Only two weeks into the 2020-21 Premier League season and we have some major storylines that will be important to watch for the rest of the campaign.
Already we have been treated to some fantastic matches with goals galore. New signings have made their debuts, some with more success than others.
Here are my three main takeaways from the first two match weeks of the season.
Kepa Can’t Be Helped
I’m going to do my best to keep my Chelsea bias out of this but you don’t have to be a Blues fan to realize how truly awful Kepa Arrizabalaga is. Last season, Kepa was the second worse goalkeeper in the EPL in terms of save percentage, only stopping 54.5% of shots on goal.
For any keeper, that is an unacceptable number. For the most expensive goalkeeper in the world, it is straight embarrassing.
Chelsea paid £71.6 million for Kepa to come to London, and for the better part of two years, he has only made the club worse. His horrendous decision-making was on full display Sunday when instead of clearing a pass out of Chelsea’s end, he fired a pass right at Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, leading to the Reds’ second goal of the day.
Chelsea lost that match 2-0. Kepa’s confidence is completely shot despite Frank Lampard giving him every chance to succeed. The way I see it nothing more can be done to improve his play. What we saw over the weekend is Kepa. It is time for the Lampard and the Blues to move on.
Everton Committed Highway Robbery
So at first, it was believed that the Toffees acquired Columbian superstar James Rodriguez through a transfer fee with his former club Real Madrid. New details from the past week reveal that is not the case. James was signed by Everton on a free transfer with Madrid receiving a sell-on percentage should they sell him in the future.
And as we have seen from the past two weeks, Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti committed highway robbery. It took no time for James to make an impact with Everton, scoring a goal and assisting on another in their 5-2 defeat of newly-promoted side West Brom.
If you haven’t seen the goal yet, go watch it now because it is spectacular.
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) September 19, 2020
The week before, James helped Everton defeat Tottenham 1-0. His playmaking ability through the middle has provided Everton with the midfield spark they have been looking for. It has been only been two matches, but Everton and James look like a really promising.
Liverpool Haven’t Quite Looked the Same
Fitness is a major part of football and right now Liverpool doesn’t appear to be fit. Last season was a magical one for the Reds but winning the league takes a lot of energy. With the current campaign only starting a month and a half later, Liverpool had little time to reset both mentally and physically.
Now don’t get me wrong, the Reds still look like a dominant force, however, they haven’t quite looked as crisp as normal in their first two matches. Against Leeds, their defense got eaten alive with defenders Virgil Van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold both making uncharacteristic mistakes that led to goals. Liverpool hung on to win 4-3 despite the errors.
Jurgen Klopp even admitted that his squad needed time to gel into a cohesive unit.
“‘It is not like riding a bike, you can lose something in pre-season and it takes time to all come together again,” Klopp said after the victory.
In their second match, Liverpool beat Chelsea 2-0 thanks to the aforementioned Kepa disaster-class. Chelsea was able to get forward fairly easily as Liverpool’s back four still didn’t look fit. It was still a much better performance from Liverpool and the addition of Thiago will help their play going forward. But so far, it is clear that the Reds are beatable which is a good sign for every other Premier League team.
If your team has struggled so far: take a deep breath. If your team has excelled: keep a level head.
We’re only two weeks in. There’s a long way to go.
Featured Image: AP Images