Football Special Report: English Premier League 2010- Things to look out for

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Football Special Report: English Premier League 2010- Things to look out for
The new English Premier League season is all set to start from Saturday 14th of August 2010. After the bruising egos that took place during the summer, with the massive amount of flops at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, one can expect the new league season to be full of high tempo football coupled with some interested tactical battles.
There are certain individuals and clubs on whom the jury will be out on the first weekend of the 2009-2010 seasons. Whatever these entities achieve might define the rest of their upcoming season and equally important is the fact that their success or lack of it, might dictate the way in which they will be treated by the global sports media.
The first person who is under the microscope is Roy Hodgson. After Liverpool’s abysmal last season with Benitez, Hodgson took over as Liverpool’s manager on 1st of July 2010. Up till now, the Englishman has sent out all the right signals. He has successfully convinced the club’s most coveted players such as Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to stay at Anfield. Not only that, he has also pulled off a remarkable transfer coup in shape of Joe Cole.
Roy’s previous record is average at best; he has not successfully managed a top level European club before. However, Liverpool’s performances thus far in the Europa League qualifiers under him have been steady and stable. Hodgson’s image in football is often stated to be artificially hyped up because fans and media like the way he operates. It should be noted that, the ex-F.C Copenhagen manager last won a trophy in 2001 in the Danish football league. His lack of success in terms of sheer trophies with his previous clubs is a sign for worry for Liverpool, who themselves have not been exactly brimming with glory over the past 18 years.
Liverpool’s first match of the new season is against Arsenal at Anfield. It will be the first of many tests that Hodgson will have to pass as Liverpool’s manager. A win against Arsene Wenger and optimism at the KOP might carry Roy’s team to some success this season.
A club that will be heavily focused upon in the 2010-2011 season is Arsenal. After five trophies less seasons, every Arsenal fan might have thought at the end of the 2009-2010 seasons, that if their team is to win anything, they will have to change the way their goal keepers perform. Last season, Arsenal’s number one goalkeeper Alumnia made more errors on the field than Tiger Woods in his personal life. If that was not enough, the former English champion’s number two choice goal keeper Fabianski is no better as well. After his horrendous mistake against Legia Warsaw in the recently held friendly, Arsene Wenger might be having second thoughts about giving the Polish goalie another chance in an Arsenal shirt.
Wenger so far has failed to address the goal keeping problem that has plagued Arsenal since the past two seasons, ever since Jens Lehmann left the club. Mark Schwarzer is considered a transfer target for the Gunners but so far, Schwarzer’s new club manager, Mark Hughes has told the Australian international that he is going nowhere.
Two opponents, who played a champions league play off last season meet again on the opening day of the 2010-2011 season. The clubs in question are Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspurs. The spending extravaganza on display at City has caught all the headlines in the summer so far. Last season, Tottenham came up on top and secured a top four position for themselves. However, this season it might be a different story as City have already spent eighty million pounds in signing new players. Hotspurs on the other hand have the same old squad plus Robbie Keane, who has come back from his loan spell to Glasgow Celtic.
The coming season no doubt looks bleak for Tottenham because the last time a non-top four club broke into the top four exclusive party, the season ended in disaster for them. Hotspurs are running the risk of self destruction, as UEFA Champions League commitments coupled with the hectic schedule of the English Premier League can stretch their squad to an unbearable extent.



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