By Victor Opone (@victormcepha)
Okay, I’ll bite. Just four weeks into the new Premier League season, the assumptions have started flying around. Many thanks they know what shape the PL table would take at the end of the season.
Of course, it would be wrong to begrudge any human for his/her opinion. However, it’d be sad to see the plethora of knee-jerk reactions to every single action that happens in the Premier League without taking a momentary pause to see what could possibly be wrong what fruits that action might bear.
Going by the popular narrative, Liverpool (who weren’t in the title challenge two seasons back) would be the only challenge for Man Citeh in the PL this season (and probably in the next few seasons too). Hindsight should have taught fans some lessons, the Man Utd (2017) case being a clear case study.
Controversy or not, Citeh couldn’t defeat Spurs the second time in a row. Liverpool themselves have dropped points in games against other members of the Big 6 last season (11 points dropped in those 10 games).
Another perspective that should be looked critically into is what Citeh’s focus will be this season. Surely, the attempts at turning domestic dominance into European shine isn’t for nought.
They’re going to be trying real hard this season! Business end of the season and the knockout games in the UCL come simultaneously. They’d also be looking over their shoulders or just ahead for the challengers. Pep is still ruing the defensive issues – the system balance can only cover defensive lapses for a number of games…not every!
Liverpool, who’ve also adopted a higher defensive line than last season, are also having early jitters in early parts of their games. Norwich and Arsenal have shown how much they’d hurt whenever pricked with purpose. Midfield rotation is also something they’d love to have settled ASAP. Thou shalt also not forget that there’s increased pressure on them to do better this season than the last. Respite was only bought for the meantime.
Now, to the others, who we’ve written off.
Spurs. C’mon! We all know these guys have been building for the last few years. Punching way above their weight. Ensuring they’re always thereabouts at the end is something. The road to the UCL final should tell us that much. Their buys will balance sooner rather than later…a few tweaks in attack (which is already heavily bolstered) and they’re going to be home and dry.
Anyone not paying attention to Emery’s Arsenal this season is at risk of being shot. For all of the shoddy defending at ill-appropriate moments, there’s the guile, skillery and potency of PEA, Laca and newboy Pepe.
"He used to study every game he played. One hour after he would be watching the game, what he's done wrong, what he's done right"
— Matias Grez (@matias_grez) September 13, 2019
Add the flavor Dani Ceballos brings and you’d sit up at the sweet savory smell coming out the kitchen. A few more games and the balance is set. A couple of windows and the chaff gets blown out through the door.
Let it not be heard that no one is giving Olé’s United a chance too. It’s never easy picking out the deadwood and the mischievous from the team. It’s never easy dealing with a toxic work atmosphere…especially at a club where the media love digging their nose in at every negative opportunity. OGS has done massively well to handle the situation this way.
I’m still yet to see where he’s talked about 1999 a third of fourth time…I’ve seen reports of media houses quoting gazillion times!
He’s protected his players in the press and strongly reprimanded them indoors. What exactly do the fans and media want? You’d have sworn they disliked the Mou approach! Give him time and it’ll be settled. This might not be their season but surely, they’d grow and build up from here.
Chelsea! They’ve been given a sweet blessing in disguise with that transfer ban. Early jitters but that’s how you build winners. Lampard has picked a style that suits the moment and brought positivity to the dressing room.
Tammy Abraham: “I had a lot of abuse but Frank Lampard always had his arm around my shoulder, lifted me up. Straight after, the boys, manager and everyone at #Chelsea had my back” #CFC pic.twitter.com/2jmKpKe6jr
— The Blues (@TheBlues___) September 10, 2019
There’s the emergence of young-ins who would grow to become leaders in that dressing room. I’m pretty sure Citeh and Liverpool will dread the day they get to face them. Liverpool know better, by now, than to rubbish them. Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount with the goods.
How can we forget also, the bogey teams who love playing against the Big Six without bias. Crystal Palace who’ve picked points away from home against members of the Big Six? Wolverhampton Wanderers who first showed us how to probe and prod Citeh even before getting in the PL? Leicester?
The ‘smaller teams’, especially the new boys are also keen on taking a few pints of blood off the big guns.
It’s going to be an exciting season, one which fans of every member of the Big Six will watch with plenty of trepidation!
All I’m saying is, write no one off. It’s a long season. Enjoy every bit of the action and watch out for those pointers at growth and development in some projects.
Author: For The Goal
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