With the pitch being freshly mowed, weather cooling down and players settling into their new clubs, the English Premier League can finally kick off! After a summer full of international tournaments and chaotic transfers, the greatest stage for domestic club soccer can begin. Expectations are high for multiple contenders while some underdogs will definitely have their chance to upset the table.
Two weekends full of league play have passed, while it is too early to make definitive claims on certain teams, it is nevertheless interesting to examine certain teams. For that reason, it would be useful to focus on three different types of teams that have dominated the headlines in the early stages of this campaign.
The three different types of teams will be: contender, surprise and loser. Contender is, of course, the team that has been the most impressive and has clearly set out to win the league while the loser is the worst team in the league in terms of money spent and expectations. The surprise team is a team that has come out of nowhere to take the attention away from the top teams as they look to achieve something on their own.
Chelsea looks unbeatable right now, winning each of their first two games while shutting the opposing team out is a remarkable feat. Thomas Tuchel’s side looks even better than the side that won the Champions League a few months back, as the transfer market has yielded them the best prize outside of Lionel Messi.
The biggest improvement for Chelsea this season has been getting Romelu Lukaku, who over his time at Inter Milan developed into one of the three best strikers in the world. After seven years away from Chelsea, Lukaku has returned to Stamford bridge looking to become that number nine that Chelsea have lacked since Didier Drogba. It really feels as if this is the transfer that has been missing for Chelsea for so many years.
If transfer rumors are to be believed, Chelsea will look to add some reinforcements to their already stellar backline. While both Manchester teams did have strong transfer windows, they just seem to be following in Chelsea’s wake.
Towards the second half of last season, West Ham seemed changed with David Moyes getting excellent performances from various players yielding a sixth place finish. West Ham has continued this strong start as they currently stand at the top of the table.
Despite not being overly active in the transfer market, Moyes has continued to place his faith in his squad. This faith has been repaid with players such as Michail Antonio and Saïd Benrahma putting in some of the best performances of this young season. It may be too early to tell if this momentum will continue but West Ham fans should feel confident in their team at the very least outperforming expectations.
The only weakness this team has displayed is in the defense and with rumors circulating that they want to bring in some defensive help, this team could challenge for a Eruopa league spot yet again. Moyes deserves credit for slowly rebuilding his image in the Premier League after his disastrous spell as Manchester United manager.
At this point, it feels like a cruel joke to continue to add Arsenal to the losers lists but they certainly aren’t helping change that image. Two tough losses, to Brentford and Chelsea respectively, have sunk Arsenal to the bottom of the table with their schedule not looking any better.
Nothing Arsenal has done this summer has pushed them back into the elite of the league with manager Mikel Arteta looking likely to be the first manager to get fired this season. It feels as if the legacy and identity that Wenger built have completely disappeared, being replaced by the void of failed transfers and managers. While the Ben White and Martin Ødegaard signings are pointing in the right direction, it seems like bringing in a Premier League proven striker would have tremendously helped their team.
Unfortunately for Arsenal fans, their schedule doesn’t get much easier as they will play Manchester City this Saturday. Unless there is a major move at the end of the transfer window, Arsenal will likely be condemned to a mid table finish again.
Featured Image: Darren Walsh/Getty Images