The 2020-21 English Premier League season started just one month ago, the league that former Barcelona and current Manchester City Manager, Pep Guardiola, dubbed “the best competition in world football.” 20 teams have been training in preparation for the 10-month schedule ahead.
Last year’s Premier League champions Liverpool Football Club strengthened in key areas of the field, specifically in attacking positions. They signed Portugese Winger Diogo Jota from Wolverhampton (another Premier League club), and they signed Spain International and Bayern Munich Midfielder Thiago Alcantara.
The teams that finished behind Liverpool in the league table last season have all invested money into player transfers over the course of the summer, and according to Everton Manager Carlo Ancelotti, the teams chasing Liverpool will make a strong run at the title this season.
Thiago Nardi, ’22, who described himself as a huge soccer fan, discussed his expectations for this season and what he is most looking forward to following the Premier League.
“To me, the most exciting thing about the new Premier League season is the transfer window closing, and also the number of goals that have been scored in the first games of the season so far,” Nardi said.
There have been more goals in the first three weeks of the season then any other season in the 28-year Premier League era. One of the newly promoted clubs from England’s second division, the Football League Championship, has played a large part in the increase of goal scoring of late.
Leeds United is one of the most successful clubs in English football history, winning three English League titles and one Football Association Cup. The new Premier League club has drawn praise from some of the most well-known managers around the world.
Mauricio Pochettino, former Tottenham Hotspur Manager, described Leeds United as a great team under Manager Marcelo Bielsa, that have been producing “dizzying football” so far this season in England’s top flight.
“Leeds United is my favorite team in the league at the moment,” Nardi said. “They produce really good soccer and their manager, Marcelo Bielsa from Argentina, is one of the world’s best.”
According to Andrew Strobel, ’24, this Premier League season will prove to be one of the most competitive seasons fans have seen to date.
“I think this season will be one of the most competitive seasons as many clubs have signed new players and the first few games have been great and have produced some upsets,” Strobel said.
One recent upset occurred at the hands of Aston Villa, a club that barely survived relegation last season. The teams finishing a season in the last three of the Premier League season are relegated, or, in other words, are demoted to the second division.
Liverpool, the defending league champions, came to Villa Park this past Sunday, and according to Manager Jurgen Klopp, the result was unexpected. Aston Villa beat Liverpool 7-2, with goals coming from new players they had signed over the summer transfer period.
“To me, the most exciting thing about this Premier League season is that most teams seem to be really competitive against the top competition,” Strobel said.
Strobel, talked about a club he supports fully and expects to have a successful season.
“I am a Chelsea fan,” Strobel said. “I became a fan about six years ago because they had some legendary players. This season they added a lot of young players and spent a lot of money so they need to do well in the cup competitions and the Champions League.”
Although Strobel does not expect Chelsea to battle Liverpool for the title this season, he expects continued growth and improvement, especially with the new players in the squad.
“In the next few years, we should be challenging for the title,” Strobel said. “As for this year, I would be disappointed if we didn’t place in the top four.”
The Premier League, however, is ever-changing as the aspects of promotion and relegation lead to change. There are three news teams in the league every year, the three best teams from the second division the season before. The worst three teams in the Premier League are therefore demoted to the second division.
Connor Nazarcyzk, ’22, who grew up a fan of the Premier League elaborated on the league changing from season to season.
“Growing up, I supported Chelsea for the most part, not because I liked the club, but more because I liked their key players,” Nazarcyzck said. “But now they are starting to get rid of the players I liked, like Willian and Eden Hazard, so now I’m not 100% sure who to support.”
These player changes have happened and will continue to happen, according to Manchester United Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. Ferguson also acknowledged the element of competition in that change and the never-ending pursuit of trying to improve your club for the Premier League.
“It’s going to be difficult now because of the financial implications of all the top Premier League teams, in terms of them being able to go and spend so much money for next season to be much more competitive,” Ferguson said.