Last year was easily the best the Premiership has ever seen. I can only see this season being better. People have been saying that with Ronaldo leaving, United they are definitely going to be weaker. I can't agree more and I think that is going to lend itself to the possibility of a 4 or 5 horse race to be crowned champions of England come May. And that can only be a good thing for the game.
For so many years the Prem has been lamented for being as much of a precession as Formula One was when Schumacher was in his pomp, with every team forming an orderly queue behind Man Utd to pick up their TV money!! Recent years has seen Chelsea come into the fray and last season, until Scorali lost the plot and Liverpool bottled it, there were 3 teams capable of taking the league to the wire.
Season 09/10 is going to be a belter with Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal & maybe Man City all having a right to stake their claim for the title. And it's going to be closer than ever. But for all the positives there are many factors working against each of those teams which makes me believe that things will be both tight and tough at the top.
Man U are going to be scratching around trying to fill the 4o goal void left by Roanldo, and I cant see Rooney or Berbatov making up the numbers seeing as though they play as second strikers. And, although Owen's arrival was a shrewed move by Fergie, the jury's out as to whether he will play more than 25 games. Chelsea are looking good under Ancelotti however it's his first season in the English game and as we saw with Scolari that may be something that he'll take time to adjust to. Despite this I think Abramovic's main motivation for securing Ancelotti's signature is his pedigree in Europe. It's the one missing gap in the Chelsea revolution that Ranieri, Mourinho, Grant, Scolari & Hiddink failed to fill.
Liverpool are still strong despite the departure of Alonso however they still lack quality options up front should both Gerrard & Torres be injured at the same time. So the need is there to acquire a player in the mould of David Villa. Arsenal will be an exciting prospect again as the kids are 1 year older, but the true test will be whether they have the nerve to withstand the demands of a 38 game challenge for the title. Man City could surprise a few people as they have a lot to prove. The players need no more motivation to do well than the fact that everyone sees them as mercenaries. Mark Hughes is a wily old fox and I think he's got the nous to use that in the dressing room.
At this stage without even a ball being kicked, it's too hard to call. There may even be a surprise or too along the way in the shape of Villa and Totenham. Who knows?? But here's my top 4
3. Man Utd
We'll just have to wait and see.