Red-Gunner

Looking back; assessing the top seven teams

The title holders Chelsea, by a mile, turned what in recent years has been a title race to a one horse race. The tactical genius of manager Jose Mourinho deserves reasonable plaudits so as his ability to maneuver his plans and ideas from start of the season to finish. He outclassed every other manager with his transfers which yielded outstanding results for his blue side. Eden Hazard seems to be well on his way to be considered as one of the elite but would certainly need more artillery around him to help him achieve this milestone. He would also need to lead his team to a charge for European glory to be deemed a world class player in the bracket of players like Messi and Ronaldo.

 

This City campaign was a weird one in contrast to the remarkable one they had in the 13/14 season. They were over reliant on their past hero Yaya Toure who was not able to live up to the expectation like he had the year before. Manuel Pelligrini failed to keep his squads winning mentality to complete back to back premier league games which to be fair to them is a very hard task especially in a league like the Premier League. However sympathy is well beyond them after a poor demonstration in Europe and domestic competitions. They most certainly will look to bolster their squad as they are reported to be in search of young home grown talent. This could pay off for them in order to graduate the host of aging senior players and replace them with rich young talent.

Did the gunners have a successful season? Yes. Were they an improvement on what they were last season? I don’t think so. In terms of success, they have been able to hit the road again with victory parades, something fans have been waiting for a long time. The acquisition of playmaker Alexis Sanchez has sounded out a warning shot of their desire to win silverware however it may not be loud enough after another regular season in the premier league and champions league. Many have called for reinforcements particularly in the forward position and in defense. The news of the arrival of Chelsea legend Petr Cech will be music to the ears of gunner fans as it shows a step in their quest for a first premier league trophy in over a decade. The fairytale story of young Francis Coquelin gave Wenger and his boys balance between attack and defense, something that they lacked from the start of the season which undoubtedly lost them the league. They may need another defensive midfielder as a backup for any unforeseen events to happen in the course of the season. A top striker that guarantees 18-20 goals a season and probably another defender will put the gunners in a very strong and confident position for the title next year.

Manchester United, in my opinion had a productive season, considering their numerous injury woes and Luis Van Gaal’s inability to find his first team. Their goal of pushing into the top four was fuelled massively by the brilliance of shot stopper David De Gea. They might want to sort out the contract situation with him in order to make clear the clubs next steps. They will be expected to be very busy once again in this market. Radamel Falcao ended his disappointing loan spell after signing with champions Chelsea, furthermore, reports have suggested Man U want to do away with the injury prone Robin Van Persie, thus the call for a world class striker. The Red Devils are in the position to attract top-notch players after successfully making it back to Champions League football after a short spell out. They will need to look in the market for a defensive midfielder to offer a solution to Michael Carrick’s spontaneous injuries and moreover a long term solution.

Tottenham’s continuous but hopeless quest for Champions league football continued last term and has put them in stalemate. They have juggled between 5th and 6th place for the past three years and even when they made fourth place four years ago, their Champions League slot was taken from them by Europa winners Chelsea. They have made appalling transfers in the past in attempt to replace Gareth Bale. Spurs have lacked the player can put the team on his back spearhead them to glory. Harry Kane emerged last season as their hero but it was obviously not enough for them to compete with the top four sides. Mauricio Pochettino must find a way to raise the confidence of the players in order to be able to exploit their talents. He has no choice but to go into the market particularly for technically intelligent and strong players to see his team excel in his high pressure playing tactics, and needs to do away with surplus players like Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado.

Liverpool, just like every other team but Chelsea had a slow start to the season. They had an early and shocking elimination in the Champions League, finishing bottom of the group they were expected to advance. The Reds fans were given a glimmer of hope for a possible title charge like they did the season before when they went on their unbeaten run from new years to March which unfortunately was ended with their home defeat to Man Utd and annihilated the week after in the hands of the Gunners at the Emirates. The Reds experienced a decline in form, results and confidence thereon after. The contract situation of Raheem Sterling didn’t make their situation any better. Brendan Rodgers does not look like the one to lead the club to where they want to go. His transfers since taking over the club have been awful and some hopeless and purposeless; Mario Balotelli a prime example. John Henry and his board might have to opt to look elsewhere for someone to lead their team back to the top ranks and to be able to compete them.

 

Southampton were the team I was most impressed by this campaign not only because of their outstanding display, but the style with which they kept all who wrote them off quiet. After losing their top three players and coach they were completely disregarded at the beginning of the campaign. Nevertheless, the appointment of manager Ronald Koeman proved Southampton were ready compete with the big boys, and they did so till the last months of the season. They were in the top four by Christmas and were in the race for top four with weeks to go. The key to Southampton’s success this term was their defensive stability throughout the season. They opened the door to all attackers who wanted to leave (which they replaced well) but blocked the sale of defensive players like Morgan Schneiderlen who proved to be phenomenal once again for the Saints. They may not be able to keep him this time round as he continues to knock on the door for a transfer to play in the Champions League.

-KD

Arsenal 2 Urawa Red Diamonds 1: Young Gunner Akpom earns Wenger narrow win
#jsoccer #MitsuruNagata [Daily Mail]But the Gunners weren’t to be denied a clean sweep of victories on their Asian adventure as substitute Akpom capitalised on a defensive error from Mitsuru Nagata to roll into an empty net eight minutes from time.
Arsenal 2 Urawa Red Diamonds 1: Young Gunner Akpom earns Wenger narrow win
#jsoccer #MitsuruNagata [Daily Mail]But the Gunners weren’t to be denied a clean sweep of victories on their Asian adventure as substitute Akpom capitalised on a defensive error from Mitsuru Nagata to roll into an empty net eight minutes from time.
Arsenal 2 Urawa Red Diamonds 1: Young Gunner Akpom earns Wenger narrow win
#jsoccer #MitsuruNagata [Daily Mail]But the Gunners weren’t to be denied a clean sweep of victories on their Asian adventure as substitute Akpom capitalised on a defensive error from Mitsuru Nagata to roll into an empty net eight minutes from time.
Arsenal 2 Urawa Red Diamonds 1: Young Gunner Akpom earns Wenger narrow win
#jsoccer #UrawaRedDiamonds [Daily Mail]Arsenal will leave the Far East today having maintained a 100 percent start to their pre-season campaign with a narrow win over Urawa Red Diamonds. Teenager Chuba Akpom secured a 2-1 win for Arsene Wenger’s men in the final match of their Asian tour, in …
Arsenal 2 Urawa Red Diamonds 1: Young Gunner Akpom earns Wenger narrow win
#jsoccer #UrawaRedDiamonds [Daily Mail]Arsenal will leave the Far East today having maintained a 100 percent start to their pre-season campaign with a narrow win over Urawa Red Diamonds. Teenager Chuba Akpom secured a 2-1 win for Arsene Wenger’s men in the final match of their Asian tour, in …
Arsenal 2 Urawa Red Diamonds 1: Young Gunner Akpom earns Wenger narrow win
#jsoccer #MitsuruNagata [Daily Mail]But the Gunners weren’t to be denied a clean sweep of victories on their Asian adventure as substitute Akpom capitalised on a defensive error from Mitsuru Nagata to roll into an empty net eight minutes from time.