August 9th, 2010
05:23 PM ET

Premier League feast equals international famine

Fabio Capello needs more help from national football chiefs to produce a good England team.
Fabio Capello needs more help from national football chiefs to produce a good England team.

Atlanta (CNN) - As the road to the 2012 European Championship begins with a ludicrously timed set of international friendlies that come too soon after the World Cup and too close to the start of the European club season, English football is in a quandary.

The English Premier League prides itself, rightly or wrongly, on being the best league in the world, yet the abject failure of the England team at the World Cup made it the laughing stock of the tournament. And it wasn’t just because Fabio Capello’s men underachieved, it was because so much of England’s failure was self-inflicted.

At club level, the physicality of the English game is unmatched. And, at the pace and intensity it demands, you just can’t play football for 11 months of the year and expect to stay fresh. But still, that’s what the England players are required to do, and will continue to do until the powerbrokers in the English game put aside their egos and mercenary mentalities.

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August 9th, 2010
12:19 PM ET

Ageing Chelsea will struggle to retain title

Chelsea celebrated the Premier League-FA Cup double last season.
Chelsea celebrated the Premier League-FA Cup double last season.

London, England (CNN) - As the start of the English Premier League season looms large, it is time to look at what we can expect to happen over the next nine months; to predict which side will vanquish all others to emerge victorious.

Well, I believe there are three main title contenders with two outsiders also harboring realistic hopes of glory. The leading contender for the crown this season is Manchester United.

They have the perfect balance of youth and experience and, after falling just short last season, I definitely think there is a new sense of purpose at Old Trafford.

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