Premier League | Ex-Ingolstadt thrilled under the girl radar in England

After the mourning over Queen Elizabeth II and the international break, football in England can soon roll again. Which Premier League teams have exceeded expectations so far – and which have disappointed across the board?

Similar to the Bundesliga, the balance of power on the island was shaken at the beginning of the season. Right in the middle is a former resident of Ingolstadt in the service of Brighton & Hove Albion. Also in focus: The former BVB star Erling Haaland, who also inspires the Premier League with his goals.

Team of the day: Arsenal are back

Just looking at the top of the Premier League table is amazing. In first place is not champion Manchester City or Champions League finalist Liverpool FC, but Arsenal FC – and that since the third matchday.

Coach Mikel Arteta’s side, who have not featured in the Premier League’s top flight for the past four years with two fifth- and two eighth-place finishes, impressed with fast-paced attacking football in the first few weeks of the new season.

It is doubtful whether the Gunners can build on the successes of Arsène Wegner’s long era this season. There is no doubt that the Londoners have taken a step forward in their fourth season under their ex-player Arteta.

Arsenal’s top transfer this summer has played a big part in the current recovery. Striker Gabriel Jesus joined from Manchester City for 50 million euros, and the 25-year-old Brazilian has hit the ground running with four goals and three assists in seven games.

In general, Arteta places great importance on the collective. Since taking over at the end of 2019, the 40-year-old Spaniard has shown no shyness in weeding out big names such as Mesut Ozil or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – especially when he got the feeling they were causing unrest in the team.

That Arteta thinks long-term is also reflected in the squad’s age structure. With an average of 24.3 years, Arsenal are the youngest team in the Premier League. Only three players are or will be 30 this year. Captain Martin Ödegaard is 23 years old, Gabriel Jesus’ strike partner Gabriel Martinelli is only 21 – both are top performers with three league goals.

What the Gunners lack this season is a win against a top team. Two possibilities will present themselves in the near future. Tottenham Hotspur comes on October 1st. A week later, Liverpool visit the Emirates Stadium.

The surprise: Pascal Groß and Brighton & Hove Albion

Pascal Groß has been loyal to the Seagulls since Brighton & Hove Albion were promoted in the summer of 2017. The ex-Ingolstadt man is already in his sixth year in the Premier League – and it’s going really well at the moment. With 13 points from six points, the southern Englishmen are in fourth place.

The highlight of the season so far was the first matchday when Brighton beat Manchester United 2-1 at Old Traffold. The 31-year-old Groß scored twice for a 2-0 half-time lead. In this round, the Mannheim native has already scored three goals and two assists.

In Germany, the game designer still flies under the radar. In any case, Gross is no longer hoping for a DFB nomination. “Of course it would be a lifelong dream,” the midfielder told Sky TV in August, “but I have no hope and I see it realistically.”

An away win at Liverpool FC on October 1 would certainly not go unnoticed by national coach Hansi Flick. For now, however, the Seagulls must prove they can handle the departure of team manager Graham Potter.

The 47-year-old moved to league rival FC Chelsea at the beginning of September – for a transfer fee of around 17 million euros.

The issues: What is happening at Liverpool FC and Leicester City?

At the latest since the 0:4 in SSC Napoli at the start of the Champions League group stage, it is clear: At Liverpool FC, things are anything but smooth.

The move from Sadio Mané to FC Bayern, newcomers Darwin Núnez and Artur, who are not (yet) in action, the weaknesses in the form of top stars such as Mo Salah, Virgil van Dijk or Fabinho: reasons why the team of ex-BVB coaches Jürgen Klopp is in eighth place after six games with only nine points, which is a lot.

With Brighton, Arsenal and Manchester City joining the Champions League finalists in October, the schedule doesn’t get any easier.

Leicester City are even worse. The sensational 2016 champion, who finished the last round in eighth place, sits in last place with 10:22 goals and just one point from seven games.

Team manager Brendan Rogers, who has been in the position since 2019, is faltering. “I completely understand the frustration of the fans. I can’t hide from it, it’s my responsibility,” Rodgers recently told The Guardian. The upcoming matches against newly promoted Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace must sit.

The top star: How Erling Haaland dominates the Premier League

Goals, goals and more goals: The 22-year-old Manchester City signing has struck eleven times in his first seven league games.

In the 4-2 victory against Crystal Palace, Haaland even scored three times. Four days later, he also scored a hat-trick in the 6–0 win against Nottingham Forest.

That makes Haaland, who switched from BVB to Citizens for 60 million euros this summer, the first Premier League player to already have two hat-tricks after five appearances. The Norwegian narrowly beat previous record holder Demba Ba, who scored his second hat-trick in England in his 21st league game.

It almost goes without saying that Haaland is the undisputed number one on the English top scorer list. To put this into context: Harry Kane and Aleksandar Mitrovic share second place with six goals.

The great Haaland show could continue on October 8 in the home match against FC Southampton. On October 16, Manchester City then host Liverpool FC.

Claudio Palmieri

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