred into impeccable club form.
Fact is if you turn out for your club, and not your country you will receive criticism from everyone other than your own fans, and idiotic pundits.
I get Harry Kane might have been tired this summer, but he was by far our worst player in France, and if he bangs the goals in for Spurs next season, he will just be another England player who is incapable of transferring his club form to the international stage.
Liverpool need another centre-back
I said the other day after Sakho picked up his injury that we’d need to go and sign a new defender, and now that Joe is out, I feel it’s a must.
Even two fit CB’s in Lovren and Matip aren’t enough at this stage. We have £20m quid there from selling two squad players (Ok, probably £18m or so, seen as Wycombe are entitled to a bit of Ibe’s transfer fee), and we should be able to go out and find a decent CB with that money.
Matip had surgery in May to remove some screws inserted into his right foot, and is not yet back to full fitness, an has also got an infection as a consequence of this.
To me this is yet another risk to add to the Sakho and Gomez achilles injuries. And Lovren is not the most robust player either, having suffered various injuries in the past.
If either Lovren or Matip (or both) get injured early on in the season we will be in big trouble, that is why the priority now must be to sign a top, robust centre-back.
I feel sorry for Gomez, but Liverpool just cannot depend on a player who has been injured for almost a year now. Maybe later on in the season if he has fully recovered.
And the alternatives, Wisdom and Ilori, do not fill me with confidence either, having little or no experience of playing centre-back in the Premiership.
Klinsmann for England
We need Jurgen Klinsmann. He’s half German/ half North Londoner, so understands how to keep cool and play to potential on a consistent basis (make no mistake, THAT is the main reason Germany are so good. Not because they’re technically superior) while also understanding the English mentality.
Sam Allardyce would be a terrible appointment.
My bet is that Allardyce gets the job.