Tottenhams new boss Villa-Boas might find the going gets a bit rougher once Modric has gone and should Spurs struggle to get in the top four. If he can make the Champions league he will be much admired, but if not, the Harry Redknapp days will remain the greatest success at White Hart Lane for many years and the coup against him the most ill judged move for a generation.
Across town the Arsenal are again struggling with the complexity of having the greatest manager in the history of the club – who has stopped winning things. But regardless of anything the press says or does, Wenger has the Gunners in the Champions league, in the top three of the Premiership and while there may be a certain restlessness around the club it is not possible to see any alternative. As they say – be careful what you wish for.
Up north it seems the Manchester clubs will fight it out again. But should United begin to slip the uncomfortable and unsayable question of the succession will rear its head. Sir Alex, the institution, will not look good outside the top two. There is no reason for City not to maintain their challenge for domestic,and this year, European honours.
The European Champions, Chelsea, can spend and spend but somehow Di Matteo is not convincing. Liverpool are backing Brendan Rodgers but forcing the Anfield club back into the top four looks like one of the toughest asks of the season. Newcastle may start as fancied outsiders for European Football but somehow you cannot see Mike Ashley ever having any serious ambition.
The Premier league welcomes West Ham, Southampton and Reading and there is a sense of the league splitting between the top contenders and the rest of the hopeful survivors. But any club in this league can offer a hungry manager a platform to succeed, to innovate and to shock with exceptional talent and ability. Brian Clough won it from nowhere - wouldn’t it be great to see some-one else do that.