With just under a month until the start of the 2015/2016 Premier League, the excitement and anticipation is already beginning to build across fans who have been starved of football action this summer. The Copa America, Women’s World Cup and Gold Cup may have provided those who cannot get enough of the sport with something to watch, but it does not compare to the drama, suspense and tension that comes with one of the best domestic leagues in Europe.
Chelsea enter the new season as defending champions and the team to beat, and although the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool have been extremely active so far in the summer transfer window, there is a strong feeling that the prestigious trophy may be returning to London. The only question that remains is where, with numerous clubs in the capital looking to challenge Jose Mourinho at the top and prevent Chelsea from establishing Premier League dominance.
Although Chelsea are widely considered strong favourites to defend their title due to the unparalleled level of quality throughout their squad, there is increasing hope, particularly in north London, that there could be a new name on the trophy come next May.
Tottenham already find themselves in a battle with the defending champions before the season has even begun over the use of Wembley Stadium from the start of the 2017/2018 season. The Spurs are ending their 116-year stay at White Hart Lane and building a brand new stadium, while Chelsea are redeveloping Stamford Bridge and need a new home until 2020—with the latter’s bid of £11 million a year currently £3 million more than what their near rivals have offered, Chelsea are currently ahead in the bidding stakes.
However, manager Mauricio Pocchetino has more pressing matters on his mind on the pitch as he attempts to plot Tottenham’s route towards challenging the top four and giving Chelsea a real run for their money at the summit. As one of only two clubs in the Premier League who are debt-free (Swansea are the other), Tottenham have certainly put themselves in a financial position to mount a serious challenge if they invest in top quality players who could make the difference.
It has been 11 years since Arsenal last won the Premier League title, and although Arsene Wenger has delivered back-to-back FA Cup triumphs, it is success in the league that the fans demand most. Arsenal never really came close to challenging Chelsea at the top last season, and while qualifying for the Champions League for the eighteenth consecutive season under Wenger softened the blow, much improvement is needed.
Bringing in top quality players, particularly in defence and attack, would certainly help their cause, but while only one new arrival has walked through the doors at the Emirates, this signing of Petr Cech could be crucial in their efforts to overhaul Chelsea. The 32-year-old took everyone by surprise by moving across London from Stamford Bridge for £10.9 million, but Chelsea’s decision to let a wonderful servant who spent eleven years with them choose his next destination may prove to be Arsenal’s gain. John Terry has alluded to the prospect of his former team-mate being worth between an extra 12 to 15 points to one of their rivals—a considerable number that could make the difference in Arsenal dethroning Chelsea and bringing the title to North London.