It’s been a quiet summer for the noisy neighbours after their first league title since 1968. There may have been the general feeling at the club that they had the squad that could defend the title with no need for reinforcements,Chelsea’s recent spending seems to have made Roberto Mancini a little less certain about the strength of his squad, prompting to the Italian to throw a mini-hissy fit about the lack of new acquisitions. The acquisition of Jack Rodwell from Everton is a good if less spectacular signing than we were hoping for.
Something to be positive about
You won the league last year and as the wisdom of the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ cliché tells us, there’s not urgent need for changes. If this group of players stays fit, healthy and away from indoor pyrotechnics, it’s hard to see them going backwardsfrom last season’s campaign. The confidence they can take from last year’s success should translate into more consistency and they’ll be hard to stop if they improve on last year’s points tally of 89.
Something to be a bit worried about
Well Chelsea really. Roman Ambramovich has spent like a billionaire trying to reduce his tax liability. A lot of high class talent has arrived at the Bridge and if it all beds in nice and quickly and fits into manager, John Terry’s system, they could mount a serious challenge.
An optimistic season bet
With the Premier League conquered, it’s natural that thoughts will start turning to Europe and a maiden Champions League success. The domestic crown will need to be defended however and they’re 12/1 to win a Premier League and Champions League double.
A more realistic season bet
A once-off title is nice, but Blackburn had one of those and look where they are now. Consistently good performances in the Premier League are the real sign of long-term progress and the 5/4 for City to defend their league title is the main priority.
Jack Rodwell (Everton, undisclosed)
Packing their bags
Owen Hargreaves (released)
Gunnar Nielsen (released)
Stuart Taylor (released)
Wayne Bridge (Brighton, loan)
Greg Cunningham (Bristol City, free)