Kieran Davies looks ahead to a week of super villainy and impossible tasks.
As Jose Mourinho stumbles ever closer to a hefty golden handshake, things don’t look like turning the corner anytime soon and it could be a very long season for United fans. One excuse after another has gone past the realms of ‘fake news’ or misdirection to take the focus off his players and now he seems like a man who is struggling with the demands of this seasons Premier League. Teams have strengthened their squads and the Portuguese manager seems to still be bitter over the club not obtaining him his targets. This love affair could very well be over. For United fans, watching them play currently must come with all the highs and lows of having a stop and search from the police when you know you’re holding. Across Manchester, rivals City had started the season as everyone expected with an unblemished record. Wolves didn’t read the script, showing just how competitive this league is and, in the process, ruining City’s 100% start.
A lot of people took notice in the summer when Liverpool finally addressed the elephant in the room for so many years, their goalkeeping situation. With fans of opposing clubs fearing this could be the missing link that has prevented the Merseyside club winning the league for so long. Brighton made things difficult for them by packing eleven men behind the ball all of the time. However, Mo Salah managed to find a way through and Klopp’s side took all three points in a game where last season they would have dropped points, yet again. Difficult trips to Leicester and Tottenham will really test their title credentials over the next few weeks. Pochettino’s Tottenham coming off the back of giving Jose’s United side a 3-0 drubbing at home. Having not added to their squad in the transfer window does not seem to have left the North London (or wherever they lay their hat) outfit lagging behind their rivals thus far.
Speak to a Chelsea fan and their optimism for this season seemed to leave on the same plane as Antonio Conte. While their owner camps out in his yacht in the ocean, fearing setting foot on dry land for the authorities catching him like some bond super villain, the club seems to be regressing. In contradiction to this however, Sarri’s side have managed a 100% record without impressing anyone with their verve. What has been noticeable so far so how he likes to anchor that side around the passing in the centre of Jorginho. It will be interesting to see how they fare when they face fellow rivals for those coveted Champions League places. Another surprise package so far has to be Watford. A side that has had more managers than plaudits over the last few years have begun in perfect style. The visit of Spurs this weekend should really see how prepared the Hornets are for the heady heights of their current league position.
Arsenal have been less than impressive so far under their new manager Emery and may find themselves in a similar position to United this season. Their defence seems capable of letting more people through than the German borders from what we have seen so far so it seems apt that they visit Warnock’s Cardiff who look unable to score in a brothel with a handful of fifties. Something has to give. West Ham seem surprised that their ‘changing of guard’, buying near enough a new entire first team squad hasn’t addressed their problems. Instead now they look like eleven players who have never met before and have rocked up for a game of football together. Defeat at home to newly promoted Wolves could really heap the pressure on Pellegrini very early on in his Hammers tenure.
Rafa’s Newcastle face the formidable task of a trip to Manchester City this weekend and having watched their negative, defensive display at home to Chelsea, this may be one to fast forward if you are a Magpie’s fan watching Match of the Day. Another manager who feels he isn’t being back by his owners, lamenting the lack of quality at his disposal. It’s a wonder that the Spanish manager wasn’t even a contender for the Arsenal job considering his pedigree. There are plenty of teams who three games in find themselves with a big fat zero in the wins column. This can be a curse and teams will want/need to address this asap before they find themselves in a rut which they just can’t shake off. Nobody needs to give the teams around them a head start and plenty will want to distance themselves from those dreaded relegation positions. The best thing we can do is sit back, lap it and enjoy the ride before another international break of nothing games interrupts our viewing like an unwanted party political broadcast.