Saturday was the start of the Premier League season but we are none the wiser as to the likely outcome this year. What we are sure of is that this season could, and probably will, be closer than last year’s thrilling race. Where last season it was a three horse race (just four points between the top three), this should be a four way tussle as long as Liverpool don’t capitulate as usual.
Starting with last year’s Champions, and although Manchester United failed to win, their start last season was actually pretty abysmal and they still won the title. Newcastle could be facing a tough season ahead and United really should have won.
Chelsea may have won 4-0 but the result was a little misleading. Portsmouth were truly terrible in the Community Shield and look like a different side. Last year, they were very hard-working, and played some excellent football at times. This season they look like a side believing their own hype from last year and simply not trying.
Chelsea will play better football this year. They’ll score goals. Scolari’s teams always do, but their real tests will come at the other end. When you play open football, you rely on pace at the back, as your defence is more exposed to counter-attacks. This is not their strongest suit. Against the better sides this could yet be exposed.
The midfield unit that played against Portsmouth also lacked a quality defensive player (no, Mikel is not quality) and a similar criticism could be levelled at Arsenal. Although he is clearly better than Obi Mikel, Denilson is still unproven and Eboue is just not a natural midfielder (he shouldn’t be on the wing either). Still, West Brom have a couple of decent players, and could well stay up if they play like that all season.
Liverpool were fortunate to come away from the Stadium of Light with a victory, but they won, and on the opening weekend that’s all that matters. They’ll need to perform better if they have real ambitions of winning the title but a win’s a win.
It looks like we’ll have a tight title race in prospect. Bring it on!