After a long off-season, August is the time every football fan looks forward to. I am not talking fans of the Patriots, Packers or Seahawks. No I mean the other football fans that live and die with teams like Manchester United, Chelsea and Aston Villa.
That’s right August means the start of the EPL (English Premier League) season, and millions of crazy football fans are excited about it. The transfer window is closing, and to paraphrase my man Bill Shakespeare, the Game is the Thing.
So heading into this season, who are the teams we need to watch for? Who are the new faces in new places that can make a difference? Who are the rivalries that are about to heat-up again? Who is in the hot seat and who may get relegated? Well read on and I will do my best to answer any and all questions you may have heading into the season.
There was a feeling of change in the air when 2014 started, with Sir Alex Ferguson gone from Man U., it looked like the door would fly open for others to grab a top four spot. In the end, Chelsea ran away with the league title and Man U. Arsenal and Man City did it again. Now can this season be any different?
Well Tottenham, Liverpool and Southampton all have made themselves better this off-season for a run at a Top Four spot, but so did the two Manchester’s, Arsenal and Chelsea. So it while it will be tough to crack that top four nut, there are some others that have a chance.
On the OTHER side of the table, can the feel-good success of Swansea and Stoke carry over to yet another season, or will they once again be fighting to not be relegated? Last season Stoke was able to demolish Liverpool 6-1, but they won’t sneak up on anyone this season.
While baseball had Pedro and Gerald Clark, basketball had Magic and Bird and the NFL has Manning and Brady, the big rivalry in the EPL is the hatred between Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger and Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
Until last week, Wenger hadn’t beaten Mourinho in 13 tries, but a 1-0 win over Chelsea in the Community Shield put an end to that streak. But not an end to the animosity between the two. It was more than obvious when the Chelsea head man refused to shake the Gunners leader’s hand. But it goes back further than just one game. Here is a sample of some the things the two have said about each other:
Mourinho on Gunners Coach’s penchant for speaking about Chelsea – “Wenger has a real problem with us and I think he is what you call in England a voyeur. He is someone who likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. Wenger must be one of them – it is a sickness. He speaks, speaks, speaks about Chelsea.”
Mourinho on Wegner’s losing – “Am I afraid of failure? He is a specialist in failure. I’m not. So if one supposes he’s right and I’m afraid of failure, it’s because I don’t fail many times. So maybe he’s right. I’m not used to failing. But the reality is he’s a specialist because, eight years without a piece of silverware, that’s failure.”
Wenger on Mourinho’s intelligence – He’s out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful. When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent.
Wenger on his counterparts tactics – “I know we live in a world where we have only winners and losers, but once a sport encourages teams who refuse to take the initiative, the sport is in danger.”
So it looks like these two have no plans on making-up soon, which always adds intrigue to the season. Not only that, them being two of the best teams in the EPL will make their games against each other this season mean so much more.
So if you want the EPL in a nutshell, it is kind of sad to say you that will have the same 7 teams fighting for the top four spots again this year.
But I will tell you this and you can take it to the bank, the top will be different this season, and ONE of those will be Tottenham. The boys from White Hart Lane are ready to challenge the Gunners and the Blues for London supremacy this season