For the first time in recent memory, the premier league is free of its Red Nose. Alex Ferguson is gone. Jose Mourinho is back. Rafa Benitez has returned to Italy from whence he came. Manuel Pellegrini is here and has already added more bazookas and silencers to his Man City artillery. Arsene Wenger is selling all his chaff players and refusing to sign any decent or known replacements. David Moyes seems more awestruck at United than a giddy Canadian teenage girl at a Justin Bieber concert and RVP remains as lethal as ever.
On the other end of the scale, the annoyingly good escape artists at Wigan Athletic have finally met their long predicted fall while their chief magician, Roberto Martinez has carried his impressive skills to the reasonable side of the Mersey divide. Brendan Rodgers still can’t keep his mouth shut, no one still knows the point of Fulham, Stoke have changed the manager’s face but have retained their eternal clogging, kicking and lumping standards and Rickie Lambert has continued to impress at the Saints despite looking like your standard fat Championship bully of a striker. Sam Allardyce has recruited Downing to aid in lumping the ball in the general direction of whichever big man is available, AVB’s voice has gone a notch lower in pitch and Joe Kinnear is back at Newcastle as DoF and we all imagine how supportive that must feel for Alan Pardew.
Now, what’s the point of this article?? Hmmm . . . Aha! What to expect next season and major predictions. So without much more ado, here are my predictions. Yea, y’all are free to hedge your bets based on these predictions and watch your money double. However, do well to note that I shall not be held accountable for whatever losses you incur in the process whether emotional, financial or both. With that done, here goes nothing;
Top Scorer – Danny Welbeck . . . Nah, just kidding. It’s definitely his Dutch strike partner Robin van Persie who should end the season with the much coveted gong.
Best Player – Eden Hazard – Yep, I believe Jose Mourinho should psych him up enough to take his game to the next level and win the award. And I’ll also give you the fellow contestants for this role, not at all because I fear Hazard might not win but just because I have chosen to be really gracious . . .true story, the indefatigable Yaya Toure, Robin Van Persie, Cazorla, the dreamy Juan Mata and of course, Spurs new hitman Soldado.
League Winners -Manchester City
Well, I believe despite Mourinho’s return and David Moyes inheriting Fergie’s winning team, City just seem to have an unreal strength in depth that I believe will eventually win them the league title this year.
N/B: If Chelsea sign Rooney, disregard this prediction because I believe they’ll be too strong for the rest of the competition. Rooney plus Mourinho plus ‘Mazacar’ is too bloody a combo for any competition.
Relegation – Hull despite adding the Basketball-ish ‘tiger’ moniker to their official name, still have Steve Bruce and he is going down once more in my opinion. Holloway will attack with Crystal Palace just like he did with Blackpool, but I believe the eagles should go down as well. Sunderland have signed a whole lot of players out of which only Altidore really stands out. For this reason, I’m l tipping them for relegation because they also appear to be the kind of team that will collapse once Di Canio clashes with one of his players, an event we all suspect is just around the corner.
Most Talkative Manager of the Season – No contest. Brendan Rodgers all day long.
Signing of the Season – Ricky van Wolfswinkel – I believe Norwich should survive relegation this season mostly because of this signing. I see him banging in at least 15 goals this coming season and being the equivalent of Benteke to Villa last season.
Surprise of the Season(Player) – Nacer Chadli – Who’s he? Right? Watch out . . .
Surprise of the Season(Team) – Cardiff City – I know, I know . . . It seems very easy to just choose a random team from promotion to fill this position but I honestly believe they could punch well above their weight this coming season.
Fourth Position – Tottenham Hotspurs – The first three from last season will most definitely remain in the top three in an altered order, nevertheless. The fourth slot depends greatly on whoever of the contenders has the least ‘serious’ injuries to key players over the course of the season. However, as the transfer window is set to slam shut, (By the way, why does it always slam shut? Not move slowly and limply to a close despite having been open since July?) teams are likely to improve or have their teams decimated by bigger or richer teams home or abroad. Therefore, I’m making this prediction from the current state of the contestants.
By I.V Okata . . . an avid football lover
Follow him on Twitter @IzutaDGaffer