PICTURED: Frank Lampard, Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola
Still a relatively new manager in the game, Frank Lampard, will be looking to make use of all of his knowledge in respect to how the west London club has been run over the past few years to his advantage.
He inherits a squad devoid of a talisman, and this might be to his benefit as he looks to curate a team that has youth on its side.
Owner Roman Abramovich’s business model may have been criticised in the early years of his tenure, but few can talk negatively about the way the Blues have developed a winning mentality over the past 16 years.
They won’t challenge this year – you never win anything with kids – but they may surprise a few critics who have them finishing outside of the top four.
If I’m honest, I can’t see Liverpool doing what they did last season in any shape or form. Most fans have them down as the team that will challenge Man City to the title once again, and it’ll be a positive season if they manage to do that. No big money signings this summer will be the marked difference.
Klopp, relies so heavily on that midfield engine room delivering super-human performances that it remains to be seen if he’s able to motivate them to that level again. For me, they needed a name to come in, that didn’t happen, so while they will finish top four, the runners-up place might not be the spot they end up in.
This man is obsessed and that unwavering focus is why Man City will be champions again. They won’t secure as many points as last year, but they won’t need to. Pep, has a philosophy that has been embraced by the whole club, and this puts them in the best position possible. It’s a jigsaw now.
Take a piece out, replace it with a similar piece and mould until it sits seamlessly in position, almost as if it was meant to be there. A hat-trick of Premier League titles would be a spectacular achievement, let alone another domestic quadruple.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Unai Emery and Mauricio Pochettino
Ole Gunnar Solskjær
The Manchester United way hasn’t been possible to attain over the past few years, due to the club’s hierarchy not leading in the quintessential manner which has brought the Red Devils success in previous eras.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær, has the capability to resurrect the sleeping giant, but he’ll need to dig deep and rekindle the winning mindset birthed in the Alex Ferguson era. It was always felt that the club as a whole, not just the manager, was the reason for the sustained period of excellence at United during the early part of the century.
Solskjær was an inherent part of that era — if anyone can replicate the landscape as it once was, it’s him.
Arsenal have been very shrewd this summer, throwing out stories that didn’t quite match their ambition, playing fool to catch the wise. This has led to a very decent acquisition in the shape of Pepe from Lille. You have to wonder if, after a season in charge, dealing with the British press, Emery was the architect of the deception which ultimately left them a clear run at a player who, coupled with the attacking options, could go on to be a definitive piece of the puzzle.
I expect the Gunners to win this year’s Europa Cup, having come so close last season. Should they be able to keep up that type of form going into the latter stage of the season, they will invariably be in a good place in the league. Top four finish? Maybe.
Success breeds success. So one can imagine how frustrated Pochettino is. His mood must
fluctuate from day to day, as he wonders just what he could do if he had the budget or buying philosophy of other clubs. However, it’s also a challenge.
He’ll forever be the manager that got his club to a Champions League final having spent exactly zero pounds on players.
His successive top four finishes in the Premier League have cemented his name among the managers and coaches deemed Europe’s elite.
He’ll be as determined as anyone to win a trophy this season (the Audi Cup doesn’t count), but whatever the ambition, finishing outside of the top four is not an option.