The English premier league is back with a bang for its next season and rightfully so. The English premier league is possibly the most exciting leagues the audience are going to witness in the forthcoming football season which is expected to go on for the next 10 months. This has been the case right from when it was established back in 1992 and has remained to be the most anticipated football league in all of Europe and one could go on to say even in the entire world. The EPL has been among one of the highest paid leagues in the world generating revenues worth billions every season. The EPL is relatively young when compared to its peers as it was started only when the English sports interest was seen deteriorating and was introduced to encourage the blooming of sports. The viewership it garners every season is said to be one among the top audiences in the entire world.
The Inclusion of VAR
The season is touted to be one of the most exciting as new rules come into play. With the inclusion of the VAR(Video Assistant Referee) the stakes are higher even more as the precision of the decision made by the on-field referee will come under scrutiny as there is no place for error. The existence of VAR’s came into place back in 2018 and was introduced in the FIFA world cup but for the first time it has been implemented into the English premier league after a lot of trial and error sessions. This allows the head referee to inspect and draw conclusions upon the data received in video form which helps the players by minimizing and rectifying the number of incidents and offences which causes a ruckus among the players as well as the fans.
The VAR review can be taken under 4 different circumstances which include
- When the attacking team commits an offence in regards to the goal.
- When the attacking team commits an offence in regards to the Penalty.
- Any straight card is subject to review under VAR.
- VAR can also be used to revert incase a card is given mistakenly.
The inclusion of VAR also received much criticism as experts predicted the VAR will bring more “confusion than clarity”. But Technology in sports has always been a so-so affair because of its inability to bring precision to the table and the player, referee instincts are considered more valuable and trustworthy as they have been in practice for years.
A Total of 20 teams will compete for the championship which includes the ever dominating ‘Big Six’ who have dominated the league since the beginning of the tournament which was established back in 1992.This includes four of the six teams who have been able to lift the trophy more than once in their career run. The most dominating side is said to be Manchester United with a Staggering 13 time win record. The only team which comes close to half of what Manchester united have achieved is Chelsea with Five wins to their belt. Although Arsenal and Manchester City have proved to be tough contenders they cannot come close to the records held my Manchester united. But this proves to be an ample chance for the rest of the teams considered underdogs as Manchester United is said to be in disarray as their recent record proves to be poor and their player selections during the transfer window have come under criticism. So one can say the tournament is wide open for all the teams and there is no clear favorite as it is evenly poised at this stage. The final four will be exciting as one can expect to see a surprise entry.
Players to watch out for
When it comes to making a list of the best players to look out for it is impossible not to include most players from Manchester city and Liverpool as their reputations tell us everything. So I have consciously made an effort not to include players from neither Liverpool nor Manchester city. We shall focus more the players who are deemed as underdogs or as upcoming players .This includes the costliest Arsenal player Pierre-emerick aubmeyang who debuted in the last season of 2018 and has since proved to be one of the most competitive players on the field. He along with fellow attacker Alexandre Lacazette (who is the next on our list) had managed to score 22 goals which put in the same position as two other players in contention for the Golden boot honors. Next we shift our focus to the Englishman who had been plagued with back to injuries but still managed to bounce back in the last season. Ironically his last season was not considered to be his best but he still managed to score 17 goals which is no ordinary feet by any standards. Then there is Joao Moutinho from wolves who is probably the only player in this list who is not from the so called ‘Big Six’. This doesn’t make him any less of a player and only shows how good he has been even though there has been lack of support from his fellow team mates. We have Paulo Pogba who had a wonderful world cup last year who currently plays for Manchester united making it into our list as well. Son Hueng-Min who captains the South Korean national football team plays for Tottenham in which he replaced the injured Harry Kane and did an appreciable job but getting a permanent place in the team he might turn out to be lethal.
The English premier league 2019/2020 has been off to a flying start with the first week of the league already bringing in some exciting contest. Thanks to the clash between Liverpool vs. Norwich the fans are already on their feet ready to cheer for their beloved Reds throughout the season. The Reds opened their account in the points table with a crushing 4-1 win against Norwich. They did provide some scares to the Reds midway but the Reds managed to hold on to their nerves and get through the tough period. One could say Liverpool Kick started their tournament in a rather cumbersome fashion as their win may only means the fans expect more and more as the tournament progresses.
The next showdown was between West ham and the defending champs Manchester city who rightly proved why they were the defending champs by giving a crushing defeat to West ham united. VAR also managed to sneak a cameo and made Sergio aguero to retake the penalty. The rest of the matches include a Tie between Bournemouth and Sheffield united and Burnley making their best out of Southampton with a 3-0 emphatic win. Crystal palace and Everton who are considered to be Mid-table contenders were still looking for their first goals even at the 90 minute mark. But the high octane clash ensured that the game ended in a tie without both teams opening their accounts. Perhaps a surprise entry which turned out to be the most exciting match so far was between Tottenham and Aston villa with the former managing to register a 3-1 win over Aston villa. As Tanguy Ndombele scored the equalizer Harry Kane finished off the proceeding by scoring goals and sealing the game.
The latest game in the slot was between Manchester united and Chelsea which also turned out to be an exciting contest as the Red devils started this year’s campaign on a winning note with a 4-0 win over Chelsea. This won’t dent the confidence of Chelsea as they are expected to show more grit in the upcoming games and Manchester United would look to carry on their winning momentum.
Once all the teams have played their first game, the tournament will have started for real as everyone will be looking for momentum with early wins. As football fans all over the globe are excited one can only say it will be one of the most exciting ten months of football.
The ‘Big Six’
When the talk arises about the European Football league it’s hard not to mention Manchester United and its Achievements. Therefore we start with the teams with the most number of trophies in the history of the tournament. Manchester United has an unprecedented 13 titles to its name the most by any team playing the game for almost 30 years. Throughout the course of the tournament this team has made history and has managed to repeat it in numerous occasions. This year is especially important as last year was a rather disappointing campaign as they managed to end up only in the 6th position in the points table. They will be looking to bounce back as they try to hold on to their reputation which is considered to be more of a burden as it is hard to live up to.
As History talks about the abundant football evolution in Manchester the other team which can compete to the impeccable record held by Manchester united is obviously Manchester city. Having won 4 titles in the history of the tournament Manchester city enter every season as one of the firm favorites and top contenders. Fans around the globe are excited to see what this season holds for the former 4 time champs.
The only teams which comes close to Manchester United is of course the five time champs Chelsea. Five winning titles seems to be less in fact not even half of what they achieved but in terms of sheer sportsmanship and competitiveness Chelsea have been right there at the top with Manchester United. They have been one of the most consistent teams in the history of the tournament as their results have got only better since their first win in the 2004/2005 season. This only shows how consistent their approach has been and he fans hope it will continue to grow on. To this day they remain the only London club to have won the champions league.
Arsenal’s triumph came in 1997/98 season and continued to grow in the coming years by securing wins in the 2001/02 and 2003/04 seasons. The recent years have been a miss and go for arsenal but we can never underestimate the 3 times champs. They have maintained their dignities by reaching important staged of the tournament in the recent years but have failed to grasp the situation. This has been the case of arsenal in the recent years but fans expect them to put on a strong show in this season as they have gained a lot of important players in the transfer window.
Leicester city won their first and only championship in the 2015/16 season. This was considered to be one of biggest upsets in European football history as everyone from fans to experts failing to predict its win and had no explanation when they won the trophy as they were not even considered as underdogs. This shows any team cannot be taken lightly and given in their day they can beat any team with a better history than theirs.
The only team which had won the championship but got relegated later are the Blackburn rovers. They had an opportunity to create history in the season of 1994/95 and they did. Since their relegation Blackburn rovers have managed to revert to league one gain and went on to play other leagues but unfortunately they miss out on this year’s EPL. But Blackburn have been a team full of surprises and we expect them to do so in the coming years. As the club’s motto says “Arte et Labore“, “By Skill and Hard Work” which is applicable in their case and have proved to be.
Brighton and Hove Albion
The club hailing from Brighton are nicknamed “The seagulls” as their emblem denotes it as well. Having had a history of financial troubles they were about to be relegated in 1997.But they managed to give an impressive comeback which pushed them into the top tier. Their career high ranking came in the 2016-17 season as they finished second in the points table and got promoted to premier leagues thus ending their 34 year drought from the supreme leagues.
The Burnley F.C. managed to secure a 7th position which surprised even fans as Burnley have never managed to break through the Top 10.This has been their case for many years but an impressive leap in their rankings means we can only expect more from them this year.
Tottenham or simply called the “Spurs” has a history which is simply chivalrous. From 1950’s to 2000’s they have won at least one major trophy. The only other team that has managed to achieve this feat is Manchester united. Even though their reputation has not been on par with Manchester united their consistency is something to be appreciated. The spirit of the “spurs” has always been high as they have had a string of legendary players and the latest in that honorary list adds Steve Perryman and Jimmy Greaves. This has followed on with players like Harry Kane and Davinson Sanchez making their way into the team. The prospects this season looks in good condition as fans hope for the club to reach new heights. Their fierce rivalry against each other is one to look out for.
A club which doesn’t rely on its reputation but more on its players. Bournemouth has been bouncing on and off the radar in the major leagues but a stint with manager Eddie Howe saw them improve and climb the pyramid to reach the top division
To include Liverpool so low down the order is a sin as many fans would exclaim but the harsh reality is that they have never actually won a championship and they will be looking to change their fortune in the current season. The club is supposedly said to generate millions and also has millions of fans around the globe. Their rivalries with Manchester united and Everton make their games to be one of the most anticipated.
The Sheffield United nicknames as “The Blades” due to their rambunctious history of steel production. They are most famous for their Red and black attire which generates more interest among the fans. Like every club that had its rise and fall Sheffield too has had the same. They were an established side and basked in their glory years but in the coming years financial troubles crippled them. But on 2013 with further financial support from an admirer the Saudi prince resuscitated the team and put them back in the spotlight.
From historic origins to their downfall crystal palace has seen everything in its time. The management and players change but the faithful fans remain loyal. They had their fair share of financial troubles .But a purchase from several wealthy fans helped them seal their spot in the premier leagues. Their rivalry with Brighton and Hove Albion has proved time and again it is one of the most intense rivalries.
One of the founding members of the football league Everton is one of the oldest recognized football clubs there is. Achieving early success since their launch they have competed in the top division 116 times an unprecedented record and failed to make it only four times in history that dates back to more than 100 years. The ‘Evertonians’ have been supportive of their home team whenever the team has gone through rough phases. Their rivalry with Liverpool is said to pump up the adrenaline of the Evertonians.
Wolver Hampton Wanderers
Wolver Hampton Wanderers neither have the history nor the reputation of a high-brow football club. But they have managed to sneak their way into the European football league which gives them an opportunity to build upon this. The first thing they would concentrate on is to avoid relegation and stay in the competition for as long as possible. The club members have a candid fan following and are known to interact with the fans through meetings.
Newcastle united has had a comprehensive history by spending most of their years in the top tier. They have not slipped below the second tier in a number of years. This makes them one of the few clubs to achieve this feat. Newcastle United’s consistency has been considered one of the most respectable feats in the history of the European football.
Aston villa famously known as “The Villa” have been known for their historic triumph by winning the European cup in 1981-82, this gave them the distinct recognition of being only one of the five clubs to win the European cup. Aston Villa has remained in the top tier for more than hundred years of its reign only bested by Everton.
Norwich City F.C.
The Norwich city club is also called as the “canaries” and rightly so as canaries are known to spread joy and freedom which is exactly what the Norwich city F.C. is responsible for. The chant from fans which says “On the ball, City” is regarded as one of the oldest chants which dates back to the 19th century still being used today. This should provide clarity on how long lasting the relationship between the club and the fans.
The dreams of Southampton fans were short-lived but prosperous. Being nicknamed “The saints” primarily because they started playing football as a church team. Southampton is known to have a healthy rivalry with its neighbor Portsmouth but the latter seems to have not made it to the European Football league around this year which lets Southampton address a lot of issues and lets them concentrate on their inner struggles. They came back from a seven year absence and have remained in the top tier since then.
They have recently acquired the status of a premier league club in 2015-2016 and have remained there since then. The history of Watford is not one of glorious achievements as they are yet to win any of the major leagues titles even though they have been part of top four tier since the 1920’s. Watford has always been a club with big aspirations and we shall hope for the same in the forthcoming season.
West Ham United
West ham united is perhaps best remembered for its constituents in the 1966 world cup final win which England one had three members including Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters who scored goals each. They received monumental success through the 1960’s and 70’s and these are considered to be their glory years. Since then there has been peaks and troughs which have Plagued them with inconsistencies.