10 Things we learned this weekend…

1. Don’t look at the table until six weeks in…

You should never really get invested in what the table says until week 6 or 7 at the earliest.  The table will be very interesting for the first couple weeks and fans can claim to be top of the league when they may end up in the relegation scrap fight.  The defending champions are currently 10th.  Arsenal is in the relegation zone.  The top four right now in the Premier League…Manchester City, Leicester, Crystal Palace, and West Ham.  If more than one of them is in the top four at the end of the season, I would be shocked.

2. Arsenal needs more than just a center forward…

Arsenal had a terrible performance and really struggled in their match against West Ham.  Petr Cech did not have his best game and was probably at fault for the two goals.  However, Arsenal needs more than just Cech to find his footing.  They need a center forward for sure and will need more.  Debuchy and Monreal really struggled out wide and Per Mertesacker was not up to his top billing.  Another defender or two could really help.  I also feel they could use another holding midfielder.  While it is way too early to write off Arsenal, especially with the window still open, Arsene needs to bring in more recruits.

3. PSG needs Zlatan but will win the league without him…

When you look at what happened this weekend in France, I think the only conclusion is that PSG will win the league.  Monaco was trailing 1-0 when Olivier Boscagli was sent off for Nice and then Monaco was able to score two goals to get the win.  Lyon was the better side but was unable to score and drew 0-0.  Saint Etienne lost 2-1 to Toulouse.  PSG meanwhile went down to 10 men very early in their game and were still able to get all three points as they beat Lille following a great goal by Lucas Moura.  They missed Zlatan in terms of their ability to finish off goals.  If PSG want to make a run deep in the Champions League then they will need Zlatan but in terms of the Ligue 1, they should be fine without him.

4. Make sure your manager wants to stay long term before the season starts…

The other major story in France this week was Marseille.  This team that was picked by some to be in the race for the Champions League spots is now in search of a new manager as Marcelo Bielsa resigned from his role following their loss at the weekend.  He is now being linked with the Mexican National team job.  While the news was definitely shocking, it is something that shouldn’t be that surprising when you think about Bielsa’s history.  Moving on from him is the task that now faces Marseille and it will surely have an impact on the field. The names have been interesting so far as Klopp and Zidane are two big names being mentioned.  It will certainly be a story to follow.

5. Home games are going to be vital in the title race…

This week, three of the top 4 from last year played at home and only 1 team was able to win.  Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United all welcomed teams to their grounds this weekend.  Chelsea was able to jump out to a lead twice only to be pegged back both times.  2 points dropped at home is not what Chelsea should be doing.  Arsenal was the most shocking result of the weekend as West Ham United were able to come to the Emirates and get all three points.  Following 2 calamitous errors by Cech and the Arsenal defense, West Ham were able to win 2-0.  Manchester United hosted Tottenham and while the game was not pretty, 3 points is 3 points.  United got all three points thanks to a Kyle Walker own goal.  Those might be three big points in the end for United, and could be costly for Chelsea and Arsenal in the end.

6. Leicester could stay up…

Leicester opened their second year with a bang as they beat Sunderland 4-2.  They came flying out of the gate with 3 goals in the first 25 minutes.  Riyad Mahrez scored 2 and Jamie Vardy opened the scoring.  Marc Albrighton added the fourth in the 66th minute.  This is something that should give the Leicester fans some hope.  The team looked very good and got all 3 points.  I had them in my bottom 3 before the season but these three points could be vital at the end of the season.

7. Manchester City make a statement…

Coming into Monday, the door was wide open for City to make a statement and they came through with a loud statement to the League.  It only took 9 minutes for City to grab the lead as a Yaya Toure shot took a deflect and rolled into the back of the net.  Yaya Toure then grabbed a lovely goal as he placed the ball in the back of the net.  Then, Vincent Kompany snapped a header into the net to give City a 3-0 win.  Kompany was great in the game, and City look ready to take their crown back.  The last 5 champions have all played on Monday night of the opening weekend.  Will history repeat itself?  We will have a better idea next Sunday when they host Chelsea.

8. Rough home welcome for promoted clubs in England…

The weekend was a reminder to the promoted sides that this is not an easy league.  The three teams combined for just 1 point and 3 goals.  Bournemouth and Norwich were the home teams this weekend and will need to get points at home.  They both really struggled.  Bournemouth lost 1-0 to Aston Villa.  Villa could be a relegation rival and is a team that Bournemouth could have taken some points from.  Norwich had tough opposition and it showed as they lost 3-1 to Crystal Palace.  Palace are pegged to be a top 10 team this season but at home, Norwich need to get points.  Watford was the strongest team this weekend of the three as they were able to draw 2-2 at Everton.    On the face this seems like a great point for Watford; a road point against an established Premier League team.  However, Watford had the lead with just 4 minutes to go when Arouna Kone snatched the late winner.

9. The transfer window is still open…

Teams can still buy players for 21 days and change and this will be vital.  Based on the results, some teams will definitely go out and spend money to strengthen their teams.  It will be interesting to see what happens.  Chelsea is looking to add two defenders in Augsburg’s left-back Abdul Baba Rahman and Everton’s John Stones.  The question is whether Everton will bend on their “not for sale” claims.  Manchester United is looking to add Biglia from Lazio and Barcelona’s Pedro.  City is looking to add Kevin De Bruyne.  These last 21 days should be interesting.

10. Arsene Wenger sleeps with a teddy bear…

This picture is all you need to know about what happened at the Emirates.

IMG_3168

Goals of the week…

James’ Pick – Philippe Coutinho’s goal for Liverpool against Stoke City.

https://vine.co/v/ew9emJl9Irz/embed/simple

My Pick – Yaya Toure’s second goal for Manchester City against West Bromwich Albion

https://vine.co/v/edWzE6A3Azd/embed/simple

Match to Watch this Week

UEFA Super Cup Final – Barcelona vs. Sevilla – Tuesday August 10, 2015 2:30 pm EST on Fox Sports 1

This will most likely be a farewell game for Pedro as he moves on to Manchester United.  Look for him to feature in the game as Neymar is out injured.  This game will not be straight forward for Barcelona, as Sevilla will be looking to make a statement.  They will be featuring new signings Yevhen Konoplyanka and Ciro Immobile.  Adil Rami is a doubt due to illness.  This should be a great game as these two teams continue their preseason preparations.

Games Next Friday…

EPL – Aston Villa vs. Manchester United – 2:45 pm EST – NBCSN

Bundesliga – Bayern Munich vs. Hamburg SV – 2:30 pm EST – Fox Sports 2

Ligue 1 – AS Monaco vs. Lille – 2:30 pm EST

Spanish Super Cup – Atletico  Bilbao vs Barcelona – 4:00 pm – ESPN Deportes

Look for my Bundesliga preview on Wednesday and then my big 5 games of the weekend on Friday.

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4 thoughts on “10 Things we learned this weekend…

  1. I disagree that Arsenal needs additions in the back. The big problem was a lack of width, as Debuchy’s rust was evident there. However, Bellerin should be back by Sunday, and he provides that immediately. On the other side, Monreal didn’t have much support because Cazorla kept drifting inside. All of that can be figured out tactically, not necessarily with a new signing. And I didn’t think Mertesacker was bad at all. Overreacting is not the answer after one week. I talked about some of this in my piece about this weekend. Please give it a read! I really like your setup here and the goals of the week. http://wildamericangooner.com/2015/08/11/5-observations-from-week-1-of-the-epl-season/

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    • Do you not think that they need a holding midfielder and another quality center back? I am not sold on Mertesacker and Gabriel. If they could get someone like Otamendi would that not improve the side? Agree with Bellerin point. They could also go for a holding midfielder that could provide better coverage.

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      • I’m not so sure to be honest. We haven’t seen enough of Gabriel to judge him and Chambers needs to be given a chance – he could well be the answer in two years time. For now, I’m good with Koscielny and Mertesacker. Another holding midfielder on the other hand would be nice. I love Coquelin. But in home games where the other team is going to sit back I think someone whose distribution is better would be better suited to the side. And it’s scary what would happen if he were to get hurt

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