The opening matches of the premier league: what we’ve learnt so far

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What a crazy start to the English Premier League football season! We all thought we had a good idea of what results the opening fixtures would produce. The opening day saw Manchester United and Manchester City claim maximum points, but to everyone’s shock, neither Arsenal nor Chelsea could claim victory. The gunners lost 2-0 to their London rivals, West Ham, whilst Chelsea drew 2-2 at home to Swansea.

The second round of fixtures then saw Manchester City looking brilliant again, when they thrashed Chelsea 3-0, in a game that could easily have been 6-0. United recorded their second 1-0 victory, this time beating Aston Villa, and Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 2-1.

So what have we learnt?

As we mentioned a few weeks ago, Chelsea just don’t look as strong as they normally do. We still maintain that Jose will find a way of winning matches and probably the league, but he definitely needs to make a few signings before the 1 September transfer deadline. The imminent signing of Pedro will be a terrific signing for them. Against City, the usually reliable Blues defence looked shakier than we’ve seen it in years. Ivanovic was ripped apart by Montero and even Kolarov had a field day against him. Terry looked slow and was taken off against City. They need to invest in defence. They need Stones from Everton…. badly!

terry bench

Arsenal need

a striker. We’ve said this for a few seasons now, and it still rings true. They also seem to have four or five players that do the same thing in midfield, but I still rate their midfield as the best around. I really think Wenger has stuffed Walcott around too much, he lets him sit on the bench until his contract is starting to expire, then plays him, he signs, then promptly goes back to the bench. Alexis looked brilliant, but just needs to know when to pass instead of run or shoot. Ozil looked out of this world against Palace, and he needs to know when to shoot and not always assist.

Ozil.jpg
Ozil can’t stop assisting

The Manchester United defence looks quite solid with two clean sheets. Smalling has been brilliant at centre back and with Damian and Shaw attacking down the wings from defence, they look well rounded. United’s weak link seems to be Rooney. The season is only two weeks old, and I still think Rooney will score plenty of goals, but they just need back-up. Depay hasn’t taken off in the Premier league yet, maybe his midweek Champions League form can be carried into the league. But, six points from two games and no goals conceded, they’ll be delighted with their start. They are not playing well and still winning, like the United of old.

Lastly, Manchester City. They are the team that has surprised me the most so far. They are looking ramped, scoring three goals against both West Brom and Chelsea. Aguero is looking as sharp as ever, Sterling has been quiet but will find his feet. Last season, two of their main players had off seasons: Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany both looked poor, but these opening fixtures they’ve looked like they’re back at their best. City may very well be the team to beat this season.

Let’s watch a few more weeks before making more assumptions and predictions. So far, City look very strong, Newcastle and Sunderland look awful and Crystal Palace and Swansea look like this season’s dark horses – and could very well get a top 10 finish.

What are your thoughts? City to win it? United? Arsenal? Chelsea?  Do you think Leicester’s form will continue? Tweet us on twitter @LeftBacks

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