Six teams, six managers and six ranging egos are the main talking point of the Premier League this season. It’s the six teams that most people would expect to be hearing at the top Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Spurs. These are the teams that will be fighting for the top 6 places in the league, it seems unfair that two of them won’t be in the top four, there’s just so much quality in all the sides. I’m going to go over each side and talk about some of their strong and weak points so far in the league.
It wasn’t the best of starts for Arsenal, losing the opening game of the season 4-3 to Liverpool at home then drawing away to Leicester but since then Arsene has found the best out of a few players and it’s paid off for now. Alexis Sanchez looks a different player playing at the spearhead of Arsenal’s attack, but seems to drop back a lot of dictate our attacking play which gives players such as Walcott, Ozil and Iwobi the chance to bring the ball forward. Arsenal just missed out on the chance to hit seven Premier League victories in a row. It also seems that Arsene has finally found his perfect defensive partnership in new signing Skhodran Mustafi and vice captain Laurent Koscielny. The only problem we’ve seen so far with Arsenal this season is that when a team is defending well, Arsenal seem to have trouble finding their way through and struggle quite a bit, the most obvious (and recent) example is Middlesbrough at the Emirates. Arsenal seemed to keep trying the same thing and it wasn’t working out for them. In terms of the manager, Arsene still seems as cool and collected as ever, the pressure of the league this season isn’t getting to him at all and it’s showing off on the players.
It’s been a very up and down start for Chelsea so far… Certain aspects of the team such as the defence simply aren’t playing well enough but the players at the other end are the ones performing. Hazard and Costa are playing very good football this season, both putting in big goals the team need after last season. Antonio Conte has had to change up his formation to deal with the defence being so shaky in certain games, instead of playing a standard four at the back he’s changed it up to three at the back with two wing backs playing as extra support for both halves of the pitch and since the formation change Chelsea have been getting some good results, the big recent result being 4-0 against Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. Antonio Conte is still doing things how he does them, with tremendous passion. He’s always on his feet inspiring his players (and recently the fans) and it’s great to see as we also have Klopp doing the same week in week out. So if you don’t like one of the managers, then you have the other.
I’m convinced (for the first time in a long time) that this Liverpool tram could win the league. They play scintillating football at times and it’s amazing to see. They started the season off in some fashion winning 4-3 at the Emirates and have performed well since, they’ve had one very off game away to Burnley but every team has an off day here and there. The Liverpool players are performing very well at the moment in all areas of the pitch, the attacking football is amazing to watch at times. Saido Mane, Coutinho and Lallana seem to be playing some of their best football at the moment and Klopp’s system of high pressing has got them looming fitter than ever. As always, the main man Jurgen is up and down the touch line looking as mad as ever and always has something to say, it really is great to see.
Manchester City’s start was nothing short of spectacular. Blowing teams away with their quick passing and even better movement, they were winning some games for fun. One game that sets their own bar was the first Manchester derby of the season at Old Trafford where City come away with a 2-1 victory. The first half performance was one of the best I’ve ever seen as a football fan, just unbelievable to watch. A player that has really taken a stand in Pep’s new system is Kevin De Bruyne, his technical ability has been giving a huge boost with Pep using him in different attacking positions. De Bruyne looks like a different class at the moment and is only proving that City spent good money on him. Pep on the other hand is realising that English football is completely different, players don’t get as much time on the ball, keepers definitely DO NOT and that is worrying for him.
It’s been a very up and down return for Jose Mourinho who joined United in the summer after his worst season yet with Chelsea. He brought in big name players such a Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Zlatan had a good early impact but hasn’t done anything since. Paul Pogba on the other hand is having trouble adapting to the English game, he doesn’t quite realise that you can run through every opponent on the pitch and that not every 35 yard shot goes in the top right corner. The world most expensive player is not on the level of Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo were at when they got their big money move away to Spain. It’ll take a lot for Pogba to repay the money United spent on him. Jose Mourinho on the other hand simply hasn’t got a good enough squad to be challenging for the title at the moment. The defence isn’t strong enough, the midfield isn’t performing and their captain is completely off his game. Jose has a big job in turning the mentality of that team around and he has to do it quickly before the fans turn on him.
I said it to myself last year, Spurs are one of the most organised teams I have seen in a long time. Pochettino has got them playing some of the best football in the league. Absolutely relentless going forward and defensively disciplined at the back (this is coming from an Arsenal fan!!). They’re still only unbeaten team in the league at the moment, they’re not at the top but are fighting for it. They gave Manchester City their first loss of the season with one of the best team performances in a long time. In terms of new additions no one has really made an impact on the first team, Poch seems to be sticking with the team that come short last season. It shows his tremendous trust in his squad.
Ben Johnson, Premier League writer on 31/10/2016 at 16:04
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