This season’s title race in the Premier League looks set to be one of the hardest ever to predict due to the seeming change in mind-set which the English game is subject to right now.
All of the big sides have invested in major attacking talent and in particular the types of now clichéd ‘floating number nine’ that were dominant in the Euros and have ruled the continental game for a decade.
Messi and Ronaldo are the most obvious exponents of this game; players that ‘play between the lines’ of midfield and defence. Most formations now revolve around playing a front four: 4-2-3-1, 4-1-4-1, and other such variations are all based around the philosophy of total football in the attacking third of the field. This puts a strain on all of the top Premiership teams to adapt to this formation sooner rather than later and snap up all of the best talent: Hazard, Oscar, Corzola, Podolski et al.
Managers like Alex Ferguson seem more reluctant to evolve to the new way of playing than the likes of Mancini and the continental crop of coaches. Ferguson often plays with distinct wide-men in Giggs and Valencia and isolates Rooney up front on his own. Ferguson’s logic is probably that he can’t compete with the spending power of City or Chelsea so may have to rely on a counter strategy. The English game sometimes seems obsessed with copying foreign strategies, lauding them as the only way of playing. Maybe Ferguson can pioneer an English version of the cavalier German model or the passing Spanish game.
That said if Chelsea or Arsenal’s new miniature midfield maestros can gel they look likely to challenge Man United’s dominion in the way Man City did last season. Of the big four – City, United, Arsenal, Chelsea – Ferguson’s team are the weakest in the middle of the park.
The bookies and online casino often have the competition down as a two horse race – United and City, both of whom are well represented in the www.luckynuggetcasino.com/online-slots/ – but there’s no reason Arsenal can’t challenge as a strong 12/1 outside bet.