EPL Matchday 1: Summary

Manchester United/Leicester City:

Tottenham/Newcastle:

  • Pregame notes: EPL 2018-2019 Matchday 1, Part 1
  • Bold predictions (from Pregame Notes) (Note: This was so close, this goal crossed the line by on 9mm):
    • Correct goalscorers (2/3 – missed Jan Vertonghen)
    • Incorrect Score/Winner (Tottenham won 2-1, predicted tie 1-1)

AFC Bournemouth/Cardiff:

  • Pregame notes: EPL 2018-2019 Matchday 1, Part 2
  • Bold predictions (from Pregame Notes):
    • Correct Score/Winner
    • Incorrect goal scorers (0/2, missed Frazier and Wilson)

Watford/BHA:

  • Pregame notes: EPL 2018-2019 Matchday 1, Part 2
  • Bold predictions (from Pregame Notes):
    • Correct Winner
    • Incorrect score/goal scorers (0/2, missed Roberto Pereyra — expected 2-1 scoreline)

Read moreEPL Matchday 1: Summary

EPL 2018-2019 Matchday 1, Part 5 Sou/Burn & Ars/City

This is the fifth part of a five-part series, to start from the beginning click here. Disclaimer: This series is examining the games days prior to matchday, there is always the possibility for injuries, coach selections, etc. They may be updated to reflect most accurate starting lineup. Southampton v. Burnley Location: St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton … Read moreEPL 2018-2019 Matchday 1, Part 5 Sou/Burn & Ars/City

Manchester City 2018-2019 Transfer Review, Part 2

For an in-depth look at the Manchester United roster in advance of the 2018-2019 season, click here to read Part 1. This post will be updated throughout the season with notable transfers and other additions to the club.
Ins:

  • Riyad Mahrez ($74.5M from Leicester) – Mahrez has had a definite dip in form after Leicester City’s title winning campaign (2015-2016) where he rained 17 goals and 10 assists in 37 appearances. His 2016-2017 form was exceptionally poor bring in 6 goals and 4 assists across 36 appearances before he crossed back into the double-double club in 2017-2018. Mahrez has shown some consistency issues (as indicated by above) but I think he is a fantastic player, my concern is more about his composure and how he’ll fit into the side. Mahrez favored position is right attacking midfielder, but if he were to play this side for City it would be in place of Bernardo Silva or Raheem Sterling. He could, feasibly, also play on the opposite side, but then he would have to be favored over Leroy Sane. Personally, I think for a side this stacked — this is probably too much to spend on a player that doesn’t have something to add to the team. I’m sure he’ll play some, yes, and I’m he’ll find some some goals — I just feel like a fee this size comes with a lot of expectations.
  • Philippe Sandler  ($2.75M from PEC Zwolle) – Sandler comes from the Dutch club who had their record transfer sale broken with this move. The 20-year old played quite a few games for the first team and while showing potential also showcased a bit of inconsistency. I think a youngster with this sort of potential is well worth the risk especially because the fee is smaller and the expectations just don’t really exist. Plus, the training and coaching he’ll get at one of the premiere clubs in the world can only aid his development.
  • Daniel Arzani ($1M from Melbourne City FC) – There’s not a whole lot of press on Arzani yet outside of that he appeared for the SoccerRoos at the World Cup (with underwhelming performances). The Man City management seems to speak of him pretty highly and seems to be hoping he turns into an Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town) type of player. City leadership has reported Arzani to be “one of Australia’s brightest young stars and has demonstrated the drive and raw talent required for success at the highest level“. So, now that they’ve brought him to one of the World’s foremost clubs, he looks set for a loan move to Rangers (likely because of the early transfer window closure).

    Read moreManchester City 2018-2019 Transfer Review, Part 2

Manchester City 2018-2019 Transfer Review, Part 1

Note: As we cover more of the top teams in the Premier League – especially the “Big Six,” the individual transfer write-ups will feature a look at the overall roster (as Part 1), followed by a separate post that will contain the individual transfers to/from the team, which will be updated as appropriate (as Part 2). 
City’s dominance last season was absolutely insane, all of the rest of the teams were trying to catch a glimpse of them. This team just looked head, shoulders, knees, and toes frankly, above everyone else. The next closest competitor was 19 points back… let me repeat that, nineteen points back. They also conceded the fewest goals and blitzed their way to 22 goals ahead of the rest of the pack.
I guess the obvious question for this season is can that form continue? They’ve kept all of their contributors from last year — and now they’ve added Riyah Mahrez. City like United and Liverpool are absolutely stacked in the midfield, so I am very interested to see how Mahrez fits into this side.
Now the answer to the question you’ve been waiting for, do I think City can do it all again? No, I don’t think they will make all the other teams look semi-pro again. At the bare minimum,  in the two Premier League titles City prior to this years, the following season has had almost a 10 point drop and came back as runner’s up the following season. In fact, the only team in the Premier League era to win back to back (to back) titles is their biggest rival, the crosstown United team, but this effect is true even for them.

Read moreManchester City 2018-2019 Transfer Review, Part 1

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