The Premier League is still early in its grand play, leaving fans waiting for each new matchday. Different storylines and players drive flocks of fans, as everyone waits to see the next act in this epic. It also means that it’s the perfect time to overreact to certain teams.
With the Prem still in its nascent stage, there are certain teams that have clearly been failing. Of course there’s still plenty of time left, but these are still interesting case studies.
From teams that were supposed to challenge for Europe to a team that sought to tap into previously untapped potential, there are storylines for everyone. Leicester and West Ham have been constant European place challengers for the past few seasons. While Aston Villa used this summer window to beef up an already interesting team.
These teams share similar reasons as to why they have struggled early on. Some of these teams have had troubles with their new signings and others their manager. Leaving every team their own specific way of fixing their situation.
As the season continues its long march, each one of these teams will have chances to rebound. But which team will struggle the most?
Since appointing Steven Gerrard, Villa has seemingly been that team that is primed to take the next step and challenge for Europe. However, for a multitude of reasons, they have been held back.
One can’t blame Villa’s struggles on their transfers, as the club has done good business this summer by bringing in experienced players. Kamara is an excellent young talent who can anchor a midfield while Diego Carlos is a fine center back who will now be sidelined. Ever since the club cashed in on Jack Grealish, they have done an excellent job in building a competitive side.
The one thing really holding Villa back is Gerrard, as he has continued to struggle. Gerrard did initially find success in the Prem, but since the tail end of last season, he has struggled. Since he’s joined the side, he has never truly imprinted an identity on the team.
His sides are neither above average offensively or defensively, a truly mid side. Gerrard hasn’t been able to find a coherent attacking plan other than let Leon Bailey cook and defensively, he wants individual talent to save him. If Villa are truly serious about challenging for a spot in Europe, they need a more experienced manager who can imprint an identity on the side.
Villa will almost certainly not finish in the top 10, but they have enough Prem talent to survive any sort of relegation scrap. While they will likely miss out on the top half, their situation is not the most concerning.
More a dumpster fire than a professional sports team, it feels like the wheels have truly fallen off the Leicester wagon. So much has gone wrong for this celebrated club, it’s hard to put into words.
Selling Kasper Schmeichel was like an air raid siren, letting all know that the club was in free fall. Schmeichel is a club legend who was still performing well, making his transfer away make no sense. At the same time, the club failed to find any true replacement for the Dane, leaving the Foxes in the worst possible situation.
Wesley Fofana was always destined to play for a bigger club, so losing him was no surprise and the club pocketed a nice return. Wout Faes is an interesting prospect who could grow into something nice. The issue iis however, if the club knew Fofana was going to leave early on, why not try to bring in James Tarkowski to bring some experience to the backline.
Jaime Vardy will always be a Prem legend who rose from obscurity to deliver his club the title. However, it’s absurd in the year 2022 that a club is still asking him to carry them offensively. The club’s lack of alternatives to Vardy will continue to doom they as he continues his decline.
Without a doubt this is the club that is in the most relative danger, as they will likely have to fight a relegation battle. At the same time, it’s hard to prescribe anything to the club other than find some sort of stability.
Despite a poor start to life in the Prem, West Ham are killing it in Europe. Honestly, it’s hard to be so harsh on them as they have a good shot at winning the Conference League.
The only real possibility is their tough and condensed schedule. Since August, the Hammers have played 10 games in two different competitions. Again, they have struggled in the Prem with only one win, but in Europe, they have yet to be defeated.
It’s true that they’ve had a tough schedule, playing Chelsea, Manchester City and Spurs, but they’ve dropped winnable matches. In all honesty, West Ham should have beaten Forrest and the Brighton match could have gone either way. Still one has to reason that as the schedule eases up, the London side will be fine.
Once Gianluca Scamacca can get firing, the Hammers will have a towering threat that is built for the Prem. Lucas Paquetá is a talented playmaker who should provide the Hammers offense with even more depth. The pieces clearly are there for West Ham, so it’s just about fitting them all together and finding consistent form.
West Ham will be fine and out of these three teams, they should be the ones with the least amount of worries. In fact, the Hammers have a good chance at winning a European trophy.
All these clubs have different reasons as to why they’re struggling and they each have their own level of concern. It’s still way too early to make any definite judgements on these sides, but it’s still a part of enjoying the league. This type of judgment passing is what makes being a fan of the sport so fun, making claims that may be wrong but still doing it out of love for the sport.
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