Former Arsenal favourite Ray Parlour has suggested Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has a big role to play at the club this season. He only played in 26 of 38 Premier League games last year, and Chelsea were still able to run away with the league title.
Last season Chelsea blew the doors off the league and stormed to a title-winning season before Arsene Wenger could raise the white flag of surrender. “I think this is a normal thing for me to sign a new contract”, Mourinho said when reacting to his new deal. “Physically we are certainly ready and ready to retain the title”.
While the usual suspects are expected to contest the title, however, none of them has managed to win it for two years in a row since Manchester United completed a hat-trick in 2009 under the successful Alex Ferguson.
Ahead of the start of the new campaign, Mourinho made a veiled criticism of Roberto Martinez for the Everton manager’s outspoken rebuke of Chelsea for their pursuit of John Stones.
Manchester City are 3/1 and should surely improve on last season, while Arsenal’s performance in the Community Shield coupled with the signing of Petr Cech means they must be considered contenders at 4/1.
[Eden Hazard] is very talented and is capable of turning a match in any given moment, but I’d also highlight his attitude off the pitch. “We look forward to the next four years and the continued success of the team”. “This is why the first few matches are especially important”.
“They deserve our confidence, but I think now is our time to deserve a compensation of that and for the players to give us everything they have and to keep the level of ambition and motivation”.
Manager Rafa Benitez has bought Christian Benteke, Firmino, James Milner, Nathaniel Clyne and Danny Ings in the transfer season so far.
At the other end of the table, newcomers Watford, Bournemouth and Norwich City will inevitably be tipped as relegation fodder but Villa, Sunderland and Leicester City, all heavily involved in the scrap to avoid the drop last term, can not expect much more than mere survival.
Wilshere suffered a hairline fracture to his left fibula, but Wenger believes the England global could be back in action in four weeks.
“Sometimes because he has a good little burst he uses that very well to get out, but sometimes it is a game that provokes more challenges than maybe Gilberto Silva, who just sat there deep, or Mesut Ozil, who plays less dribbling”.
The ghosts of Christmas past will not be exorcised after just one game, Liverpool travel to Stoke City and everyone remembers what happened to the team in the last game of the previous season.