More On The Weekend’s Games, The New Boys And The Next International Injury Window

Posted: August 14, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
Tags: , , , ,

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Same old Manchester City, same old Arsenal but only in styles of play. Arsenal kicked off their season with a new manager, some new players and at home against the champions.

Nothing else was new as they failed to create any real chances and lost the game 0-2 quite easily. As Gary Neville said during commentary, it will take two or three transfer windows to get this team back near the top.

Manchester City started the game without Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Leroy Sané, Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi.

Two of the players who came in scored the goals and both were very well taken. Raheem Sterling, who also had an excellent run into the box, beating three players on the way before shooting straight at Petr Čech, scored the first and Bernardo Silva got the second.

All in all, Pep Guardiola would have been happy with the performance which, although not vintage City, was easily good enough to beat this Arsenal team.

Before this game kicked off in London, Liverpool hosted West Ham United at Anfield. Jürgen Klopp included Alisson and Naby Keita of his new signings and his team ran out 4-0 winners with old boys Sadio Mané getting two and Mo Salah and Daniel Sturridge the others.

West Ham were poor but they also included new signings and, like Arsenal, will need some time to gel and get to know what is required by the new manager.

In the day’s other game Southampton and Burnley drew 0-0 at St. Marys and the stars, by all accounts, were the two goalkeepers.

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Joe Hart – Kept a clean sheet on his Premier League debut for Burnley

So, one week into the season and it’s already decided. City will retain the tiitle, Liverpool will finish second and United will scrape into third. The three big London clubs will just have to scrap it out for fourth!

New managers, new teams…..

Of the new managers now plying their trade in the Premier League only Maurizio Sarri had a good day. His Chelsea team beat Huddersfield 0-3 whilst Unai Emery lost at home to City 0-2 and Manuel Pellegrini lost at Anfield 4-0. Marco Silva may argue that Everton’s 2-2 draw with Wolves at Molineux was a good result and Nuno Espírito Santo will also be thankful for the point.

The other two newly promoted sides both lost and, despite this being the opening weekend, the signs are not particularly good.

Cardiff lost away at Bournemouth 2-0 and Fulham lost at home to Crystal Palace 0-2. Neither of the two victorious sides will be fighting for a top four place, indeed, it is far more likely that they will be trying to stay just above the relegation places so the relative ease with which they defeated the two newcomers must be worrying for their managers and fans.

Still, there’s always next week and they may just turn things round immediately. They may even surprise us against some of the bigger clubs, that’s the beauty of football, you just never know.

And finally…..

No sooner has the World Cup finished and the new season started than we are talking about YET ANOTHER MEANINGLESS INTERNATIONAL BREAK!

This one comes up in September and sees the start of the inaugural International Nations League which is a slightly longer way of saying “friendlies with a trophy”.

This nonsense goes on until November which means there will be three, yes three, international injury windows this year.

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Another competition, another name!

We can expect to see managers complaining of players being injured shortly before this silly tournament starts in order to make sure they are fit for returning to the important stuff the week later.

In fact, it is only surprising that more clubs don’t take advantage of it to rest some star players through “injury”.

 

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