Who's Best Prepared In The Premier League?
The 2018-19 Premier League season gets underway on Friday evening (10 August). And with the transfer window closed for clubs to sign new players this summer, who is the best prepared?
Managers and their coaching staff know the players who they will be working with for the season ahead, so they can plan how best to work their team around that squad of players, in terms of formation, tactics and set pieces, all areas where Globall Coach can assist with.
Plenty of new players have come into the division, and some of the top clubs have had changes at the top with Maurizio Sarri taking over at Chelsea and Unai Emery becoming Arsene Wenger's replacement at Arsenal.
Preparations for this season have been hampered by the World Cup. The final was less than four weeks before the beginning of the season, so players who were involved in the latter stages will not have had much time with their clubs before they have to try and hit the ground running again in the league campaign.
We suspect this will have an impact on some clubs, Jose Mourinho has already complained about it with Manchester United, but Tottenham Hotspur seem to be the ones most affected with several key players such as Harry Kane, Hugo Lloris and Dele Alli all involved in the final week of the tournament in Russia this summer.
Last season's champions, Manchester City, look strong once more. Having won the league by a clear 19 points to nearest rivals and neighbours Manchester United in 2017-18, Pep Guardiola has added Riyad Mahrez to further strengthen his team's options. They looked lethal against Chelsea in the Community Shield, so expect them to be the ones to beat.
Liverpool, who finished fourth last season and reached the Champions League Final, have again strengthened in the transfer market with goalkeeper Alisson their key addition in the summer. The Reds will hope to be challenging for honours again at the end of the season but have a fair bit of ground to catch up with City.
Manchester United, while having not added a defender in the summer, will be up there again although unlikely champions. The same can be said of Tottenham Hotspur, who haven't added a single new face to their squad since the end of last season.
And Arsenal and Chelsea both have new managers and new playing styles to adapt to this season, as we have written about in previous blogs (Arsenal and Chelsea). Whether those changes will have a positive impact or not, time will tell, but it would seem unlikely that they will be title contenders immediately.
In terms of what to expect from the Premier League as a whole, it will be interesting to see if the trend of set piece goals in the World Cup continues in the domestic competition.
A higher than usual percentage of goals were scored from dead ball situations, with England in particular coming up with inventive routines to cause problems and get on the scoresheet.
Globall Coach can help clubs and coaches in their preparations. If you'd like to find out more information, please get in touch and see how we can help you.
Here's to an exciting season!