Former England international defender Jamie Carragher has written off Liverpool and Arsenal’s chances of winning the Premier League this season, backing Manchester City and Chelsea to fight for the title.
Having watched all four of the main title contenders in the opening round of the 2014-15 campaign, the 36-year-old has underlined the main reason why his former club Liverpool and the Gunners will once again fail in their quest to win the league.
‘I don’t think we’re going off one game’, Carragher told Sky Sports. ‘It’s your experience of the past and teams that win titles have power and strength. Liverpool and Arsenal came close last year, especially Liverpool, but City eventually did it because of that power and strength...
‘That’s what Chelsea have got as well and Mourinho always likes that... He likes size and power and he knows what’s needed to win the Premier League’.
Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City all won their respective matches, but interestingly the latter two looked the most comfortable.
Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea got the better of Burnley 3-1 away from home on Monday in what was the best performance among all the 20 Premier League teams over the past three days.
Although the Blues went behind early on at Turf Moor, the way they came back and vanquished their hosts was sensational. Former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas was the best player on the pitch, while star striker Diego Costa scored on his debut.
Manuel Pellegrini’s City were 2-0 winners against Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Sunday. It was a straightforward victory for the Citizens, who were not as flamboyant as Chelsea but looked pretty comfortable.
Liverpool and Arsenal registered 2-1 home wins against Southampton and Crystal Palace on Sunday and Saturday respectively, but both had to work hard for the points.
While the Gunners were rescued by an injury-time winner from star midfielder Aaron Ramsey at the Emirates Stadium, Brendan Rodgers’s Reds were given a run for their money by player exodus-affected Southampton at Anfield.
It may be early days in what promises to be one of the most competitive Premier League title race in history, but the signs do point to Chelsea and City being the top two favourites. They have the strongest squads in England and have players with loads of experience.
Arsenal cannot be written off yet – after all, manager Arsene Wenger has made some shrewd signings this summer and could still make some more – but the Liverpool players need to play to the best of their ability to win the league and fill the hole left by the departure of striker Luis Suarez
As for Manchester United, manager Louis van Gaal needs to do a lot of work, starting with signing top players to reinforce what is at the moment a weak squad.