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    Anticipating The Biggest Premier League Season Ever

    In the previous 24 seasons of the Premier League there have been moments that defy belief, perhaps none more so than our latest champions Leicester City. Their hugely unlikely victory will rank alongside landmark moments like Aguero's last minute winner to give Manchester City their maiden title, the invincible Arsenal side that will never be repeated or Manchester United's come from behind victory against Spurs in 99' to begin their treble quest. We have never been short on drama, however for the first time in the history of the Premier League we begin the season with arguably the greatest managerial talent being tied down to clubs in England.


    Can lightning strike twice?

    The Candidates

    Pep Guardiola will make his long awaited debut in the Premier League after years of speculation regarding the Manchester United and Chelsea managerial positions, however he will be taking charge of Manchester City and will renew his ongoing rivalry with Jose Mourinho from across town. Pep has set his stall out early and claimed he will continue to play the style of football he was known for at Barcelona and Bayern Munich - whether this will work in the much quicker pace of the Premier League remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, this current City squad is not up to scratch compared to what Pep is used to so expect a lot more transfer activity before August 31st. It would be interesting to see more adaptive tactics from Guardiola, as his City team will get nowhere near the amount of time on the ball that Barcelona and Bayern were afforded. He also mentioned that he may struggle with the winter period, typically, the leagues busiest period, as he has never encountered such an intense spell of football before.

    Jose is back in town after his short time away, and you get the impression he is now in the job of his dreams. His emotions were relatively played down during his opening conference at Old Trafford but you just know Jose has coveted this job for many years, and when he was turned down after Ferguson's retirement in 2013 it hurt him. The fans will be hoping that the good times are set to return, with the signings of Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan showing the club can still pull in top talent without the allure of the Champions League. They will also be buoyed by Mourinho's comments that the negativity of the past three seasons will become a thing of the past, and Manchester United will once again be a club where winning games is the number one priority, not avoiding defeat.

    Another nemesis of Mourinho is Arsene Wenger - and the Frenchman is heading into the last year of his contract with an uncertain future ahead. He has already welcomed links to the current vacant manager job with England and time may be winding down on a career which many Arsenal fans feel has descended into disappointment. Wenger will be 67 by the time the season finishes and will have been at Arsenal for a massive 21 years - to put into context that is only 5 years behind the length of Sir Alex Ferguson's tenure at Manchester Untied, however the disparity in success is there for all to see. Last season was certainly Arsenal's best chance to win the league since their invincible season in 2003/04, as they beat eventual champions Leicester home and away and found Manchester United, City and Chelsea all in seasons of transition. In the end they lost and it was a bad title to lose, but Arsenal had the same old post Christmas slump and their fortunes don't seem to be changing.


    Handbags: Jose and Arsene will renew an old feud

    Arsenal's north London rivals Spurs had a season to remember, even if the wheels did fall off towards the end. They were locked in a title race with Leicester up until the penultimate weekend when Leicester inevitably won their title, but the signs are incredibly encouraging for the coming seasons. Champions League Football is now back at the Lane which will only help the development of young talents Kane, Dier and Alli and also help Pochettino expand his ever-growing reputation. Hugo Lloris proved at Euro 2016 what a great goalkeeper and leader he really is (he probably sits in the top 3 in the world alongside DeGea and Neuer), and he has a rock solid defence in front of him. Pochettino will know they need to move forward though, only another title challenge will be acceptable. However they face a huge fight just to keep their Champions League spot as rejuvinated Manchester United, City and Chelsea squads will be gunning for them, although the signing of Vincent Janssen is shrewd and will add quality to an already talented squad.

    Antonio Conte will become the 10th different manager under Roman Ambramovich at Chelsea, and the 12th seperate reign considering Hiddink and Mourinho presided over two different spells. His task is to lift a Chelsea team that finished in 10th place and a massive 31 points behind eventual champions Leicester City. Nobody is quite sure what happened with Chelsea last season, so many players were out of form for so long and if it wasn't for the efforts of Willian their season would have been much worse. There are reasons to be positive however, the Eva Carniero debacle is finished and will not hang over the club like a dark cloud as it did for most of last year. As well as that incident, the distasteful way John Terry was managed has also been corrected as the captain signed a new one year deal in May. Eden Hazard looks like he will be staying at the club and if he gets back to his best for Chelsea as he was for Belgium at Euro 2016 he will have a huge say in where Chelsea finish. If Conte is able to bring even half the organisational skills and determination from managing a below average Italian side then Chelsea will be a very difficult side to beat.

    Jurgen Klopp begins his first full season as Liverpool manager and their fans will be hoping for a repeat of the 13/14 season, when a season with few exceptions and no European football almost brought their first title in 25 years. That would seem unlikely looking at Liverpool's current squad although the summer is not over yet and there is time to get the quality they need, primarily a new left back and a consistent and injury free striker. It's hard not to like Jurgen Klopp, his enthusiasm for football is infectious and he is a great personality to have in the Premier League. One thing Liverpool fans will hope that he improves is his dreadful cup final record - since beating Bayern Munich in his first German Cup final with Borussia Dortmund back in 2012 he has lost 5 finals on the bounce, the worst record in continental Europe. Ouch.

    Last but certainly not least we come to the most unlikely story in British Football history - Leicester City. It's hard to believe that just over one year ago Leicester sacked Nigel Pearson and replaced him with none other than Claudio Ranieri. He had been fired from his previous job as Greece manager after losing to the Faroe Islands. Let that sink in. His appointment was pretty baffling considering his recent record of dismissals but he ended the season as the most beloved figure in Britain, a hero to the football masses and winner of the Manager of the Year award. Many feel that Leicester simply cannot retain their title after their unlikely win, and they would be happy to consolidate a place in the top 6. The added distraction of the Champions League will only hinder their title defence and it is looking likely that the heartbeat of their side - N'Golo Kante, will be leaving before the end of the summer. Leicester will take great pride in being underdogs again - I unfortunately cannot see them getting anywhere near the title again, although I'd be happy to be proved wrong.

    Manchester United meet Leicester City in the Community Shield 25 days from now, August 7th can't come quickly enough.


    By Darren Beck (DarrenBeck13)
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    Item Reviewed: Anticipating The Biggest Premier League Season Ever Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Darren Beck
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