A wiser man than I once said ‘I never make predictions and I never will.’ Given that the man in question was Paul Gascoigne, you can see the level I’m working on here. Also, as a Tottenham fan, I am never sure what’s going to happen from week to week so you’ll be patient with me if I accidentally suggest that Southampton are going to rise from the ashes and claim their first Premiership title.
I simply cannot see where the Gunners are going to get their 16th straight season in the Champion’s League from, barring a collapse from Spurs or a surprise European Cup victory ala Chelsea. On second thoughts, both seem likely. They have tightened up their defence this season, Mertesacker and Koscielny are finally looking like they belong in the Premier League rather than the Premier Inn and with the return of Jack Wilshere alongside Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta, their midfield has some bite and class. However, goals look like being a problem and I reckon that the lack of an out-and-out goalscorer could hamper them. Could cashing in on £25m for Van Persie cost them a whole lot more?
Could it happen? Could Spurs finally finish above Arsenal for the first time in the Prem? The signs are good. Arsenal are looking rudderless, the players now seem to understand AVB, Defoe is in the form of his life, they have one of the best midfields in the league (Sandro, Dembele, Bale, Lennon, Dempsey/Huddlestone) and have quality on the bench. The only worry is that they are Tottenham and will inevitably have a blip that the fans know and hate. However, with all their quality and experience and no England manager specuation to distract them, this could be their season.
Much as the fan hate him, Rafael Benitez is a good manager. You only have to look at the direction Liverpool have taken since he left to see that. He should steady the Chelse ship and, whilst unable to catch the two Manchester clubs, guide them to the Champion’s League with ease. If they buy another striker in January and get Eden Hazard back to his August form, they should make third with ease.
2nd- Manchester City
Last season they were irrestistable at times, their frontmen running teams ragged whilst their defence was as tight as Scrooge’s submarine. However, this term they are way behind United on goals scored and Joe Hart has looked shaky at times. They are a class side but I can’t see them having the legs to outrun United for a second successive season.
1st- Manchester United
Yes, once again, Manchester United for the title. It’s as predictable as someone making a joke about a round football-shaped present being a snooker cue, but they should seal Premiership title number 13 come May. They have the deadliest strike force in the league, an emerging, talented midfield, an admittedly dodgy defence, but the greatest manager in Premiership history. Ferguson will not let them forget their final day disappointment and that will spur them on to an historic League win.
Having said that, United will probably lose ten on the spin and not even qualify for Europe and Walcott will bag 30 goals for Arsenal, which won’t be enough to catch a resurgant Wigan who will roar to their first ever title. Just covering my back.