THREE things are certain in life. 1. Death. 2. Taxes. 3. Everton fans claiming they will finish in the top six at the start of every season.
The Toffees are performing another squad revamp and while they will miss Idrissa Gueye who has joined Paris Saint-Germain, the possible £36 million arrival of Juventus striker Moise Kean softens the blow.
Andre Gomes has made his move from Barcelona permanent for £22m, fellow midfielder Fabian Delph has joined from Manchester City and keeper Jonas Lossl has also arrived from relegated Huddersfield.
After Everton’s spending it is a shame the Liverpudlian quip of Reds go to Catalan, Blues go to Matalan, is now obsolete.
Across Stanley Park, Liverpool have gone from feast to famine. After the huge high of ending last season as champions of Europe for a sixth time there was an air of something starting – not ending.
Internet rumours of PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe liking posts and posing with known fans of the club like basketball legend LeBron James had the Kop close to meltdown. Fast forward a couple of months and apart from two, albeit exciting looking teens in Harvey Elliott and Sepp van den Burg, there has been nothing.
The Reds season starts on Sunday with a Community Shield battle with champions Manchester City. Lose and the rumblings of discontent will start; win and the ‘Trust in Klopp’ mantra will be the catchphrase of choice. The German insists he already has the squad to compete and you can imagine him screaming I want patience – AND I WANT IT NOW!!!!
Champions City will massively miss the influence on and off the pitch of skipper Vincent Kompany and like Arsenal and Manchester United have yet to announce who will captain the side this campaign. Rodri is Pep Guardiola’s only big signing, the 23-year-old Spaniard arriving from Atletico Madrid for a club record £62.8m.
Chelsea have lost arguably the best creative player in their history with Eden Hazard sprinting off to join Real Madrid the second last season ended.
But it seems the 28-year-old winger has enjoyed his summer a little TOO much. Now I’m not saying he’s so fat that he leaves footprints in concrete but the Belgian rocked up at Madrid SEVEN KILOGRAMS overweight.
And in his fledging Real career he has endured the nightmare of being pumped 7-3 by city rivals Atletico, losing to Tottenham in the Audi Cup and not having scored or assisted in any of his five matches.
Stepping into his shoes at Stamford Bridge is £58m Christian Pulisic signed in January before Frank Lampard’s club’s transfer ban kicked in.
Arsenal are clearly going down the ‘we’ll score one more than you route’ with the club record £72m arrival of winger Nicolas Pepe from Lille.
They could have a front three that last season boasted 73 GOALS and 34 assist between them (Lacazette 19/3), Aubameyang (31/8) and Pepe (23/13) but will Unai Emery be brave enough to play them all together?
The Spanish boss may have to as the Gunners defence is leakier than a Tory defence secretary’s office.
Also in North London, Tottenham started the summer well with sturdy £53.8m midfielder Tanguy Ndombele rocking up from Lyon.
Since then Mauricio Pochettino has had a hissy fit about not being in charge of transfers and has insisted he be called coach not manager. Behind the scenes notoriously frugal chairman Daniel Levy has insisted he will release more funds but this is a man who is so tight he wouldn’t give a pound to see Jesus and Elvis riding a tandem.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is being linked with Bruno Fernandes, Paulo Dybala and Sean Longstaff and if the trio all walk through the Old Trafford door before Thursday’s transfer deadline it will have been one impressive summer for United.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 21, will already replace Ashley Young in the starting line-up and that can only be a good thing. He’s extremely young, but not Young. So it’s a win-win for fans off the Red Devils.
And Harry Maguire has become the most expensive defender in the world after his £80m move from Leicester. Only time will tell if he will be more Virgil van Dijk than Phil Jones, although I’d be slightly worried that an Englishman nicknamed ‘slabhead’ who is prone to the odd-gurn himself and has the finesse of a baby elephant might lean towards the latter.
Despite the troubling times since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, you have to give the Manchester United PR spin kings a gold star for trying.
Their story is the club’s incredible wealth has been confirmed with them ranking sixth (stop sniggering ABUs) on the list of most valuable sports team in the world – worth a cool £3.06 BILLION. No mention that the Red Devils have plummeted from second to sixth after shedding 8% of their value over 12 months.
It’s a way of telling a story that would make Boris Johnson proud – a bit like blaming Europe for a no-deal Brexit!
AND finally a supercomputer has predicted the outcome of the 2019-20 Premier League season – talk about a fun hoover!
But I didn’t need my supercomputer – also known as my brain – to hazard a guess that the top two would be the runaway pair from last season, that the Big Six would all occupy the top six places and that the smallest of the two newly relegated sides – namely Sheffield United and Norwich – will go straight back down.
What next supercomputer? Perhaps you could predict the sky is blue, grass is green or that Donald Trump has a special place reserved in Hell.