English Muffins aka Barclay’s Premiership Preview

13 08 2010

Hey CR #7 or CR #9 (whatever you’re going by these days) are you eating a Muffin?  O well this post has nothing to do with CR and/or Muffins.

The 19th Premier League will kick-off this weekend with Chelsea as the defending champs, but Manchester United/Liverpool are going for the all-time mark of 19 championship titles.  That’s right Liverpool and Man U have been tied with 18 trophies a piece since the 08-09 season.  So PSD would like to take you along our picks for the final rankings including our “top four” finishers.  And just like last year’s bold prediction of Carlo bringing Chelsea to the forefront – I’m certain you won’t see this one coming!!!

We’ll start at the bottom of the barrel.  The RELEGATION ZONE.  So who will have that sinking filling at the end of the year?

20. Wigan Athletic United Football Club Wigan:

The latics are a team that have defied the odds the last 5 years.  Manager Roberto Martinez has given them a new life and his fun tactics helped them survive a scary relegation battle last year.  Sadly I haven’t seen Wigan make any significant moves that would lead me to believe they won’t be in the bottom again.  The reason in fact I see them dropping to last place, has to do with Martinez’ staunch belief in his VERY YOUNG PLAYERS.  He’ll possibly start three under 20 players on opening day.  Granted James McCarthy and Victor Moses, both 19, are going to be legit players its hard seeing them battle the best in England.  Also the loss of their Captain, Mario Melchiot know with Qatar, is going to be to huge a blow for Wigan to recover.  I like this team, but I’d love to see them grow older in the Championship division.

The missing 4th Musketeer – The Dutch one!!!

Player to Keep an Eye on – Midfielder Daniel De Ridder – the dutchman isn’t going to score you many goals, but his patience and stubborn defensive mind-set should allow Martinez’ play-makers the chances to advance with more freedom.

19.  West Bromwich Albion Football Club West Brom.

Italian Coach Roberto di Matteo has brought back the Baggies to the top level.  This is a team that lacks a huge ingredient to success in the Premiership – a proven goal-scoring striker.  Its not that I don’t like this team, its more that i’m curious how the heck they’ll score goals to win games?  Roman Bednar is the only striker that really looked good in the Championship.  He’s a real talent, but has no real help up top.

Um Sir you’re bleeding.

Player to keep an Eye on – Pablo Ibáñez – the 6’4 Spanish defender adds size and intelligence to a lackluster defense.

18.  Blackpool Football Club Blackpool.

The miracle team ended the Championship in 6th position and yet they still advanced thanks to a fiery, never-say-die Coach and a bunch of hardworking players.  Ian Holloway is an entertaining figure with a good history of talented teams, but the balding coach can’t help looking overwhelmed by the huge teams they’ll play.  There stadium only fits 16,000 folks (by far the smallest venue in he Premiership) in it and each game will have a David vs Goliath feel to it.  It just seems to big of a hurdle for this team to jump up the standings.  Over the last few days they have a done a fantastic job bringing in real talent.  The big name is striker Marlon Harewood who gives the Seasiders a real attacking threat up top.  They will shock people making it this high up, but relegation is most fitting result for this tiny minnow of a team.

British Michael Cera?

Player to keep an Eye on – Irishman Craig Cathcart hails from the Man United program and gives Ian Holloway a legitimate Central-Back presence.  Craig could be an anchor for the next decade.

Those are the three relegation picks and here is how the rest of the top 17 will look.

17.  Newcastle United Football Club – Newcastle.

Aw the crazy toons are back, thank you god!!  The meanest SOB is back – Kevin Nolan has beaten, picked on, annoyed and hounded his opponents since he was like 5.  Having the “bad” guy back in the big boy league is always a welcome sight worth noting.  Chris Hughton has coached the hell out of this squad and last year’s dominance showcased how badly they deserved to be in the top level.  They added an even bigger fella with 35-year old Sol Campbell.  BUT the signing that is most intriguing is Everton’s Dan “Gosh” Gosling.  The young midfielder will be surrounded by some quality vets and should SHINE.  Minus Andy Carroll this team does have the big issue of scoring goals and I think it’ll keep them in relegation zone all season.


Player to keep an eye on:  Joey Barton – if Kevin Nolan is the meanest SOB, then Joey is the up-and-coming meanest SOB.  I love his fire and his guts.  The #7 seriously is a warrior out on the pitch and he’s all about making it fun for himself.  He of course doesn’t mind getting in a tussle either and fulfills the Magpies mantra of Mean = Winning.

16.  Fulham Football Club Fulham –

I know I’m supposed to stand up for my Americans playing abroad – Clint Dempsey I’m so sorry.  Fulham lost there beloved manager Roy Hodgson to Liverpool and his calming presence will be sorely missed.  I like Mark Hughes hard welsh demeanor, but this team will struggle a lot.  Its hard to imagine Clint and striker Bobby Zamora duplicating last year, and with YOUNG center defenders Aaron Hughes and Brode Hangeland the back line looks shaky.  The team also lost its best defender, Chris Smalling, to mighty Man U.

Lovable John.

John Pantsil is going to enjoy stepping in for injured free-agent signing Phillipe Senderos.  The big Swiss defender is out six months and John the Ghana defender should be in the mix.  Pantsil is a tough and athletic defender that will always be one of my favorites simple because of his bold stance on supporting Israel.  Props to ya buddy, hears to you putting a stamp on your starting position.

15.  Wolverhampton Wanderers Wolverhampton

Though this isn’t the Wolves that I liked with Paul Ince (I know ages ago!!), but this team is a solid club.  Mick McCarthy has given this team a solid foundation and by bringing in striker Steven Fletcher he may have figured out the missing link.  MAY HAVE is the big words in that run-on sentence.  Ebanks-Blake is still the main weapon, but a nifty partner up-top would fancy Sylvan nicely.  And gotta love when there are Americans on the squad, hi Marcus Hahnemann.  Overall though I think 15th place sits perfect for them (same spot last season).  I’m liking them NEXT year more then I am this year.

Players to keep an eye on:  Jelle Van Damme – the 28 year-old Belgium Left-Back gives Wolves a legit attacking defender.  He’s big, quick and talented defender that really adds so much to this unit.

14.  West Ham United Football Club West Ham United.

Everything is brand NEW at West Ham and its for the better.  Of course I’ll back Avram Grant as coach, he’s a great mind and changing the formation to a 4-3-3 will make this team more creative.  I love his summer signings and feel like he’s made this very much HIS team.  Grant brought in a reliable former player who should shine as a wing striker, Frederic Piquionne was with Avram at Portsmouth.   Also bringing in talented veteran defender Tal Ben-Haim immediately helps open up the defense.  Speaking of defense maybe American Jonathan Spector can get in good with Avram and win back some starts.  The real question is can striker Carlton Cole thrive under Grant’s new style?  I think YES, but I do think they are missing something special in the midfield and will be a team to watch for in the 2011-12 season.

Midfielder Scott Parker is highly thought of by the rest of the league and for good reason.  He’s a bad-ass.  He’s a tough and agile midfielder with great vision.  With a non-stop motor and an offensive leaning style he is a perfect player in Avram’s style.  Scott is legit a star as anyone else in the London teams.

13. Blackburn Rovers Blackburn.

Big Sam Allardyce is one of those managers players seem to love dearly.  He’s also a crowd favorite and widely respected.  The issue with Blackburn, is they’ve done NOTHING and to just sit around expect to end up in 10th place?  Really guys, you let a solid vet like Stephen Reid go to West Brom and all you bring in is a loan from Man United, striker Mame Biram Diouf.  Granted Diouf could be a real diamond in the rough, its impossible for me to think that Bolton can do as good as last season with no growth.

French defender Gael Givet has been one of “Big Sam’s” real highlights.  He’s a hell of an option on the left-side but easily can play all defensive spots and even up in the midfield.  He’s on the verge of being a legit star, and with Laurent Blanc looking to revamp the LES BLUES, Givet would be a grand replacement for Patrice Evra.

12. Bolton Wanderers Football Club Bolton Wanderers.

This is a team slowly climbing up the ladder and thanks mostly to their sly manager Owen Coyle.  His jump to Bolton bothered a few folks, but his results have proven he picked right.  The squad didn’t lose any major pieces and have added some nice vets.  Robbie Blake rejoins his former manager (Burnley) and gives depth at striker.  19 year-old stud Marcos Alonso could be a huge find in defense (Real Madrid product).  Also American winger Stuart Holden has a real chance to shine and he’s already in great with Coyle.  The team relies on Croatian striker Ivan Klasnic to supply the goal-scoring and Bolton’s best signing should make Ivan all the more happy.

The Bulgarian Midfielder Martin Petrov was brought in from the big money whale that is Man City.  Martin gives Bolton it’s first legit play-maker.  The only issue with Martin has been INJURIES, if he can stay healthy Bolton should improve from last year’s 14th place finish.

11. Sunderland Association Football Club Sunderland.

The Black Cats are a team that really surprised me last season.  Steve Bruce is a quality manager, but I just didn’t like their team.  Steve didn’t like them that much either as he’s been BUSY on the transfer market.  This year’s team will be better, but did letting go of a real stud in Kenwyne Jones (Stoke City) really help.  I love that they’ve brought in Paraguay midfielder Cristian Riveros who should give the team a new spark in the middle.  The defense has also seen some quality signings as Steve Bruce brings in a familiar player of his in defender Titus Bramble (Wigan) and watch out for Marcos Angeleri on one of the wings.   Lyon’s vet defender John Mensah also joined on a loan and young striker Danny Welbeck is on loan from Man U.  If Danny can crack the starting line-up he could become a quality option to partner with the Black Cat’s star player.

Darren Bent has been a goal-scoring machine and one of the many reasons why the English National team manager Fabio Cappello is an UTTER MORON (Bent was left off the team so Emile Heskey could crawl out of his grave and play in another meaningless World Cup).  Darren Bent is on the verge of being a real superstar.  He has a real knack for creating space and then smashing home goal after goal.  The Black Cats will continue to gain spots as long as Bent is healthy.

10.  Birmingham City Football Club Birmingham City.

The Blues are a team that saw a lot of last year’s successful team (9th) leave.  The biggest departure is GK Joe Hart (Man City).  What he did last year was incredible and there will be a drop in performance to former Man United “future” keeper Ben Foster as the replacement.  Foster is good, but what Joe did last year is going to be to grand to follow-up.  With all that, Manager Alex McLeish has built a solid interior core to the team.  Its this core that will keep the team together and still in the top ten.  Scott Dann and Roger Johnson are the central defenders and Barry Ferguson and Lee Bowyer are the interior midfielders that make up the CORE.  Alex is hoping his big transfer find will be the key to keeping Birmingham City on top.

6ft 8in Serbian striker Nikola Zigic will be the main target for the team.  He didn’t necessarily shine at Valencia, but a loan spell at Racing Santander revitalized his world-wide interest.  He finished his second spell with Racing, by netting 13 goals in only 19 matches.  He returned to Valencia and once again was unused to the point that Birmingham City’s inquires were a god-send.  Watch out this big giant could be a hell of a find for ol’ Alex and BC.

9. Stoke City Football Club Stoke City.

Tony Pulis has quietly built a HELL of a team.  The Potters’ transfer record was set with the £8m buy of Sunderland forward Kenwyne Jones.  The Trinidadian has a chance to become something special in Tony’s system.  Matthew Etherington has a great chance to build a potent midfielder-striker combo with Jones.  Tony’s prized possession though, is back in defense.

22 year-old defender Ryan Shawcross sadly is most recognizable for a horrific tackle to Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey (broken leg).  BUT Ryan is a name to remember not only this season but in the next four years as a very solid choice for England’s defense.  The kid has size, speed, and guts.   Seriously if you want to see a big kid owning strikers then you need to pay attention to Shawcross.

8.  Aston Villa Football Club Aston Villa.

Dear o Dear did things change earlier this week.  Martin O’Neill’s drastic and shocking resignation from AV is by far the most intriguing wrinkle heading into the opening weekend.  If the rumors are correct, American Bob Bradley could be the new coach of a top ten English soccer team = WILD!!!  Bob’s style is EXTREMELY different then Martin and the players left at AV seem ready for the change.  Its not that O’Neill wasn’t liked, but more that he asks a LOT of his players and his demeanor has gotten more harsh the older he gets.  Bob doesn’t have the chops and history that O’Neill has, but Bradley does have a TALENTED club to figure out.  I might be jumping the shark on the whole Bradley thing, there are other quality managers still available.  So lets get back to the team itself.  All the talk has been when, not if, midfielder James Milner will be sold to Man City.  Milner has been a rock in the AV system and losing him will have a huge impact.  Especially if the club  decides to also sell winger Ashley Young, a tricky talent that can shine when he’s pushed correctly.  The heart of the team is in outstanding goal keeping with Americans Brad Friedel (wily vet) and Bradley Guzan (younger future starter).  The defense is a stacked unit with Spanish wing-back Carlos Cuellar being the most dynamic of the bunch.  The team though relies heavily on its Captain, Stiliyan Petrov, for the club’s pace.  But its up top where the real stars of the team shine.  Vets John Carew and Emile Heskey have a slew of youngsters like Nathan Delfouneso ready and waiting.  However, one youngster has become the top striker even over Heskey and Carew.

Meet the future of English Soccer – Gabriel Agbonlahor is agile, intelligent, and powerful.  On top of that he’s got TWO rockets for legs.  Over the last four seasons he’s steadily increased his goals total – 9, 11,12 and last year’s 13.

7.  Everton Football Club Everton.

This was the hardest team to place.  Personally I think this is one of the best units around.  They have great goalies with starter Tim Howard (GO USA!!) and backup Jan Mucha also world-class.  The defense is stacked with studs like Leighton Baines and dutchman John Heitinga.  The midfield is brilliant with Spaniard Mikel Areta, Russian winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Tim Cahill, and captain Phil Neville.  Also get prepared to see the name of young sensation Jack Rodwell on EVERYONE’S top talent lists.  Up top is the issue for Everton and its not a depth issue.  Its an experience one, minus Frenchmen Louis Saha the club is filled with YOUNG unproven kids.  Its one of those kids that I think will become a star by the end of 2010 (that’s right the first half of the season you’ll know his name).

18-year old Jose Baxter has a real chance to solidify his starting position this season.  He’s quick, feisty and has a super-motor.  Watch out he’ll net double digits this year.

6.  Tottenham Hotspur Football Club Tottenham.

Aw Spurs.  With a manager like Harry Redknapp you have to love playing footie.  The guy just seems so f’ing cool and fun.  The team he’s assembled and is improving on as we speak (who’s the quiet beast waiting to pounce on the transfer window – UM SPURS!!!) is a talent rich one.  They somehow crept past the “Big Four” and landed in 4th place equaling potential Champions League soccer.  And its CL play that makes me think Spurs will drop a little in the Premiership.  With teams like Man City and Liverpool not having CL play (though Uefa cup is still a lot – its not CL play) it means Spurs will be stretched thin.  And obviously Man City’s spending has given them the advantage of depth over the other two.  The reason why I like the Reds over the Londoners = FERNANDO TORRES!!!  Lets concentrate on the positives of Spurs, like youngsters Giovanni Dos Santos (Mexican super-talent), Wilson Palacios (Honduran midfielder), Croatians Niko Kranjcar, Luka Modric and Verdran Corluka.  Mix in vets like Captain Ledley King, Big ass beast Tom Huddlestone, David Bentley, Jermain Defoe, Frenchman Younes Kaboul, and Robbie Keane.  But its really a simple choice who is the most exciting Spurs player.

Welshman Gareth Bale is only 21 and he may already be the most lethal Left-Back in all of England (sorry “Cashley” Cole).  Gareth is a new breed of big, strong and menacing left-backs who also are quick and have an incredible left-foot.  You’ll see Bale take the free kicks for Spurs…WHAT a defender taking free kicks (can we say Roberto Carlos and Cafu anyone).  Its like those two Brazilian LEGENDS that Bale will be remembered.  He is going to be a freaking superstar not only in England, but the world.

5.  Liverpool Football Club Liverpool.

Roy Hobson will do an amazing job jumping from last year’s horrific 7th place finish to just on the “Big Four” cusp.  The most successful team in English Soccer History still needs time to get used to Roy’s laid back style.  The big names staying helps their chances to compete for Cups and on the UEFA level.  Fernando Torres might suck when he wears a Spanish uniform, but put the blood red of Liverpool on and you have a top five striker in the entire world.  Captain fantastic Steven Gerrard looks like he has another 5 years left.  If both those and new transfer Joe Cole can figure things out this offense could be explosive.  I was saddened to see my favorite Red, Yossi Benayoun, leave for Chelsea.  The swap though for Joe is going to work just fine for the Reds.  Daniel Agger is still the most underrated defender and Glen Johnson is also a force to be reckoned with.  Pepe Reina is still a world class keeper as well.  The real talent though that I can’t wait to see is…

Alberto Aquilani’s first season with Liverpool was a complete BUST.  He was injured and never looked comfortable.  So why do I pick him over Dirk Kuyt, recent transfer Christian Poulson, youngsters like Jonjo Shelvey or Lucas?  Why not highlight vice-captain Jamie Carragher?  Well the answer is that this Italian midfielder has incredible footwork.  With Roma he only showed slight signs of it.  But every time I’ve watched him I’ve been super impressed with how well he moves around the pitch.  He’s a wide ranging midfielder with goal-scoring skills and is the closest player to Yossi Benayoun there is at Liverpool.  Yossi wasn’t used correctly under Rafa Benitez, BUT under Roy Hodgson, Yossi would have thrived…and thus Alberto will instead.   I can see Alberto working amazingly well with Joe Cole and creating a superb tandem in attack midfield.  It’ll sorta be like Bobby Zamora and Clint Dempsey at Fulham, only Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard will be there right with them!!!  Give Roy a full season to get his system in place and next year the REDS will take home their 19th Premiership title!!!

4.  Manchester City Football Club Manchester City.

Ok if you spend triple digit millions on bringing in talent you better freaking get TOP FOUR!!!  I personally think Roberto Mancini is a HORRIBLE manager for Man City.  Not that Mark Hughes could have controlled things better, but with this much talent a blind mouse could manager this team.  Granted I placed them 4th and not champs.  Well that has to do with the lack of tight team atmosphere at Man City.  There are a lot of un-happy folks who will be on the bench and that is after Mancini starts selling folks like Craig Bellamy, Roque Santa Cruz, Robinho, Micah Richards and Shay Given.  And yes I see all of them sold and a few more.  The new 25 man squad rule with 8 “home”-grown players was made to combat the spending Manchester City has done the last two years (Chelsea the previous 5 years and Man U since the mid 90’s).  Now they did go out and make this club BETTER, with the transfer signings of David Silva, Mario Balotelli, Jerome Boateng, and Aleksander Kolarov.  The one transfer steal though should put this team finally into the BIG FOUR?

Central Midfielder Yaya Toure might be the best Defensive Midfielder in the world.  He’s tall, strong and a freaking powerful powerful powerful player.  He’s AWFULLY like his fellow Man City teammate Patrick Viera (only back when Patrick was with Arsenal).  And yes I realize Patrick was much more an offensive minded fella, but you have to remember Viera was also a great defensive presence because of his size and athletic ability.  Yaya has been the “secret” anchor of those amazing Barcelona teams (Check back in two weeks for my La Liga preview where I’ll go into full detail why Barca won’t win the league this season = YAYA TOURE!!).  Yaya is joining his brother and Captain of Man City Kolo Toure (hey another Arsenal fella).   Kolo and Yaya make the best damn brotherly combo in the world?

3.  Manchester United Football Club Manchester United.

As a long-time Man U fan this has to be the worst thing I can do, doubt SIR ALEX.  With growing hatred for the owners, a lack of big-time signings (LIKE A FREAKING CENTER-BACK!!), and an ever-aging Midfield I have huge doubts over my team.  I love Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney, Rio, Vidic, Van der Sar, Erva, and Gary Neville.  I love the signing of youngsters like Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling.  BUT Chris won’t replace Rio right away and neither Javier of Berbatov or Michael Owen.  Now they may have found their future wing-backs with the Brazilian twins Rafael and Fabio, but its a joke to think that they can battle another year with so many vets.  They need two big things to be the team that we remember winning 3 straight titles.  1. A healthy center-back when Rio or Vidic gets hurt (Rio already hurt!!) – Chris Smalling still will take a lot of time.   2.  A goal-scoring partner for Wayne Rooney.  Relying on a brilliant dribbler like Berbatov, kids Fredrico Macheda, Javier and a VERY OLD Michael Owen is a tricky issue.  How about Craig Bellamy from Man City?  How about either of the strikers at Wolfsburg?  You got HOW MUCH FOR CR?  I’m not saying spend like Man City, but Chelsea is still better then you and they lost Joe Cole.   I will still root for Man United to stay on the top two level, but I see Carlo in Chelsea and Arsene at Arsenal bettering Sir Alex.  With all that said Man United does have a talent that I think can lead them to success.

Portugal didn’t just have CR and Luis Figo as talents.  Winger Nani is going to end this season as the most impressive wing talent in England.  His speed is unstoppable and his left-foot is as lethal as Beckham’s right-foot was.  Nani has a chance to do what CR did – which is turn into a goal-scoring winger.  Nani has the potential to pull off double-digit goals which is exactly what Sir Alex needs for Man United to succeed.

2.  Chelsea Football Club Chelsea.

Haha, I’m sure you all thought I’d pick Chelsea AGAIN.  Last year I told you Carlo Ancelotti would ROCK the English world and win the title.  Well folks just like his days in Milan, Carlo sours quickly.  Not that he’s done anything bad, its just that he has a tendency (like Sir Alex) to not go after talent.  Jose “The Special One” Mourinho for instance would have spent after seeing Man City purchase player after player.   The reason why I like them better then Man U is because of the swap of Joe Cole for Yossi.  Benayoun fits the pace so much better, just as Joe fits better with Liverpool (well sorta – Yossi would have been fine there too).  But Joe is such a certain style of controlling attack-mid that he slows the pace.  Yossi speeds it up and that should make Kalou, Drogba, Malouda, and Michael Essien even more lethal.  Hell this team won the title with out Essien (and he was my key person when I predicted them to win it all).  Now that he is fully healthy and since Deco has left the team (stole time because they were such similar players, like Joe Cole as well).  You see I see Carlo going with a unique line-up.  Cech in goal with Captain John Terry and Alex in the center of defense.  Ashley Cole on the left, Ivanovic/Bosingwa on the right and I’ll get to who I think will star at Center-Defense-Midfield.  On the wings you have Yossi and Russian Yuri Zhirkov.  Michael Essien is your Center-Attack-Mid and Kalou/Malouda will team with Drogba on top.  Also throw in youngsters Daniel Sturridge (Drogba or Kalou/Malouda roles) and Gael Kakuta (Yossi/Yuri’s role).  I skipped Center Defensive Midfielder for a reason.  I really love John Obi Mikel – he’s big and mean.  He’s perfect, the problem is Chelsea’s most recent transfer just so happens to be An AMAZING player.  This Brazilian was the only one that showed up for the World Cup and is on the verge of being a superstar.

Thumbs up indeed.  Ramires may take a few games to get used to Carlo’s style.  But realize that he is the reason that losing Michael Ballack, Deco, and Joe Cole doesn’t matter.  Ramirez is tall, skilled with his feet, quick as hell and has the ability to play ANY position on the pitch.  Seriously he’s the prototype if you want a wide-ranging midfielder.  He’ll first crack the line-up by beating out Obi Mikel (a lot easier to beat him out then Essien, Yossi, or Yuri).  So you must be wondering why I don’t like Chelsea to repeat?  Well DEPTH is the answer.  They are fine in the midfield and somewhat ok on top – though another striker would help.  Its the defense I’d worry about – specifically John Terry and Alex.  Youngster Patrick Van Aanholt is the only kid I’d be interested in seeing play, but for certain not as the STARTER.  If Terry or Alex go down Chelsea will have a HUGE hole in its line-up.  And GK Cech at his age doesn’t need another scare to push him into another mental breakdown.   This team has looked shitty in pre-season and that is also a clear sign that they don’t have the killer instinct that Carlo brought last year.  I still think Carlo is the best damn manager in England (sorry Sir Alex) but he’ll need a few signings if Chelsea are able to hold off those damn fellow Londoners.

1.  Arsenal Football Club Arsenal.

Gadi for 19 positions you’ve talked about how the transfer window wasn’t used correctly.  Sir Alex didn’t do enough and neither did Carlo.  SO why then are you thinking the STINGIEST Transfer window manager, Arsene Wenger, will somehow take back the title (that he hasn’t raised since 2003-04)?  The answer is because Arsene has been building this group of talent since that last title.  He hasn’t shipped out his talents and forgotten them.  He hasn’t swapped out talent for talent in hopes of finding the right fit.  On the Contrary, Arsene Wenger has relied on only ONE thing – he’s superb eye for talent.  He finds them, hides them away, trains the shit out of them, and then right as they are ready to explode with boredom he brings them up.  It also doesn’t hurt his talisman didn’t jump to Barcelona.  Cesc Fabregas aka the Captain aka Barcelona’s future CAM aka Arsene’s best talent since Thierry Henry.  Barcelona has done a lot of talking, but they haven’t realized Arsene is the only one that really believed in Cesc.  I don’t think Cesc stayed with Arsenal because he just wants to book it to Barca in the winter break.  No I think Cesc realizes Arsene actually believes he’s the best player in the premiership.  So all Arsene has done over the last five years is surround Cesc with viable options.  The goalies are still shaky with Manuel Almunia and Fabianski, but the defense is stacked.  Thomas Vermaelen is incredible, Johan Djourou and newcomer Laurent Koscielny team with Thomas in the middle.  Bakary Sagna (superstar!!), Gael Clichy, Kieran Gibbs, and Armand Traore are great wing-back options.  The midfield is loaded with vets Eboue, Abou Diaby, and Tomas Rosicky.  But the kiddos should make up most of the starting spots in midfield with Alex Song (breakthrough season last year), Aaron Ramsey (broken leg ended his season – WATCH OUT for him this season!!), Samir Nasri (young frenchie), and English toddler Jack Wilshire all should help Cesc out.  Up top their are a few options to pair with Robin Van Persie like, Carlos Vela, Andrei Arshavin  and Theo Walcott (*all three can play in the midfield as well).  The big kid though that I think will put Arsenal back on top of the Premiership is…

Nicklas Bendtner is the sole reason why Arsene didn’t bring in a big-time striker.  The Danish kid didn’t shine in the World Cup, but the glimpses we did see showcase why he’ll be great.  With a potential offense that has Cesc in CAM, Andrei Arshavin on the one wing and Carlos Vela on the other with Robin Van Persie up top, there is one spot left up top next to Robin.  Why not 6’5, 22 year-old wonder boy?  Arsene has been trying to find his next Thierry Henry, he thought he had him in Emmanuel Adebayor (interesting that I didn’t mention him with Man City?).  The African jumped ship to the Eastlands and left Arsene with a big hole to fill.  He knew he liked Van Persie, but he wanted a tall, athletic striker with the ability to create with either dribbling or runs from through passes provided by Cesc.  Well Nicklas now has the chance to do that role.  By the way I FULLY expect Adebayor to be “poached” by either Milan team or potentially Real Madrid.  I can’t see how Man City signs Mario Balotelli and convinces Adebayor the move isn’t to replace him?  Adebayor is too talented to stick around that crap.  Now an interesting thing could arise if fellow African Drogba can convince him to come back to London (only the rich side of town this time).  OR imagine Sir Alex poaching Man City of Adebayor in the winter transfer window (OMG!).  Back to Nicklas though – be prepared to see a LOT of him.  Arsene’s other striking options include his big signing of Frenchman Marouane Chamakh.  I really like this talented guy, but think Arsene will treat him like Nasri = slow immersion.  Marouane is being hyped up WAY to much for this season.  He may see plenty of time, but when has Arsene ever thrown his signings out there super early – NEVER.  I think he realizes that with a learning Marouane and a young Nicklas he has the necessary compliment to Robin Van Persie.  Either way Arsenal will regain the premiership because Arsene Wenger is one sly devil.  London will be a rocking this term.




One response

3 02 2011

man-u is my best club. thanxs very much.

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