Tuesday 15 August 2023

What have we learned after the first round of Premier League fixtures

Last night we saw Manchester United play Wolverhampton Wanderers in the final match of the first round of Premiership results. Given different clubs are at different stages of fitness, have different priorities and some are still trying to finish their pre season business. It may well be that come the closing of the transfer window, some teams have rather different squads. So what have we learned?

Burnley, Luton and Sheffield United all learned that the Premiership is a rather different beast to the Championship. All suffered difficult starts. Burnley drew the short straw playing Manchester City. Vincent Kompany said before the match that it would be their worst performance of the season. Luton got battered by Brighton, who despite losing some key players looked excellent, but did at least scored. Sheffield Utd played  Crystal Palace and were lucky to get away with a 1-0. I suspect that all of these teams will be happy to survive come the end of the season. Based on what I saw, Burnley are most likely to stay up. Everton had a difficult start, losing a game that they should have won against Fulham, if that becomes a pattern, they may find themselves in trouble.

As for last years Top four, City and Newcastle look in very good shape. Arsenal looked amazing in patches but Forest came back and Arsenal need to manage games far better if they want to seriously challenge City. United were poor and their midfield looks lightweight. They were lucky not to give away a penalty, although such 'luck' is not unusual for them at Old Trafford. United are screaming out for a decent defensive midfield player. To be so bullied by Wolves at home showed them to be rather lightweight.  Chelsea looked much improved from last season, although that is not saying a lot. Liverpool look to be unbalanced. Brilliant in flashes, but far from solid.

Tottenham entered the post Harry Kane era with a draw at Brentford. A new manager with new ideas. It is hard to really tell too much. They scored two and conceded two. Too early to say how deeply Kane will be missed, as I expect a replacement to be shipped in.

As to the rest of them, hard to say. 

As to the rest of the league, nothing stood out to me. 

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