Perhaps we ought to get our allegiances out of the way right now so there’s no confusion. Kelly, Richard and Robert support QPR and Joe and Marc support Arsenal. The writer of this blog (who shall, for the meantime, remain anonymous), supports Spurs. London is well represented in the Euracom office and as you can imagine, with Arsenal and Spurs being the bitterest of rivals and QPR being managed by ex-Spurs gaffer ‘Arry Redknapp, there’s banter aplenty.
But, that aside for a moment, the new season has started! This year’s Barclays Premier League is shaping up to be one of the most hotly-contested seasons in a while, and we’ve only had one round of games (at the time of writing, Manchester City v Newcastle is the only game left to complete the first round of matches).
So what do we think? Actually, while we’re on the subject, what do YOU think? Who do you support? What feelings have you got about the season? Do you need to strengthen? Who would you like to see at your club? This is the age of debate! Let us know on Twitter @EuracomLondon or Facebook.
It’s been an interesting close season dominated by four big stories. The Gareth Bale saga rumbles on and on. Will he stay at Spurs or will he go? We think he’ll go on the basis that the business end of £90m is a lot of money to turn down and his stock is never likely to be as high again. What about Wayne Rooney? His 30-minute cameo in Man United’s 4-1 win at Swansea at the weekend resulted in two assists but he did cut a lonely figure. Is he committed to his team or more pertinently, is his team committed to him? I guess we’ll all find out when the transfer window slams shut on September 2nd. Our feeling is that he’ll stay at United. Moyes gave him his debut as a diamond-in-the-rough teenager and has now been reunited with a (sometimes) world-class superstar. We think that if anyone can put their arm around him and tell him he’s loved, David Moyes is that man.
Talking about superstars, what about Luis Suarez? The textbook Marmite Man. You really do either love him or hate him. He wants to play Champions League football and there’s no question he’s good enough but Liverpool don’t want to sell their prized asset. Has he gone about making his feelings clear about wanting to leave Anfield in the right way? Of course he hasn’t. Is he a liability who has missed almost 20% of games he’s been fit for through suspensions of varying lengths? Yes he is. Does he owe Liverpool another ‘full’ season to see if he can propel them into Champions League contention? We think he does.
The last story and the one that is shrouded in cloak-and-dagger secrecy is Arsene Wenger’s pathological reluctance to spend any money. They have let massive players slip through their fingers – Higuain, Suarez, Luis Gustavo – players they desperately need with the latter joining Wolfsburg in Germany because the Arsenal manager didn’t want to spend £17m on a Champions League-winning central midfield enforcer his team (and the fans) were crying out for. Also, why on earth did Ivan Gazidis (the Chief Executive at Arsenal) come out at the beginning of the window and tell the world they had £70m to spend? All that does is hike up fees for players they want. A very odd business decision and one which may well come back to haunt them. Time will only tell.
And what about the three teams who have come up – Crystal Palace, Cardiff and Hull City? It’s always tough for teams who haven’t played at this level for a while (Cardiff are playing top-flight football for the first time since 1962) and unsurprisingly we think they’ll struggle. You’ll hear commentators and pundits from now until the last ball of the season is kicked use phrases like ‘plucky’ and ‘they’ve got good team spirit’, and ‘they try to play football in the right way’ and ‘they simply can’t compete on the same financial footing as the big boys’ and while that is true, it’s a long hard season and we can’t see those squads being able to cope with such a gruelling and energy-zapping campaign.
Whoever you support and however passionately, one thing is certain. You will be entertained, you will be frustrated, you will get angry and annoyed, you will bask in the glory of victory and you will taste the bitter pill of defeat but we know what we sign up to when we start our football-supporting careers. Once you’re in, you’re in. There’s no changing allegiances and there’s no giving it up.
The Euracom Team