The Blog

Premier League: Five Things the Opening Weekend Taught Us

Carlos Tevez is like a new signing...

Carlos Tevez is like a new signing

We saw him getting back to his best towards the end of last season, something that was surely a great boost as Man City completed a successful title charge. Now, with a full pre-season under his belt, and personal problems seemingly behind him, Carlos Tevez looks better than ever. He followed up his goal in the Community Shield with one against Southampton, and while Roberto Mancini may be bemoaning his side's lack of transfer activity, having the Argentinian return in this manner is like a new signing in itself, and I wouldn't bet against the former Man United man claiming the golden boot come the end of the season. City will just hope the Premier League title comes with it.

Norwich look doomed

The Canaries were one of the surprise packages of last season, finishing an impressive 12th on the back of promotion from the Championship. Now, though, with manager Paul Lambert swapping Carrow Road for Villa Park, the prospect of 'second season syndrome' looms larger than ever, and they received a taste of things to come with a 5-0 thrashing away to Fulham. Of course, it's very early yet, but it looks to be a long season ahead for Chris Hughton's men.

Swansea surprise everyone...again

Along with the aforementioned Norwich, Swansea were the surprise team of last season, finishing one place above their fellow newly promoted side. Becoming the first Welsh side to play in the Premier League, they impressed everyone not just with results but with their brand of football as well. However, much like Norwich, they've lost their manager - and some key players in Joe Allen, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Steven Caulker, with Scott Sinclair also hotly tipped to leave - and were expected to be battling relegation this season. There were no signs of that on the opening day, though, as they went and beat QPR 5-0, proving the doubters wrong...for now. While Michael Laudrup is a talented manager, and Michu could well be the bargain of the season, it won't always be this easy.

Dempsey better staying put

The American has been linked with a move away all summer, with Liverpool reportedly leading the chase for the Fulham attacker. His exit has seemingly moved closer, after he refused to take part in their opening match. While there's no doubting Dempsey would be a good signing for most clubs - his 23 goals last term prove as much - you have to wonder if his attempts at forcing a move will be worth it. Staying at Fulham, if he can apologise and move on from this, he'd be guaranteed to be playing first team football in a team he's already shown he can succeed in. A move to, for example, Liverpool or Arsenal would mean he could not guarantee himself first team football, while the likes of Sunderland would represent a move sideways. Dempsey would do well to look at the example of Steven Pienaar with his move from Everton to Spurs and back to realise the grass isn't always greener, and, especially in light of the weekend's results, he may well be best off staying where he is.

It's good to be back

Among the many great things to be left over from the Olympics, perhaps the worst has been the endless comparisons - and subsequent criticisms - of football. Some of this has been fairly just, but just as much has been unwarranted. The opening weekend served as a reminder of all that was good about the game, with plenty of passion, drama, some truly wonderful moments of play - and some horrific - and whole bunch of goals. Football is back. Huzzah!