Think of football as a game of cards, you need a great pair most of the time to achieve your goal. Now think of pairs as strikers and these are the rare breed many clubs strive to team up and gun for glory.
Now back to the cards, picture Sir Alex Ferguson, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Arsene Wenger, Rafael Benitez, Juande Ramos and Kevin Keegan sitting around a smoky card table in a quiet bar. Each holds a pair of cards in their hands and nothing is being given away.
Sir Alex has the advantage, he holds a pair of aces in Argentine genius Carlos Tevez and England superstar Wayne Rooney. Sir Alex has won the last two hands in a row and has wrestled the chips from London to Manchester.
Luiz Felipe Scolari isn't worried, he has loads of cash waiting to be spent on a king or ace. Roman Abramovich has funded his club's many goal-getters but Scolari holds Didier Drogba and has representatives attempting to nab Robinho from the Spanish bar next door. However "Big Phil" must be wary that both Mourinho and Grant occupied his seat in 2007-08.
Arsene Wenger is not in a good way, he owes many of his chips to various bankers and can't properly fund his transfer activities. Wenger has openly complained that his aces get constantly robbed.
Henry was nabbed and now his second ace Adebayor could be Italy bound. Van Persie and Bendtner don't look like a great hand for Arsene if Adebayor sets sail.
Rafael Benitez is often criticised for his negative tactics and failure to take risks in the transfer market, yet he has splashed £50 million worth of chips on Nando Torres and Robbie Keane. Liverpool finally have their best pair since Owen and Fowler and Benitez is smirking quietly in the corner.
Juande Ramos is the new boy at the table, but word had spread to the English bar of his work next door. Tottenham have the men to negotiate their way to the bigger table but have been dealt a blow when Rafa bet big and took Keane from White Hart Lane. He still holds the Berbatov card but Sir Alex is eyeing it and Ramos could be left empty-handed.
Kevin Keegan returns to the big table after nearly 10 years away and much has changed. Keegan left his successor with a real pair of aces, Shearer and Ferdinand.
On his return to Tyneside he has the urge for three aces. Oba Martins, Mark Viduka and Liverpool's ex-ace Michael Owen. Many feel Keegan should spend his aces on the defense but the attack is pretty awesome.
All in all, in the intense gambling world of football you need a great pair to claim ultimate victory. Man Utd are in pole position with Chelsea and Arsenal just behind. Newcastle and Tottenham have the ammunition to worry but not the defence. It could be a cracking season.
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