Erling Haaland has arrived and the Norwegian rightly stole the headlines as the Premier League returned. Of course only a week before Haaland was being ridiculed on the internet for missing a couple of easy chances against Liverpool in the Community Shield. Now the talk is if he will break Mohamed Salah's Premier League goalscoring record of 32 goals from 38 games. Haaland is born to score goals so said his manager Pep Guardiola after West Ham were defeated 2-0 by the champions, and none of what Guardiola said was false.
The first goal of his Premier League career came by the way of a penalty and nobody was going to offer to take it but the 22 year old. The second goal was majestic, his run, movement and utter confidence in slotting the ball home after leaving his marker for dead. Players and managers tend to come to the Premier League with a lot of hype, in Haaland's case it seems justified.
Premier League top goalscorer: Erling Haaland 2.25, Mohamed Salah 5.00, Harry Kane 7.00, Darwin Nunez 10.00, Gabriel Jesus 15.00
Talking of hype the circus at Manchester United seems to be on a second tour. Eric ten Hag is the new manager in town, and everyone associated with United certainly seemed more than pleased of his arrival. Ten Hag might just be the answer but the 52 year old doesn't come with a glittering CV to Old Trafford. Yes he has done well with Ajax winning 3 league titles, but this is an Ajax team who have won the Dutch league 36 times, and with all due respect the Dutch league is nowhere near the strongest in Europe. For Ten Hag the Premier League is a huge step up, and he isn't managing a team whose hope is to survive in the league, for United a top 4 place has to be the objective. The pressure is huge and after United lost 2-1 at home to Brighton, Ten Hag had that same stare we have seen from Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, one of stress, frustration and a sense that he has a mountain ten times higher than Everest to climb- and we are only in August. It's early days of course but a new manager, new era? At home first game of the season and already a defeat, oh dear….
Jurgen Klopp felt that drawing 2-2 away to Fulham was a defeat and he is right. Full credit to Fulham of course but by their standards Liverpool were not really awake and they are 2 points behind City. Normally it means nothing so early on but as we know how consistent City can be, already it is first blood to Guardiola's team. Let's give a huge mention to Aleksandar Mitrovic who scored over 40 goals in the Championship for Fulham last season. He is a forward who seems to fail in the Premier League, but perhaps this is the season where he makes a real statement, what a way to start for him as he scored both of Fulham's goals against the Reds, his confidence will be absolutely sky high.
Both north London teams won but it was Tottenham who looked the more convincing. Despite falling a goal behind against Southampton Antonio Conte's team roared back to beat them 4-1. No goals for Harry Kane though, who somewhat bizarrely seems to have quiet August's. Arsenal beat a tough Crystal Palace side 2-0 but they were made to work for it. Everton lost 1-0 at home to Chelsea in a dour game which was settled by a penalty. These could already be tough times for Frank Lampard's side who were without first choice forwards, but playing quality like Chelsea was never going to be an easy game, but fans will be closely monitoring the situation and will hope some points are won by the end of this month.
To win the Premier League odds: Manchester City 1.57, Liverpool 4.00, Tottenham 14.00, Chelsea 19.00, Arsenal 26.00