The new Premier League season has started with a bang. It’s just a MatchDay old but there’s been a lot to talk about already.
Brazilian flair, Cruyff turns, lovely through balls, incredible free kicks, outrageous goals from distance and some breathtaking piece of footwork have been the order of the day.
Of course there’s also been some open-eyed rantings, back slapping, hugs, fists bumping and exciting celebrations.
But, after Matchday 1, how have the big names performed? How did they fare?
Arsenal: Not Ready… Yet
Arsenal lost their opening day game against Liverpool. And it did not exactly come as a surprise (especially if you’re an Arsenal fan). What more can a team that almost did not function in the transfer window do? And although the mart is still open, it’s unsure if Wenger will splash the cash.
And that is what the Gunners need, now that the Arsenal infirmary is getting filled again. After Wenger’s men succeeded in conceding 3 goals in the first 16 minutes of the second half against Liverpool, it’s obvious that plenty of work still needs to be done. “Arsenal are not ready physically for the title,” Wenger said. And, so far so good, he’s
As witnessed against West Ham, Chelsea’s new manager showed all of the above. After his team’s 89th minute winner, he went bonkers! It’s said that a man’s true creation will carry a mark that identifies with his character. And Chelsea’s display yesterday, – their urgency and decisiveness – against one of the teams that performed very well last season, showed marks of Conte’s organisation and ruthlessness.
Certainly if you’re being coached by the man that threatened to kill his players during the Euros (it’s not just a game), you’d definitely play to instructions, whether you’re Hazard or Costa. We’ll definitely see more of his energy being replicated amongst the Chelsea squad or… just maybe he’ll kill someone after all.
Liverpool: Deadly… and Conceding.
Jurgen Klopp’s men scored 4 goals against Arsenal… in just 20 minutes. And that was only their first game of the season. You can see where I’m going with this one, right?
Liverpool started the season with a powerful statement: “We’re now a team!” The build-up to Lallana’s goal, the break-neck pace of Mané and the jubilation that followed, will make them a nightmare for any club this season. And although the three goals conceded was a dent on the side, Liverpool, so far, have proved that they can outscore their opponents. Watch out!
Manchester City: A New City
When Manchester City starts their Premier League campaign with their new and expensive signings, it’s not much of a surprise. But when the Cityzens kick off a Premier League campaign without Yaya Toure and Joe Hart, then you know something’s up!
Pep Guardiola is what’s up! The Philosopher has transformed the Man. City side and has turned it into his own team. Players like Fernandinho played in defense against Sunderland, Caballero was the first choice goalie, there was the 3-man defense formation and the “keep the ball” play. They needed a McNair own goal to win but it’s obvious: Manchester City is a different team now.
4 – Manchester City have scored four goals in a European away game for the first time (inc qualifiers). Dominant.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 16, 2016
And given that they scored four goals in an European competition, for the first time, under Pep, it’s sign enough that this City is a brand new one.
Manchester United: A Winning Start
New Man. Utd coach, Jose Mourinho, kicked things off with a win against Bournemouth. It was one that was expected and the Red Devils did not disappoint. What’s more, their big names shone bright… except one.
Zlatan got his debut goal, maintaining his record of having scored a debut goal at any club he’s joined. Bailly performed well. But the expensive did not feature. #PogBanned was all over social media as Pogba was not eligible to play for United. He was to serve a one-match suspension for getting two yellow cards in the Coppa Italia final. José has started well. And he’ll want to keep it up!
Author: Rotimi “Papi the Great” Daramola
Rotimi Daramola aka Papi the Great is the owner of ForTheGoal.
A freelance sports writer who focuses on football, Rotimi is also a freelance writer, a copywriter and a football analyst who regularly appears on radio and television to talk football. You can follow him on twitter @papi_thegreat to keep up with his writings, engage him and also find out about how you can secure his writing services.