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Shuffling the Premier League Pack for 2013/14

Wednesday 5th June 2013
Next season has the potential to be one of the most intriguing in Premier Leagues 21 year history with the top three clubs all changing managers.

Since Sir Alex Ferguson's shock retirement, we've also seen Manchester City dismiss Roberto Mancini and, not so surprisingly, Rafa Benitez has left 3rd-placed Chelsea for Italian side Napoli.

So far only Manchester United and Chelsea have confirmed their new appointments, David Moyes and Jose Mourinho respectively, but City are expected to unveil their next manager in the coming days – believed to be Manuel Pellegrini.

However the managerial merry-go-round doesn't stop there. Everton are looking to fill the void created by Moyes' departure quickly and have approached Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez. Both Everton and Wigan have agreed a compensation fee, so Roberto Martinez is likely to be announced fairly shortly.

Meanwhile, Stoke City have appointed Mark Hughes as their new supremo after Tony Pulis's seven-year reign was terminated last week. Mark Hughes appointment hasn't gone down too well with the fans due to his track record, which has resulted in some fans protesting at the ground.

But what does this shake up mean to the title picture?

Out of the contenders United are likely to be the team most unsettled by the changes, especially when taking Ferguson's 26 years at the helm into account. In contrast City have seen 14 managers come and go, whilst a torrent of high-profile managers have been victims of Chelsea's revolving-door policy in recent years (nine since Roman Abramovich took over as owner)

The task facing David Moyes – handpicked by Ferguson himself – is almost undesirable, yet where every manager wants to be. But although there will be considerable pressure, the Scotsman will be afforded time to prove himself, as Sir Alex was, whilst looking to build on the club's phenomenal legacy. It would be implausible to suggest that Moyes will be an instant success at the club, but it's certainly a challenge that he will cherish.

Things are not exactly plain sailing for their rivals either. Roberto Mancini guided Manchester City to their first title in 44 years, only to be sacked one year later. City are now preparing for the arrival of Pellegrini, who has been identified by Sporting Director Txiki Begiristain as the perfect fit for the club's vision.

Pellegrini has taken Villarreal to a Champions League Semi-Final in 2006 and achieved an enormous tally of 96 points in one season with Real Madrid, but – like Moyes – he is yet to win a trophy in Europe. His biggest task will be to restore confidence to a shaken City side by creating a team from a group of talented individuals.

Over at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho's credentials are certainly well known. But the Chelsea team he will inherit are far different to the one he left behind in 2007.

In fact, Mourinho himself is a different man. He found success at Inter Milan shortly after parting company with The Blues, but he then endured a difficult and somewhat unforgiving three-year stint at Real Madrid – where he could not build a triumphant team.

With his return, many Chelsea fans are expecting near instant success. A challenge at the title will be the main goal of the new season. If Jose can get the best out of arguably the most exciting front three in Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar then there is no reason why they cannot challenge for it. Even Lukaku has been identified as the striker Jose see's fit to replace his once main man; Didier Drogba

So, could these changes open the door for Tottenham or Arsenal to mount a serious title challenge? Fans of both North London clubs will be rubbing their hands with glee at the sight of unrest amongst their rivals.

The Gunners may finally break the bank to bring in the quality needed, whilst Andre-Villas Boas will be looking to build on his solid debut season at White Hart Lane and try to claim that highly sought after 4th place if not better.

With all these changes and an exciting transfer window ahead, this has the potential to be one of the tightest seasons in Premier League history.
Josh Evans
Massive Football fan and loyal Bolton Fan (you don't meet to many of us around!) Write blogs over at www.afordawards.co.uk

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