The best football league in the world has began their new season. English Premier League (EPL) or Barclays Premier League (as its been known for last 20 years) has been entertaining fans all around the world for decades with a physical no-nonsense approach to the sport which they (English) have also invented.
Having shared my affinities towards EPL up front it’s time to provide a brief review of some the games which took place this weekend.
First game first, Liverpool played a great first half then all of a sudden they went back to their play of season 2011, without ideas in the final third of the pitch, without creativity or attacking force.
Arsenal wasn’t impressive at all and now with losing both Fabregas to Barcelona and Nasri to Manchester City, Arsène Wenger better do something, QUICK! If he chooses not to then maybe Arsenal owners could finally send that long overdue “good bye” letter to Mr. Wenger. Arsenal is a club with too much history and fan base not to win anything for the seventh year straight.
Manchester United players are not clicking just yet, which can be attributed to a ton of traveling and games they have played over the past month or so (including their USA tour). It is important to note that both Vidic and Ferdinand ended their first game of the season early due to injuries which could be a massive problem if their stay off the pitch becomes prolonged. On the other hand, Manchester United can never be counted out as they have showed time and time again that they fight until the end and often score in the final minutes of the game. Also, their luck is nothing to discount considering today’s Ashley Young’s lucky double deflection to guide the ball in against West Brom for their 82nd minute winner.
Still waiting to see Manchester City play tomorrow against Swansea City, the team which has been spending money as if they own their private mint, with nothing to show for it. Has Roberto Mancini (who I really respect from his Inter Milan) days gotten into something he can’t sort out?
Last team which could make a difference in this year’s title run is Chelsea of course, and their first game of the season is scheduled for…today!? What! I missed that match completely, I guess I will need to look it up and see how they played, but considering the scoreless draw it looks like they are not completely aligned just yet. I expect them to do much better than last season.
Tottenham, Aston Villa, Stoke City and a few others could also throw their bids in for this seasons title or at least placement into the top third of the table to ensure Champions League or Europa League qualifiers which guarantees great football.
In summary, it is very early to judge teams’ true strength, but everything points towards another interesting season of the Premier League.
UPDATE on August 15, 2011 @ 8:58 pm: Finally watched Manchester City vs. Swansea City 4:0 (0:0) and must say that Man City will definitely be one of the teams fighting for the title. They started a bit slow (first 20 minutes or so) and then they took control of the game completely. Final score of 4:0 could have been even higher if the wasn’t for the woodwork and several great saves by Swansea’s goalkeeper. It’s too early to call, but Manchester City looked sharp.