From Martin : next season
Might have some money on Liverpool finishing outside top 4 next season as think Rodgers is underestimating the task to repeat this season’s efforts, and even go one further, as he has indicated.
City spluttered a little bit at times this year and still won the League and next year with more stability under Pellegrini and no doubt more additions expect less of those moments. Complacency will be only thing that does not see them improve and I doubt that.
Chelsea will be better too with a highly-organised and hardworking team with addition of a top striker.
They may have another transitional season if the Chelsea stalwarts all move on at same time.
Man Utd have some way back and will be losing some key veterans of recent successes but under Van Gaal and with decent investment you cannot see how they will not be challenging in the top 4 next season.
Everton, Spurs and a variety of others in top ten this season will be as equally competitive.
Onto Arsenal, and though we suspect a Groundhog Season of being good but ultimately short in squad and quality, you hope that Wenger, who will sign again but be in last contract will seek an exit of glory and actually invest more than anytime in recent years, particularly a world class CF to complement and not replace Giroud, who is a decent #2 forward at his best when he has team mates making runs off him.
There are more issues that just CF like a physical CM and additions to defence particularly if Sagna is off.
As much as I detest Ashley Cole for how he left, he can still play and is a winner and would not be opposed to resigning him and pushing Gibbs into LM . Controversial maybe but for 2 years it would add experience and quality to back four.
Not going to pick over the needs too much, there are a few that if made will improve Arsenal too.
So if you think this year was competitive with many of ‘big’ teams misfiring at times then it will be more so next season after a slow start maybe (World Cup effects)and Liverpool could struggle to keep pace as just think be hard to regain that momentum and shake this season disappointment off.
Despite Arsenal repeating it’s usual weakness, it has been an enjoyable season and roll on the next.
The FA Cup is a stand alone occasion and I hope the team gets a taste for winning something.
I was at Wembley in 1987 when Arsenal beat Liverpool, and there is absolutely no doubt it created belief.
13th May 2014