Round 1 of the EPL is done and dusted. So what have we learnt from the season's first fixtures?
Manchester City: Joe’s hartache
It feels like Joe Hart has been Manchester City’s goalkeeper for like 10 years or something. That’s probably because Charles Joseph John Hart aka Joe Hart debuted in 2008 and has amassed over 100 Premier league clean sheets since then. Joe has been overlooked by new manager Pep Guardiola in favour of Willy Caballero, or as Pep said, a “Goalkeeper who is more technical with his feet”. Hart has been put on notice. He needs to sort out those flippers of his a.s.a.p. if he wants to remain in the sky blue.
Manchester United: Moneybags Manchester
The only team to win by more than a single goal and sitting pretty atop the Premier League ladder after the dust settled after round 1. Free agent signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic got a belter of a goal to put the game out of reach against Bournemouth in the 64th minute. Bailey debuted nicely at the back and red devil fans will have to wait to see Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba take the pitch with neither getting game time (Pogba didn’t play due to suspension).
Arsenal: “Vibrancy doesn’t make you win games”
“Vibrancy doesn’t make you win games,” said manager Arsene Wenger after his side’s exhilarating loss at the hands of Liverpool. Well tell that to Manchester City, United and Liverpool, who all seemed to play rather vibrant and come away with the 3 points. This is an ominous sign that it might be another year of the same old penny pinching Arsenal, whilst some of their quality players sit in the stands injured.
Leicester: The Foxes set a new record!
Leicester set a record in becoming the first Premier League champions to lose their first game of the following season. Not the kind of record you’d want, and to Hull City at that. Hull was a team tipped to be a certainty for relegation this season but actually brought the fight to Leicester and overcame them.
P.s. Hull don’t have a manager, their manager told the fans to “die as soon as they want,” and they had 13 fit players for this game (2 were goalkeepers). That’s the team Leicester lost to. Hats off to Hull City.
Liverpool: Klopp’s got something Kooking
It pains me to write anything positive about Liverpool because about 89% of my mates support them, but it’s hard to overlook the fashion of their victory and the return of scintillating football in Liverpool. Flair, fun and free flowing football is on the menu at Anfield. After 166 usually uneventful games where Liverpool showed “great character” under Brendan Rodgers, Jürgen Klopp and his wacky antics may be the modern twist needed to propel this historically successful franchise into the future and become contenders once again.
It’s still early days, but some narratives are already beginning to emerge. Sunderland are already flirting with the relegation zone, Diego Costa has already made a filthy challenge and somehow escaped being sent off, I’m sure we’ll all agree it’s just great to have some EPL back in our lives. The big clubs seem primed to take back the crown but who knows, stranger things have happened - a la Leicester City.