May is a month that for every football fan brings mixed feelings. Yes we get open top bus parades (if we are lucky enough) but we also have to face up to the prospect of the season ending and a summer of a poor England performance at an International Tournament at best. This summer we get nothing – in terms of on the field drama that is.
Off the field it looks like being one of the best summers in ages – not only has Fergie finally retired and installed Moyes in his place but City have duly sacked dead man walking Roberto Mancini and Chelsea are perhaps the most interesting case of all.
The last time Jose Mourinho arrived at the club, he was European Champion and made us all aware of just how special he was. This time around he is a self confessed failure and is looking to get his seriously wounded pride back on track. Will Chelsea steamroll all in front of them next season? Smart money says given the right players arriving this summer says yes.
Whilst Chelsea, United and City will all be looking to their new managers for a list of transfer targets, it seems that Spurs will be concentrating on keeping hold of their ‘most valuable asset’ despite missing out on the Champions League and getting a record number of points to boot. North London rivals Arsenal may have beaten them to the final place in the top four, but considering they celebrated it like winning a trophy, Wenger seriously has to reflect just how far his club – formerly a side of ‘invincibles’, have fallen.
Most were sad to see Wigan succumb to the drop but given the parachute packages now available and the strong head on Dave Wheelan’s shoulders, should the club keep Roberto Martinez out of Everton’s clutches, they will be in with a brilliant shout of coming straight back up. Other clubs to watch as the summer looms include Sunderland whose players now face the choice of keeping on the right side of Paulo Di Canio – no pun intended – or face being transferred out of the club. Given that all this involves is staying off the booze and not covering yourself in £50 notes, that shouldn’t be too difficult. Then again us mere mortals can only watch on as certain players manage time and time again to live up to their stereotype.
We also saw the complete capitulation of Reading and more notably Queens Park Rangers this season showing no matter how much money is thrown at a club, if your players are not up for a fight, they will find themselves in the championship. Players like Samba and Remy of course will have their highlighter pen at the ready to make sure Tony Fernandez remembers the get out clause in their contract this summer.
The Bundesliga may have taken all the plaudits this season in terms of their success in Europe and the match on Saturday 25th at the home of English football will be one the world is watching between these two domestic rivals. La Liga may boast the two best players in the world, both of whom have taken their game to levels few even thought possible this season. The French League had Beckham and Ibrahimovic playing in the same side – is there anything more to say on that point? But the Premier League has never failed to disappoint us and drama went down to the last second on the last day yet again. It may have lost some legends in terms of retirement this season but the real legend in the English league itself – hence why we love it so much.
By: Rebecca Knight – @RebeccaKnight01