2012/13 EPL season and offseason recap
The English Premier League season starts next weekend. Whether you are a diehard soccer fan or new to the game, welcome to a new season. Take some time to check out the results for the top 6 teams from the past year and get an idea of what they could look like this year. Look for more in depth articles coming up with predictions of weekly games and post game analysis. If you are one of those new English Premier League fans I welcomed earlier check out some of the links at the bottom of this article to get an understanding of the different competitions talked about in this article.
Manchester United Record last season 28 W- 5 D- 5 L 1st in EPL
Sir Alex Ferguson finished his final season as manager by capturing the Premier League title another time. With early exits in the other competitions it gave the team the unfortunate opportunity to focus only on the Premier League. Ultimately Manchester United secured the Premier League title well before the end of the season. In other competitions they fell short of expectations. A quarterfinal loss to Chelsea in the FA Cup as well as a Round 4 Loss to Chelsea in the Capital One Cup. The Champions League result was also below expectation with a loss in the round of 16 to Real Madrid.
Manchester City Record last season 23 W- 9 D- 6 L 2nd in EPL
It was mostly a strange season for Manchester City from my point of view. Stretches of the season they showed a level that should have achieved the trophies they expected. But, in the key moments against lesser opponents they came up short. An FA Cup final loss against Wigan Athletic and a loss to Aston Villa in the 3rd round of the Capital One Cup showed them giving up valuable opportunities for trophies. One of the major disappointments in their season was their failure to advance past the group stage of the Champions League having been involved in a very strong group. After massive investment in players over the past few years Manchester City showed their impatience for failure and changed managers.
Chelsea Record last season 22 W- 9 D- 7 L 3rd in EPL
Last season Chelsea seemed to be a collection of great players with a lack of a overall strategy. One of the teams I feel will improve from last season should have no confusion about the teams strategy from new manager Jose Mourinho. Not advancing past the group stage of the Champions League was the greatest of their disappointments last season. Losing to Manchester City in the Semi-final stage of the FA Cup and losing to Swansea City in the Semi-finals of the Capital One Cup were not terrible results being up against very good opponents. Chelsea are among several teams changing managers but Jose Mourinho tends to have early success with his defense first mentality. Look for them to be fighting for the top spot in the league standings.
Arsenal Record last season 21 W- 10 D- 7 L 4th in EPL
One of the teams with the most potential to benefit from not making a manager change is Arsenal. An exit in the round of 16 to Bayern Munich was not the biggest upset for the team considering the achievements of Bayern Munich last season. An early exit in the FA Cup to Blackburn Rovers and a Quarter-final loss to Bradford City in the Capital One cup rounded out their achievements last season. Arsenal have the potential to improve as one of the few teams with management stability from last season. Arsenal have been a team with potential for years but will have to realize that potential to compete for trophies this season.
Tottenham Hotspur Record last season 21 W- 10 D- 7 L 5th in EPL
One of the teams I found most exciting to watch last season was Tottenham Hotspur. They often showed a high level of play that gave hope of champions league qualification. After 4th round exits in both the FA Cup and Capital One Cup they made a run in the Europa League to the Quarter-finals. They looked to be in a situation of being able to lure in a few pieces to boost their roster. Unfortunately, they have become sellers, losing Clint Dempsey and scrambling to keep Gareth Bale for at least one more transfer window.
Everton Record last season 16 W- 15 D- 7 L 6th in EPL
One of the teams to watch for potential jump up the standings is Everton. They have been a very good defensive team. The one major flaw seems to be giving up one early goal and forcing themselves to play from behind too often. If they can convert some of their draws from last season into wins they will find themselves fighting for a champions league position this season. A good run in the FA Cup saw them losing to future champion of that competition Wigan Athletic in the quarter-finals. They were eliminated from the Capital One Cup in the 3rd round by Leeds United. Another team who welcomes a new manager this season could be dangerous if they hold on to their strong defensive qualities and find improved success in attack.
For an overview of the Premier League system of promotion/relegation and point system check out
To see the format for the FA Cup competition check out this link
Capital One Cup rules and format can be found here
UEFA Champions League qualification, round format info can be seen at this link