It’s been a relatively quiet season at the top of the Premier League this season. Manchester United have walked their way to be crowned champions this year, with their rivals Manchester City and Chelsea both struggling throughout the campaign. Compared to last season’s final minute dramatics to decide the title, this season has been a disappointing challenge for the top of the Premier League
But with Sir Alex Ferguson retiring after this weekend, champions United will have their first managerial change in nearly 27 years. David Moyes has been the one handed the task of filling Sir Alex’s massive boots, but there are questions on how successful United will be next season. After such a long spell in charge, it’s a dramatic change at Old Trafford, and one that will be difficult to control for Moyes. Some of United’s competitors might now fancy their chances at winning the Premier League now Ferguson has left the scene.
But it’s not so simple for United’s rivals either. Their noisy neighbours, who lifted the trophy in those dramatic scenes last year, have fallen well short in this year’s attempts to regain the trophy. City are 13 points adrift of United with just one game remaining. And after losing the FA Cup to Wigan last weekend, Roberto Mancini was relieved of his duties at the club. The Italian was in the papers before the cup final even kicked off, with rumours of his dismissal spread across the papers before Saturday’s match. The club failed to make any comment, and by Monday, Manchester City finally revealed that Mancini would not be in charge of the club anymore. But so far City haven’t been able to announce who will takeover for next season.
Chelsea would be looking to bounce back from a poor season too. Potential success in the Europa League final will be the standout result in a season full of disappointment. After sacking Roberto Di Matteo, Interim manager Rafael Benitez has taken charge of the club. And despite guiding them to the final of the Europa League, the Spaniard will not be staying on next season. After revealing in March that he will be leaving the club, plenty of managers have been linked with the vacant role at the Stamford Bridge club. However, it’s Jose Mourinho who is the standout contender for the side, with odds now at 1/10 for him to be the next Chelsea manager. And he’s needed too. Chelsea found themselves fighting to stay in the top 4 rather than battling for the Premier League, and Roman Abramovich will be desperate for this to change next season.
So with the top 3 teams all changing managers, it’s anybody’s game of who could win the league next season. With a new manager comes a guessing game of how they will perform. Moyes has the difficult job of living up to the standards set by Sir Alex Ferguson, and has a lot of pressure put on his shoulders. Manuel Pelligrini is the favourite to become the next Manchester City boss, but whoever comes in has the difficult job of controlling the egos in the City dressing room, and building a team from a group of individuals. And with Chelsea, there are questions of how Abramovich will act around Jose Mourinho, should the Real Madrid manager join the club. After sacking the Portuguese manager before, how will the two be working together again?
3 top clubs, all with their eyes set on winning the Premier League. With so many questions around each of them, any one of them could lift the trophy next season. But these managerial changes could open the door for Arsenal and Tottenham too. The Gunners could finally be ready to spend some money in the transfer window, and sign some top players to their side, whilst Tottenham need just a few changes to complete their squad. After Andre Villas-Boas built such a platform for Spurs this season, they seem ready to mount a challenge for the Premier League title too.
It will be a guessing game for most of the summer, finding out which managers will be at which clubs, but also predicting which players will be added to their squads. But with 5 teams all in a shout of the Premier League, Arsenal and Tottenham might just be licking their lips at the sight of change and uncertainty amongst their rivals. Whilst Chelsea and City will be looking to bounce back from a poor season, United fans will be praying that David Moyes can continue the club’s success in what will be his first season with the Red Devils. Place your bets folks, because this season could be completely open at the top of the table.