The Premier League — what did we learn so far?
As the international break approaches, and with no club football in the upcoming weekend, it’s a good opportunity to have a look at the Premier League table after 3 games played.
Many people predicted Hull City to get relegated this season. Before the first match they were in turmoil, with no manager and only 15 fit players. However, The Tigers got off to a flying start, beating the champions Leicester on the opening day and Swansea the following weekend. Even though they lost against Manchester United, the scoreline remained at 0–0 for over 90 minutes. It’s safe to say that so far Hull are proving their doubters wrong.
The Red Devils meanwhile are proving their title credentials with three straight wins. The signings of the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba have added some much needed confidence to the side and the effects were there for all to see. Some might argue that the opposition wasn’t that great and they needed the extra time to win against Hull but you can only beat what’s in front of you and the result is all that matters. After all, for a long time grinding out results has been a hallmark of champions.
On the other side of Manchester, City are refusing to be left behind by their neighbours, grabbing all 9 points as well. It’s hardly surprising cinsidering the fact that they had an amazing squad even before Pep Guardiola came in and started to make use of the money that was at his disposal. Even though the new additions already did have an impact o the teams performances, it is Raheem Sterling’s resurgence that is most noteworthy. The manager clearly knows how to get the best out of the Englishman and only at 21 years of age, it’s gonna be exciting to see how he develops in the future.
Liverpool on the other hand haven’t got rid of the inconsistency, which has been their trademark throughout last campaign. After winning against an experimental Arsenal side 4–3, they lost to Burnley and drawn with Tottenham. While some might argue that it’s not a bad return considering the fact that all of these were away games, there are some issues with the offensive line’s chemistry and the quality in defence. The first problem should sort itself out over time — the other one requires Klopp finding a solution either within the club or on the transfer market. However, there’s not much time to take the second option.
Everton, with the new manager at the helm, took 7 points from their first 3 matches, with Ross Barkley in particular looking really sharp. If we’re praising Mourinho for bringing back self-belief to Manchester United, the same has to be said about Ronald Koeman. He has brought in good players and got the team back on track after a rather disappointing season.
Even though Antonio Conte didn’t exactly buy all the players he wanted at Chelsea, the squad he has at his disposal is doing brilliantly. They might not have been as convincing at the start, but against Burnley they‘ve shone. Eden Hazard continues his great form from the second half of the last campaign, Diego Costa looks like a different player, Batshuayi and Kante have settled in quickly… Cesc Fabregas can’t even get into the team. However, the aging defence needs to be sorted out.
Last weekend saw Arsenal and Leicester win their first games of the season, with both sides currently at 4 points. While the Gunners were able to dismantle Watford 3–1, the current title holders had another close game, beating Swansea 2–1. With Mesut Özil back in the first squad of the north London outfit, Alexis Sanchez finally looked alive up top and even though the inexperienced Rob Holding wasn’t bad, the arrival of Shkodran Mustafi should shore up the defence even further. To be fair to the Foxes, they probably would have scored more goals in their recent match if it wasn’t for the appalling weather — the ball sometimes stopped because there was so much water on the pitch. It looks like both teams are getting better with every game and they’re probably disappointed the international brake came so soon.
But when the Premier League kicks off again we’ll be in for a treat, as Manchester United will face Manchester City at Old Trafford. With a match that promises so much, the waiting for us fans becomes even more unbearable.