Football has become a massive global brand over time. With the almost daily coverage of Europe's top leagues beamed around the world for multi-million pound TV deals, from here in the UK all the way to the United States, the UAE, China, and South Korea...
The line from British commentators and reporters has long been the same - the Premier League is the best league in the world. By a mile. No debate. But even if that was once true, it's abundantly clear that it's now a delusion, a line repeated out of familiarity rather than any sort of evidence.
The easy explanation of Manchester United's dramatic-fashioned equaliser against Chelsea on Sunday is to blame it on Ivanovic's dismissal. Despite the second booking obviously not was being irrelevant, José Mourinho didn't help himself through applying a zonal marking approach on set pieces.
It is this sort of patience and uncertainty that precludes the restless and impatient, and because of these things, constantly successful Mourinho from being anywhere near the right fit for the Arsenal model. For a club that continues to model itself on actualizing potential, Wenger is still the right man.
Chelsea look ominous, Liverpool and Man Utd look unlikely to compete at the top due to complete defensive inadequacy, while the North London teams look set for another groundhog season of raised then dashed hopes - though hope then dejection has pretty much already taken place at Spurs.
The competition for starting spots in Schürrle's position is high. Mourinho can call on Eden Hazard, Willian and Mohamed Salah to play on the right and left flank and with Hazard a dead cert to start when fit, there are three players effectively battling for one spot... With Fàbregas pulling the strings in midfield, Schürrle is likely to have numerous opportunities to better his goal return this term.
The 2014/15 Premier League season promises to be one of the best yet with eagerly anticipated competition throughout the table from top to bottom... But over the years history has provided plenty of drama and excitement for this campaign to live up to and here's a look back at five of the very best seasons since the new era began in 1992.
When Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge last summer, there were musings that things might be different this time around. A few months into his second stint he hinted at wanting to build a dynasty as part of a long term project. But it seems that plan soon fell by the wayside as he reverted to putting his faith in established stars rather than promising youth.
Let's face it, West Ham are going nowhere fast with his approach to football. There is no long term strategy here, and the fans are ridiculed and criticised for daring to want more... by bullishly clinging on to a bygone era, Allardyce is damaging not only West Ham and the Premier League, but the English game as whole.
Can Diego Costa buck the trend of failing Chelsea strikers? He can, he is a Mourinho-type player and able to spearhead the Blues' attack next season. He will give them the physical presence they have been sadly lacking since Drogba's departure.
The Premier League title race of 2013/14 provided plenty of dramatic twists and turns, resulting in one of the most exciting campaigns in years. But there is already plenty of reason to believe that the new season will be even better and here's a look at why.
Most onlookers would agree that Cole still has something to give both at club and international level, and it would make perfect sense if Mourinho had in fact had an issue with the left-back's attitude more than anything else. Cole was dropped just after he attended Arsenal's Christmas party and reportedly reacted badly to his manager's decision.
Psychologists will tell you that a siege mentality in any sporting dressing room, or indeed organisation can be a vital tool to success.
So said Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers after their 2-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea on Sunday. Rodgers's comments reflect a larger feeling in English football that playing a defensive style means never being the better team, whatever the result at the final whistle.
Loser is such a pejorative word. No one wants to be a loser. But what if glorious frustration is better than ignoble victory, trying and failing to do what is right more preferable than getting away with acting improperly?
Stifled by Chelsea and decided by a slip, Liverpool's loss has left their title hopes in the balance. Goals in added time at the end of each half were enough to end Liverpool's 11 match winning run and prevent them from scoring for the first time since they lost to 2-0 to Arsenal in November.