What a fascinating beginning to the season. I have wanted to write about each of the following teams over first two game weeks, but I decided to save everyone (not least myself) some time and effort by dumping a condensed version in one glorious blog. Behold; thefootballscominghomepage Post GW2 / Pre GW3 “MICRO-BLOGGING”.
The title needs some work, but here are my observations:
While other managers justify dropped points in the first few games with “no need to panic, its a long season” Mourinho recognises that 3 points now are worth exactly the same as 3 points at Christmas or 3 points at the end of the season. He gets his business done early in the summer and his teams are fully prepared going into the first game of the season. Their opening fixtures haven’t been too taxing, (arguably you have to go back to the 2013/14 season to find a challenging opening five fixtures for them – just an observation), but they have hit the ground running.
Obviously Zlatan and Pogba are massive signings and they make Manchester United strong favourites for the title in my opinion.
After a chaotic summer, a manager-less Hull lined up against the Champions of England and Wales with only 13 fit senior players to select from. They came away from the game with a win, and it is results like this and Leicesters triumph in the league last year that make Football such a special game. With a takeover of the club imminent, Phelan deserves the job full time and it sounds like he will be backed with six new signings before transfer deadline day.
Another Leicester City fairy tale? Surely not, but if they do I will write a blog post about it in my pants.
What an amazing season for Leicester. I cant say anything about it that hasn’t been said already, but it is something that I am truly happy to have witnessed as a football fan. Unfortunately, it is incredibly unlikely that they will win the league again this year, but they can certainly challenge for the top six spots and a top ten finish should be comfortable. Even taking last season out of the picture, this is amazing progress considering where they were two years ago.
Yesterday was a great day for Leicester as the draw for the Champions League took place and they have been paired with Porto, Club Brugge, and Kobenhavn in Group G. Even appearing in the Champions League is a huge bonus for Leicester, but they stand a very good chance of progressing and making the knockout stages. Who knows how far they might go?
It has been a big summer for City. Despite Hart’s omission from the first team and seemingly inevitable departure from the club, Pep’s appointment can only be good news for the national team and I think Stones and Sterling are already feeling the benefit. Both players have the world at their feet. Like Ferdinand’s big money move to Utd all those years ago, I think Stones will prove to be great business and become one of the best defenders in the world over the next few years and justify the price tag. Sterling struggled last year, but Pep recognises his potential and there is no better manager for him to make him realise the player he can be.
Can City win it this year? Sure they can, but Utd are ready and will pip them to the post.
I’m forever banging on about the vendetta against Arsenal (and Arsene) in the media, but it does feel especially vile this at the moment. Arsenal needed to strengthen in four key areas this summer; centre back, holding midfield, attack and out wide. Arsenal have signed Xhaka and it sounds like Mustafi is basically a done deal, those two have massively strengthened the CM and CB positions. Perez in attack is (along with Mustafi) believed to be having a medical today, I don’t think I have seen him play but he has been described as similar to Vardy. Holding looks an absolute steal at £2m from Bolton. He and Koscielny produced a very strong showing against Leicester, and I would be keen for Holding to get more game time. The window isn’t closed yet, but I consider this a strong window from Arsenal (assuming Mustafi and Perez pass their medicals), and word is that there are further funds available for a “madness” signing.
Can Arsenal win the league? I think they will be battling City for second. They have already dropped five points and we are only two games in, even at this stage they can’t afford to drop much further behind.
Bottom 3 (in no particular order)