In this week’s Comments Below, Vuj and Poet talk about the Community Shield and what the result meant for the coming Premier League season. Arsene Wenger earned his first ever win over a Mourinh-led Chelsea, and the north London side look like they could really challenge Chelsea to the title this year, along with both Man City and United. Can Chelsea hold off the challenge from the other three?
The reigning champions looked tired in the FA Community Shield, and they won’t be happy giving Arsenal momentum going into the new season. Saying this, such was the strength of their squad last year that they haven’t had to be that active in the transfer market to remain title favourites this year. Despite selling Petr Cech and Filipe Luis, their purchase of Begovic and Falcao have strengthened them. As long as Diego Costa can steer clear of the recurrent hamstring injury, then Chelsea should be the ones to beat this year.
Last season’s runners-up have recruited heavily this summer, and they needed to. Particularly in the home-grown department, City and Pellegrini have invested tremendously, bringing Fabian Delph, Patrick Roberts and Raheem Sterling into their ranks. Though City have let go of several players (most notably James Milner, Scott Sinclair and Jovetic), their squad looks far more efficient and balanced than it has done over the last two years or so. If Aguero and Silva can stay fit, Sterling will surely thrive and help City push Chelsea all the way.
In terms of form, Arsenal seem the top of the pile going into the Premier League campaign. Winning 3 trophies in pre-season, the Arsenal squad looks fitter than most, and the lack of signings means the team will likely not suffer from that early poor form they encountered last year from a destabilised squad. Whether Arsenal can go all the way, though, is another matter, and many Arsenal fans still want a striker (Benzema being top of the wishlist) and defensive midfielder to keep their squad depth throughout the season.
Last season’s final Champions League spot went to Man United, and their lacklustre squad desperately needed some fresh blood in defence, midfield and attack. United fans were not happy with their season, but fast forward two months and they have a renewed optimism. The arrivals of Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger are sure to provide the stability that their midfield missed so much last season. Creatively, Memphis Depay will be able to help take the load off of Juan Mata, and defensively, Darmian and Romero have lifted the spirits of United fans who feared that their defence was too weak. The main question marks remain over the lack of depth up front, and the possible departures of Di Maria and De Gea. If they can resolve these issues soon, United will be able to mount a title challenge.
This Premier League season is looking like it will be one to remember, with all the top clubs recruiting in key areas. For more, watch our Premier League preview – find out what Poet and Vuj think of the upcoming Premier League season; the title race, the top four, the potential surprises, and the relegation battle.