That Premier Feeling
Text by Abish Shakya
English Premier League doesn’t just have the biggest clubs in the world, but with incoming managers Antonio Conte, Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, they’ve got the biggest managers in the world of football.
The Premier League has always been unpredictable and Leicester City winning the EPL 2015/16 title last year was probably the most shocking story in the history of club football. With top teams like Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea not even making their way to the UEFA Champions League, it was a horrendous season for the top clubs which was well capitalized by Leicester and a chance not taken by North London clubs Arsenal and Tottenham.
Big names like Jurgen Klopp, Claudio Ranieri, Arsene Wenger and Mauricio Pochhetino now in England, this season is going to be one of the most exciting Premier League seasons with nothing certain about who will win the league and who will have a blooper of a season.
WAVE asked football fans their opinion on what impact the football managers will make next season, who will reign on top with more than half a dozen clubs vying for the top 4 spot and the English Premier League title.
Rajat Shrestha on Claudio Ranieri
“Claudio Ranieri will have a hard time keeping hold of his top players but with Vardy signing a contract with the Foxes, it seems like they will be able to fend off interest from other clubs for players like Kante and Mahrez. Sooner or later, the big players will leave eventually.
Other teams underestimated Leicester and it’s the reason they won the title. Ranieri was always an underachiever; tactically sound like an Italian but he’s not the special one. They had an exceptional 2015/16 season and now other teams will not underestimate them.
The good thing is that now they’re in the UEFA Champion League, and they’ve signed decent players Ziegler and Musa. They won the title last year, much deserved but the best Leicester can do is finish in the top 8 but will have a short run in the UEFA Champions League. I also hope that teams in the Premier League don’t go on and park-the-bus like many teams in the Euro Cup did because that could make football boring. Anyway, it’s going to be one of the most exciting and most unpredictable seasons ever with the biggest and experienced managers in England.”
Benjamin Pokharel on Arsene Wenger
“Arsenal squandered a golden opportunity to win the league last season—it felt like unfulfilled potential to finish as runners-up.
Assessing the squad at Wenger’s disposal that far, I don’t see Arsenal going one better this time. Out of a couple of early signings, Xhaka looks like a fantastic addition to the squad. However, right now, there are other grave issues which need attention too—with Per Mertesacker already sidelined for “some months”, an experienced center-half is a must.
The other obvious position that needs strengthening is at center-forward. If we could nail these two spots, I expect Arsenal to be competitive enough to go all guns blazing the entire season. I surmise the league to be fiercer and competitive than ever with new managers at their respective realm—they are proven, tactical and, ruthless in their practice. However, it might take a while for them to instrument their ideas and dictate style of play. Set aside, one begs to ask, can they do it on a cold Monday night in Stoke?”
Subas Humagain on Mauricio Pochettino
“This season will be both exciting and thrilling at the same time. We started and ended the season on a sour note last time, and Pochettino will be determined not to repeat it again. We’ve signed Janssen and Wanyama who are quality players who can help us in squad rotation and will compete for the starting XI. I would be happy with the repeat of last season’s performance with some minor improvements.
There are plenty of new managers in the Premier League so, the players will have to adapt to a new philosophy which does not necessarily guarantee instant success. Conte, Mourinho and Guardiola are all joining teams who finished below us this season, and they will have the pressure to outdo Spurs. Pochettino has settled into the league, and he will take us above a couple of these big clubs. I trust in the youth system too which has been the backbone for Spurs in recent seasons. A UEFA Champions League spot will mark the success of the club and let’s see how far we can get in the competition itself this year.”
Saisab Dhital on Pep Guardiola
“We were doing well last season but the congestion of the fixtures was the problem we didn’t achieve much. Still, we reached till the semi-final and it is clear that our ambitions next year will be winning the Champions League while also going for the Premier League title.
Guardiola is an experienced manager, and he will be better at maintaining fixtures. I’m pretty sure Pep will be able to attract big European names and make some decent signing and hope that we do not have fitness issue like last year. We’ve already signed Gundogan, Sane, Nolito and other players which are big name players from Germany and Spain.
Sometimes the difference between losing, drawing and winning is up to luck. If fixtures are good and we can maintain the squad, the title is most certainly ours and winning the UEFA Champions League will be our main priority next season. The league will be difficult, but we’re at better side than others and we will win titles and cups.”
Gaurav Rayamajhi on Jose Mourinho
“Mourinho is one of the best coaches in football, and it is certain that we’ll win titles with him.
Mourinho has brought in top quality players like Mkhitaryan and Bailly, and with Ibrahimovic, the title is definitely ours. Players like Mata, Rojo, Blind and Fellaini will definitely head out of the club and young players in the club like Martial and Depay will make way for a rejuvenated Manchester United.
The defense of the club will improve, and we have pace in the team and a well-suited team for Mourinho’s preferred counter-attacking football. Chelsea requires as much rebuilding and it is probable that Arsenal and Tottenham will lose some of their best players to clubs outside of England. Guardiola has a strong team at his disposal but it isn’t as strong as his previous teams Bayern or Barcelona, so we have an open title chase next season, my money is on the Red Devils.”
Anup Tuladhar on Jurgen Klopp
“Klopp did a fantastic job with Liverpool last season with the players in his plate. He’s an interesting person and we are positive about this season.
We might not win cups or the league but the team’s going to get better once players get Klopp’s philosophy. Other teams need rebuilding, especially, United and Chelsea, but we are in the same boat and no different from them. We have an open season this year with top 4 possible for everyone.
Arsenal doesn’t seem like a league winning team and Tottenham had a one good season like we had with Suarez in its prime so, I don’t expect much from these teams next season. We’re signing players such as Mane, Matip, Wijnaldum, Klavan and Karius in Klopp’s wish list and we have a squad of better players. It’s going to be Klopp’s first whole season, so it’s going to be exciting.”
Sadichha Shrestha on Antonio Conte
“The ego clashes between the manager and the players was the biggest problem for Chelsea last season.
Chemistry and skills set growth and opportunity of new players. The command in the field, strategically approaches to attacking and defending and not to forget the hunger to win, are the thing Chelsea need this season to get back to where they were.
The players Conte brings in will make a whole lot of difference this season since he has to work from scratch on a different level than what the previous manager worked on. He’s brought in Batshuayi and Kante, and I hope we sign more quality players. Conte’s style and finesse will be tested in front of Guardiola and Mourinho.
Football is not about just the skill set but luck as well. Many teams have had their share of unlucky matches, bad formation pick, injury of good players. Spurs had an outstanding overhaul of change in skills and chemistry between them last season. Arsenal could become a bigger threat than anyone else in the league as well.”
The English Premier League started on August 13 with Hull City against Leicester City being the opening game. So what do we expect from the Premier League this season? Pure class as always.