Chelsea top the English Premier League table with nineteen points in seven matches. Roberto Di Matteo’s men are closely followed by the Manchester teams who have fifteen points each.
Without wasting a second, let’s analyse the bench strength of the top five clubs in England. Here, the bench strength of Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur shall be analysed.
5. Tottenham Hotspur :
Substitutes : Hugo Lloris, William Gallas, Tom Huddlestone, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Sandro Raniere, Aaron Lennon, Michael Dawson, Jermaine Defoe.
Without a doubt, Tottenham’s bench would be one of the strongest teams in EPL but they don’t stand a chance against the other stronger Manchester and London teams. Hugo Lloris would replace Brad Friedel as the first choice goal keeper in the upcoming weeks. Andre Villas-Boas would have selection headache as both the French and American shot stoppers are a way too good to warm the bench not to mention the former Aston Villa goal keeper’s age. In the other ways, Tottenham’s bench is not as attractive as the other teams although it constitutes the likes of William Gallas and Jermaine Defoe.
Substitutes : Ross Turnbull, Gary Cahill, Ryan Bertrand, César Azpilicueta, Victor Moses, Ramires, Marko Marin, Florent Malouda, Daniel Sturridge, Lucas Piazon, Romeu
Any Chelsea supporter would be tickled pink if he/she reads the line up not to mention the substitutes list. Although Chelsea have some impact substitutes in the likes of Victor Moses, they are in no way equal to the standards of their team-mates, Eden Hazard, Petr Cech, Ashley Cole and Fernando Torres; so their bench lags behind the tenacious Manchester teams. Roman Abramovich has spent a considerable amount on many players but their potential is still hidden as the other players’ back to back Man of the Match performances make them too good to be benched.
Substitutes : Vito Mannone, Carl Jenkinson, Laurent Koscielny, Andre Santos, Abou Diaby, Tomas Rosicky, Andrey Arshavin, Aaron Ramsey, Marouane Chamakh, Francis Coquelin, Theo Walcott.
Some people would go bananas for ranking Arsenal ahead of Chelsea or even Tottenham Hotspur. The Gunners’ bench is a mixture of youth players and old players; experience and inexperience. Arsene Wenger’s men captain the national teams of Russia, Czech Republic and Morroco while they’ve also captained Wales and England U17 in the past. Carl Jenkinson, Francis Coquelin and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are a way too good to be benched but the caliber and experience of the likes of Bacary Sagna, Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla have kept these lads on the bench. Carl Jenkinson is enjoying continuous starts lately thanks to the injury sustained by the French international full back Bacary Sagna. Arsenal’s bench is easily one of the best benches in Europe.
2. Manchester United
Substitutes : Anders Lindergaard, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Alexander Buttner, Anderson, Darren Fletcher, Tom Cleverley, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck, Nick Powell, Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young.
Not to mention the strikers, players on the other positions are not so good as the players who bench Manchester City. Goal keepers are rotated by Alex Ferguson as David De Gea is no better than Anders Lindegaard and the vice-versa. With the likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Alexander Buttner and Jonny Evans, United have the best young defenders of probably the world on their bench. Midfield has the likes of Tom Cleverly and Darren Flethcer, who is a very good box to box midfielder. Undoubtedly, the likes of Danny Welbeck, Chicharito lose out only to the strikers of Manchester City in the League.
1. Manchester City
Substitutes : Costel Pantilimon, Sisenando Maicon, Francisco Javi Garcia, Matija Nastasic, Kolo Toure, James Milner, Jack Rodwell, Scott Sinclair, Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko and Samir Nasri.
Manchester City’s bench makes a better team than most of the Premier League’s first teams. Even players like Samir Nasri, Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko, Sisenando Maicon and James Milner could only make it to the Citizens’ bench. If they had played in any other team, they would have easily been the apple of the manager’s eye. All these international players could do is appear as an 80th minute substitute for Roberto Mancini’s team. Despite the current players’ unrest about the lack of playing time, Sheikh Mansour’s money attracts numerous young players like Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair.