EPL Matchday 1 Roundup Friday/Saturday

Manchester United/Leicester City: Pregame notes: EPL 2018-2019 Matchday 1, Part 1 Postgame player ratings: Manchester United v. Leicester post-match thoughts Bold predictions (from Pregame Notes): Correct Score/Correct Winner Incorrect Goalscorers (0/3 — came off Vardy without the start) Tottenham/Newcastle: Pregame notes: EPL 2018-2019 Matchday 1, Part 1 Bold predictions (from Pregame Notes): Correct goalscorers (2/3 – missed Jan … Read moreEPL Matchday 1 Roundup Friday/Saturday

Burnley 2018-2019 Transfer Review

Note: This is the latest breakdown of transfer moves leading up to the 2018-19 Premier League season. This post will be updated throughout the transfer window as appropriate. \
I think this Burnley side has the quality for a top half finish and I don’t think that repeating continental competition is out of the question. They have shown that they can spend wisely, I anticipate them to reassess their transfer needs in the Winter Transfer window which might cause them to pay a little more, but they’ve also stayed out of the major bidding wars that would cost them astronomical amounts.
I would like to see their goals scored increase, though I’m very pleased with their goals conceded. I do think that they have a sufficient quality in Vokes and Wood. I honestly think they were rather unfortunate to have scored as few goals as they did; I think they’ll have a bumper season. Their defense is stout enough that they don’t need to increase it substantially, they just need to move to a positive goal difference. I think that’s likely to keep them in continental competition.
(Update: This Burnley side has added a few major additions and brought in some additional quality at keeper; I definitely favor them for Europa Leage).

Read moreBurnley 2018-2019 Transfer Review

Picking a Football Club – Quarterfinal 1

Today’s matchup is between the 1-seed Burnley and the 8-seed West Ham United. First, a tale of the tape (most information from this wonderful post):
Burnley
Nickname: The Clarets
Founded: 1882
Location: Burnley
Team Colors: “Claret” Red / Blue
Kit Manufacturer: Puma (since 2010)
Primary Kit Sponsor: LaBa360
Ground: Turf Moor (capacity 21,994)
Manager: Sean Dyche (since 2012)
West Ham United
Nickname: The Hammers/The Irons
Founded: 1895 (as Thames Ironworks)
Location: London
Team Colors: Red (Claret) / Blue
Kit Manufacturer: Umbro (since 2015)
Primary Kit Sponsor: Betway
Ground: London Stadium (capacity 60,000)
Manager: Manuel Pellegrini (since 2018)

Read morePicking a Football Club – Quarterfinal 1

Picking a Football Club, Part 2

If you’ve been following along, I’m trying to decide on a favorite English Premiere League club. I have narrowed the list down to eight clubs, and you can read up why I eliminated the other 12 here.
As a reminder, here are the remaining eight clubs in alphabetical order:
AFC Bournemouth
Burnley
Crystal Palace
Everton
Leicester City
Newcastle United
Southampton
West Ham United

Read morePicking a Football Club, Part 2

Premier League Club Primer: 2018-2019 Edition

Ever had questions about clubs that you were afraid to ask? Here’s the rundown on the 20 Soccer teams competing in the top tier of English Soccer. Some historical facts, some questions to be answered, and some serious takeaways. Here is everything you wanted to know about the clubs but didn’t want (or know) to ask.
During the next couple weeks, we’ll be exploring each teams transfer business (In and Out) to see how well teams have addressed their needs!

Arsenal

Nickname: The Gunners
Founded: 1886 (Under a different name)
Location: London
Team Colors: Red/White
Kit Manufacturer: Puma (2014-present)
Kit Sponsor: Emirates Airlines
Ground: Emirates Stadium (2006-present)
Capacity:  59,862
Manager: Unai Emery (first season) replacing Arsene Wenger (1996-2018)
Website: www.arsenal.com
17/18 Season: 6th in English Premier League

Arsenal are a perennial Premier League team, with their only stint in lower-tier football occurring prior to World War I (as part of their progression to the Premier League). Since then, they’ve been a stalwart and are considered part of English soccer’s royalty, the “Big Six”.  While placed in this royalty, Arsenal’s recent form have had them finishing outside of the top-4 which is a perquisite for the UEFA Champions League.  Missing out on the Champions League is a big financial hit for the club, and has been a voiced concern amongst the players; some of whom have run out their contracts or joined rival clubs for the opportunity to compete at the highest level. One of these situations led to a winter transfer window swap for one of Arsenal’s top players, Alexis Sanchez, getting swapped for a Henrik Mkhitaryan who was in poor form for Manchester United so that they didn’t lose him to a free transfer deal.

Arsenal are on their first season Post-Wenger who’s been at Arsenal almost as long as I’ve been alive. So far, Unai Emery, has shown a couple of positives: he’s managed to get some top-tier talent for reasonable prices (by EPL standards) and one particular transfer, Sokratis, was able to overcome reported interest by other Big Six clubs. Arsenal is not a bad side, and I fully expect them to continue in continental competition. Arsenal’s Achilles heel last year was their propensity to give up losses, whereas their EPL opponents could fight for draws. If only a few of those losses were draws, they likely would have been in Champions League competition instead of Europa League.

I think the prospects for Arsenal will be good enough for Champions League this year. Arsenal has also had a larger squad than many teams which has caused some strife for its players (Olivier Giroud –last year, and Jack Wilshere – this year) which eventually have led them elsewhere. I think that clarified expectations under Emery could tighten up the rotation a little and keep continuity (especially in the back) which will allow them to hold on in tight contests.

Click here for an in-depth look at Arsenal’s transfers in advance of the 2018-19 season.

Read morePremier League Club Primer: 2018-2019 Edition