From VAR, managers being sacked, and Liverpool currently aiming for Arsenal’s ‘invincible’ title – it’s been a start to the season.
The main talking point is VAR, and how a fingernail is now offside (can’t score with it) leading to a range of goals that would have been allowed last season no longer considered. With Son (Tottenham) at Leicester, which to some extent started off Leicester’s season (now second in the league) and started the collapse of Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur, and Jack Grealish ‘first’ goal being ruled out on New Year’s Day. VAR has definitely caused a number of problems, and most have a negative opinion, but only time will tell how effective VAR will be. On the plus side, at least the title won’t be decided by the new technological innovation in sport.
Who would have thought that both North London teams would sack their managers in the same month, with Pochettino leaving the reigns of Tottenham and 12 hours later Mourinho (most shocking thing of the season so far) taking the hold change was occurring in London. Ten days later, Emery was sacked, however a replacement was hard to find, and one may say ‘how the times have changed’. Finally, at the end of December Arteta left Man City as Pep’s number two, and went headfirst into management at Arsenal – again, only time will tell if management is his thing, or if number 2 / assistant coach was his destiny. Staying in London, Watford have been through four managers this season, and West Ham sacking Pellegrini to bring in David Moyes (AGAIN). As for Everton, after finally sacking Marco Silva after ending up near the relegation zone, Carlo Ancelotti joined from Napoli after being sacked (after their qualification to the last 16 of the Champion’s League). The remarkable aspect, when Everton played Arsenal in December, both had caretakers who knew they were out of the job come the end of the match, with Ancelotti and Arteta sitting in the stands, but who would have thought Ancelotti would be managing Everton and NOT Arsenal. Crazy.
In more shocking, but not really that shocking news, Liverpool (with a game in hand) are 13 points clear of second place Leicester City. Was it the Champions League success that brought on their unbeaten run in the Premier League, winning 19 and drawing once? Or do they just have the quality, in players and coach? As for Leicester, Rogers certainly has made his mark being the best of the rest fighting for a Champions League place next season. In other news, Manchester City haven’t had the best of start in comparison to previous seasons – some may say a shock, some may say it was bound to happen. Chelsea are looking somewhat good in forth (although Manchester United, Tottenham, Wolves, and Sheffield United all closing in) under Lampard, who even if I hate to say it seems to be proving himself as a Premier League manager. Sheffield United have been surprising as well, only coming up this season and already looking like an established premier league team. Wolves have been pretty impressive as well, as they also qualify for the last 32 of the Europa League, showing they really can compete in two competitions at once. One time not mentioned yet is Arsenal who haven’t had the best season so far, but neither has Tottenham – both losing matches they should be winning and players not always looking interested, and former managers shouldn’t always be blamed.
As for my fantasy football team, well we won’t speak about that.
So far it has been one half of a season, but what will the table look like at the end of the season?