Here we go, it was the second round of fixtures in the 2017/18 Premier League season. Here are five things we learned this week.
Antonio Conte knows how to get results
This was a performance that the Blues sides have become known for over the years, ever since the first Jose Mourinho era. Conte was missing a number of first team players so changed his squad’s shape to a 3-5-2, using three defensive midfielder.
They were low block, well organised, and largely extremely difficult to tear apart. This saw Chelsea beat arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in a true smash and earn all three points where the west London club had only 32% of the ball. They needed a fair bit of luck as well but the Italian boss certainly knows how to get a result.
Marco Silva proving doubters wrong…again
Watford has been tipped according to Pundits for relegation this season. Many chastised the Hull City board for hiring an apparent nobody when there are supposed to be a wealth of young, English managers out there who deserved a chance in the Premier League based on not much more than the fact they are English. And yet, despite the Tigers, who already had one foot in the Championship, a fighting chance.
The Hornets saw Marco Silva as the ideal man to take the team forward due to his tactical nous and ability to get the best out of his players. Hull have so far been rewarded with a brilliant start to the season with a draw against Liverpool, and a fine 2-0 victory away to Bournemouth. How long before certain pundits realise he is actually a pretty good manager.
Brighton and Newcastle are in trouble
Both of these newly promoted clubs have lost their opening two games, and are yet to score a goal. They are clearly in desperate need of some quality and must act fast before the window gets shut if they want to remain in the Premier League this season. There is very little creativity in either either team and both simply aren’t good enough to keep Premier League teams out for a full 90 minutes.
Brighton were expected to be relegated straight back down to the Championship, however, it’s unlikely the Magpies supporters will accept a third relegation from the Premier League, considering the size of the club.
Mesut Ozil is Arsenal’s scapegoat
Whenever the Gunners lose or struggle, the finger is often pointed in Ozil’s direction. The Germany international is often chastised for his apparent lack of work rate in the defensive phase, and was so again after the 1-0 loss away to Stoke. This is little more than lazy analysis. Ozil is arguable the north London side most important man and was the only player against Stoke who was passing incisively, through the lines, and finding gaps in an extremely low block, compact and well organised Stoke side.
Whoever finishes above Manchester United, wins the league
Yes, one might say it’s only be two games into the season however it is pretty clear that the Red Devils are a different animal to last season. The signings of Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic looks brilliant and appear to have been the missing pieces to Jose Mourinho’s jigsaw. It is no secret Mourinho tends to win the league in his second season at every club and look an extremely good bet to do so yet again.
Mourinho’s side are solid at the back, dominant in midfield and ruthless up top. There is a wonderful blend of performances that are gelling together rather nicely right now. Not only that, the options they can choose from to bring off the bench are frightening. This new Manchester United is finally starting to look like the old Manchester United.