The London Premier League round-Up: Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace


The London Premier League round-Up: Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace

by Dylan Walsh

The 2018/19 Premier League season is way underway, and we have already been treated to some shocks and surprises this campaign.

From the resurgence of Arsenal to the fall of Manchester United, the league has thrown up some quite incredible stuff after just 11 games, and things can only get better from here.

Here at Prost, we delve into how the London Premier League teams have got on this season, and what do our team of writers expect from the clubs based in the English capital.

Arsenal – Dylan Walsh

The Gunners have impressed in the league under new boss Unai Emery. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/Marc Atkins)

After losing their first two games of the Premier League season, Arsenal have silenced their early critics by going on an 11 game winning streak and firmly putting themselves in the top four debate.

Despite a disappointing 2-2 draw this past weekend to London rivals Crystal Palace that ended their incredible run, new Arsenal manager Unai Emery has restored faith back into the Gunners faithful with some incredible performances, world-class goals, and some genuine improvement in some players that not too long ago that were seen as scapegoats by fans and the media.

Hector Bellerin, Alex Iwobi and Rob Holding have all seen massive improvements in their game, and in doing so have not only won the support of the fans, but have put their promising careers back on track with some stellar performances in important games for the Gunners.

But it’s not just current players winning the attention of Arsenal fans.

Summer signings Lucas Torreira, Bernd Leno and Matteo Guendouzi have all made their presence in the Gunners squad known in a very positive way, all adding something new that Arsene Wenger sides had been missing for some time.

Arsenal’s main criticism this season so far has been their failure to take control of matches in the first half. In their opening 10 Premier League games, the Gunners failed to go into the break leading the game.

If Emery is to cement a place in the top four and even put on an unlikely march for the title, the Spaniard has to drill his side into taking games at the scruff of the neck from minute one instead of waiting until the second half to turn on the engine.

All Arsenal

Chelsea – Steve Clare

Eden Hazard has yet again shined for Chelsea this campaign. (Photo Credit: Visionhaus)

It’s safe to say Chelsea will look back at their season so far with more positive emotions than negative ones.

New manager Maurizio Sarri hasn’t endured a slow a start as many had originally feared, and the Blues still remain unbeaten having already played the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United in the league. In the games against the smaller teams, Chelsea are demolishing their opposition.

Their big summer signing, Jorginho, has impressed many a pundit and fan this season, with the Italian shattering passing completion and accuracy records for stat nerds everywhere and giving star midfielder N’Golo Kante more freedom to drive forward and cause problems in the attack.

As well as new players making a good first impression, former figures in the team are starting to make an impact after failing to impress under former manager Antonio Conte.

Ross Barkley and Antonio Rudiger in particular have shown their worth in a new era at Chelsea after previously only being seen as nothing more than squad players under the previous boss. Barkley has benefited greatly from Sarri’s arrival, as the Blues #8 has been recalled to the England squad after a few years out of it and has impressed in big games for the West London team.

At this stage, the Blues look unlikely to trouble City to the title. However, they could challenge Liverpool for the title of ‘Putting on the Pressure’ in the race for second place. Sarri has his new team playing some effective and entertaining football, and it won’t be a surprise to see them finish the highest in the league amongst the London sides.

All Chelsea

Crystal Palace – Conor Dunford

Zaha has led the helm for Palace. (Photo Credit: Sebastian Frei/MB Media)

It’s been enough rough start to the season for Crystal Palace, who after 10 games in the Premier League are yet to win a game at home, and look like a shadow of the side that impressed so many last season.

On paper, Palace have one of the strongest squads outside the top six, but year-after-year the Eagles fail to make any real impact on the league and the South London often find themselves languishing in the bottom half of the table and closer to the relegation zone than to a European spot.

And this season has been no different for Roy Hodgson’s side. Even with talisman Wilfried Zaha impressing in a striker position, Palace have only just got their first goals at home this season in a credible 2-2 draw with high-flying Arsenal and the Eagles are just three points above the relegation zone.

New signings haven’t seen Hodgson refrain from changing too much of this Palace side which was so impressive in the second half of last season. But, his persistence to starting Christian Benteke has proved to be a source of immense frustration for himself and the fans.

The Belgian forward has consistently squandered numerous chances that most Premier League quality strikers would put away. Hodgson must put his neck on the line to bring in a forward in the January window to take the pressure off Benteke and to help share the workload with Zaha.

If the Eagles can bring in a striker who is going to score 10+ goals in the second half of the season, they stand a very good chance of ending the season mid-table again. But, if Hodgson persists with the likes of Benteke, he will need to improve significantly or Palace may yet again find themselves in a relegation scrap.

All Crystal Palace

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