Six weeks from kick-off and the Premier League is one of the world’s largest building sites. Like the holiday destination favoured by so many of its employees the forthcoming season currently resembles the Dubai sky line. A frenzy of men in hard hats building sky scraping fantasies from seemingly non existent foundations. And they say Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Currently the loudest drilling noises come from White Hart Lane, where the would-be reinventor of Chelsea appears to have been given a 2nd chance to overhaul a squad. Yet with new managers also in place at Carrow Road, Anfield, Villa Park, Swansea and maybe Wigan to come, this could yet be the busiest ever player transfer market.
A genuinely big investment bubble has been long anticipated, with each of the last few seasons threatening to become one before reality caught up with expectation. This time however the rush to register new players before the transfer window closes could test the stamina of the FA’s fax machine beyond its limits.
Whilst the clubs with new managers (currently 25%) might be expected to generate the biggest clouds of dust, rebuilding activity is widespread. The top 4 clubs are not exempt, with each currently adding essential extensions to their battlements and in one or two cases anxiously watching for falling masonry as prized assets threaten to sheer off.
The dust must settle by midnight on August 31st when the transfer window closes. By then we’ll all have a better idea about which team has successfully reinforced its foundations and which could be courting a wobble by mid season. Before then comes the big challenge of deciding how the new season will play out. The AMNT pre-season survey asks all the key questions, from the identity of the likely top 4, to the 3 teams who will probably go down. Pundits have until August 18th to complete it, when all the answers will go into the AMNT data bank to be analysed by our team of statisticians.
If you’d like to take part, click on this magic link. Your clairvoyancy will be rewarded.