The decision to hire Hughes was not the most popular with Stoke fans at the time... The Potters have begun to move away from the somewhat outdated approach used during Pulis' reign at the Britannia and while the success of the system consolidated Stoke's position as a Premier League team, Hughes' ideas are helping to take them to the next level.
Reina quite clearly could have had a part to play at Anfield in the upcoming campaign had Rodgers opted against selling him. Every great team needs quality personnel in all positions and the goalkeeper is no different. Mignolet did not miss a minute for Liverpool in the Premier League last season, but what's to say he will not pick up an injury on the first day after the transfer window closes?
A performance in a pre-season friendly isn't completely meaningless, but it's as close as a football match can get. Even if the games are played at the intensity of a league match (a big 'if', although some of this summer's games got close), there's so much less pressure on the matches that everything must be taken with a pinch of salt.
While most teams tend to float around the same part of the table for a few years at least, the Magpies have barely established any degree of consistency in their position over the past 21 years... Breaking into the top 7 may be beyond Newcastle United, but improving on last season and moving up the Premier League certainly isn't.
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.
The transfer window is in full swing and deals are being confirmed every day now... Some clubs, however, have already made great strides to become stronger for the upcoming season and a number of big moves have been made. Taking each club's transfer budget, league ambitions and stature into consideration, here are the seven best summer signings so far.
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.
Sport is one of the universal languages which connect people and cultures... Sport is primal, basic, essential and everywhere... Sport and great sporting events are a massive draw. But the best of all is when sport is shared alongside culture. And here Glasgow excelled.
He was versatile like most wingers and could play either wing. On the left he could get his crosses in from his favoured left foot or on the right he could cut inside and shoot. He did really well on either wing but if Louis van Gaal plans on continuing his 3-5-2 formation where will he fit in?
By the age of 21, Lukaku has scored as many league goals as Sergio Agüero had (65), 21 more than Wayne Rooney (44), 23 more than Messi (42) and a full 44 more than Costa (21). What else does he have to do to prove his pedigree to Mourinho?
Last season's dominance, Leicester, as well as being plugged as potential dark horses for next season have been slated for an immediate return to the second tier too. I would be lying if it didn't irritate me that my team has been written off by some (mostly Forest fans) before they've even really been assessed.
Arsenal have perhaps stolen the show with their acquisition of Alexis Sánchez... Sánchez was the first real star to fall from the World Cup on the back of Chile's penalty shootout exit to Brazil at the last-16 stage. Speculation then mounted as to who would win the race to sign the 25-year-old, with the north London side coming up trumps.
The only thing that has appeased fans until now is the 2011/12 season where Newcastle finished 5th in the League and qualified for Europe - a position that many fans believe is where the club truly belongs... This may just be Ashley's last chance to prove to them that he is not in football simply for to turn a profit from a venerable and beloved North East institution.
Modern professional football is governed by money, sadly more so than anything else. Where the margins between success and failure can be minimal, Premier League clubs need to do everything they can to increase revenue to compete at the highest level... Fans are being exploited by their clubs, but the clubs can't afford to stop. There seems no way out.
There are still good reasons for Southampton fans to be optimistic that their club has the ingredients in place to remain a force in the Premier League... Saints should rest safe in the knowledge that they have recovered from worse situations previously and will do so this time around, too.
Fernando Torres - World class striker. Fernando Torres - Deadly finisher. Fernando Torres - 30 goals a season player. Remember that? It's been a while, but for Torres it must feel like a lifetime... His stock has dropped so much that even the club who adore him like no other are only willing to pay 20% of what Chelsea did three years ago.