Premier League is broadcast in 212 territories around the world, working with 80 different broadcasters. The TV audience for Premier League games is close to 5 billion. It is estimated that 70% of football fans around the world watch the Premiership. At the beginning of 2015, Premier League agreed a new three-year TV deal with Sky and BT Sport worth £5.1 billion. That figure will be increase considering additional fees to be paid by foreign broadcasters. The global appeal of the Premiership is interesting with fans supporting teams from various parts of the world.
Chelsea deservedly won the title last season being the most consistent team. This season promises to be more interesting with their title rivals who have gone out to strengthen their squad. The Champions led by Jose Mourinho, the self styled “special one” is already feeling the heat by claiming his players will have to be even better this season if they hope to retain the league. Chelsea have failed to bring any top targets before the Premier League kick-off. Asmir Begovic and Radamel Falcao both joined to replace Petr Cech and Didier Drogba who left in the summer, however the two players don’t seem to be the marquee signing Mourinho is looking for. If Chelsea fail to win the title, expect Jose Mourinho to come up with the excuse of not splashing the cash during the summer as the reason.
Liverpool tutored by Brendan Rogers collapsed last season going by the way the team dropped out of the top four and struggled during last season. Some expected Rogers to be given the sack at the end of last season but the Fenway Sports Group led by it’s Chairman Tom Werner have decided to take a long term view and stick with the manager.
Scoring goals last season was an issue and Liverpool have reinforced the squad with the signing of offensive players like Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino, Danny Ings and James Milner. Nathaniel Clyne, Joe Gomez and back up keeper Adam Bogdan were added to the team. A top four finish will be the minimum demanded by the Liverpool owners and their fans this season. Can Rogers deliver? That is the big question.
Manchester City collapse last season in the title challenge was unexpected given the array of stars in the squad. Most pundits expected City to have fired Manuel Pelligrini but they have kept faith with him and rewarded him with a contract extension. Pelligrini understands that result is the only thing that can guarantee his long term future. In an interview he stated: “You can sign for ten years and four months after you are sacked!”
With the big money signing of Raheem Sterling and stars like Kun Aguero, David Silva and Yaya Toure you will expect City to score loads of goals this season but it is at the back that they struggled last season conceding 38 goals. Vincent Kompany will hopefully want to banish his dreadful performance of last term and hope to lead by example to fortify City back-line. Can City win the League? I think it will be difficult but i expect them to be in the mix. A top three finish will not be beyond them.
Manchester United are the most successful club in the Premier League era with all the titles won under Sir Alex Ferguson. The David Moyes era was considered the worst in a long while and the arrival of Louis Van Gaal was meant to stop the club from sliding further down. In two years United have spent close to £300M in the transfer window with some of the signing making fans and pundits alike to question Van Gaal. A case in point is that of British record signing – Angel Di Maria for £59.7milion from Real Madrid who was sold a year later to Paris Saint-Germain for £44million.
Van Gaal is known to be a control freak and the undertones coming from Carrington attest to that. The handling of Victor Valdes saga and the on-going imbroglio of David De Gea transfer saga are there for all to see. Signing of Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian, Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sergio Romero simply indicate that wholesale changes continue at United considering they signed eight players last season. On a personal note i don’t think United will win the title and with the massive outlay on players, Van Gaal will be under pressure to deliver. If results don’t go well i will not be surprised if the fans starts calling for his head.
Arsene Wenger will going into the season celebrating his 20th year of being in charge of the Arsenal. Wenger stated “I still feel the same excitement, the same uncertainty ahead of a new campaign, because football is not predictable.” The team will be going into this season with confidence having won back-to-back FA Cup and Community Shield. Winning a “treble” during the pre-season is good but the fans will demand nothing more this season than the league.
The Gunners start last season seem to be their undoing in the title race. They were out of it even before the League was half way through. That is something Wenger will love to correct.The signing of Petr Cech from Chelsea is a major coup and his calming effect has already been put to test. Watching a confident and disciplined Arsenal performance at Wembley against Chelsea in the Community Shield showed that this present squad may finally win the League. For the first time in ten years, the pundits are considering Arsenal as title favorites. That in itself says a lot considering that in the past most expected them to drop out of the top four talk less of contending for the title. Can Arsenal win the League title after 10 years? Can Wenger show the World that he can still oversee another Arsenal championship winning side? Time will tell. Personally, i think the present Arsenal side is the most complete one squad wise, after the INVINCIBLES side. There are still talks about Karim Benzema joining before the transfer window closes on September 1.
Consistency is the hallmark of Champions and if Arsenal must win the League they need to be the most consistent side starting with West Ham at the Emirates on the opening day.There will be the battle for the Europa Cup places and the relegation scrap at the bottom. Newly promoted teams Bournemouth, Watford and Norwich will certainly not want to go back to the Championship at the first attempt.
Let the fireworks begin! Expect the mind games, the twists and turns as there is never a dull moment in the Premiership.
Written by Bimboh Adekoya. You can follow him on Twitter @Bimboh5