The Premier League always prevails as the world’s most exciting, broadcasting to a potential tv audience of 4.7 billion people. Over the years, we have had dodgy beach balls, managers head butting players and sickening slips that have cost teams the title, and we are all hoping for similar circumstances this season. With a lot of change taking place this year, Arsenal finally parting ways with Wenger and Alan Pardew unable to manage a relegation destined side, many Premier League norms have been broken. In terms of what to expect from the Prem this year, can you really actually expect anything? This is undoubtedly the most unpredictable top division in the world, but there are a few actions of certainty. You could bet your house on Arsenal missing out on a Champions League spot, Watford firing their manager by christmas and Benteke missing an inhuman amount of sitters. To me, preseason is all about new kits, new signings and potential scandals - whether this is dodgy transfers of players inevitably having affairs with their wives - protesting that they had no idea what the prostitute would do to them.
THE BEST AND WORST FOOTBALL KITS
After a World Cup of eccentric retro revamped football jerseys, I was praying that the likes of Adidas and Nike would take a hint at the hype and channel this into the kits they made for England’s elite. However, I have been made to look a fool; the standard this year is very poor. The tediously plain patterns and lack of colour is severely discouraging, no one has gone anywhere near as out of the ordinary as one would have hoped.
Notably, Manchester United have opted for a pink third kit, trying to attract the hypebeast market after the success of Juventus’ away Jersey in 2015. Interestingly though, many clubs have chosen collared tops rather than the tight, hyper masculine, nipple showing shirts we have seen over the last few years. Don’t get me wrong though, they are still prevalent, meaning beer bellies will remain uncomfortable and sweaty for most fans, but the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool have released more vintage, baggy looking styles; presumably in the hope they can beat money bags Man City to the title, which we all know, unfortunately, won’t happen.
When writing this preview I was hoping I wouldn’t be bias, but this has proved difficult for this section. Newcastle’s away kit would be heavenly if it didn’t have ‘Fun88’ plastered across the middle. It is one of the immediate upsides to what is looking like an inevitably poor campaign. The dark blue and burgundy stripes hark back to the good old days, where we would break the transfer record and sign some of the world’s best… Alan Sheerer of course.
The top three shirts
Manchester Utd’s 3rd shirt
Everton’s Away shirt
Watford’s home shirt
The three worst shirts
Chelsea’s training shirt
Liverpool’s away shirt
Arsenal’s away shirt
‘I’m not sexist, homophobic or racist’ protested Maurizio Sarri in his first media briefing for the blues; what an inspiring first press conference it was, with him also claiming he took the prestigious job ‘for fun’. Italian football is known worldwide for homophobic and racial slurs, but in the ex-Napoli boss, Chelsea have one of the pioneers. His overly animated, offensive comments have been deeply criticised by the likes of Roberto Mancini, who he famously called a ‘faggot’ in 2016. A £20,000 fine was issued, and it will be interesting to see what he has to say to the hard nuts of English football this season, watch out Neil Warnock.
Benik Afobe’s Stoke City saga has been nothing short of scandalous. After scoring 6 goals in 7 games for Wolves last season, they opted to trigger his buy out clause and stump up 10 million for the Congolese international. However, with in 2 weeks they had loaned him out to new relegated Stoke City, with the option to buy for 12 million. To many, this is good Dell Boy business, but Afobe has claimed it caused ‘embarrassment for him’ and ‘mental strain’ on his Pregnant wife. The 25 year old had of course previously been a Wolves player too, racking up 22 goals in 43 appearances; far from shabby. To make matters even worse, Stoke started their season with a 3-1 loss to Leeds, which Afobe labelled as a ‘wake up call’. How a few days changes.
Reported by the Daily Mail, so take this story with a pinch of salt, a top Premier League star has been having a homosexual affair with a fashion worker for the past ‘4 years’. Who this is, no one knows; not even the Daily Mail themselves, which discourages me with heavy concern of its viability. The publication claims that the mystery player has been married for 3 years and has a child too, making the whole situation even more of a predicament for those involved. Apparently his team mates know, and they are very supportive but he is worried about the backlash from the terraces, which seems a bit premature in 2018. With Maurizio Sarri on the lose now though, who knows what will happen.
THE BEST AND WORST SIGNINGS
As a Newcastle fan, I can safely say that you will hear no coverage of our club in this section. With teams like Bounemouth breaking the bank, and our transfer record, Newcastle are frankly being left for dead. Fulham have made some excellent signings for a recently promoted club, German star Andre Schurrle could set Craven Cottage alight if he reaches his potential, and the double swoop of Seri and Le Merchand from Nice was some very good business. Chelsea have made some incredible signings too, most notably Robert Green who we all know for his goalkeeping howler against the USA in the World Cup. What a clanger that was.
Leicester fans will be absolutely gutted by the departure of Robert Huth, unless they sign someone who equally looks like Max Headroom. Leicester did also lose Riyad Mahrez, which won’t hurt them as much of course but James Maddison is a phenomenal talent, one that fans will be hoping cures the wound. Wolves have surprisingly signed some players who aren’t Portuguese, the Nuno Espírito Santo effect is still in full swing with signings in the calibre of Jao Moutinho and Rui Patricio, but they are about to break their transfer record on bringing Middlesborough’s Adama Traore to the Molineux stadium.
The top three signings
Rui Patricio: from Sporting Lisbon to Wolverhampton
Naby Keita: from RB Leipzig to Liverpool
Felipe Anderson: from Lazio to West Ham
The three worst signings
Rob Green: from Huddersfield to Chelsea (free)
Joe Hart: from Manchester City to Burnley (£3.5 million)
Richarlison: from Watford to Everton (£40 million)
Of course this is all opinion based and there have been many other cracking and questionable signings and kits. The sheer volume of topics you could cover in a premier league preview shows the scale of interest it gets around the world. Lets hope the 2018/19 season lives up to the expectations and eases our World Cup withdrawal symptoms.