The 2016/17 English Premier League season has been tagged as one of the hardest so far. Nine teams have been touted to be in contention for the league title (I’m serious! You count…) and the battle for points has kicked off!
Although in a football league, it usually takes quite a while for things to take shape, the shaking-ups started in the first MatchDay of this season. This has giving me even more reasons to believe it’s gonna be a crazy season!
But can the big names cope this time? Or will another outsider leap over them and hurl (Hull) themselves to the league title?
Speaking of big names, I’ve taken the time to describe how the big clubs in England fared in Matchday 2 of the 16/17 Premier League season.
Arsenal: Winless In Two
I’m not an Arsenal fan. So I can’t exactly say what’s going on. But my not being a fan makes the obvious even clearer: Wenger needs reinforcements. That seems to be the ONLY problem Arsenal is having. The first 45 minutes of their match-up against Leicester City was a display of a side without bite.
Of course names like Sanchez and Chamberlain showed speed and potential, but that is not enough for this league. And Arsene knows this. It looked like the whole squad needs a revamp but Wenger is ignoring the obvious. With their draw against the Foxes, the Gunners are now winless in their first two games of the season. For a side hoping to win the league title, I’m unsure this is the best way to go about winning a trophy. But Wenger knows best. And the fans (as usual) understand (do they?).
Chelsea: Saved By Diego… Again!
I think Conte’s philosophy must be, *in a deep Italian accent* “No matter how far spent a game is, it can still be won.” For a second game in a row, the Blues have been saved by a late goal. Diego Costa left it late against West Ham and repeated the feat against Watford, thanks to a sublime pass from Senõr Fabre-pass.
Chelsea had quite a number of chances against Mazzarri’s side. The way Moses and Batshuayi (hitting the bar with his shot one time like that) threatened the Watford defense was interesting to watch. They could have been up by a fair margin early in the game but couldn’t convert until Costa came along. Antonio will be hoping the Chelsea CONTEnue to gather full points… even if it means scoring with the last kick of the game.
Liverpool: Brought Back Down To Earth
Football is funny. Like a rollercoaster, it can take you up one MatchDay and slam you hard on the ground the next. Liverpool, on Saturday, surprisingly lost to Sean Dyche’s Burnley, just days after beating the Gunners in a seven-goal thriller.
Their 26 attempts in total could not save them from a shock defeat. Burnley on the other hand, with only 3 attempts all game, scored two goals, and won the game. Liverpool tried to comeback but this one was meant for Burnley. A wake-up call for Klopp.
Manchester City: FOURmidable
Manchester City thrashed Stoke City 4 goals to 1. But it’s not about the goals they scored. It’s about HOW the Cityzens went about their business against Mark Hughes’ men. Yes their first goal was an Agüero penalty and their second was an Agüero header.
But this Man. City side displayed the genius of a certain philosopher: Pep Guardiola. The Spaniard who claimed to want the ball for 90 minutes, seemed to have instilled the “keep the ball” mentality into the boys . Every lost ball-possession was one that had to be chased down, until it was recovered. Sterling was stellar. Sublime Silva. Confident Kolarov. Some new things may take time to gel… but not this Man. City side. They look formidable already (except for their reluctancy to counter-attack).
Manchester United: #ZlatanTime
Say what you want, but it’s hard to not notice the “Mourinho factor” that’s gradually working it’s way through the current Manchester United side (the Zlatan and the Pogba factor too!) The long-gone confidence is back! And on Friday, they put on a show, especially one man: Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The 34-year old got himself a brace against Southampton and he was the topic of post-match discussions. “How has a 34-year old taken to the craziest league in the world so easily, scored 3 goals in two games and has started trying some real crazy goal attempts?” Well, Zlat‘s unexplainable. It’s #ZlatanTime, and Man. Utd is enjoying it.
What’s your own definition? Leave a comment and let me know or hit me up on twitter and let me know. Don’t forget to use the social media buttons below to share this article with your friends!
Rotimi Daramola is a freelance football writer, football analyst and football content creator that is in love with the beautiful game. You can keep up with all of his writing and also engage with him on Twitter @rotdav and on LinkedIn