What THREE things have we learnt from the Premier League's opening month?

Published on 11 September 2023 at 13:06

Premier League football is back ladies and gentlemen, and back with a bang. Just four weeks in we've already seen multiple high scoring affairs and more than our fair share of controversy, but have we learnt anything?


Well, today we're going to take a look into three things that have been revealed in the opening month of the 23/24 Premier League season.

1 - Manchester City are clear title favourites.



It's no surprise that Manchester City are an excellent side. Last season's Premier League champions and treble winners, Pep Guardiola and his star studded cast of players have swept all before them in recent years to become the dominant force in European football. 


And so far in the 23/24 season, this has continued with four wins from four, an impressive 11 goals scored and just two conceded. Furthermore, Norwegian sensation Erling Haaland has continued his razor sharp form in front of goal with six goals already. So impressive have City been this season that even a long-term injury to creator-in-chief Kevin De Bruyne hasn't hampered them, with Phil Foden finally taking centre stage and providing three assists already.


But just as the 'Citizens' have gone off like a rocket this season, their competitors have all stuttered thus far. Last season's surprise package for all the wrong reasons Chelsea have been joined in the early mid table fight by Manchester United following their disappointing start, Arsenal have looked a tad undercooked following a whole host of new signings, Liverpool look defensively suspect (harking back to the early Klopp years) and despite their impressive start, Spurs' squad seems to lack the depth required to truly challenge the behemoth in the blue half of Manchester.


Add to that the kind run of fixtures culminating in a trip to the Emirates in gameweek eight, and the 'Sky Blues' could find themselves well clear of the competition with a win over Arsenal in early October.


Once again the blue moon is rising to the top of the table and looks set to stay there.


2 - Spurs are better without Harry Kane



Now before you blast us on social media, of course we're not denying Harry Kane's quality as one of the best forwards the Premier League has ever seen and undoubtedly he is a massive miss in north London. After all, the Englishman netted a ridiculous 30 goals last season, 43% of Spurs' total, as the 'Lilywhites' side finished eighth.


However, what we are saying is that Spurs seem to be functioning much better as a unit in 2023/24, currently sitting second in the league under ex-Celtic boss Ange Postecoglu. 


In fact, in the absence of their old number ten, much of this season's success can actually be attributed to their new number ten, James Maddison, with the former Leicester man providing two goals and two assists in the opening salvo of fixtures. Averaging 5.63 shot creating actions p/90, Maddison is the attacking hub of his side and is more than filling the creative hole left by Kane’s departure.


And with his hat-trick last time out against Burnley, there is certainly hope that Son Heung-Min can take up the goalscoring mantle in the absence of his former partner. Add that to a potential Richarlison redemption ark and a fairly kind of run of fixtures between October and December and Spurs could be a shoo-in for the top four by Christmas.


Ange has got the post-Kane era off to a flyer, and if this continues we may seriously have to ask: are Spurs better off without Harry Kane?

3 - The gap between the Premier League and the Championship has never been bigger


As mentioned last week, so far all three of the promoted sides look to be in danger of the drop, with Luton Town and Burnley propping up the league table having failed to get on the board so far, and Sheffield United just one point better off.


Clearly, last season’s Championship protagonists all run the risk of returning to their former hunting grounds at the first time of asking (something which hasn't happened since the 1997/98 campaign). But how likely is this?


Well, for Sheffield United, their one point came at home to fellow strugglers Everton, following a string of three narrow losses. However, they, unlike their rivals are yet to be blown away despite facing Manchester City in gameweek three and it is that relative defensive solidity that could prove vital in the Blades’ fight for survival. It is important to mention however that Burnley and Luton are guaranteed at least one point in the coming weeks courtesy of their fixture at Kenilworth Road in match-week seven.


Down south, Rob Edward’s Luton Town have begun life in the Premier League in predictably slow fashion. Despite a raft of fresh faces coming through the newly refurbished doors at Kenilworth Road, Hatters’ fans have seen their side register just one goal from open play thus far. However, with a kind run of fixtures in their next four, facing Fulham, Wolves, Everton and their rearranged face-off with Burnley, Edwards will be hoping his side can get up and running and mount their charge for safety.


Finally, to a side hotly tipped for a lower mid-table spot by many (just look at our predictions here), Vincent Kompany’s Burnley who have flattered to deceive thus far. Runaway winners last season in the second tier, the Clarets came up with a spring in their step and hands firmly in the piggy bank, splashing over £100m according to transfermarkt. However, despite their impressive form last season and host of new signings, Kompany’s side have been incredibly naive at the back this season, conceding 11 goals in just three fixtures. If that continues they will surely be in danger come May in spite of their progressive approach.


With the only potential reprieve coming from weaker sides (like those who narrowly scraped survival last season) it is increasingly likely that at least two of these teams will find themselves back in the second tier when September rolls back around.

So there was three things that we've learnt from the opening month of the 2023/24 Premier League season, but did we miss anything out? What have you learnt so far?

Let us know in the comments or on social media 



Ben Watts

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