The speculation may have gone on for months but just recently it was all settled. Liverpool were the team that ultimately signed Joe Cole on a four-year deal contract after being heavily linked to a switch from Chelsea to London neighbors Arsenal and Tottenham.
Arjen Robben was amongst the first to congratulate the Reds on this fantastic signing claiming the trio of Joe Cole, Fernando Torres, and Steven Gerrard makes Liverpool one of the most threatening teams in Europe. However, can those names match the ability of title-challengers Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, or Manchester City?
Liverpool will be looking to use the devilish looking shape of a 4-2-3-1 with Torres being their main man and players like Gerrard and Joe Cole to feed in those tasty looking passes to supply Torres with the chances needed to score goals and hit the nail right on the head for Liverpool. The trio will be supported by Dirk Kuyt, Alberto Aquilani, Maxi Rodriguez, and Milan Jovanovic.
If Roy Hodgson does indeed go for the 4-2-3-1 formation, he will opt to play Torres as a lone striker, with Dirk Kuyt and Joe Cole running through the wings and Gerrard right behind the big man supplying the movements and trajectory of the Liverpool attack. The back two will be in the form of Aquliani with the role of the passing midfielder and Javier Macherano (who so far has not discussed any move with Inter but is favorable to do so) who will be in a holding-midfield position.
Liverpool will indeed be flexible, with the determination of Mascherano, the creativity of Gerrard, and the finish of Torres. But for now, the priority is to keep Mascherano because everything is to rotate around him…
The Premier League champions have not struggled to find the net, they have scored 103 goals in the League but technically speaking, they do not have the attacking depth that Liverpool have. Chelsea will opt to use a 4-5-1 formation with the 5 in midfield lining up in the shape of a “V”.
With Drogba upfront, Anelka on the right wing, Malouda on the left, Frank Lampard, Mikel Essien, and Obi Mikel in midfield, the team looks almost but the same as last year and with the backup of Gael Kakuta and Daniel Sturridge, the team looks a threat just as it seemed to be so last time around. Ancelotti is one man who shouldn’t really be threatened by the Joe Cole’s move to Liverpool.
The Premier League runners-up will surely have one thing in mind, making marksman Wayne Rooney feel comfortable on the pitch. Sir Alex Ferguson will be looking to line-up all his players according to how Rooney plays on the pitch. Dimitar Berbatov, and after a disappointing start to his Old Trafford career still has a significant importance in the eyes of the gaffer, with Nani and Valencia really showing some promise.
New-boy Javier Hernandez will look to kick-off brightly after a fascinating World Cup with Mexico at just the age of 21. Veterans Scholes and Giggs still play such an important role in the squad with Fletcher, Carrick, Anderson, and Obertan looking to provide the movements and control the tempo of the game.
Manchester United haven’t really increased the power of their squad this summer, but if Berbatov can step it up a little and help take some of the pressure off Wayne Rooney, then maybe Manchester United can prove to be as threatening as they have in previous years…
From troubles to cope with player salaries and fighting to stay in the top half of the table to the biggest spenders in the Premier League, it is make or break for the blue team in Manchester. David Silva and Yaya Toure are the big players signed by the sky-blues and with Tevez at his best and a midfield of some of the toughest attacking and defending players in the league, you can’t possibly rule City out of the title race.
Roberto Mancini, an expert in tactician, will be looking to use all the firepower he can get his hands on. Tevez, Adebayor, Bellamy, and possibly Mario Balotelli will all be providing the goals but what has been the problem is their slightly week defense. City conceded 45 goals in 38 games, many of which after leading.
The addition of Jerome Boateng will boost the defense’s physical strength and playing midfielders that defend well in Yaya Toure will also be an advantage. In conclusion, Manchester City will really need to be careful defensively and control the midfield. In doing so, they can help take the pressure off the defenders, and help build successful, fast, and deadly counter-attacks that can help City go all the way to the title.
Everything has been going wrong for the Gunners. The team really does struggle and many fingers are being pointed towards Arsene Wenger. With his philosophy of signing young players, and training them himself, there has been a lack of experience, and for this, Arsenal haven’t lifted a trophy for 6 years now since the days of Patrick Viera and Thiery Henry in 2004. Sure they have Fabregas and van Persie, and they have Arshavin and Abou Diaby, but if that was truly enough, they would’ve lifted a trophy by now.
Arsenal for starters, need to get van Persie, a very talented young man, on the running. He needs to hit the 30 goal mark like Rooney and Drogba. He’ll need to stay fit all season long. Arshavin needs to go on, score more, move more, get fitter, stay stronger than the opponent.
With Abou Diaby and Denislon taking the holding role and the passing role each, and the movements of Fabregas and Arshavin, and the accuracy of the big Dutch upfront, there’s no reason why Arsenal can’t make it. Nasri is another name that has shined in France with Marseille yet failed to really impress in England. Arsene needs to get the wheel rolling again if he is to see any changes.
His contract is due to extension soon, so if he does not deliver this year, I don’t see a reason why Arsenal need to keep him. He has promised the fans that he will achieve Premier League and Champions League glory, but few people actually beleive it.
The five teams that have been listed are the real challengers, each team with its own strength and weakness, and we hope to see goals, sweet moves, and slick football that makes the English Premier League the best…