football

Five Reasons Why We Have Loved This Season’s Premier League So Far

October 06, 2017

- Grant Whittington

This Premier League campaign is shaping up to be one of the most enthralling since its inception 25 years ago as England’s top-flight aims to cement its reputation as the greatest league on the planet. Despite the abysmal record of English clubs in the Champions League (two semi-finalists in the last five years), the competitive instinct and magical unpredictability of the Premier League remains unparalleled. As the plot lines thicken and the drama unfolds, we look at five reasons why the 2017/18 season has got us hooked and yearning for the next round of fixtures.

The Race For The Golden Boot

A flurry of Premier League strikers have been in scintillating form both domestically and on the European circuit as Harry Kane aspires to become only the third player to win three consecutive Premier League Golden Boots after Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry. The irrepressible Romelu Lukaku leads the way on seven goals, with Kane, Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Morata lead the way on six goals, with Kane close behind on six.

The clinical nature of these marksmen in the big games could prove to be decisive in who declares bragging rights come May. Honourable mentions must also go to Raheem Sterling of a rampant Manchester City and Leicester City hero Jamie Vardy with both players having netted five times in impressive opening salvos.

Title Race Closer Than Ever

Both Manchester clubs appear irresistible in their quest to wrestle the Premier League crown from Antonio Conte’s Chelsea with neither side yet to taste defeat.

After their turbulent pre-season and opening day horror show at home to Burnley, the defending champions have rediscovered their togetherness and no more was this evident than in their superb scalp of Atlético Madrid – labelled by club legend Frank Lampard as “one of the great English performances in Europe.”

Local derbies and meetings between the top sides are always the standout fixtures on the calendar and here lies great intrigue because there is hardly anything separating the big guns with Arsenal in seventh just six points off top spot. They along with five other clubs could realistically be crowned champions – a far cry from most European leagues where the title is often a matter of interest for two rival clubs, maybe three.

Surprise Packages

Leicester’s plummet from title winners to 12th place last year was expected, but who foresaw Bournemouth finishing in the top half or Burnley surviving a season in the top-flight for the first in over 40 years? An underdog always steals the heart of the British public and it is newcomers Huddersfield that are sitting pretty in mid-table following their dream start in what has been a triumph for organisation and relentless workrate.

Aside from the Terriers, it is Marco Silva’s Watford and Sean Dyche’s Burnley who look to be on course for a shock top-half finish after their respective battles with relegation last time out. The former Sporting Lisbon boss came from relative obscurity to earn plenty of plaudits after nearly pulling off a minor miracle at Hull during his short reign at the KCOM Stadium, whereas the Clarets are currently gatecrashing the top six with an impressive 12 points from their opening seven games. Whether it’s a surprising thrust for Europe or refreshing approach to the beautiful game, we can’t wait to see who will render us astounded and astonished.

Helps Us Forget About England

The national team’s progress continues to be uninspiring with their performance against Malta another case of going through the motions in a classic qualifying mismatch. The ferocity and intensity of a Premier League encounter belies the seemingly pedestrian nature of so many England matches and pointless friendlies.

Until our international stars replicate the passion and excitement of a top-flight clash and sparkle at a major tournament, the glory and prestige of England’s top-flight will continue to be top dog. Could Russia 2018 be the turning point?

Big-Money Signings & New Stars

Paris Saint-Germain’s influx of record-breaking deals may have dominated the summer headlines, but the Premier League had its fair share of big movers and shakers. In any other ordinary pre-season, Lukaku’s move to Old Trafford for £75m would have raised a few eyebrows, but he isn’t the only prized asset donning a new jersey.

Wayne Rooney’s return to his boyhood club was scripted to perfection with his winner giving Everton victory on the opening day of the season. Team-mate Gylfi Sigurdsson has struggled to make a similar impact following his £45m move from Swansea, whereas Mohamed Salah has quickly settled on the red half of Merseyside, scoring four times as Liverpool’s ‘fab four’ look to wreak havoc after they thwarted Barcelona’s attempts to land the playmaking ability of Philippe Coutinho.

Manchester City’s attacking options continue to provide a frightening scenario for defences and elsewhere there are many big names that have taken the Premier League by storm, including Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette (four goals) and Spurs recruit Davinson Sanchez – the latter giving the North-London club a new dimension with his out-and-out defensive style.

It is these factors and fascinating mix of styles that make the Premier League so compelling and subsequently an iconic spectacle around the world.

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