Monday, January 17, 2022
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The Premier League So Far & What We’ve Learned II

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Diaw
An avid creative whose word plays so much that words say I play too much; a Ki'shon flow. Life is a journey and we're all full of stories.

The Table Looks Different Now…

The first few weeks in, it was Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur who took to the top of the table. Liverpool & Chelsea were in the mix, and Manchester City had to play catch up a bit. Arsenal? Down at rock bottom. But oh, how fortunes changed in a few weeks.

Others had ascended. Some have stayed in their lane. But the downward spiral that some have suffered has been drastic. Some here, ironically, being Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

epl standing

Chelsea Atop. Liverpool & City Follow Close…

The goals may have dried up for Chelsea’s strike force. Ziyech, Lukaku, Werner, Pulisic, Mount, Hudson Odoi, Havertz have all been anything but consistent. But they still won games. How?

Their defenders and midfielders have chipped in. Edouard Mendy, their goalkeeper, is probably the most in-form player for them as he bailed them out repeatedly in games that they looked certain to concede.

But because of that, Chelsea has stayed ahead of the pack with 25 points from a possible 30. They lost to Manchester City, but they still lead Liverpool, who are yet to suffer a loss.

Liverpool drew to Brighton and Hove Albion, another team outside of West Ham, who is keeping up with the top 6 and only dropped out of the top 5 within the last two weeks. They staged a comeback from a 2-nil deficit to capture a precious point against Klopp’s men.

Liverpool may have dismantled their rivals a week ago in imperious form, but their leaky defense might be the end of them in this title race. Their injury issues remain as Naby Keita is out of the squad again.

Fabinho and Thiago are all getting back to fitness. It could be worse, but these points lost in draws could ultimately be the reason they lose out in the end. 

But compared to City, they had a better day. The blue side of Manchester inexplicably lost to Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace as Laporte was sent off. This leaves them 5 points off Chelsea, with Manchester United, to come.

If ascendency had a name, it would be Arsenal…

3 straight losses were enough for fans to grow frustrated with Arteta and the team. But a few weeks later, Arsenal is unbeaten in England, both in the league and the Carabao cup. They are through to the quarter-finals where they will take on Southampton after defeating Leeds.

With Manchester City out, the trophy is up for a new winner, and between them and Chelsea, West Ham, Liverpool, and Spurs, it’s going to be a competition they would hope to go all the way.

raheem-sterling-manchester-city-sad
Manchester City’s winger – Raheem Sterling gets emotional

Outside of that, they have only dropped points against Crystal Palace and Brighton Hove Albion. Two teams who are in the form currently outside the top 6. Excluding those two, they have won every other match they have played, whether home or away.

Maybe it’s a purple patch. Maybe they face Manchester United after Watford and can’t hold on to it. 

Whatever happens, they are now 6th on the table level with Manchester United, who takes on Manchester City soon. Points are sure to be dropped on either side, and that would only be to their advantage.

If they stay consistent, they are on their way to contend for a place in Europe. 

arsenal team

Arsenal is a team that often lets its fans down, so they lower their expectations. But the recent display shows that the recruitment and money they spent in the summer wasn’t for naught. Especially with a few first-team members out injured.

Disaster thy name is Manchester United & Spurs

Eventually, Spurs would be found out. They were narrowly winning games and not scoring a lot. Add the fact that Harry Kane has been abysmal since the summer transfer window came to a close, and you can see why they are languishing.

SPURS daniel levy
Tottenham Hotspur

They are 8th, but they are only there because of their early wins in the season. Tottenham’s first half against Arsenal was painfully poor as the Gunners put 3 past them in blitz fashion. 

That was the third game in a row. They conceded 3 goals, after losses to Crystal Palace and Chelsea. They lost to West Ham and won at Burnley, only to lose to Manchester United and guess the scoreline.

Yes. 3 goals to nil. Rumors already swirl that they might go back for Antonio Conte if Nuno can’t turn this mixed run of form around.

But compare that to Manchester United, and then you see why one club was in the spotlight the whole time. Both these times have a similar run of results.

They lost in Europe, won in the Premier League, then lost in the Premier League, and then won in Europe, only to come and capitulate in the Premier League again. 

The loss to Leicester City was something out of this world. People scratched their heads as Arsenal comfortably beat this same Leicester side.

But United papered over the cracks with an incredible comeback against Atalanta in Europe to reboot their champions league campaign after losing to Young Boys and narrowly winning against Villareal. There was nowhere to hide when Liverpool mauled them at Old Trafford. 

degea-cropped_sad
Manchester United Goal Keeper – David De Gea

5 goals were put past De Gea, and it could have been more. But that loss sent alarm bells ringing throughout the club. It prompted a visit from Sir Alex Ferguson, and it looked as though Ole would be sacked.

So when Manchester United faced off with Tottenham Hotspur, it was a matter of life and death for the two coaches. Both are in similar circumstances with their jobs on the line.

In the end, Ole came out the happier man. His formation tweak and strike partnership with Cavani and Ronaldo yielded the right results, as both men were on target. They kept a clean sheet for the first time in as many games. 


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Nuno is still Spurs’ coach, but you suspect anything could happen. Ole isn’t out of the clear either, but at least he can breathe easier.

In conclusion…

Chelsea leads with 25 points. Liverpool is second with 22. Manchester City is third with 20. West Ham is fourth, and kudos to them for staying in this chaotic pack with a consistent run of results.

Manchester United is 5th, only ahead of Arsenal in terms of goal difference, and Spurs is 9th with Brighton Hove Albion & Wolves who beat Everton to creep into the top 8, ahead. The premier league race is on, and there’s not a game to miss these days.

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