The return of the Premier League had it all. We had goals, drama, sendings off, and a ghost goal. Football is well and truly back.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the Brits have resorted to binge-watching Netflix and various other streaming sites. However, now that we’ve got our beloved football back, what did we learn from the opening weekend of the Premier League?
1) The “Five Subs Rule” proving to be a hit so far:
We all knew that players weren’t going to be 100% fit. It was evident from the opening few games. Players across the weekend lacked real match sharpness. If defenders were on the ball, the opposing side was reluctant to push forward and press with any real intensity.
When watching the Bundesliga before the start of the Premier League, it’s going to take a few more games before we see any intensity from the 22 players on the pitch. Fans can’t expect world-class football after one game, it is the first time players were playing football in over 14 weeks.
2) The “Drinks Break”:
I get it the players aren’t fully match fit, but is there a need for a drinks break after 22 minutes? Sports scientists expressed how important it was for players to rehydrate due to the fact that they’ve not played football in three months. It’s the Premier League in England, not Brazil!
Players being forced to stop for two minutes because of a drink break is ridiculous. From a fan’s perspective, it ruins the game. Only one team are going to benefit from a drinks break. This is because one side could be dominating the game, and the other side is just playing for a break to kill the momentum.
We’ve seen rain come into effect during a few games, did we really need a break in play?
3) The need for fans:
Did you know, in the 11 games played so far, only 3 home teams have gone on to pick up all three points?
It’s all well and good having a projector with some fans watching the game via a call, but is it the same?
Sometimes teams will benefit from fans, especially the home sides. For example, look at the Everton vs Liverpool game. Liverpool may have been dominant on the ball, but they weren’t clinical in the final third. Everton had their chances and if they had the backing of the home fans to give them that extra boost, then who knows, maybe they would’ve gone on to nick all three points rather than having a statement.
After watching the majority of the games this week, we need the fans at the games. It gives teams that little bit of edge just to spur the home side on.
4) It turns out technology can be useless:
For years now, we were all begging for technology. Firstly, footballing fans were treated to the introduction of goal-line technology. Then we had VAR. You’d think they’d be accurate and improve the game right? Wrong.
Pundits and fans across the game have complained about how slow VAR is. It’s understandable, but it’ll take time.
We all thought that VAR would be the issue, but in the Villa/Sheffield United game, it was, in fact, the use of goal-line technology that caused some drama.
On the 41st minute, it looked like Sheffield United took the lead through Oliver Norwood. His freekick met the hands of Villa keeper, Orjan Nyland, who then appeared to fall behind the goal line, carrying the ball with him. It was blatant that the ball had crossed the line but, referee Michael Oliver pointed to his watch to imply that the technology didn’t give it.
After the game, Hawkeye seemed to have apologised for the incident in which cost Sheffield United all three points.
Maybe technology isn’t perfect after all.
For the next few months, at least, football is certainly going to be a weird spectacle. With no fans and the drinks break rule amongst others, we’re just going to have to accept that it’s going to take some time before football gets back to some form of normality.
We hope you enjoyed the article ‘What We Learned from the Return of the Premier League.’ What did you think of the Premier League’s first weekend back? Let us know!
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