Arsenal have now made two big summer signings in each of the last two years… Ozil last summer, and Sanchez this time around. In doing so, Arsenal have come up as huge players in the transfer market… In buying Sanchez, Arsene Wenger has not only brought over a team player, but an experienced leader. I enjoyed Ozil’s move to the Emirates last summer, but I don’t think he possesses the leadership and conviction necessary to sweep away the players around him. When Ramsey went down last year, Arsenal lost the lifeblood of their team – he was the clock that never stopped ticking… And, you could tell that they missed his presence on the field. In fact, when he went down, their midfield seemed disillusioned and wary, missing his leadership and energy… but, with the arrival of Sanchez, the young Arsenal players get a world class player with that Ramsey-esque world class mentality – that will be sure to keep everyone on point. Furthermore, Keiran Gibbs declared Sanchez an “animal” in training – which goes to show you how mentally fit, focused and committed he is at getting better at his craft. Journalists would be dead wrong if they shared the same assessment of Sanchez that they did about Ozil at this past summer’s world cup. In fact, it’d be blasphemy to ever say that Sanchez hasn’t put his heart and soul on the pitch every time he’s been on it. With Laurent Koscielny in the back, Ramsey in the middle, and Sanchez in the front, Arsenal now have a psychologically fit player with strong leadership, in all thirds of the pitch, and I truly do believe that they’ll fight honorably for this year’s premiership title… I think they’ll finish second or third… That said, Wilshere needs to step it up – and, it wouldn’t hurt them to buy a true defensive midfielder… but, even if they don’t, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.
Now on to Manchester, who finally seem “united” again . LvG has somehow taken lifeless players and breathed a new sense of belief into them… Ashley Young, Kagawa, Rooney, and even Chicharito have starred in their preseason campaign this summer, and, I believe their new 3-4-1-2 formation has a lot to do with it. Ander Herrera’s move to United kind of took me by surprise at first, but, what I’ve learned over the course of the summer is that LvG knows exactly how to put his players in the best position to win. United, like the Netherlands, don’t have any world class center backs, so, it makes sense to start Jones, Smalling and Evans together – with the attack oriented Rafael and Luke Shaw as wingbacks to offer support to both the attack and defense. Furthermore, Herrera’s combative yet technical nature seems to be exactly what the back three will need in front of them this year. He will play in a similar role as Nigel de Jong for the Netherlands this past summer, and will certainly succeed through developing a rapport with Spanish compatriot Juan Mata. With the back three, two wingbacks, and Herrera all shoring up the defense, players like Rooney, Van Persie, Ashley Young (unless LvG keeps playing him at wingback), Nani (if he gets his act together), Kagawa, Valencia, Mata, and Welbeck, will all be able to exert full energy to their attacking efforts. This will inevitably cause problems for anyone they face… And you’ll hear it here first. I think they’ll win the premier league this year because of it… even despite their terrible first season game.
Chelsea have seemed to make all the right moves, but honestly, I’m not sure that they have. Although I love the Fabregas purchase, as it finally addresses the midfield hole that they’ve had since selling Mata, I think they’ve really missed the boat by selling David Luiz, and here’s why: Although Luiz played really well in a defensive midfield position last year, I think that he would have come into his own this year and really mastered it. In fact, I think his role at Chelsea this past year played a part in his ineffectual displays at the world cup playing center back with Silva. In other words, my mouth waters at the thought of Fabregas, Luiz, and Ramires in the Chelsea midfield together at the same time… Matic lacks the technical quality that Luis possesses, and he also isn’t as physically gifted… Chelsea must stop selling the wrong players, and start buying the right ones to compliment who they already have. For Mourinho, that means learning how to adapt to his players needs, rather than to his own, and also believing that he can make mistakes, because right now, his ego should be at an all time low due to the fact that he hasn’t won almost anything in the past two seasons… Chelsea should never have sold Mata, Luiz, or Lukaku… But anyways, this is the year that the “special one,” could potentially digress to being called the “tensile one,” especially if he again doesn’t win anything. That said I think they’ll finish third or fourth, and I don’t understand why everyone has them as favorites… I know Costa is immensely talented, but will he adapt well to English football? I guess we’ll find out this year…
Man City addressed their only concern in the transfer market by buying Eliaquim Mangala… Kompany’s mouth must be watering at the thought of playing next to a center back that’s as physically gifted as he is. Demichelis was a solid back, but not as solid as Man City could afford. Furthermore, he’s old and Kompany has had to pick up the slack on many occasions last year due to his lack of pace. Perhaps they could have purchased another striker, but if Aguero stays healthy, I don’t think they’l necessarily need on. Manchester City will be a huge force this year, no doubt about it, and from my point of view, they’ll defend their league title unless if United do not. And, if they don’t they’l, certainly finish second.