After the dramatic end to last season’s Premier League, followed by a hectic summer that brought much disappointment to England supporters, the new season is now well under way and has served up some barnstorming games.
You could be forgiven for thinking that this season would be a huge fight for the Premier League crown, but after the frenetic start we have had, it now looks more likely to be a two horse race. Chelsea used the transfer window wisely while Man City only added a few to an already title winning squad. This combined with exceptional managers leaves both Chelsea and City the straight up favourites to win the league.
The European places though are a different matter, with Manchester United spending big, but ignoring a shaky defence could leave them scrapping along with an off form Liverpool who are struggling to come to grips with nearly a new team of personnel. If Liverpool cannot find a way to gel soon then it may be too late to hope for another season in the Champions League. Injuries to several players – most notably Sturridge, have affected the pace at which the Reds play.
The dodgy starts by both Everton and Tottenham have left them both well off the pace. To add insult to that, they are both juggling with gruelling trips across Europe in the Europa League. What’s more concerning for their respective supporters is the alarming rate at which both teams seem to be conceding goals. Last season both teams boasted good solid defences that at times seemed almost impenetrable. There have been no real significant defensive changes for either team, but still something is not right. Disregarding Chelsea and Manchester City, most of the other so called big guns seem to be suffering a World Cup hangover that they need to cure very quickly.
This lack of fluency from the habitual top teams however has opened the door to the rest of the league, and there has been some who have taken that chance. Most Southampton fans would have laughed if you said to them that after six games they would be second only three points behind Chelsea. The exodus of players from St Mary’s this summer mostly to Liverpool left the fans expecting very little. Koeman has used his knowledge of European football to bring in some gems who seem to gel really well.
Swansea City and Aston Villa are two clubs accustomed to battling it out further down the table who have also made excellent starts. Swansea have kept their team together throughout the summer and Garry Monk has added the experience of Gomis along with the sly addition of Gylfi Sigurðsson, who returns to the club from Tottenham. Garry Monk continues his philosophy at the club and all the team carry on playing for him. It is too early to say, but Swansea do look like a team that could be up there fighting for a European place once again.
At this early stage the league is so competitive and any result seems to be possible. Last season was one of the best that has graced the Premier League and there has been some doubt that this season would be able to live up to that, but after the start we have had I am not sure that is a worry any more.