The English Premier League (EPL) is back. Are you ready for another nine months packed with controversy, the up and downs, the drama and the excitement that the Premier League often delivers, making it the most popular domestic football league on the planet.
Season 2012-13 certainly has a lot to live up to, following on the extraordinary last minute conclusion to last season with Manchester City winning the Title on goal difference from their city neighbours, United. Plus, the success of Team GB at the Olympics has lead to many focusing on some of the more unsavoury parts of our game and football and footballers and come in for a lot of criticism. Much of this has been a little unfair , in my opinion. No sport in the UK gets anything like the constant media attention that football and footballers do. No sport is as popular, with lifelong supporters who truly love their clubs. The pressures on the modern footballer are extreme, and there are many examples of players who conduct themselves admirably, despite these pressures. Football is an easy target, and many love to jump on the bandwagon when they sense the opportunity to put the boot into our National game. Sure, football has it’s faults, but to millions of fans, nothing comes close to delivering the excitement and drama football serves up week in and week out.
What does the 2012-13 hold in store? Will Champions, Manchester City cement their position and hold of the challenge of rivals United? The signing of Robin van Persie is a sign of United’s intent. Then there’s the challenge of Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham who have all confirmed new managers over the summer and made several new signings in an attempt to improve on last season’s league finishes.
What about Arsenal, will the loss of van Persie be too much to bear, or do their new signings compensate?
The main goal for newly promoted teams Southampton, Reading and West Ham is likely to be to stay up and potential strugglers Norwich City, Swansea City and West Brom have all named new managers and it will be interesting to see how they cope with the pressure.