Sunday’s Charity Shield reminded me of going to the movies. Certainly, the game on its own was like a summer blockbuster. We were all treated to a thoroughly enjoyable and enthralling two hours of Premier League football. For me though, the game stood out, not as its own feature film, but as a preview for a film you can’t wait to see--much like when I saw the previews for Batman-The Dark Knight several years ago. Some previews literally send chills down your spine, as you figure in your head how many months until it is released. Thankfully for all of us, we only have to wait one more week for our favorite league to kickoff its new season.
The over bearing and micromanaging editor of Soccer Banter has provided us with our first assignment of the new campaign. We have been instructed to make our Preseason Predictions. I tried negotiating a 25% pay raise for my work this season, to which our shrewd editor agreed (a 25% increase of 0$ keeps me at $0).
With my new contract in hand it’s time to get to work.
I want to avoid being the first Soccer Banter writer to get the “sack” so here I go:
Manchester United: Can there be any doubt? Their new young talent pool provided inspiration, energy, and most importantly quality to Sunday’s Charity Shield. De Gea will be shaky at times in goal, but not enough of a factor to knock them from the top.
Manchester City: The quality is there and I like Roberto Mancini. He may be slightly cynical in his tactics but he can clearly man manage this squad of players.
Chelsea: This is somewhat by default, as I’m not sold on this team. If AVB has the fortitude to drop some of his aging stars, this could be a surprisingly lively side. If not, it will be very similar to last season. Erratic.
Liverpool: This pick is strictly catering to our editor’s pro Liverpool sentiment. I’m not a huge fan of this squad of players. However, in Luis Suarez, they have themselves a match winner. I see him as the true newcomer of the year.
Wigan: Third time is the charm. They’ve held on by the skin of their teeth the past two years.
Norwich: Like many promoted sides, their first XI will get some results, but the rigors of an entire Premier League Campaign will be too much to handle.
QPR: Total mayhem at this club. Keep a close eye on the self-destruct button. It could get ugly.
Player of the Year
Luis Suarez: He will prove to be the most valuable player to any of the top four clubs. He’ll provide goals, tenacity, and fearlessness.
Young Player of the Year
Tom Cleverley: I’m not a big Wesley Sneijder fan, so I am hoping Sir Alex saves the money and gives this young player a decent run out with the first team this season.
First Manager Sacked
Neil Warnock, QPR. He’ll be the first manager sacked this season and whoever comes in after him will probably be the second!