Sports Writer George Wellbelove discusses an exciting first half of the Premier League including Tottenham troubles and Villa victories

Written by George Wellbelove
First year undergraduate studying History and aspiring sports journalist.

With goals galore and upsets aplenty, the rest of the year has a lot to live up to

The start to the Premier League 2022/23 season has been nothing short of exhilarating. With goals galore and upsets aplenty, the rest of the year has a lot to live up to. Arsenal have battled through expectations to lead the table whilst Sheffield United have taken the unwanted position of being the worst team in the competition so far. Aston Villa’s performances in this season have been outstanding, as Unai Emery’s team have gone from strength to strength and currently occupy fourth place. 

Tottenham were written off by every pundit and spectator before the start of the season and how wrong they were. After yet another lengthy search for a manager, Ange Postecoglou arrived in North London unwanted but crucially off the back of winning five major trophies at Celtic. His unwavering belief in attacking football has transformed the Lilywhites into a dangerous side, capable of scoring from anywhere on the pitch. An unbeaten start to the season surprised many before it all came tumbling down. An absolute capitulation against old rivals, Chelsea, has resulted in a huge number of injuries and suspensions. Currently, Spurs have dropped from an unbeaten side at the top of the table to fifth and have lost three of their last four games. It will be interesting to see if they return to their winning ways with their ever growing injury list. 

Arsenal have developed well since that heartbreaking end to their title campaign last year

Looking at the rest of the top half of the table, Arsenal have developed well since that heartbreaking end to their title campaign last year. Arteta has ensured his team has battled through a hard period and now they sit at the top. The signing of Declan Rice has proven to be one of the signings of the summer as he has been a key asset to their side so far. Liverpool continue to make improvements since their controversial loss to Tottenham. Salah has shown no signs of slowing down and Klopp’s team will have their eyes on the trophy as the season progresses. 

Arguably, Villa have excelled most of all. Building on the back of their Europa Conference League qualification last season, Emery has made Aston Villa one of the most exciting teams in the league. With Ollie Watkins in devastating form and Emi Martinez being continually effective, the West Midlands side are a force to be reckoned with. Only Manchester City have scored more goals than Aston Villa this season and that is testament to Emery’s management style. Many thought that Emery returning to the Premier League after a lacklustre effort at Arsenal would be a mistake. However, he has turned around his reputation and now is on course for Champions League qualification. 

Sheffield United have been woeful

In terms of struggling, Sheffield United have been woeful as one of the sides promoted from the Championship this season. With only one win to their name, they were thrashed five nil by Burnley. It could be down to their squad as it cannot compete with the large sizes and talent of other Premier League sides but the newly promoted team will be relegated unless a miracle occurs. The red side of Manchester has been underwhelming despite some big name signings over summer. Mason Mount arrived along with Andre Onana and Sofyan Amrabat. However, Onana has been the culprit of an unforgivable amount of mistakes and both Mount and Amrabat have had limited gametime due to injury. 

Looking forward to the next part of the season, it will be key for Tottenham to progress from their draw at Manchester City. A win is desperately needed to get them back on track. In terms of managerial positions, the merry-go-round of managers looks set to be turning once more as Ten Hag and Heckingbottom’s jobs are appearing increasingly vulnerable. The title race is wide open and more intriguing than it ever has been. Arsenal hold the top spot so far but with only seven points separating first down to sixth, it could all change in a heartbeat.

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