It has been 96 days since the final whistle blew a close to the 2011-12 EPL season – not that we are counting. More importantly, it is less than 1 day till the commencement of the 2012-13 season – the 21st since the establishment of the Premier League. And like the lead up to a massive 21st birthday bash anticipation is high and speculation rife.
Thankfully The Blog FC is here to give you a comprehensive guide to each of the teams competing in this seasons Premier League, covering all the transfer news, strategic analysis and final predictions. Have a read, give us your thoughts and impress your friends with more interesting EPL facts than you can poke a stick at.
Man U |
West Ham |
2011/2012 Result: 2nd
Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson
Ins: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund), Nick Powell (Crewe Alexandra)
Outs: Ben Amos (Hull City – Loan), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Reece Brown (Coventry City – Loan), Sean McGinty (Oxford United), John Cofie (Sheffield United – Loan), Park Ji Sung (QPR), Fabio (QPR – Loan), Matty James (Leicester City), Ritchie De Laet (Leicester City), Oliver Norwood (Huddersfield Town), Tomasz Kusczcak (Brighton Hove Albion), Michael Owen (Free)
On the inside, The Red Devils will still be stinging after a rollercoaster 2011/12 season that saw United off the pace early, storm into contention late, and then fall at the final day hurdle.
However, on the outside, it appears not much has changed on the red side of Manchester. Sir Alex Ferguson hasn’t been overly active in the transfer market – perhaps he is biding his time? Perhaps he has one arm tied behind his back (the arm holding the cheque book due to the clubs mounting debts)? Perhaps he is holding his own personal experiment to try and see how many seasons it will take for Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes legs to finally fall off?
Whilst the club has been linked with everyone from Robin Van Persie to Santa Claus, the bones of the squad are still world class. Shinji Kagawa will slot into the side nicely once he comes to grips with the English game and will sit in the hole behind the striker. Ferguson’s main issue is the need to recruit some quality in the midfield. One attacking, and one defensively minded would do the trick nicely. There is talk that ManU made an early bid for Luka Modric, who would be ideal, but our gut feel says he will end up sipping sangría with the Madridistas.
With the likes of Smalling, Wellbeck and Cleverly another year older, another year wiser and with another coat of Ferguson polish on them, the onus is on them all to step up a level this season.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Nick Powell. The 18 year old from Crewe Alexandria has moved to United on a reported £6million transfer. He is a cool creative midfielder with great vision and a nose for goal – the type of player that could take the EPL by storm. Ferguson has been quoted as saying – ‘I wanted to see him. He is athletic he’s a good size, he’s good physically and he’s bright, he knows where people are around him. His clever with his play, he’s not just twinkle toes’.
Powell signed before the 2012 League 2 play off final in which he scored a stunning goal to send his former side up before departing. United must have been very happy with their purchase after that, hopefully the youngster can show his skills in the top flight this year.
United are set to trot out basically the same team as the one that went agonisingly close to holding the trophy aloft last season, BUT there are many twists and turns left in this transfer window. If ManU are to compete with the likes of City and Chelsea, Ferguson will need to bolster his squad – RVP, Modric and Moura have all been linked with the club and would be great additions.
On the bright side, United fans can take solace in the fact that regardless of whether these players join the club or not, Ferguson will undoubtedly steer this team to a top 4 spot – and that is a marvel in itself.
PREDICTED FINISH: 2nd
Don’t be surprised if Great Britain win the Olympic gold medal next week. Why you ask? They have Ryan Giggs in the squad – and he knows how to win. Giggs isn’t simply another United great – with a total of 33 winners’ medals (12 in the Premier League, four FA Cup, four League Cup, eight Community Shield, two Champions League and one each in the European Super Cup, the Intercontinental Cup and the World Club Cup), Giggs is the most decorated professional footballer of all time. Bar none. Impressive.
Written by OK