Welcome to the golden age of the Premier League
Welcome to Tuesday Team Talk. Every week, the H+K Sports team will give a unique perspective on the week’s football action and the stories making the headlines across the beautiful game.
In the last few days there have been two moments that have very suddenly made the new Premier League season feel both very real and potentially ground breaking. With just days to go until the season kicks off, it seems we could be genuinely about to enter a golden age for Premier League football.
Generally speaking, the Community Shield is a bit of a damp squib. Certainly, a nice little curtain-raiser but not what you'd call a proper game and not something that generally teaches us much about the season to come. But when Zlatan Ibrahimović scored the winner in his new Man United shirt, it felt like a genuine moment for the Premier League. One of the biggest stars of the decade, pulling on the shirt of a huge global brand and already scoring for fun. Ibra may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there is no doubt he creates excitement and drives headlines. A rising tide lifts all boats and the more Ibrahimović continues to write the headlines, the more exciting this season is going to be.
In the hours after Paul Pogba’s mega transfer to Man United was confirmed, Gary Lineker tweeted that he felt this was a ‘watershed moment’ for the Premier League. In his eyes, the move by an established global star in his prime to choose England over Spain or Germany represented a whole new world for the Premier League. You can argue whether this is the first time this has happened but whichever way you cut it this is undoubtedly a big moment for the Premier League.
Pogba’s monster fee combined with his age and reputation make him a huge addition to the Premier League landscape, but United are not alone in bringing high priced new faces into the Premier League. English clubs had spent £475m in the first month alone, and that was before big priced moves for Pogba, Sane and Stones all completed. It has been estimated that Premier League spending could top £1bn for the first time ever. We knew that the new Premier League TV deal would stimulate a boom in transfer activity, and it hasn’t disappointed. As the value of the Premier League continues to grow and grow this extraordinary window may well become the standard. As more and more global stars come to the Premier League, the standard of talent is only set to grow and grow.
The other new addition to the Premier League season set to add to this explosive cocktail is the frankly astonishing array of managerial talent now based in the Premier League. The Premier League has been home to great managers for a long time but this season the names are bigger than ever before. Mourinho and Guardiola sharing Manchester is set to be a fascinating battle, Klopp and Conte trying to get their teams back to the top, Ranieri and Pochettino trying to repeat last season’s magic. The Premier League production has a star studded cast indeed.
And with everything new, let’s not forget just how good last season was. The historically unpredictable year that ended with Leicester’s incredible title was the most entertaining of all time and certainly a sign of things to come. With Leicester back to defend their title and the rest of the league having strengthened, the new Premier League era could be something pretty extraordinary. Sit back and enjoy the ride.