THIS season, more than any I can remember anticipating, is a hard one to call.
The top three teams from last season, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, all have new men at the helm.
Arsenal underperformed last season – but then, Arsenal have underperformed for a good few years now – while Spurs and Liverpool could both be facing up to life without their star men next season.
I can’t see any other team seriously breaking into the top four, but which of these six elite squads will is a hard call.
There’s my disclaimer out of the way.
But neck on the line I find it hard to see past Mourinho’s Chelsea for the title.
His team has a strength in depth matched only by Manchester City, with some real creative talent in the form of Hazard, Mata and Oscar – plus if anyone can hit the ground running it’s the Special One, a manager adept at settling into new clubs, with the benefit of having been here and done it before.
It’s this that gives him the edge over Pellegrini’s star-studded legions of Manchester City, who I’m placing second come May.
Last season, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal gave themselves a mountain to climb, and they climbed it admirably during the second half of the season. If they come out of the traps in the same form as they finished last time around, I can see them overhauling David Moyes and Manchester United’s defending champions, who’ll have to settle for fourth place.
Liverpool and Spurs I see missing out, without the depth in their squad to maintain a season-long campaign – although I will tip the Lilywhites’ new boy Roberto Soldado for the Golden Boot.
Tomorrow, I’m going to have a look at the other half of the table and predict who’ll be relegated…
THE Special One Jose Mourinho has decided that the title no longer does him justice – and from henceforth would like a new title.
Reflecting on his win in Spain’s La Liga, which adds to his two English, two Italian and two Portuguese titles, he decided The Only One would be more appropriate.
He said: “Like me or not, I am the only one who won the world’s three most important leagues.
“So, maybe instead of the ‘Special One’, people should start calling me the ‘Only One’.”
SPECIAL One Jose Mourinho has confirmed rumours he plans a return to English football after leaving Real Madrid.
He said: “I miss England and my next job will be in England. There is unfinished business.
“And I think England wants me back, no?
“It was the most enjoyable time of my career.”
After the rollercoaster of his time with Chelsea, I don’t think anyone would not want Mourinho back managing on these shores.
The questions, then, are when, and with who?