Originally posted on Goonersphere.
Last season seems like an age ago.
The domestic football calendar ended with our glorious triumph and utter humiliation of our opponents at Wembley, which was completely at odds with how we started our campaign, which was mired in mediocrity and saw Gooners everywhere give their opinion on stale milk.
Given how the season progressed, how many of us could have predicted the final outcome of affairs? Could any of us say with any authority that they envisioned us reclaiming the silverware which we so valiantly fought for versus Hull? Did any plucky soul venture a guess as to our Jekyll and Hyde Premiership assault?
Whilst Arsenal remain elusive to the minds eye when attempting to predict their fate, other teams, players and managers plod along their well trodden path with such predictability that next season will see them once more trip, fall and proclaim that outside influences are the cause of their failure rather than their own meandering endeavours.
These happenings will continue to happen until change is forced upon them. Next season will be no different.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give to you, my predictions for next season.
City to Spend on a Large Scale
City blundered to a runners-up spot that was practically handed to them by Arsenal’s faltering finish rather than their own exploits. A combination of Aguero injuries, Toure woefully out of form for an extended period of time and Vincent Kompany being targeted whilst he searched for a purple patch were all responsible for the Sheikh-funded Manc’s to suffer an underwhelming season.
Pellegrini has been offered a stay of execution thus far but will need to radically overhaul an ageing City side that wheezed its way to the finish line last term.
With perennial Polyfilla back-up option Milner off to Liverpool as well, expect the outlay from City to dwarf most countries deficits and put to shame other oligarch-run outfits such as PSG and Chelsea. Will they still fail epically on the European stage? You bet your last oil-soaked dollar on it.
Brendan Rodgers to Slip and Fail on his own Grease
Two seasons ago, Liverpool fans were proclaiming Rodgers was the final piece in the puzzle that Liverpool needed to finally ‘reclaim’ top spot in England after scrabbling for purchase for so many years. Fast forward a season and after a 6th place finish, Rodgers has placed a whole lot more than doubt in the mind of every Scouser.
Granted, losing Suarez was a disaster but he didn’t leave on the cheap. Every penny was to be reinvested back into the team a la Tottenham when Bale left for the sunnier climes of Madrid – but Brendan reiterated that he and his team wouldn’t ” do a Tottenham ” ( to clarify, this is referring to when Tottenham spunked £100million approximately on dross and finished in a worse position than before. ) but that is exactly what they did.
Shorn of Suarez and Sturridge for the season, responsibility fell on the slender shoulders of sleep-deprived Sterling. He flattered to deceive, as did expensive flops Lovren, Markovic and Balotelli.
This season, to halt the slide, they’ve bought Danny Ings………erm. Whilst he has plenty of promise, they need far more to boost their attempt to regain a Champions League slot.
Rodgers can feel the noose tightening. If not in a promising position by the end of the year, expect Rodgers to not only flail – but to be given the chop.
Mourinho to Irritate and Frustrate
There aren’t many certainties in life it is said, but death, taxes and Jose Mourinho exacerbating all but Chelsea fans are three of the best.
Jose is an expert at developing the siege mentality that he and his squad feed from throughout the season and comments that are unjust and plain incorrect are sure to focus attention on him rather than his own team. If you were in battle, he would be the perfect General, but as a football manager – a high profile one at that – then you need a little more savvy and decorum.
There can be no doubt that Arsene Wenger and Arsenal will be the main target for any scathing comments and that the matches between these two teams will be in complete contrast to the firebrand soundbites the two managers will exchange – a dour clash of tactics.
Expect Mourinho to be lauded by the media and reviled by others.
The Media Love-In with Liverpool to Continue
It would seem the infatuation the media have with Liverpool shows no signs of waning. The rose-tinted spectacles writers don whenever they are charged with writing about the Anfield club act as effective blinkers and shield them from the truth – which is that Liverpool haven’t been on the top rung of football for quite some time and this doesn’t look like abating soon. No matter. Enough mentions of perhaps the greatest match on the European stage ( Liverpools brilliant comeback Vs AC Milan don’t you know ) and the dominance which they enjoyed in the ’70’s and ’80’s will cover any ugly truths.
Liverpool stutter to another woeful performance? We shall just write about how the other team benefitted from some atrocious refereeing decisions or how the other team got away with murder. Whatever way you look at it, Liverpool have been underachieving for years now and yet other clubs are reminded constantly about their own failings which are loomed over by Liverpool’s. It will continue next season.
Louis Van Gaal to get Utd Back on Track – But Take all the Credit
For Van Gaal to take Utd to a much needed Champions League slot last term with a defence less organised than Chuck Blazer’s Weight Watcher Calorie Counting Diary, is nothing short of a miraculous achievement.
Trying at least three hundred and forty eight different formations and with twelve assorted Skippers, the Red Devils at times looked all at sea. So for them to rise above the rest of the riff-raff and snaffle the last European Cup spot is testament to the work Van Gaal is doing.
With Depay already added, United are on their way to addressing some of the issues they had last season, but there are many more where that came from.
United had an upturn in fortunes when Carrick could be called upon to organise the ranks. With Carrick another year older, expect United to sign someone to play his role.
With Hernandez and Falcao expected to leave and with Van Persie finally showing his true colours in regards to injury – Van Gaal will be scouring the market for a marksman.
Along with an effective striker, United could really benefit from a more experienced backline and a replacement for an outbound De Gea.
Van Gaal to consolidate his sides league position and then proclaim himself ” The King of Mancheshter “.
Tottenham Hotspur to finish below the Champions League Spots and for the 21st Year running – Arsenal….Again
You have to admire spurs fans really. For so long a time they have been subjected to humiliation and degradation at the hands of their superiors, but every year they proclaim that ‘ This is Our Year!!!’ and will finally finish above Arsenal.
Obviously. They quite clearly have a squad that can’t compete on any level with their neighbours, nor can they say that the funds they bring in are in any capacity the numbers needed to claim they are as big a club. Then there is the awful stadium, the terrible purchases, the manager…….
Yet, they will still have aspirations that this is the year they can shake off the shackles and rise gloriously – like a fiery chicken from a launchpad comprised entirely of a basketball – to a new level. One where they can cast an eye downward on their enemies clad in red and white.
They will claim this is the season where they triumph. Arsenal fans will laugh, wait until the inevitable 21st St Totteringham’s Day and then proceed to bust a spleen from fits of laughter. Again.
Other than these predictions, the Premier League is a delightful hotch-potch of the unexpected. Any team can show up at a ground and leave with maximum points. Any player can have a debut season where they leave their colleagues and rivals in the shade. Who knows who will triumph? Who will be Top Boy when it comes to goals? No-one can claim to know any of it. That is what makes the Premiership so special.
One last prediction. Harry Kane will score less than he did last season and be the new face for Playmobil……….