CREATING TROPHIES FROM BANK BALANCES….
Abhishek Chhajed is our first guest writer.
The last EPL season was a roller coaster ride at both ends of the table. The usual contenders – THE BIG FOUR went about their business, clawing and scratching each other for the prestigious title. This time they were joined by the Arab-powered City, but it ended in a familiar style for many of us. United again claiming the top spot with a worthy fight from Chelsea. The 19th was destined to come to Old Trafford.
The summer is upon us and so is the wide open transfer market. This year is no different for any team than the last few summers. The same questions posing again… Who will be the new Chelsea manager (Andre Villas-Boas was just appointed) and will he win the champions league?? Will Arsene Wenger let Cesc leave for Barca?? How much more Mancini needs to spend to win the EPL? What new will Sir Alex do to keep pushing?? What is Kenny Dalglish planning for a better season for the Anfield faithful??
There are many Ifs and Buts that cross the mind, and the answers to these questions will only be answered by those men alone. By the end of August we all will know too.In the last few days I have tried to put myself in the shoes of the top 6 managers and hopefully have come up with a transfer strategy.
I would be surprised should Kenny Dalglish be busy this summer. He finished the season well for getting that Europa League spot. But having signed Henderson (Sunderland’s young player of the year for 2 years running and also a U-21 England starter), he would still need a good winger (since Joe Cole is misfiring) and a Center Back as a cover for the solid Carragher-Skrtel. With Luiz Suarez and Andy Carroll, the foward line looks good with support from Gerrard and Kuyt. But this might just be enough for a top four finish. If they aim higher they will need some real quality in the midfield to help Gerrard, try and fill up Alonso’s gap.
5. TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
Spurs had a great season last year, especially in Europe. But the league was the same old story. They have always been an ALMOST there team when it comes to challenging the top 4. But the best thing Harry Redknapp has done is signing Brad Friedel over from Aston Villa. A much needed replacement for the horrendous Gomes. What they really need are fit and healthy defenders and midfielders, because there is no team as fragile as the Spurs. You name it Ledley King, Woodgate, Michael Dawson, Bale, Van der Vaart, Robbie Keane, these players are starters for almost any team in the world IF they are fit and the Bench is not as strong. And if Modric leaves for United or Chelsea as they say, Spurs can be happy with a Europa League spot next season.
On paper, Gunners are much like Rohit Sharma – loads of talent and flair, huge future and a serious lack of application and consistency. And if Cesc Fabregas leaves for Camp Nou, God save Arsene Wenger next season. The team looks good but that has always been the case and no silverware since the FA cup win over United in 2005 has put serious doubt in their supporters’ mind. For winning any silverware next season and assuming Cesc leaves, Arsenal should be looking to buy atleast one experienced defender (Chirstopher Samba is the one they are looking into)and an experienced midfielder(Scott Parker will be a good fit). And hope that the rest of the team lives up to the talent they promise.
3. MANCHESTER CITY
If there is one team that does not need any more players it is Man City. With a roster full of stars, they are the English counterpart of Real Madrid- a team bought rather than built. But that hasn’t stopped Roberto Mancini from winning the FA cup and securing a Champions League spot. Many say it is a start for a long and successful relationship, only time will tell. All City has to do is hold on to these big players specially their captain charismatic Carlos Tevez, who is eager to get back home to Argentina. There is no telling what money can do, and Man City certainly has loads of it.
Andre Villas-Boas. I didn’t hear this name before either. He is the new man at the helm of Stamford Bridge. After having done my research on him, I can say he certainly has an impressive resume like his former mentor Jose Mourinho. Carlo Ancelotti too was a good manager but sadly Roman Abramovich didn’t give him enough time which again ain’t anything out of the blue. Chelsea should have a busy transfer season, owing to the fact that the new manager will definitely need some new blood. But another good defender (apart from David Luiz) to cover up for the ageing back line and some star fire power upfront (even a winger) can work wonders for them. Also, like all the Blues around the world, I am hoping Torres, Essien and Lampard do better next season.
1. MANCHESTER UNITED
Champions surely but had their shaky moments all year long. Also, a second drubbing at the hands of Barcelona has left many questions unanswered. Who will replace Van de Saar and Scholes?? Rest assured Sir Alex will be thinking the same. United really need a good goal keeper and need to rebuild the midfield. David Da Gea (Athletico Madrid) seems to be the answer for the goalkeeping problem. And having signed Phil Jones from Blackburn, the United backline is solid. Ashley Young (Aston Villa) might be a good gamble to bolster an otherwise average midfield. And if you follow the newspapers Luka Modric is the kind of playmaker that is needed to spark up the attack.
Also, here is a list of some players you need to watch out for in this transfer window.
- Cesc Fabregas – Arsenal
- Alexis Sanchez – Udinese
- Bojan Krkic – Barcelona
- Luka Modric – Tottenham Hotspur
- Wesley Sneijder – Inter Milan
- Javier Pastore – AS Roma
- Emmanuel Adebayor – Manchester City
- Charlie Adams – Blackpool
- Neymar – Santos
- Sergio Aguero – Athletico Madrid
- Scott Parker – West Ham United
- Diego Forlan – Athletico Madrid
- Falcao – Porto
Abhishek is a full-time football fan and a part-time engineer.
Fav Quote on football: ”Some people believe football is a matter of life and death,I am very disappointed with that attitude.
I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”- Bill Shankly
You can catch up with him at email@example.com