Premier League is BACK. Here is what lies ahead in the new season
- Premier League action returns on Saturday afternoon
- Teams had the shortest pre-season in history to regroup ahead of the new campaign
- Mental Health and Psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic
Premier League returns on Saturday with sides looking to improve in the new season.
Described as the world’s most interesting and fascinating league, Premier League action returns on Saturday.
It was only weeks ago that the 2019/20 campaign ended, with the teams having the shortest pre-season ever in history.
While the teams have been bolstering their squads with new signings, many would ask whether the time has been enough for the sides to integrate the new faces into the respective teams’ philosophies and style of football.
Khusoko Sports takes a look at what lies ahead for various teams in the new season:
Jurgen Klopp’s side ended their 30-year old Premier League title drought with a comprehensive and decisive triumph – finishing 18 points clear of second-placed Manchester City.
While the Reds have not made many additions to the squad – signing only fullback Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiacos, they still boast of a relatively strong squad.
While they have been linked with Thiago Alacantara during the summer, the deal appears far from being realized. Midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has been linked with a move to Barcelona, which is also meant to decide whether the Reds will move for the Spaniard from Bayern Munich.
Last season, they were spurred on by the club and city’s lust for their first title in 30 years. This term they’ll just have to rely on the sheer desire to be better than anyone else.
Last season was arguably Manchester City’s most dreadful season – they relinquished the title to Liverpool, lost in the FA Cup semi-final to Arsenal and lost nine times in the campaign.
They however did finish the campaign with 81 points, which is no mean fete, but looking at the talent in the squad, many would count this as an underperformance.
What came out clearly during the campaign was the lack of leadership in the squad. A leader of Vincent Kompany’s demeanor and commanding presence both on the pitch and in the dressing room.
Pep Guardiola has so far signed Nathan Ake from Bournemoth and Ferran Torres from Valencia while still linked with more signings.
While a ‘game-changing’ move for Lionel Messi failed to materialize, City will be confident moving into the new season.
Manchester United looked like a team discovering an identity that it once held and fashioned in Europe.
Shades of fast, decisive attack and counter-attacking football seen during Sir Alex Ferguson’s time were evident in the campaign. Despite finishing third, a general feeling was that there were some individuals not performing as well as they should.
Errors by David De Gea, defensive lapses and misfiring by forwards were a clear reminder that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still had his hands full.
The arrival of Bruno Fernandes seemed to fix this as the side went on an impressive unbeaten run in the league. With Paul Pogba back in the side, a midfield partnership of the Frenchman, Bruno and signing Donny van de Beek sounds incredible, but what becomes of Nemanja Matic, Fred and Scott McTominay?
Team selection will be the defining factor for the Old Trafford side.
In his debut season a Stamford Bridge, Frank Lampard was able to finish in the top-four and reached the FA Cup final. Not a bad performance for the ‘rookie’ manager who could not make any signings and saw the club’s best player Eden Hazard move to Spain.
While the Blues did have some good performances against big sides, they fell to shocking home losses to Southampton, West Ham and Bournemouth.
The manager’s trust in young players such as Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham was also interesting to watch as the two did repay the faith.
Marching into the new season, the Stamford Bridge side looks a different outfit, literally.
The side have signed Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Kai Havetz, who join Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner in the squad.
It will be interesting to see how Lampard blends and integrates the new names to the squad.
An FA Cup success followed closely by a Community Shield triumph got Arsenal buoyed going into the new season.
While they finished eighth in the league which was a terrible campaign to say the least, the Gunners had their morale boosted with the two silverwares.
The Spaniard is slowly and steadily remoulding Arsenal into a team who can compete with the big boys again and it was evident from fairly early into his reign the impact he was having as performances improved towards the backend of last season.
Impressive wins over Manchester United, Chelsea Manchester City and Liverpool got the North London outfit believing that all was not lost.
Arsenal have been involved in the transfer market, bringing in Willian from Chelsea and capturing Lille’ defender Gabriel Magalhaes, who join William Saliba who arrived from his loan at St Etienne.
Moving into the new season, Arteta will have to address defensive frailties which have been the side’s Achilles heel.
Arsenal conceded more times than any other club in the top 10 last season bar Burnley and Arteta will need his team to be much more resilient if he is to crack the top four this term.
The sacking of Mauricio Pochettino and subsequent appointment of Jose Mourinho shocked many.
The Portuguese took the reins at the North London outfit with football fans watching with bated breaths of how the former Chelsea and United boss would prevail.
Questions were also asked of whether the side, which often boasted of attacking football, would improve given the Portuguese’s pragmatic style of playing.
Going into a full season in charge, Mourinho will call on the services of his skipper Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son, Dele Alli and Steven Bergwijn to light up his campaign.
Brendan Rodgers’ side had an impressive start to the campaign, flirting with the top four positions each passing weekend.
A dip in the second leg of the season put their Champions League qualification hopes dimmed.
Their squad, for ability, is almost as good as any in the league, but there were times last season where some team and individual performances were not up to scratch.
Free-scoring Jamie Vardy led brilliantly at the top eventually ending the season with the Golden Boot – Rodgers will be calling on the striker to keep the goals coming.
Rodgers has been hailed as a good man manager who often gets the best out of his players and will be looking to get that right for this term.