Dexy’s 2011-2012 Season Preview Part 3: The big 6

by Dexy Longshot

Friday, August 12th, 2011
 

Here’s the final installment of this Seasons Prem Wars trilogy sans the Lightsabres and Orks although the Death star does get a mention. This is how I fancy the top tier of the English league to look come May 2012. I’ll also have a punt on the Champions League. Barcelona…no surprise there then.

6 Tottenham

Tottenhams had a bad week with all the rioting and my heart goes out to the locals of White Hart Lane, hopefully for them, Harry and his troops can bring a smile back on the face of the North Londoners, they are already half way there when they look up the road at Arsenals woes. I seriously think they could be smiling at the end of the season too, especially if they can keep hold of Modric. The Croatian excelled last season and if they do keep him, I think they can overpower The Gooners for North London Supremacy. What they really need is a big target man or 2, Crouch and Defoe are starting to wane and Pav and Keano have never been up to it in recent seasons. The ideal target man would be Drogba but this is where the conundrum comes in, Modric to Chelsea for 20m plus Drogba. Some would say (Harry mostly), that Modric is worth 35m at least and is unsell-able. The same Harry who will go in for Scott Parker at the death and offer 2 m for the best player of last season. It’s how the man works and it sometimes pays of. I think Modric will go, Drog will go to White Hart Lane and Harry will do a load of last minute business. Samba, Cahill, Yossi and Parker come to mind. Personally, if I were Harry, I would have been wheeler dealing a few months back, Spurs have a lot of fringe players who I would get of the books. Palacios, Jenas, Bentley, Dos Santos and Bassong. I would have freed up some space and some dosh already letting them all go. Spurs are playing a dangerous game leaving it so late. Saying that, if it stays as is with Modric staying, they will be pushing Arsenal all the way, especially with Van der Vaart settling in nicely, I expect him to have a better season than last.

Dexys Diamond

Gareth Bale: If he can refind his form from the Champions Leagues games, Bale will be unstoppable, he needs to be more consistent though and avoid injury. If he can do this, I can see him hitting double figures, winning player of the year and bagging an Oscar for Planet Of The Apes.

 

5 Arsenal

What a summer for poor Arsenal supporters. I have to sympathize, if I had a board and manager like The Gooners, I’d start looking at another financially secure club like West Ham. Seriously though, they have messed up big time this summer. We all knew Cesc wanted out and Nasri was obviously thinking the same months back. Arsenal have held back longer and longer trying to persuade them to stay when they should have bitten the bullet early doors, taken the dosh (which will be an handsome amount) and invested in quality established new recruits early, get a full pre-season out of the and hit the ground running. They haven’t, the season starts tomorrow and Arsenal don’t know whether they are coming or going, I bet Fergie is wetting himself. This indecision is becoming worse and worse, not to mention Arsene’s stubbornness in relying on more youth, the same youth that finally matures into decent players and then wants to leave because the club don’t actually win anything. Of the new arrivals, 1 Million on a Charlton defender whose name escapes me, Chamberlain from Southampton, (one for the future Theo Mach 2, hopefully without the injuries). Gervinho, now we are talking, Arsene has actually invested in someone who can hit the ground running, I like the African a lot, He was Dexys Diamond at the last World cup and should fit in nicely. Juan Mata is on the horizon and he will fill the mould, if only Arsenal had gone fro him earlier, he had a cheapo release clause that has no surpassed. Why?? No sign of a decent center half yet mind, at least Vermallen is back. I would make that his 1st priority before Harry steams in Jag, Cahill and Samba would do the job.

Dexys Diamond

Aaron Ramsey: It would be easy to say RVP, as he is such an important member of the squad, especially now with Cescs departure but I’m thinking that Ramsey could be the difference this year. Overshadowed by the emergence of Wilshire while he was out with injury, the Wales midfielder is not there to make up the numbers, the thought of him and Wilshire in tandem may soon prove to be the medicine that takes away the nasty taste of Cescs & Nasri’s departure.

 

4 Liverpool

A game of two halves is a famous saying, a season of two halves is something I just made up but it sums up Anfield perfectly over the past 12 months. Under Roy, utter rubbish, not helped by media speculation and the sight of King Kenny in the background. Something had to give and it did, Kennys return re-ignited a spirit in Liverpool, which I haven’t felt for a few years. I’m not saying the are going to win the title but I fancy them to get a silver cup before next summer and a bucket load of goals en route. Kenny spent the dosh from Torres departure on quality with Suerez, Carroll & Downing making their way along to Anfield. Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson enter the fray as well in midfield although I think Jordan is more for the future, especially if Stevie G comes back to form. What a team though going forward, we forget about Kuyt, will that be the first gung-ho 6 up field, I don’t know who will be chopped and changed but I can’t wait to see the new look team. They may need some tinkering at the back, they shipped a few too many goals in pre-season for my liking and Kenny will have to work on that. Enrique has joined so the full back positions look rosy but Carragher is getting on and I reckon Dalgliesh must be in the market for another center half, possibly 2 before the deadline – Jag, Cahill and Samba would do the job, do you ever get the feeling of Déjà Vu?

Dexys Diamond

Suerez: Uraguays finest midget is utter mustard in the box and will be up there in the Golden Boot ratings come May, possibly alongside Carroll.

 

3 Chelsea

I’m not sure what to make of Chelsea’s title ambitions this year. Young Manager Andre Villa-Boas (AVB) has been talked up as the new Messiah of The Kings Road, if he is indeed the son of The Special One, we could be in for a fantastic 3-way fight for the title. Chelsea haven’t been overly busy in the market this year. I’m not sure if that is down to Roman hiding his Rubles or that AVB thinks they have enough in the locker already. The club has one of the oldest quads in the league but that can be countered with experience. Most of the Chelsea side have won titles before have had had big nights in Europe. Maybe AVB is not the new Special One one but the new Tinkerman. I saw one of his tactics folders and it was like a blueprint for the Deathstar. This Portugeezer does his research, if he can keep is authority in the dressing room among some of the big egos, Chelsea, for once the underdogs could be biting back at the Manchester contingent. The key will be up front, Chelsea have been miserly with the goals against figures for years but at the other end, there is a deepening problem. Does Torres play or Drogba, There was no doubting Torres is one of the best in the world when played to his strengths but this hasn’t been seen in the past 3 seasons. Injuries have played a part I’m not sure if he will get any better this season. His form has been shoddy of late and he picked up a knock this week on International duty. AVB may have problems with Roman when it comes to El Nino. Personally I’d stick with Drog up front and have Daniel Sturridge on the right of a front three with Malouda on the left. A welcome problem will be the form of England’s Josh Mceachran. He is improving rapidly as his Ramirez and with the signing of Barcas holding defender Romeu and the possible signing of Modric, AVB may have trouble finding places for Mikel and dare I say it Fat Frank!

Dexys Diamond

Luiz: I was raving about him last season and think he will go to bigger and better things this term. He’s got a slight knock at the mo but if shows the sort of form he had mid season, I’ll be having a few nicker on him as Chelsea’s player of the season. I’d utilize him in front of the back four rather than in it, he is too good going forward to be restricted at the back. Chelsea would need to get in another Center Half though, maybe they could put Torres there short term, (He’ll probably be more useful than up front at the moment!) or maybe Jag, Cahill and Samba could do the job (Ok I’ll stop it now).

 

2 Man City

I was bang on in the predictions for this lot last year, I said 3rd & only way is up, I said in 2 seasons time when they will win it and still believe that, so that means 2nd this season and winners in May 2013, get on.  Another bonus for the Blue Mooners was the long awaited silverware of The FA cup. It was quite refreshing to see two teams who have waited an eternity for a good day out down Wembley, it wasn’t the best of finals but enjoyable all the same. Just a shame about the scheduling. Anyhow, the spending goes on and on and they have struck gold in Argie Aguero, He will definitely be in the mix for Golden Boot, the man is a goal machine. First things first though for Mancini, his no1 priority must be to keep Tevez. There are rumours today that he is actually staying now for a final season, unlike other sulky players, Tevez will always give 100% and the thought of him alongside Aguero if they can play together would put the fear of god into any defence. Man City are getting stronger all the time too, look at the spine, Hart, Kompany, Yaya and now Aguero, that has got to be the best in the league, possibly the world (Barca exception allowed) but they still have some issues of the pitch. Balotelli for all his skill and promise is still a distraction that Mancini may have to let go. Other transfers have included defender Stefan Savic & Gael Clichy from Arsenal who will fight for the right back pot with Kolarov. That’s the thing with City, they have so much strength in depth now and with Nasri on his way, the squad will soon be the best in World Football. I really think if Man U wobble with a few injuries, Man City could be ready to destroy them. Look at the subs, players like Dzeko, Adam Johnson and James Milner could be used sparingly this year as the likes of Silva become unplayable. This isn’t a very nice thing to say but deep down from an England fans point of view, I really hope bit players like Johnson and Milner have a serious think about their futures. It’s a tough call being part of the richest club in the game going places, but if it means only playing half a season, is it really worth it, especially with the Euros coming up next summer. So 2nd for this year and probably another Fa Cup, they have the Champions league too which may be a bit much this year, I expect a quarter-final-place for The Blues, give it a couple of years though and they could be in with a big shout in every competition going.

Dexys Diamond

Vincent Kompany: With all the plaudits going on the front men like Tevez, Aguero and Silva, sometimes you have to look at the back. Kompany just gets better and better and is the glue that keeps the back-line in check, they have one of the finest defenses in Europe and I’d fancy them to get most shut-outs this season too. The Belgian will be a big part of that.

 

1 Manchester Utd 

It will be tight but I’ve got to go again for Man Utd basing most of it on the performance of last week in the Charity shield, they never give up, never, the team spirit is unmatched in the Premier and in Fergie, they simply have the best manager going. He didn’t pussy foot about like others in the market this summer, he secured most of his top signing 2 months ago giving them time to settle in to the new surroundings, a full pre-season with their new team-mates. What a line up too, Ashley Young* will this season unleash a monster of a player that will soon have the Reds fans forgetting about the loss of Scholes and the demise of Giggs (He can’t go on forever and will be used less and less). In Jones they have completed the new look England center back pairing c2016 with Smalling who improves with every game. They will both be able deputies for Rio and Vidic and can be used if need at full back. Valencia who missed much of last season will be trying to get past Ashley and Nani who played a blinder last Sunday. There is still talk of Schneider joining, if this proves to be the case, Fergies Reds have it in the bag already, if not, then I fancy a tussle with the blue Neighbours possibly going down to the last day. Oh, I forgot there is the small matter of Rooney and the Little Pea up front. I won’t even go into that, we all know what they bring to the tablegoals.

Dexys Diamond

Vidic: Missed just 3 games last season, a monster in defence and one of the best center backs in the world. If there is one flaw in the Manchester Utd set-up this year, it is the in-experience of new keeper De Gea, Vidic will know all about this and will be trying extra hard to make it easy on the youngster.

*I spoke to Ashley Young on Jollys to Vegas a couple of months back, a very nice young man, he didn’t have a bad word to say about anybody, even Fabio. What a gent, what a player.

So that’s all folks, my eyes are stinging and my fingers are hurting but I have just given you the most comprehensive pre season preview you will find in the whole world by a West Ham fan in a dodgy trilby and penchant for Abbey Clancy. Hope you enjoyed it and hope you enjoy the banter in the den this season. Remember there is also a new dexysden podcast in association with UKFF and my11. You can subscribe free in itunes. Just search for “The My Left Foot Podcast”.

 

Happy New Season

 

Dexy xx

 

 

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  • Dexylongshot

    Suerez, golden boot sniffing already. Psychic

  • Dexylongshot

    Ashley young, a monster of a player unleashed, goal, assist, man of the match. Psychic.

  • dexylongshot

    “Anyhow, the spending goes on and on and they have struck gold in Argie Aguero, He will definitely be in the mix for Golden Boot, the man is a goal machine”.

    Psychic

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