We are seven games into the new Premier League season and it has already been a cracker, with upsets almost every week and good form feeling like a distant memory for some teams already. Some big results for smaller clubs like West Ham and Brighton against Manchester United have been eclipsed by the constant rumour mill swirling around the club. Is there an issue in the United camp? Their recent run of results suggests so and so too do the press. In this article, we talk about everything that has happened so far this season and make some predictions on what is yet to come.

Wolverhampton Wander Into The Top Ten 

Wolverhampton Wanderers are freshly promoted back into the Premier League and have gone from strength to strength so far. With three wins and one loss in the opening seven games, they have proved their ability to play as a strong defensive unit conceding only six goals (only Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea have conceded less so far). Having got 1-1 draws with both Manchester United and City, they have shown the league early on that they are here to stay. With Palace, Watford and Brighton their next three fixtures,  Wolves will be optimistic they can continue this run of top performances and solidify their place in the top ten.

 

United’s Struggles

Manchester United, who sit 10th just behind Wolves at the seven-game mark, have had a season to forget already.  After starting the season with an unconvincing win over Leicester, they have gone on to lose against Brighton, Spurs, Derby and West Ham. A goalless draw to Valencia in the Champions League their latest result, fans are beginning to wonder whether they will see their team rise to the levels of success Sir Alex installed as an expectation.

Chelsea and Juventus are United’s next three fixtures and you would think José Mourinho would need a result from each of them to release some of the pressure building up on his position as manager. Every day more rumours about Pogba’s unhappiness with his manager fuels fans to demand one or both of them be let go from the club. We will have to wait until January to see whether Pogba will move elsewhere, but if United continue their current form we probably won’t have to wait that long to find out José’s fate…

 

The Battle for Europe 

As predicted by many before the season kicked off, Manchester City and Liverpool are the top two and Chelsea are hot on their heels with all three teams on unbeaten runs in the Premier League.

After a tricky start to the season for Arsenal and new manager Emri, losing to City and Chelsea, they have found a shape that suits them and the results have improved massively with five straight PL wins. However, with their defence still looking suspect at times they will have to keep working to challenge for silverware this season.

Tottenham have not been the same team that we saw last season, despite not signing anyone over the summer. Lucas Moura feels like a new signing for them as he was on the fringes of the team when he signed and has finally come good. However, with a string of injuries lately their performances in Europe have slipped and they now look as though they could exit early. Whether they can find a way back into the competition in time will depend on how quickly some of their key players, such as Erikson, can recover.

 

Fighting The Drop

The three teams so far without a win are Huddersfield, Cardiff and Newcastle, all with just two points after seven games. Many expected these teams to struggle this season as they all lack that most important asset; a consistent goal threat. Huddersfield, in particular, have only scored three times but have conceded 16, sending alarms ringing warning sirens for David Wagner’s team.

Newcastle and Cardiff have only scored four goals each with Newcastle’s defensive record keeping them in 18th. Both teams seem to be playing with little confidence and desire which is understandable after going this long without a win. It will be down to their respective managers to work with their squads on the training ground and look to forward at their upcoming fixtures as a source of points.

At this stage in the season, it is hard to tell whether this trend will continue and these three sides will be relegated. But so far, they all look way off the pace this season.


Turn Around On The Cards?

What looked like a relegation season for West Ham after four straight losses in the first four games in the Premier League, they may have turned a corner. After signing nine new players in the summer window and the addition of new manager, Manuel Pellegrini, the Hammers fans were full of hope. But all this change caused them major issues as Pellegrini struggled to find a system that worked. In what was seen by many fans as a must-win game, West Ham won convincingly away at Everton and have since nicked four points after playing both Chelsea and United at the London Stadium. As is the way with the premier league, there are no easy games and West Ham will have to move on from these results and begin to pick up points from the teams around them to keep a top half finish within reach.

 

Predictions 

So with all that drama in just seven games, what can we expect for the rest of the season? Liverpool and Manchester City will certainly look to continue their unbeaten runs and remain the most likely to lift the Premier League trophy at the end of the season, while Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs will battle it out for the remaining Champions League spots. The current bottom three look set to stay there if they can’t begin to find goals from somewhere and fail to stop leaking them at the other end. Finally, at this stage in the season, it is impossible to predict whether United battle for a place in Europe or whether Watford and Bournemouth will continue with their blistering form of late. No matter what happens, we are all in for another unmissable season.

If you’re thinking of checking out some European football in countries such as Germany, Belgium and Holland then check out all the packages that Football Road Trips have to offer. Get in touch today and begin planning your perfect football away day.

Football Road Trips have been awarded a “Go Do” Award for Entrepreneurs worth £10,000 in cash at an awards ceremony hosted by Entrepreneurial Spark. We have been featured in an article on the Entrepreneurial Spark blog. Why not check it out?

“With under three weeks to go until the Entrepreneurial Spark #GoDoEntAwards, which will see over £250,000 awarded to entrepreneurs across the UK, celebrating the #GoDo journey, hear how winning the Entrepreneur of the Moment prize in January helped Football Road Trips to accelerate its growth….

Kai Rigby, founder of Football Road Trips, a business that creates luxury tailor-made road trips to some of Europe’s most exciting football cities, was awarded Entrepreneur of the Moment at the Entrepreneurial Spark Entrepreneuring Awards in January this year, scooping a £10,000 cash prize.

What is Football Road Trips?

The business was dreamt up by owner Kai Rigby while trudging through the amazon, watching a faltering England performance in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, with his friend James.

Football Road Trips takes customers on a journey to two different European countries in one weekend, giving them the chance to watch two international football matches; PlayStation and refreshments are provided along the way. In addition to its tailor-made trips intended for large groups, the business also offers a bi-monthly trip that anyone can join.

Winning the Entrepreneur of the Moment Award

Entrepreneurial Spark, in partnership with NatWest, KPMG and EMC reward some of the brightest and most promising startups across the UK during the bi-yearly Entrepreneuring Awards, offering huge volumes of cash prizes to help them on the road to achieving their dream.

Reflecting on his win and what it meant for his business, Kai said: “Winning the award firstly helped us to raise our profile and gave us an element of authority during the investment process. It also gave the business backing credibility, which is very important. Finally, winning brought about a strong sense of confidence for the business and all those involved”.

What did this mean for Football Road Trips?

Football Road Trips knew a solid online presence was going to be critical so used part of the money to outsource design and SEO of its website (which brought the website to first and second place on certain Google searches) bringing in around £60,000 in sales.

The award money also paid for a member of admin staff to come on board, allowing Kai to focus on leading the business, developing partnerships with hotels and driving further sales.

Kai’s Entrepreneurial Spark experience

Speaking about his Entrepreneurial Spark journey Kai commented: “There is a strong outlook of objectivity throughout the programme, which I think stands out the most for me. Everything has a positive angle, because with Entrepreneurial Spark’s Enablers and mentors there is no reason to dress things up.

“You are also able to really reflect on your business; you learn things you never knew you didn’t know. Your horizons are opened and yes, I would say the best thing about Entrepreneurial Spark is that you learn new things, and are always soaking up all the information you can.”

Entrepreneurial Spark co-founder and Chief Entrepreneuring Officer Lucy-Rose Walker said: “The Entrepreneuring Awards have grown alongside our network of Hatcheries, and the latest events were the biggest yet. It’s fantastic to see how much Football Road Trips has progressed since joining Entrepreneurial Spark. We have seen the growth from an initial concept to the success it is today, and I’m delighted that our expert team of Enablers and mentors have helped Kai and his team on their #GoDo journey of development and scale.”

What’s next for Football Road Trips?

Since winning the award Football Road Trips also has a full quota for the Euros, with other trips booked beyond it; just recently, they took almost 100 people to the Euros to follow England. The prize money has allowed the business to generate its first critical batch of sales allowing it to reinvest profits in growth.

Talking about the future of the business, Kai added: “We are focusing on investment, which we really need for things like flight packages. We are looking to expand our road trips to take to the sky, and make our trips more frequent. We are also looking at expanding internationally and exploring options in Asia, as well as setting up longer ten day tours.”