Premier League 2016-17

16 September 2016


Its that time of the year again. The football fever reaches its pinnacle at a moment when the fans aren’t even over the hangover of the previous season. The biggest spectacle in English football is back for its 25th season, and it promises to live up to its high standards and exceptions, a glimpse of what we’ve seen in the first Match week itself. What can we expect then, from this year’s Premier League ?

There has been a major revamp of managers. Manchester United have signed the “Special One” after a not so special season, Manchester City have signed his bitter rival Guardiola who has a sensational managerial record. David Moyes and Ronald Koeman find themselves back in the thick of things, managing their second premier league clubs. The season would also be the first full time assignment for Antonio Conte- replacing Gus Hiddink, and Jurgen Klopp, who had signed mid way through a disastrous season.

With a change in personnel comes a change in tactics, ideals and style of play. While some managers like Mourinho are no strangers to the Premier League itself, others, such as Conte have been largely successful in other leagues. This amalgamation of skillful managers ensures quality and competitive football throughout the season, which makes it difficult to predict which teams have the upper hand. How the transfer season passed for respective teams has provided a big insight to the expected performances. Arsenal got off to a losing start, while United, Chelsea and City already make up the top 3.

If the new signings are any indications to go by, Jose Mourinho has made his goal clear cut, with quality signings, josemanutdspecifically bolstering United’s attack which was heavily criticized during the Van Gaal era. Both City and United have signed promising mid-fielders from Dortmund and Chelsea have stolen the metronomic Leicester City mid fielder N’Golo Kante. Liverpool have made a clear statement of intent by signing versatile players yet, releasing an exodus and cleaning up the squad. Arsenal have reason to be extremely disappointed after being linked up with the likes of Higuain, Vardy, Mahrez etc but having nothing to show for it.

The single biggest point of interest would be how Leicester City, the defending champions will perform. Unfortunately, the times haven’t been too successful since the Premier league title. Having been a part of the Champions Cup, Leicester found themselves second from the bottom of the table and have lost 4 off their last 5 games, admittedly to big clubs. However, with Champions League football coming up, the expectations are high, and Claudio Renairi definitely needs some inspiration to emulate or even come close to the surreal performance last year. Although they have managed to retain Mahrez, Drinkwater, Vardy and signed Ahmed Musa, Leicester City face a challenging season ahead of them. A Top 4 finish seems plausible, but the fact remains that they aren’t favourites to do so, considering the strengthening of rival squads and their recent form. However, a Europa League qualification can be expected of them as they have the depth to challenge the bigger clubs and need to prove, to themselves more than anyone else, that last season wasn’t a one off show.


Is there a possibility of having another Leicester city this season? From a sane mind’s perspective, no season can ever have a triumph of such magnitude as seen in the previous season. However there certainly are some less prestigious clubs that others need to be vary of. Call them underdogs or under rated, they may finish higher than you expect them to. Middlesborough, having recently been promoted after a formidable championship, have snaffled Victor Valdes and Negredo, both of whom bolster their attack and defence with their experience and skill. Uruguayan Gaston Ramirez may well be their X Factor, and coupled with Adam Clayton and Grant Leadbitter in a strong midfield, becomes a bigger threat.

Though Bournemouth suffered from a poor start in the season, the young team has the potential to awe many football pundits with the quality of players. The defense is made up by Charlie Daniels, Simon Francis and new signing Nathan Ake, while they have bolstered their attack with Jordan Ibe too. Closing in on Christian Benteke, Crystal Palace have built a daunting squad consisting of Yohan Cabaye, Wilfred Zaha and Andros Townsend. With little inspiration and persistence, who knows what heights this highly talented squad can reach?

No matter what happens, we are in for some serious surprises, both pleasant and unpleasant, and some top notch football. And, in order to not get heart attacks, we must not have strong expectations, and from the past experiences, there are bound to be some fairytales and heartbreaks. So, fasten your seat belts, get glued to your screens and watch the drama unfold!



Manchester United's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (L) celebrates with Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba after scoring their second goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Southampton at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on August 19, 2016. / AFP / Oli SCARFF / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

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