The course of English football was all set to evolve when Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement, after spending 27 years at United’s helm. Winds of change were breezing all over England.
British football’s most successful manager nominated his fellow countryman: David Moyes, as his successor at Manchester United. Since his appointment Moyes has been dubbed as “The Chosen One” by the fans and the press. With 10 years of experience at Everton, now came his toughest challenge to maintain the winning standards at the club.
On the blue side of Manchester, newly appointed manager Manuel Pellegrini was planning his ambitious project at Manchester City with Eastland chiefs Ferran Soriano & Txiki Begiristain, both of whom are credited to assemble the squad of trophy-laden Barcelona (2008/2009). “City want five trophies in five years,” quoted Soriano after Pellegrini was unveiled to take over Roberto Mancini.
When both Manchester clubs were rejuvenating themselves in the summer of 2013 with new coaches and players; it was Chelsea, who was making most of buzz around. The Special One was returning to English football after a six-year hiatus. Jose Mourinho was returning home, back at the Stamford Bridge. “The plan is always the same, evolution and to establish the club at the highest possible level,” said Mourinho in his return interview.
The other sides in London were enthusiastically rejuvenating too as Arsene Wenger smashed Arsenal’s transfer record to bring Mesut Ozil at the Emirates; whereas Villas-Boas invested £105million on seven players to build a world-class squad from the sale of World’s Expensive Player, Gareth Bale. Brenden Rodgers was eyeing to rebuild team’s character at the KOP. All transitions in the Premier League were indicting that this will be another exhilarating season ahead. Everton, who finished 6th last season, signed former Wigan manager Roberto Martinez as their new head coach. Ironically, Martinez’s Wigan got relegated in 12/13, still Everton’s board choose him to replace United bound Moyes. All major seven clubs of the Premier League went through transition over the summer, promising another great season ahead.
Each year, every season starts with indescribable passion and limitless urge to win. This year, seven clubs were poised to compete for the top 4 places in the Premier League. One thing was sure that the face of Premier League was all set to change. Now approximately seven months after the league started it’s time to analyze which teams have fulfilled their potentials.
Mourinho returning to the bridge, Wenger Splashing out cash, Gareth Bale is the world’s most expensive player – these were the headlines over the summer; however, since the League table started to shape up in mid October, the headlines have been only about the disastrous decline of the current League Champions, Manchester United. Premier League fans have been pointing fingers on the appointment of David Moyes. Currently, Manchester United – the Premier League era’s most successful club is facing their worst Premiership season. Here comes an amazing stat that defines the form of Red Devils this season: whole Man Utd squad has scored fewer league goals than the combination of Suarez and Sturridge at Liverpool!
Manchester United won 13 Premier League titles, out of a possible 20 – now that is a stat which defines the consistency once United was all about. United worst finish in Premier League was 3rd position (in three different seasons: 01/02, 03/04 & 04/05). However, you can see United struggling on 7th position this term, ensuring that to be their worst finish in a Premier League era. Can this be defined as changing of guard?
Things aren’t certainly the same when your league’s most dominant club isn’t even finishing for a Europa League spot. I do trust Moyes to do well next year; he requires time to build his own empire but until he gets to fulfill his potential will it be the same league that Sir Alex Ferguson dominated? The face of Premier League has definitely changed with youthful Chelsea & hungry Liverpool rising for the title challenge, and noisy neighbors Man City leading that pack. Meanwhile Everton has found a new life under Martinez, and with their new trinity of Lukaku, Deulofeu and Barkley, they are pushing for the 4th spot. Arsenal showed title credentials earlier in the season but since Ramsey’s injury they have been lost, just as Ozil’s form. Arsenal was pushing for title until early February but now will finish merely on fourth spot. Villas-Boas was sacked in December as the new rejuvenated Spurs side wasn’t delivering much, however the new boss Tim Sherwood is already planning for the season ahead.
With just seven games to go, all Premier League fanatics know this isn’t a league of previous years; it’s more competitive and ruthless. The 21st Premeir League season has changed it all!