William Hill - Bet £10, Get £30 in Free Bets!

I was asked to do a season review so thought I would share it with you all!

I have tried to be impartial and go with my head as opposed to my heart (hence the answer to the first question!) and taking everything into consideration this is what I came up with.

Can Jose Mourinho bring the title to Stamford Bridge?

Can Jose Mourinho bring the title to Stamford Bridge?

Champions: Chelsea.

At this moment in time (as much as it pains me to admit it) United aren’t strong enough to retain their title next season. United haven’t strengthened their squad so far and the later we leave it the harder it will be to integrate new players into the squad. What United lack is a big tackling, physical midfielder which is an area which has been exposed by several of our opponents during the pre season tour.

Under Mourinho, Chelsea will be organised and ruthless as they were under his previous reign and with the fans 100% behind their manager they will be a force to be reckoned with. If they were to get Rooney as well. I think Mourinho would get the best out of him again and he would be a real asset.

City will also challenge as they have signed smartly with the likes of Fernandinho, Jovetic, Negredo and Navas and getting them in early they have all had time to bed into the team and get to know their team mates.

However I feel Chelsea will have a slight upper hand and the know how to see it through especially with Mourinho at the helm. United will be in the hunt no doubt about that and if they add one or two big name players (Fellaini/Fabregas/Marchisio) they will challenge as well.

Who will win the Golden Boot?

RVP is always a contender as is Aguero if he can stay fit. Dzeko has had a great pre-season and if he can carry it on will challenge but will he start with Negredo and Aguero are fit? If Daniel Sturridge picks up where he left off he could also be up there at the end of the season, Soldado is a proven goal scorer as well so he is one to look out for. However I am going for Suarez – whether he goes to Arsenal or not he is a predator in the area and will always get goals.

Luis Suarez will always score goals

Luis Suarez will always score goals

Bottom three: Crystal Palace, Hull City, Stoke City

Top four: Chelsea, City, United, Spurs (If Arsenal get Suarez I’d go for them in 4th)

Which team will be the season’s surprise package?

Norwich City have signed well this summer, in particular Ricky van Wolfswinkel from Sporting Lisbon who was rated as one of the up and coming stars from Holland when he left Utrecht in 2011. Also Gary Hooper has arrived from Celtic with Champions League experience but is yet to prove it on England’s highest stage. Nathan Redmond is also a great young talent signed from Birmingham City as well as Martin Olsson from Blackburn.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel's new look Norwich City could surprise us

Ricky van Wolfswinkel’s new look Norwich City could surprise us

They are also in the hunt to sign Juventus forward Fabio Quagliarella who would be another great coup if it comes off. If Hughton can get them playing then Norwich could be a surprise package as demonstrated in the final game of last season where they took 3 points home from the Etihad.

Which team will be the season’s biggest disappointment?

Newcastle United for me. Most of their summer has been spent in turmoil in particular with the controversial appointment of Joe Kinnear back at the club who will be responsible for all transfers. They have only signed Loic Remy so far on a season long loan, not really a hard signing with the player having almost signed for the club back in January.

Papiss Cisse's Newcastle United underachieved last year

Papiss Cisse’s Newcastle United underachieved last year

They looked very shakey at the end of last season and their big name players didn’t perform – Tiote and Cabaye the main offenders, with Cabaye being linked to PSG and United this summer and could leave. They look short up front with only Cisse, Remy and Ameobi and if they suffer injuries could be in trouble. Throughout the squad they seem to lack cohesion and Newcastle could struggle again this season.

Who’s your player to watch out for this season?

Philippe Coutinho has started well at LiverpoolPhilippe Coutinho is definitely one to watch out for this season. A very shrewd signing last season from Rodgers, he showed us what he can do towards the end of the last campaign in particular in games against Fulham and Newcastle.

Should Suarez leave, I think Coutinho will be the one who steps up and becomes the flair player. He is very skilful and has an excellent range of passing, which coupled with his vision and link up play will cause any defence problems.

In a World Cup season he will want to really push himself into the managers field of vision.

Which player will be the season’s bargain buy?

Nicolas Anelka is a proven goal scorer at this level and on a free transfer, West Brom have got themselves an absolute bargain and guaranteed goals. I also think Swansea have done some good business in bringing in Wilfried Bony for £12m and he will form a potent partnership with Michu. Maarten Stekelenburg is also a great signing for Fulham for a rumoured £4m – this is a guy who played in a World Cup final 3 years ago this summer and is a very talented keeper.

If you were AVB would you sell Gareth Bale for £86m?

Gareth Bale wants the move to Real MadridThe player clearly wants to go now he knows the interest from Madrid is real. He doesn’t owe the club anything having performed well over previous seasons and almost single handedly carried the team last season.

Madrid won’t come knocking often and the offer is huge so I think Spurs would be mad to turn it down. AVB won’t want to lose his best player , no manager would but a player of Bale’s ability deserves to play for one of the best teams in the world and ply his trade in the Champions League.

Ultimately the decision will lie with Daniel Levy who is notorious for hard bargaining skills and will try and squeeze as much money out of Madrid as he can.

One stumbling block for Spurs may be that Madrid want a structure deal stretched out over several years with the fee being paid in instalments. Real still owe Spurs money over the Modric deal last season and Levy will rightly be dubious to take another structured deal.

For me they should let him go, with £86m+ in the bank, AVB will be able to bring in some top players in his challenge for the top four.

Will Stoke thrive or dive under Mark Hughes?

This is a difficult one! Hughes wants to change the perception of Stoke and is trying to do that by bringing in players like Erik Pieters from PSV and the very talented youngster Marc Muniesa from Barcelona. He has asked not to be judged on his time at QPR and wants to be given a clean slate.

However if Hughes wants to change this perception he will need to make a few more changes on the player front and in particular up front. In pre-season it has been clear that Hughes is trying to get the team passing the ball around neatly but this is something that will take time to introduce.

I think they will start slowly and grow into themselves and the new tactical outlook mid way through the season. This is an important project for Mark Hughes and he needs it to succeed as he can’t risk another blot on his CV.

Who will be the first manager to be sacked?

Chris Hughton has spent big this summer and it is important for him that Norwich get off to a good start otherwise he could be in trouble.

Chris Hughton has spent big this summer

Chris Hughton has spent big this summer

However I think that the teams in the North East (Sunderland and Newcastle) are most likely to be making managerial changes first. Di Canio was a controversial appointment in the first place and if things don’t go well at the beginning of the season the board will look for any excuse to get rid. Alan Pardew could also be one of the first casualties although don’t be surprised if he jumps before being pushed. The appointment of Joe Kinnear is a real undermining of his position and it is only a matter of time before the two come head to head. If Newcastle don’t start well the pressure will well and truly be on him.

Where will Luis Suarez be playing his football this season?

Arsenal. The Gunners have already made a substantial bid for the controversial forward which would smash their transfer record and having committed to the transfer already I can’t see them backing out. Arsenal fans are frustrated at their lack of activity in the transfer window so far and in particular missing out on Gonzalo Higuain who ultimately opted for Serie A and Napoli.

Arsenal need a big named striker having lost RVP to United last summer and although Podolski and Giroud were good signings neither seem capable of 25+ goals a season, something which Suarez can and has done. Suarez would fit in very well to the Arsenal system and style of play especially with Wilshere, Walcott, Cazorla and Oxlade-Chamberlain knocking the ball into him, I can see him bagging loads of goals. If Wenger can get Suarez, Arsenal will be a serious top 3 challenger.

What Can United expect under David Moyes?

Community Shield winners David Moyes with RVP and his first Manchester United trophy

Community Shield: David Moyes with RVP and his first United trophy

Obviously replacing Sir Alex is a huge task and one not many people would be able to take on. That is why it has been so admirable in the way that he has stepped into the role and handled himself very well. Things haven’t been easy at all for the new boss as his opening press conference (and every subsequent press conference) was dominated by Wayne Rooney and his future and he has handled the media impeccably well in his early dealings with them.

Wifried Zaha and Adnan Januzaj have been given their chance to impressOne thing we can expect from David Moyes is his trust in younger players and his willingness to promote them into the first team squad. We saw this during his time at Everton where he promoted Seamus Coleman and Ross Barkley into the team and both are now established first team squad members.

The same can also be said already for United, where during the pre season tour Moyes gave chances to Wilfred Zaha, Adnan Januzaj and Jesse Lingard and all impressed, prompting the manager to admit they are “knocking at the door”. One thing which has been noted across many United fans is the way the team press the opposition when they aren’t in possession of the ball and a willingness to win it back.

There is no hiding behind the fact that Moyes has been dealt a tough hand with the first few fixtures including matches against Chelsea, Liverpool and City. Moyes doesn’t appear to be out of his depth in this role and he is handling the pressure of being Manchester United manager very well. One thing he does need however is the backing from Ed Woodward in the transfer market, something which hasn’t been apparent of late.

In all honesty, United have been made appear quite naive in their transfer business this summer with failed attempts at signing Thiago Alcantara and Fabregas being publicly rejected. Time is running out and unfortunately, United will be forced to pay inflated prices on any future targets due to the timing and difficulty in replacing outgoing players. If United can sign a big name in midfield then there is no reason why David Moyes can’t challenge for the title.

Post written by Dave Garghan
Blog: Gargs Football Chat, Twitter: @DaveGarghan9

Would you like to contribute to the MatchDayApp Blog? If so, please take a look at our guest blogger guidelines and get in touch.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,