It is hard to believe that 14 weeks have flown by since Sergio Aguero scored the dramatic last minute goal that gave
Aguero and his
City manager, Roberto Mancini, appears to have pinned his hopes on the same squad that broke Manchester United heart’s last season adding only Jack Rodwell from Everton.
Attempts were rumoured to have been made to bring Robin Van Persie to the Etihad Stadium but that was more about City not liking the idea of last season’s Premier League top goalscorer going to Old Trafford to play for cross-city rivals, Man Utd, and Mancini certainly didn't need Van Persie to complicate an already strong attack of Aguero, Tevez, Balotelli and Dzeko.
The bottom line as far as City is concerned remains that they still have arguably the strongest squad in the Premier League and it would appear that they are the team that the chasing pack must overcome.
One person who will be relishing the start of the new season more than anyone is Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, who will be out to avenge losing out on winning a 13th league title during his 26 years at the club.
Manchester United shares were recently floated on the New York Stock Exchange and it would appear that the new release of money is showing signs of fruition with the immanent arrival of Robin Van Persie at Old Trafford.
Van Persie scored 44 goals in all competitions for Arsenal last season and anywhere close to that same scoring record for his new club should see United contending for silverware on all front, including the Champions League, from which they were eliminated at the Group Stage last year.
The Dutch striker will join fellow new arrivals, Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell at Old Trafford but
It is hard to believe that Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes can command a place in the first team at 38 and 37 years old respectively. Nonetheless, both are excellent players and with the likes of Ashley Young, Tom Cleverley, Phil Jones, Michael Carrick, Nani and Rooney to help assist Van Persie, United should be a force to contend with and an exciting "two horse race" between the
As Arsenal look to bridge the gap with the top two, Arsene Wenger has been busy in the transfer market he has picked up striker, Olivier Giroud from Montpellier, Lukas Podolski from Cologne and Santi Cazorla from Malaga, three excellent signings that can only strengthen the Arsenal squad.
Wenger still has a host of talent already at the club to call upon and should have Jack Wilshere back sooner rather than later. Add Wilshere to the likes of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta then it is clear to see that the Gunners mean business this year and have the players that can put them back into contention even with Van Persie.
European Champions Chelsea seem equally determined to cement their place back in the top four and have brought in Marko Marin, Eden Hazard and Oscar to a squad that already boasts a re-invigorated Fernando Torres, Juan Mata who add to the experience of John Terry and Frank Lampard.
Some say that Di Matteo is still very much a "stop-gap" and that Chelsea have plans to replace him just as soon as he falters, namely with Pep Guardiola. However, the Italian held firm through almost impossible circumstances last season and there is no reason with the player’s support he can triumph once again.
Tottenham Hotspur who promised so much last season come into proceedings this term with similar promise. However, this time there is no Harry Redknapp at the helm and instead, Spurs will have
There has been a very mixed reaction to his appointment but it would seem that the vast majority of players are happy and although Luka Modric has left for Real Madrid, the rest of the squad look likely to stay.
AVB will be well aware that Spurs currently lack quality strikers and it will be necessary for him to either come up with a solution. Emmanuel Adebayor could still be an option but it is understood that AVB has been in negotiation with Brazilian Leandro Damiao who was top scorer in the recent Olympic Games tournament.
Spurs proved for long periods last season that they were able to live within the top four and it was only their desperately poor finish to the season that killed off their hopes. This season presents the team and their ambitious young boss the perfect opportunity to get back amongst the ‘big boys’.
The jury remains out as far as Liverpool is concerned, the