Filed: Monday, 20th June 2016
By: Darren Chalker
It will be upon us sooner rather than later, and I for one cannot wait to see how Slaven Bilic does in his second season at West Ham United with a higher percentage of the squad being 'his' players.
We have made early moves in the transfer market and, like last year, have signed players few of us have heard of. We used to call them ďSully specialsĒ, but it seems to be different now.
Where we finish season 2016/17 will probably be dictated by how well and how quickly we settle in to our new home at the Olympic Stadium. A good early run of fixtures is handy, because itís vital we get a first win there early doors.
What Iím really looking forward to though is seeing how the rest of the division will shape up. Last season Ė with Leicester City beating all and sundry to claim the title - shook the foundations of the Premier League.
So what will happen this season? No one can go out there now and blow everyone else out of the water spending-wise, because now most clubs have similar financial clout.
Chelsea have to perform a complete rebuild in my opinion and itís a job they really started two years ago and are struggling with. Manchester United are in pretty much the same boat as Chelsea, although in Jose Mourinho they do have a (new) manager that has vast experience of the Premier League.
Conversely, Manchester City for me are the team to beat. Pep Guardiola has done it in more than one national league and already possesses the basis of a Champions League winning squad.
Leicester City again? Who knows. It wouldn't surprise me if they were to finish in the top four again - but it also wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if they finished bottom four. Arsenal? Same old, same old as far as I'm concerned. Unless Arsene Wenger suddenly changes his ways, which he wonít, they will carry on flattering to deceive.
How about Tottenham? They had a very strong season last year aided by having very few injuries. I canít see them doing as well next season, and wouldn't be at all surprised to see their manager leave for pastures new sooner rather than later
Everton? Who knows, but surely the football will be better to watch As for West Brom, now the Aston Villa of the division - poor to watch and always down the bottom
Sunderland are now similar to the Albion of two years ago as far as I'm concerned. Sam Allardyce will continue with his Ďconsolidatingí style and will probably leave at the end of the season with the Mackems comfortably mid-table.
Over at Selhurst Park, I suspect Alan Pardew may not be able to motivate his squad to be anything other than strugglers next season. A bad start to the campaign and he'll be gone reasonably quickly. Meanwhile at Bournemouth I can see Eddie Howe getting itchy feet very early doors and moving on to pastures new.
With regards to Liverpool, Iím far from convinced that Jurgen Klopp is as good as he is made out to be, but they will probably be there or thereabouts come next May. As for thehe other top eight side, Southampton, itís difficult to comment until they make an appointment to replace the Everton-bound Koeman.
Stoke? See Sunderland, Swansea? See West Brom, but just a little better off
So for me there's a few interesting stories awaiting us for next season - and that's even before the transfer window has opened!! I can honestly see the coming season being stranger than last season with, once again, a team doing really well that few (if any) predict to do so.
So I'm going to go for a top six featuring Manchester City, Manchester United, West Ham United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool. The bottom six, I think, will consist of West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace, Watford plus the newly-promoted trio of Middlesbrough, Burnley and Hull City.
* So how do you think the forthcoming season is likely to pan out? Have your say in the comments section below or via the KUMB Forum.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
12:14PM 28th Jul 2009
''Nice to read a bit of positivity instead of all the doom and gloom merchants, well done!
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