With all teams now having played five games in the new EPL season, there is very little that can be predicted about the final outcome. But there are already a few distinct storylines emerging.
The sports betting websites will already be changing the odds for the league winners, relegation candidates and top goalscorers. These will undoubtedly change further as the campaign continues. But there are a few things that have been very noticeable from the opening weeks of the season.
The Erik ten Hag Era is Beginning
When Manchester United dropped to the bottom of the table after being thrashed 4-0 by Brentford on match day two, there were more than a few gleeful opposition fans predicting that Erik ten Hag would be leaving the club soon. But the former Ajax manager can now rest a little easier.
Three wins in a row have seen the Old Trafford club climb up the table and sit just below the European places. There is still a lot to fine tune when it comes to the starting eleven, but Ten Hag has already started to pick out his favorites and stamp his authority on the team.
Liverpool Needs to Settle Down
Newcastle almost managed to take a very important point away from its trip to Anfield in the week. But a last minute winner from Fabio Carvalho in the eighth minute of stoppage time gave Liverpool its second consecutive victory of the season and sparked incredible scenes in the stadium.
It was a surprise that Liverpool failed to win any of its first three games of the season after it had been installed as one of the favorites to win the league. But now Jurgen Klopp needs to calm his players down and get them playing in the way they are used to. This is no time to panic – Liverpool will be just fine.
Manchester City is Unstoppable
Nottingham Forest’s 6-0 defeat to Manchester City on match day five was not a completely surprising result – even for fans of the newly promoted club. But it did show just how in control Manchester City is this year. The fact that it didn’t really shift into top gear to record such a convincing win should terrify the rest of the league.
Erling Haaland has proved just what a dangerous player he is, scoring nine of the 19 goals City has managed in just five games. The 3-3 draw away at Newcastle already seems like a momentary blip and every other club will do well to stop Pep Guardiola from picking up another winners’ medal at the end of the season.
Figure 2 Manchester City has looked very impressive already
The EPL Manager Merry-Go-Round is Well Underway
Well, it didn’t take long. Scott Parker was always going to do well to keep Bournemouth away from the bottom of the table. But a 9-0 drubbing at the hands of Liverpool means that the former Fulham boss was the first manager to be sacked in the EPL this season.
Four games into a campaign is surely far too early to dispense with a manager. But Bournemouth’s decision just shows that the EPL is no place for the squeamish. There will undoubtedly be further casualties as the season progresses – and Parker may even be given another chance elsewhere.
Arsenal is the Real Deal
Not many EPL fans would have had Arsenal down as the only team to retain a 100% record from the opening five games of the season. The Gunners had lost their first three this time last year and even some of the loyal fans were calling for Mikel Arteta’s head. What a difference 12 months can make.
It would still be a surprise if Arsenal stayed at the top of the table for the rest of the campaign. But it does look like Arteta’s plan is coming to fruition. Arsenal will feel as though it can be the top team in London this season – and claim a Champions League spot for the first time in six years.