It seems like only five minutes since City stormed to a 4-1 win over Brighton to lift a second successive Premier League title. And the memory of demolishing Watford 6-0 in the FA Cup Final is still very fresh in the minds of all blues. Yet the Community Shield, the traditional season curtain raiser, is now less than two weeks away and will once again feature the blues as they take on last season’s runners-up Liverpool.
This season will be a tough one with City being the team to beat after they made a clean sweep of the domestic trophies last season, and the rest of the league will be out to stop them doing it again. But how have the others strengthened? Can Liverpool improve on last season? Will Arsenal make more of an impact? Can United fall further down the league (please…).
Last year’s runners up have made only one signing of the summer so far, with Sepp van den Berg arriving for £1.3m Liverpool have let several players go, including former blue Daniel Sturridge, and it seems Jurgen Klopp is relying on the same team to push City all the way again.
If they don’t sign anyone else, it will be a huge gamble by the German; an injury to any of their key forwards, Salah, Mane or Firminho could cause problems up front, particularly if it is Salah wo is injured. Liverpool has relied heavily on the Egyptian for the past two season, and he will need to be on top form throughout the whole campaign if Liverpool are to claim the title over City
The Gunners are yet to make any signings so far this summer, but have released Danny Welbeck, while Aaron Ramsey has joined Juventus and Petr Cech has retired. Unai Emery had a mixed campaign last time around, and is still a few decent players short of having a team capable of challenging for silverware.
Unless the Arsenal boss is planning on youth development, he’d better get the chequebook out soon, or the Gunners are in danger of being left behind. And that won’t sit too well with their fans who are desperate to bring a trophy to The Emirates.
Chelsea had a complete rollercoaster last season, and no-one had any idea which Chelsea team would turn up – the one that beat City 2-0 at Stamford Bridge or the one hat got pummelled 6-0 in the return. They have made no signings so far, but have lost star man Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, while Gary Cahill has been released.
On top of bringing no-one in, the blues have another new manager in Frank Lampard. Lampard did well in his first season at Derby, but managing Chelsea is a completely different kettle of fish. He knows the club inside out, but is he ready to take on such a huge task? He’d better start thinking about making some signings pretty soon – Chelsea fans can be a fickle bunch.
Spurs knocked City out of the Champions League on their way to the final, but lost both league matches 1-0. They’ve let Kieran Trippier try his hand in Spain as the defender joined Atletico Madrid for £21m, but Daniel Levy has finally opened the Spurs purse and spent a club record £58.3m on Tanguy Ndombele Alvaro from Lyon.
Spurs have a pretty lethal strike force in Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min when they are in the mood, but as with Liverpool, an injury to either could seriously derail their silverware hopes, so Levy Needs to open the chequebook again if Spurs are to improve this season.
United fell way short last season, and this was partly down to Jose Mourinho’s negative tactics and huge ego, which is why he got the boot. In came Ole Gunnar Solskaer and they immediately picked up. But reds fans got a little giddy and they soon fell away again, with the Norwegian admitting he needed to get rid of some deadwood.
Unfortunately for United fans, Solskaer has failed to do that and much of the summer headlines from Old Trafford have centred around whether Paul Pogba will stay or return to Italy with Juventus. Romelu Lukaku is another who is rumoured to be on his way out, but United are not exactly close to signing replacements, which could indicate they are staying. Is that a bad thing? Probably not for their rivals but for United fans it will be. They have spent a bit of money though, bringing in Daniel James from Swansea and a big money, £50m fee paid for Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Ander Herrera has left on a free, and if Pogba and Lukaku go, it will be difficult to see where the goals will come from. They may still sign Harry Maguire, but with a shortage of goals and no supply,it may be a long season for United fans. Shame!
After signing Angelino and Rodri so far this summer, it looks like it’s only City from the top six that have strengthened. There’s still a bit of time left and anything could change, but so far, it’s been an encouraging summer for the blues.