1- Bundesliga grooms better
The rapid development of Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Florian Writz, Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala and Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham; all of whom are 18 and impressing in the Bundesliga and Europe, shows the German top-flight is the best place to breed precocious teenage talent. All three could have suffered under the glare of Premier League spotlight.
2- Man City Are EPL benchmark
Don’t be deceived by the scorelines or embryonic league standings. Manchester City’s 0-1 loss at PSG and 2-2 draw at Anfield only cemented their reputation as one of European soccer’s two best footballing sides along with Bayern Munich. It will take a monumental effort to stop Pep Guardiola from winning his fourth Premier League title as his side remain the benchmark.
3- Time For Koeman To Walk
In the post match interview following Barcelona’s 0-2 reverse at Atletico Madrid, Blagruana skipper Gerard Pique said his side could have played for days without scoring. That’s true but the players are partly to blame. They’ve been sucked into the fight between manager Ronald Koeman and club president Joan Laporta. It’s time for Koeman to walk as the team isn’t responding to him or his methods.
4- Brentford Can Qualify For Europe
Everything about Brentford’s approach to EPL football suggests they will be a big hit capable of matching Ipswich Town’s feat of qualifying for Europe straight from the Championship. Brentford are a big, strong, extremely fit and technically gifted side. Their wins over Arsenal and West Ham are no fluke. At this rate, Ivan Toney could be in with a shout for the Three Lions.
5- Napoli Scudetto Favourites
Juventus’ decline has coincided with a resurgence at Napoli where Luciano Spalleti’s side have a chance to convert years of near title misses into positive energy. A peerless 21 points from 7 matches and with Lorenzo Insigne, Victor Osimhen, Fabian Ruiz and Hirving Lozano all scoring goals for fun indicates this is Napoli’s chance to win their first Scudetto since 1990.
6- Change Of Address Can Be A Lift
Once upon a time Demerai Gray, Andros Townsend, Ajax Amsterdam’s Sebastian Haller and veteran Colombian warhorse Radamel Falcao were written off as football’s cannon fodder. They are now leading scorers for their clubs. Falcao’s reemergence as a lethal marksman for La Liga newcomers Rayo Vallecano is particularly uplifting. All were signed for next to nothing.
7- La Liga In Decline
The departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi from La Liga has taken so much away from La Liga. Witnessing Real Madrid and Barcelona suffer consecutive Champions League home losses to Sheriff Tiraspol and Bayern Munich was hard to take for seasoned Liga Santander followers. Even Real Sociedad struggled to overcome Monaco in the Europa League!
8- International Break A Distraction
The losses suffered by European club football giants Paris St Germain, Zenit St Petersburg, Ajax Amsterdam, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Malmo and Sevilla point to players switching off in readiness for national team duty. This is why club managers hate these breaks. Their players either get injured, uninterested or return fatigued my marathon matches.
9- Sheriff Tiraspol Role Models
Moldovan club Sheriff Tiraspol’s giant killing European Odyssey ought to serve as a template for small clubs across the continent. Victories over Dynamo Zagreb, Shakhtar Donetsk and famously, Real Madrid, have been built on blood and sweat. Their model can be replicated with success across Europe.
10- Academy Yielding Chelsea Dividends
Uefa’s financial fair play enforcers have never uttered a word to European champions Chelsea thanks to their immaculate academy and loan system. This season’s development of Trevor Chalobah and rehabilitation of Ruben Loftus Cheek indicates years of investment are finally yielding dividends.