With all the fuss and focus on the Olympic Games, many people may have not noticed that the start of the English Premier league for season 2012/2013 is almost upon us.
And it looked like proving to be an even tighter contest than last season’s, which was nicely settled in the last minute of extra time on the last day of the season when Manchester City’s David Silva scored to win his team the championship for the first time in more than 40 years, from under the very noses of their cross city rivals United.
Sir Alex, never one to accept defeat will be sure to come back for the new season with renewed vigor, while opposition is sure to come from Chelsea, who surprised everyone, including themselves, by winning the European cup last season. A few of their icons of the last few years have left the club, most noticeably, Didier Drogba that he will be sadly missed by his Chelsea teammates and the club supporters, but not by the central defenders of the club that he played against. Chelsea did the right thing by keeping on the temporary manager Roberto di Matteo, and he has been given the mandate to bring in some new players to strengthen the squad, and so far has spent wisely.
The likeable Italians biggest task will be to find replacements for icons John Terry and Frank Lampard, who are moving towards the end of their long and illustrious careers
Mean while, in the north of London, a manager with something to prove, by the name of Andre Villas-Boas or AVB has been handed the job of stepping into the formidable shoes of the much loved and highly experienced Harry Redknapp, who was sacked by the Tottenham board at the end of last season. Redknapp was an architect of the tremendous revival at Tottenham Hotspur. AVB may will be given much more time to get the results that he was awarded while at Stamford Bridge and certainly more trust in his abilities than the Chelsea players afforded him. However, the Tottenham board want European football and at the highest level. The question will be can AVB produce that.
Many people who follow the English game now sincerely believe that the years of Manchester City being the poor relations are long gone. With a first-class manager in Roberto Mancini firmly ensconced and a player pool that is both large and rich with highly talented players is difficult to see who can stop them.
Manchester United on the other hand, appear to be remaining in a bit of a trough and have neither the desire or the financial capability to match City in paying top prices for any player that they target for the club.
So come on Saturday the 19th August, and let these games begin.