Pre-season and the strengthening of teams is afoot!
There’s a lot of extra cash in the EPL this season with the new TV deal monies coming into play. This places a higher level of expectancy on each of the teams especially last year’s top seven. What does this mean for Arsenal’s six main rivals and for this piece, their managers?
We have already seen the pressure that is on their shoulders with some of the ridiculous drivel that has started to spew from their collective mouths as the media toddies to their every breath!
As usual they are swiping at Arsenal and Arsène!
So who is under the most pressure? (Marks out of 10 on an IMTU scale*.)
Chelsea: Jose “Maureen” Mourinho. Pressure rating: 9.999 recurring. Sack-o-meter: You bet!
The real specialist in failure; no trophies in last two seasons. The crazy Russian owner’s patience will be running short already. When you spend the vast fortune he has you expect at least one piece of silverware a year and he goes through managers quicker than that team from Middlesex. Maureen has already had one poke at Arsène over the signing of Fabrégas – where he was intellectually put in his place with regards his dishonesty. So you can see the pressure mounting on his ghoulish little shoulders. Chelsea have a wealth of talent but parking the bus will lead to their downfall and the end of his second tenure. Which would be nice!
Everton: Roberto Martinez. Pressure rating: 4.9, they can’t get fourth! Sack-o-meter: Unlikely!
The only real pressure on the Spaniard is balancing his meagre squad in Europe and at home. In all likelihood another top seven and getting through the group stages of the Europa League is all that is asked of him. Out of all of the top teams he plays the media with a smile and does little to offend. Respect is given for quietly doing nothing. This stealth tactic will only be tested if he was to be given a seat at a top four side but this is only likely to happen if Brenda gets the push and he takes the short journey across Stanley Park. Now that would be funny!
Liverpool: Brenda Rogers. Pressure rating 6.9, best position for a media love in. Sack-o-meter: Nah!
Pressure mounting and the cracks are showing as the fans delusions are being fed by the new history teacher. “We get it you’ve won 5!” But for all of their resurgence from last year they didn’t have Europe hanging over their head and now they are briefly back the expectation to make it 6 and try to ignore the fact that it’s been 24 years since they won the league the pressure has now been turned up. The fact that the media has linked them with every world class player this season and their delusions of grandeur have meant that they expect just to offer the player a contract and they’d sign on the dotted line proves that no-one outside of Michael Owen’s horsebox and BT Sport believe in the hype; especially the top players. Brenda is a shameless media whore and with all their Liverpool bias he gets lots of the attention he craves. An exit from the group stages of the Champions League and a lower than expected league position and Brenda will be “gone fishing”. How will we laugh, and laugh and…
Manchester City: Manuel Pellegrini. Pressure rating 0.11, very crude! Sack-o-meter: Only if bored.
Nothing to prove apart from can it be done back to back. The expectation will be European Champions League and an unexpected early exit is all that stands between Pellegrini and a third season at the oil well. He generally keeps himself to himself and gets his team of superstars to play to their full potential. If there was an opposite of Maureen it’s Manuel! The fact that he respects the contracts of his rival’s players and is only seeking to strengthen from abroad means I for one am nonplussed about the man! I’m looking forward to matching them blow for blow this season!
Manchester United: Louis van Gaal. Pressure rating 1.0, boring! Sack-o-meter: He doesn’t care.
They are going to bore the living daylights out of us with his megalomaniacal tactic changes. He’ll either quickly become the media’s new darling or the laughing stock of the EPL. What surprised me the most was that the Manure marketing department hasn’t signed a deal with a Dutch tulip company and that the players aren’t being paraded around in clogs? The lack of European football and another year of transition, the Dutch beauty queen has a clear run at returning to the top four. This minimum will be the stock market’s expectation and even if he fails, the sack holds no threat to a man that can get a job anytime he likes. A wounded beast that lurks in the shadowy depths of seventh is a dangerous beast. Finishing fifth would be pleasing but I see them back into the top four! O well it was fun while it lasted.
Tott… (I can’t do it): Mauricio Pochettino. Pressure rating: 4, it’s everything! Sack-o-meter: Maybe.
Talks in Spanish so that everything is lost in translation. Top four is their “everything” but realistically finishing higher than Newcastle is their best hope. This team is full of the most average of players but Pochettino has previous with achieving mid-table mediocrity with mid-table players and mid-table teams. They are only rivals geographically, and because half of my family still live in a black and white world, the only reason for their existence is to provide a good giggle most weeks! Their closest rivals now being with other non-London clubs like Newcastle! As for Pochettino; who cares?
The Arsenal: Arsène Wenger. Pressure rating: 0.4, nothing to see here. Sack-o-meter: No way, Jose!
We last won the bloody thing in 2004 so the 0.4 is in homage to that. The rebuilding has continued and with 3 more signings likely, the only decision now is who will leave to gain experience elsewhere. We can expect a little more rotation this year from the great man and expect to see some of the young guns featuring in the cups now that we have found a purpose for the trophy cupboard at the Emirates Stadium. Arsène will continue to care only about his side and only use his wit against the likes of Maureen and Brenda when questioned by the media. Can we beat city to the title? Only when we can start to beat the teams that are in it to win it. With the talent we have and an injury free season we have never been as close in the last 10 years! As for Arsène, he’s only just getting started!
Ross Tommey @reallycrossross
*The IMTU Scale is a very scientific rating system that I completely made up!
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