Arsenal hosted Liverpool in their opening Premier League game of the 2016/17 campaign on Sunday afternoon. With fans frustrated with a lack of signings and worried by the transfer activity and managerial acquisitions of their rivals, a win was vital for Arsenal to keep the fans onside.
Pep Guardiola finally completed his first match in the Premier League, with a narrow win over David Moyesâ€™ Sunderland team. The managerial merry-go-round was struck into full swing when Sam Allardyce replaced Roy Hodgson as England manager, leaving David Moyes to take up the vacant Sunderland managerial role. With only a few weeks of pre-season preparation, expectations were not high against the favourites for the title.
After a disappointing end to the season, the future looks bright for Manchester City with the introduction of Josep Guardiola as manager. FollowingÂ great success in Spain and Germany, Pep now looks to try his hand in the Premier League in what is an eagerly anticipated tenure. The ex-Bayern coach has already had some impact on his side, with the astute signing of Ilkay GĂĽndogan adding much needed playmaking to the 8 position whilst their work on the training ground has already begun to show.
The final day of the 2014-15 season saw Brendan Rodgersâ€™ Liverpool side get thrashed 6-1 by a mediocre Stoke team. After challenging for the title in the previous season, the transfer of Luis Suarez and poor health of Daniel Sturridge created big issues and performance dropped off a cliff. Whilst Rodgers was previously able to rely on his talented personnel, he struggled to implement a consistent strategy from this point onwards. He was granted the start of the 2015-16 season to rectify the issues, but was unable to do so. He was sacked after a 1-1 draw with Everton in October. A few days later, Jurgen Klopp was hired.
Chelsea hosted Manchester City in the 33rd game week of the Premier League season. In previous seasons this fixture would has often had a major impact on the destination of the Premier League trophy with both sides occupying the highest positions in the table. This year however neither side are involved in the title race and the outcome was only significant for Manchester City in their attempts to fend off their neighbours and secure Champions League football for next season.
They are leading the Premier League by a margin of seven points and seem to be the hottest thing in English football right now. This is the Spielverlagerung analysis of Leicester Cityâ€¦
Tottenham hosted Manchester United on Sunday evening knowing that only a victory would keep their slim hopes alive in their attempts to keep pace with leaders Leicester City who built a 10 point lead with a 2-0 win over Sunderland.Â The stakes were high for United as well who could remain one point behind rivals Manchester City in the race to secure a top four finish.
Tottenham have really exceeded expectations this season. With Leicester deservingly taking most of the back page headlines this season, the heroics Mauricio Pochettino and his men have performed so far this season have arguably gone slightly under the radar. They have just come off the back beating 2014/14 champions Manchester City, putting them in second place just two points behind leaders Leicester. Spurs shouldn’t only be given credit for this league position they find themselves in, but also for the style which has delivered them this success.
Arsenal played hosts to Leicester in a match which highlighted the superiority of team-tactical strengths over individual abilities. Leicester are one of the strategically strongest teams in England this year through their stable defending and great transition game whilst Arsenal’s structuring issues again were on show. It took a dismissal for the control of the game to shift as Wenger’s side took advantage of their numerical superiority after Simpson saw a second yellow.
There was huge excitement as these two teams came off the back of 3-3 draws in midweek to play the biggest derby fixture in the Best League In The Worldâ„˘. Unfortunately it wasn’t the most entertaining of derbies, with both teams recording an xG (expected goals) of under 1 (0.8 and 0.7 respectively). This piece will focus on two of the main issues that have been on the minds of all Premier League fans this season: why are United so rubbish in attack? and why do they concede so few chances. I’ll also have a look at Liverpool’s attacking strategy.