After what has seemed like an eternity Premier League football is back, putting an end to talk about how awful England were in the World Cup, for four years at least... Here are five things we have learnt from the opening weekend of the best league in the world.
There is no shame in losing your opening fixture. Many teams have done so and have still gone on to be successful that same season. It is only one game after all, but to lose 4-0 at home to anyone is a cause for concern.
The first sacking of the season came - 2 days into the season, as Tony Pulis left Crystal Palace in the lurch going into their first game... Palace have lost their famous cap-wearing manager, and potentially capped their chances of staying in the league.
This was the game nobody could afford to lose, as it's presumably both sides' easiest fixture from the opening three games. In the next two gameweeks, both play Arsenal and Chelsea, so a loss in this game would mean the likelihood of no points from a possible nine... Here are six things to pay attention to after this tight and entertaining draw that went down to the wire.
Every player in the Premier League is under pressure to be at their best all the time, but each club always has those one or two players whom the fans expect that little bit extra from... this season's Premier League has a few players who will need to be firing on all cylinders from the off to win over the fans and help their team succeed.
Nobody is talking about Tottenham as title contenders. You might argue that no one ever does but in recent years they've been considered pre-season dark horses at least... Tottenham have a squad rich in quality and depth and they're adding to it with a bit more care and precision than they did last summer.
He is Tottenham's club-record signing, but his first season at White Hart Lane didn't go to plan for himself or the club... he's yet to get off the mark goalscoring wise in competitive action, he certainly has a point to prove - not only to the fans but maybe even to himself as next season fast approaches.
The 2014/15 Premier League season promises to be one of the best yet with eagerly anticipated competition throughout the table from top to bottom... But over the years history has provided plenty of drama and excitement for this campaign to live up to and here's a look back at five of the very best seasons since the new era began in 1992.
United are not quite the finished article and daily reports linking them with a host of stars come as little surprise, but it's unquestionable that signing Cuadrado would significantly improve their chances of returning to the summit of England's top tier in Van Gaal's debut season at the Old Trafford helm.
Each team will sign a player at one stage or another who just simply fails to perform. He may not adapt to the side's style of play, he may not get enough time on the field or he may inexplicably lose all footballing ability, what's known as doing a Torres. Here are five players who can relate to this and need to leave their current clubs as soon as possible if they hope to shine again.
The season is almost here, close enough to almost smell the overpriced half-time chips and pies... It's been an eventful wait since the World Cup, with no clubs standing still, but who's impressed in the last month and who's accidentally thrown it into reverse?
Much has been made of the 'gutting' of Southampton after a summer exodus that most seem to have suggested will leave the Saints down to the bare bones... On reflection of the remaining personnel at the club, the lack of desperation to recruit seems just.
Chelsea, who many, with good reason, have installed as favourites... If Hazard increases his consistency of effort, Chelsea's attack, wherever Fabregas plays, looks unstoppable; but if he doesn't, then questions about how Chelsea best utilize their many talents could arise.
The decision to hire Hughes was not the most popular with Stoke fans at the time... The Potters have begun to move away from the somewhat outdated approach used during Pulis' reign at the Britannia and while the success of the system consolidated Stoke's position as a Premier League team, Hughes' ideas are helping to take them to the next level.
Reina quite clearly could have had a part to play at Anfield in the upcoming campaign had Rodgers opted against selling him. Every great team needs quality personnel in all positions and the goalkeeper is no different. Mignolet did not miss a minute for Liverpool in the Premier League last season, but what's to say he will not pick up an injury on the first day after the transfer window closes?
A performance in a pre-season friendly isn't completely meaningless, but it's as close as a football match can get. Even if the games are played at the intensity of a league match (a big 'if', although some of this summer's games got close), there's so much less pressure on the matches that everything must be taken with a pinch of salt.