The Premier League kicked off this week, and despite a sense of general excitement, you have to feel a little bit bad for fans of Liverpool, Aston Villa and especially Everton, whose weekend was probably ruined by bad results. You’ll often hear football pundits talk about preseason matches and how you can’t take them too seriously as predictors of a team’s chances. Well, I think the same could be said for the first game of the season. Below are three reasons why I think we should take the results of Week 1 with a grain of salt.
1. Arsenal will not win the Premiership
6-1 at Everton. No one I know could’ve predicted that. Yes, Arsenal did look good, and they do have genuine attacking skills. But Everton never really seemed to be in this game. Andrei Arshavin has clearly been a fantastic purchase and keeping ahold of Cesc Fabregas is a huge key for this season. It was nice to see Eduardo back on the pitch again as well. Still, they were never really tested at the back by Everton, and I don’t see Arsenal being able to control the midfield against some teams like they did in this match. Everton also never pushed the Arsenal back line too hard. I predicted that Arsenal will finish in the top four and this result does seem to at least prove that Arsenal is among the best, but it’s a long way to the top and they will have to repeat this performance several more times, and against bigger teams, if they expect to be in with a chance.
2. Everton are not the worst team in the Premiership
Yes, 6 goals are a lot to take in and they did seem to give up after the fourth goal, but let’s face it, this Everton side is a shadow of the one that reached the FA Cup final and finished fifth last season. With Marouane Fellaini sick, Mikel Arteta and Phil Jagielka out and a front-line just getting healthy, you figure that this team just needs a bit more time to come right. And would you really bet against David Moyes righting the ship one more time? They started weak at the back last season too, but they recovered. This team will finish somewhere between 5th and 7th, despite this setback. Unless they sell Joleon Lescott.
3. Hull are not staying up
Yes, it was a thrilling match against Chelsea, but the final score of 2-1 seemed an inevitability. When I saw the fourth official announce the added 6 minutes of extra time I was sure that Chelsea was going to score. Well, that and the fact that there seemed to be a barrage on the Hull goal by Deco, Kalou, Lampard, Drogba and anyone else in blue who felt like taking a shot. Drogba’s aim will improve, and so will Chelsea as they get used to playing under Ancelloti. Expect the return leg in Hull to feature a much larger scoreline, and not in the home team’s favour. Boaz Myhill did a good job in goal, despite some shocking distribution and clearances with his feet. Expect him to get a lot of work this season. And if Michael Turner is sold, expect the defence to get even worse.