Yesterday, Positive Kev wrote a fine comment about what our main competitors and Arsenal have been spending their money on:
There’s been some amazing amounts spent in this window and in many cases by middling Premier League clubs, it’s eye watering.
The £171.3m spent by Liverpool was huge but whatever happened to FFP, especially when you consider the capacity of Anfield? They only brought £12.5m in with sales.
What are they smoking up there?
Chelsea blew £122m, basically on 2 players, with only £38.5m in sales, so despite the whispers of Abramovitch gradually pulling out of the U.K. he is still putting his money where his mouth is – not that he ever speaks anyway.
By comparison the £58m Everton spent seems small beer, with only £16.4m on sales.
Will Usmanov pile in to Goodison or will he invest his money away from the U.K. due to the political climate?
Man City seemed to spend this window balancing their books as only City can, they made £38.15m in sales and only (only!) splashed out £62.6m.
Man Utd despite Mourinho moaning and looking like the most miserable man in the world still managed to spend £64.2m although Jose would have you believe that they spent zilch.
Man U sold players to the value of £20.7m
Arsenal did their business early, just as many of us wanted the club to do in the past and laid out the tidy sum of £71.4m, bringing in only £7.6m in in sales. It was an unusually calm deadline day for us all despite the rumours.
Leicester earned a very useful £74.7m in sales, but didn’t leave it in the bank as a healthy bank balance never scored a goal, they went out and spent a club record £101.5m, more than most other Premier League clubs have ever done in a single window.
West Ham, thanks to having a low rent stadium and on the back of last seasons crowd unrest have gone for it in a big big way. Only £12m came in on sales so the Hammers didn’t have a Mahrez style windfall to spend, but they still spent an enormous £91.5m.
Lastly Fulham, owned by an Pakistani American who owns a Grid Iron football team as well as a Premier League team, much like Stan Kroenke. Fulham didn’t earn anything in sales but supported by their owner Fulham still spent £80.5m on new players.
Meanwhile Tottenham didn’t sign anyone, but they did make a profit of £2m in sales.
How does it go? ‘To Dare is To Do’.
The PL is the most interesting league to watch when it comes to predicting the winner and the rest of the top four. This season it looks like MC are the strong favourites but how often does a team win twice in a row these days? Pool have invested and look to push higher and respect for the Spuddies to keep their talents together (I hate to say).
Manchester U cannot be written off, same goes for the Chavs and Everton and the Foxes may also do well this time round. The Hammers have a great manager and invested ambitiously, so they could also do well.
And how does Emery’s Arsenal fit into all of this? Well, who knows?!
Rather than solely focusing on players bought and sold, I reckon this season will also be about systems of football, tactical ability and bringing young talent through at the right time and right positions.
Guardiola City has found a very strong balance between scoring tons of goals and letting very few in. This of course a guarantee for success, and all other teams will either try to copy this or find an alternative way to finish higher than the Northern Oilers. Spuds and MU try to do it by being hard to beat and efficient up-front. I don’t know what the Chavs will do, but I reckon Emery will look for a system that will also find the right balance between defence and attack. But initially he will be hoping for us to outscore the goals we concede rather than counting on being hard to beat at the back.
How he will achieve this only time will tell. My money is on a different approach in away games and against (the very attacking) top four competitors. Tweaks in midfield per each and every game may just do the trick. Xhaka and Rambo to play most of our games and Emery can add Torreira for defensive solidity or Guendouzi, Elneny or Iwobi for additional pressure in our attacking play. These six players excite me very, very much.
This season is about getting into the top four and nothing else. This would be massive progress, and although we can get into the CL through winning the UEFA League, it would be so much better if Emery could re-establish Arsenal in the top four at the end of the season. We have the players for this, even though our defence remains a work in progress. We are strong at home and just need to play much, much better away.
The competition is strong but I have a good feeling about this season and predict that we will finish third. Top four of MC, MU, Arsenal, Spuds. What do you predict?