Matches, goals, victories and defeats, here are three things I picked up from the English Premier League over the weekend.
1. MANCHESTER CITY MEAN BUSINESS: Manuel Pelligrinni’s side had a disappointing run last season given their stand as the defending champions and the pedigree of players they paraded. Their failings in Europe was very much still obvious and they failed to pick points in the league when it mattered. All of these contributed to them losing out in the title race and having an all round underwhelming season.
Going into the new season, Pelligrinni promised some reshuffling and resurgence, and indeed, it appears he meant every word. Manchester city have been very active in the transfer market; laying off unwanted players in order to free up space and lighten financial burden and also making credible additions. Prominently, they have snapped up Fabian Delph from Aston Villa and Raheem Sterling from Liverpool. In the midst of these, they have also managed to keep their key players.
All of these show seriousness and clear mindset of set goals and objectives.
So far, Manchester city have gotten maximum 6points from two games, scoring 6 and conceding none. They are defending well, scoring freely and offering a pleasant style of play.
Yesterday’s bashing of the defending champions, Chelsea, is a big statement! City are in town and they are taking no prisoners!
2. MANCHESTER UNITED HAVE A PROBLEM SCORING GOALS: A slim 1nil win over Tottenham courtesy of an own goal from Kyle Walker in the opening game and another victory in similar fashion against Aston Villa (courtesy of Janujaz’s strike) has opened a new and genuine concern at Manchester United – scoring goals.
Sergio Romero looks solid in goal which makes De Gea’s absence largely unfelt, the defence is rock solid (Matteo Darmian is a beast!!) and the midfield looks sorted although the style of play has not fully established but the primary problem is upfront which is where victory is affirmed or denied. Memphis Depay is yet to replicate the kind of feat that attracted the club to him and Rooney is also yet to find his feet.
6points from two games and two clean sheets may look good on paper, however, it must be considered that they are yet to face a stiff opponent (due respect to Spurs and villa) and an own goal doesn’t happen in every game. This is a league where title race goes down to the wire and something ‘little’ like the goal difference may end up determining who goes home with the trophy.
3. CHELSEA NEED TO SPEND: Weeks into the transfer window, Chelsea’s odd silence was surprising to me given the club’s penchant for spending. Jose Mourinho must have thought that he has enough players to prosecute the entire season but results are however proving him wrong. Very wrong.
The embarrassing defeat yesterday at the Etihad affirms the initial fears that majority of the players are jaded, uninspired and tired. Worse still, the bench isn’t exactly filled with options. Good options.
Half fit first choice striker who fights more than he scores these days, creative but not so solid midfield, overplayed and slow defence – All of these are definitely not features of a team that wants to be crowned champions of the EPL or a team that intends to take anything out of the season.
Chelsea’s consistency has been replaced with poor performance and lack of will. The defeat against Arsenal in the community shield, 2all draw against Swansea and the drubbing against city are clear indicators.
Mourinho might need to stop talking (nonsense) and bring out the cheque book while there is still time because games are not won in a press conference, they are won on the field with players. Good, inspired and well rested players.
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