No United Or City But That’s The First Weekend Out Of The Way!

Posted: September 16, 2020 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur, Transfers
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Two things stand out from this first weekend of the Premier League season. Firstly, neither Manchester City nor Manchester United featured due to extended, if still shorter than intended, involvement in European competition.

Secondly, by Monday evening, three London clubs had played at home and lost and none of them were beaten by a top six team from last season!

Fulham started the malaise by losing 0-3 at home to Arsenal on Saturday. This was followed later in the day by West Ham losing 0-2 at home to Newcastle and then, on Sunday, José Mourinho lost his first game of a new season for the first time in 10 years when his woeful Spurs side lost at home to Everton 0-1.

Londoners who prefer their glass to be half full would argue that, with wins for Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Chelsea, it still ended with a ‘played six, won three’ average over the weekend which is a poor 50% win rate.

The three newly promoted teams all managed to lose although, in doing so at Liverpool and by the narrowest of margins, Leeds suggested they may have what it takes to stay in the Premier League without a major problem.

Fulham and West Brom fans will be slightly more concerned as their teams were both rolled over 0-3 at home without offering too much in the way of resistance. There is still time to acclimatise and, if necessary, make additions to their squads but both Scott Parker and Slaven Bilić will be acutely aware that, as things stand, they are in for a long, tough season.

Next weekend…..

Fast forward to next week when the two Manchester clubs return to action and can we expect to see any improvement in either of them?

Donny tries out the new third kit which is flying off the shelves at a pace not seen since the infamous grey kit back in the day!

Well, United have added Donny van de Beek to fight for a place in the midfield along with Pogba, Fernandes, Mata, Matić, Fred and McTominay. This assumes of course that the likes of Lingard and Pereira are surplus to requirements and will be sold otherwise the list is far too long!

A (probably) fruitless chase to waste a lot of money on an unneeded winger could end in failure, (or success depending on your viewpoint), as Jadon Sancho looks set to stay at Borussia Dortmund. This again is based on assumption and that is that Woodward will not do what he usually does and blink first, meaning that Dortmund get exactly what they want for the player, as was the case with Sporting Lisbon and Leicester City.

Meanwhile, United supporters are still waiting for the new centre back and the new left back they think they were told they were getting!

The club, under Woodward’s megalomaniacal and totally naive stewardship is now a mere shadow of it’s former self.

Pep Guardiola has only added Ferran Torres, a winger who presumably replaces Leroy Sané, and Nathan Aké who could replace any one of Nicolas Otamendi or John Stones. Whether this is enough to overtake Liverpool, (who have yet to buy anybody), is debatable although standing still is akin to going backwards.

The top 8 in the Premier League should be an interesting race this season with Carlo Ancelotti having decided that maybe, after all, Everton are good enough to play in Europe and Steve Bruce wisely ignoring all the off-field shenanigans surrounding Newcastle and just plodding on with the job in hand.

The prince and the pauper with Steve Bruce hoping that the playing fields will, one day, be even!

The two clubs who may suffer from lack of investment in this race are Wolves and Tottenham although, in fairness, neither would have been considered a challenger for the top places until the recent past or back in the distant past!

As is always the case, we shall see!

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