Dawn of a King Louis era as EPL gears into drive mode

Dawn of a King Louis era as EPL gears into drive mode

Dawn of a King Louis era as EPL gears into drive mode

The embers that are the Barclays Premier League are about to be fanned. Super ego managers. Check. Transfer madness. Check. Chest thumping, tactical setups and sumptuous displays. Double check. With confidence radiating from the training grounds of English football’s crème de la crème, this emotional capsule is about to ignite and burn. Burn with a fire so fury.

 That ecstatic feeling will be set off by Louis van Gaal, as the former Holland boss takes the behemoth that is Man United out for a Swansea ride at Old Trafford in the lunchtime kickoff. The Iron Tulip has already restored some sense of order that had flown out of the Carrington window, leaving its clothes behind.

 A new 3-5-2 formation has been adopted, that will see the trio of Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and, when fit, Robin van Persie playing in their best position. Out goes the flying wingers that were a hallmark of the Sir Alex Ferguson era. In comes the wing-backs.

 It will be interesting to see just how LVG works out his magic in the opening games of the season, though, unlike his much-maligned predecessor, David Moyes, Van Gaal has an easy start. Swansea, Sunderland, Burnley, Queens Park Rangers, Leicester City and West Ham should make it an easy 18-point picking for the Red Devils. Or are we getting ahead of ourselves?

However Messrs Manuel Pellegrini, Brendan Rodgers, Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger will be keen to rubbish the aura of invincibility that King Louis wants to install at Old Trafford. Certainly, they will be keen to serve a brutal reminder to the Dutchman that United’s success left with the legendary Glaswegian. They could be right.

Picture Man City for instance. The Citizens have arguably the strongest side in the division. Heck, the Chilean gaffer can pick two starting XIs with ease. Having won his first EPL title in his debut season, he’ll want to replicate Mourinho’s first stint by defending the title. It’s possible.

Manuel’s nouveau riche blue side of Mancunia is simply getting stronger. Purchases like Eliaquim Mangala, Bacary Sagna and Fernando make Sheikh Mansour’s trophy the team to beat. Well, if you ignore the 3-0 Community Shield humbling at the hands of Arsenal.

Nevertheless, some Portuguese speaking tactician will definitely put some spanner in the Pellegrini works. Mourinho made very good acquisitions in former Atletico Madrid dangerman, Diego Costa, Luis and Cesc Fabregas. He’s also refused to have Thibaut Courtois go out on loan, as he seeks to make the young Belgian stopper his No.1 ahead of, well, the veteran that is Petr Cech. He’ll be confident in landing his 3rd league title.

That can’t be said of Rodgers who lost the services of his mercurial striker in Luis Suarez. The Northern Irishman has tried to make amends in the transfer market, but with Liverpool being hit by the rigours of Champions League football, it could be tricky maintaining second position or nicking the title off stronger rivals. Will Emre Can, Lazar Markovic, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana, et al, be good enough or will Suarez loss be the Liverpuldians’ season’s telling moment?

Over to Emirates and, behold, Le Prof Wenger feels the time is nigh for a title charge. He’s justified. An FA Cup trophy already in the bag and incredible performance against City last weekend enroute to winning the Community Shield, has elicited confidence from the Gunners and their long-suffering fans.

He’s no longer tightfisted when it comes to money, as the signings of Alexis Sanchez, Calum Chambers, David Ospina and Mathieu Debuchy can confirm, and the Emirates outfit has players who can win the club their first league in over a decade. What will be critical for the Frenchman is avoiding the now well-documented mid season collapse, and ensure that if his side is top come New Year, it will be top come May.

The year may be hurtling towards the end, but buckle up, for the madness is about to begin.

Saturday 16th August

2:45pm            Man United – Swansea, Old Trafford, SS3

5pm                 West Ham – Tottenham, Upton Park, SS3

5pm                 Leicester – Everton, King Power Stadium, SS5

5pm                 Stoke City – Aston Villa, Britannia Stadium, SS7

7:30pm            Arsenal – Crystal Palace, Emirates Stadium, SS3

Sunday 17th August

3:30pm            Liverpool – Southampton, Anfield, SS3

6pm                 Newcastle – Man City, St. James’ Park, SS3

Monday 18th August

10pm               Burnley – Chelsea, Tuff Moor, SS3

Read more on : Columnists


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