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Five things we learnt from Week 2 of the 2017/18 Premier League

It was the second round of fixtures in the 2017/18 Premier League season. Here are five things we learned this week.

Antonio Conte knows how to get results

This was a performance that Chelsea sides have become accustomed to over the years, ever since the first Jose Mourinho era. Conte was missing several first team players so changed Chelsea’s shape to a 3-5-2, using three defensive midfielders. 

They were low block, well organised, and largely difficult to break down. It saw them beat arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in a true smash and grab result where the Blues had only 32% of the ball. They needed a fair bit of luck as well but Conte knows how to get a result.


Marco Silva proving doubters wrong…again

Many pundits had tipped Watford for relegation this season. Many chastised the Hull board for hiring an apparent nobody when there are supposed to be a wealth of young, English managers out there who deserved a chance in the Premier League based on not much more than the fact they are English. And yet, despite Hull’s relegation, Silva gave the Tigers, who already had one foot in the Championship, a fighting chance. 

Watford saw him as the ideal man to take the team forward due to his tactical nous and ability to get the best out of his players. The Hornets have so far been rewarded with an excellent start to the season with a draw against giants Liverpool, and a fine 2-0 victory away to Bournemouth. How long before certain pundits realise he is actually a pretty good manager.


Brighton and Newcastle are in trouble

Both of these promoted clubs have lost their opening two games and are yet to score a goal. They are clearly in desperate need of some quality and must act fast before the transfer window finishes if they want to remain in the Premier League this season. There is very little creativity in either team and both simply aren’t good enough to keep Premier League teams out for a full 90 minutes. 

Brighton were expected to be relegated straight back down to the Championship, however it’s unlikely Newcastle fans will accept a third relegation from the Premier League, considering the size of the club.


Mesut Ozil is Arsenal’s scapegoat

Whenever Arsenal lose or struggle, the finger is often pointed in Ozil’s direction. The German is often chastised for his apparent lack of work rate in the defensive phase, and was so again after the 1-0 loss away to Stoke. This is little more than lazy analysis. The German is arguably Arsenal’s most important man and was the only Arsenal player against Stoke who was passing incisively, through the lines, and finding gaps in a low block, compact and well organised Stoke side. 

The German is a magician and the criticism he receives is a dictionary definition of what is wrong with the football culture and philosophy in England.


Whoever finishes above Manchester United, wins the league

Yes, it may only be two games into the season however it is clear that United are a different animal to last season. The signings of Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic look inspired and appear to have been the missing pieces to Jose Mourinho’s jigsaw. It is no secret Mourinho wins the league in his second season at every club and I wouldn’t bet against him doing the same again.

United are solid at the back, dominant in midfield and ruthless up top. There is a wonderful blend of styles and abilities that are gelling together rather nicely right now. Not only that, the options they can choose from to bring off the bench are frightening. This new Manchester United is finally starting to look like the old Manchester United.


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Harry Brooks

Harry graduated from UAL in Elephant and Castle with a 2:1 BA Hons degree in sports journalism.

He has an NCTJ diploma and also coaches football and teaches PE in schools.

Harry loves to talk football tactics!

Five things we learnt from Week 2 of the 2017/18 Premier League

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