The 2020/21 Premier League season is nearly upon us and the managers are out in full flow for their first press-conferences of the season. There is a lot to say ahead of what will be a rather congested and condensed new season but week 1 starts without either Manchester United or Manchester City.
With Mikel Arteta’s new promotion from head coach to first-team manager, the Spaniard starts the new season in his brand new gig and the Gunners face Fulham. The focus of Arteta’s presser was on the game against the Cottagers, but with the transfer window still open, the Gunners boss revealed that the club were still looking at addition. Furthermore, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's contract still up in the air, Arteta announced that he’s “even more confident” about that reaching a conclusion.
“We’re still active in the market. Active in players in and out, the squad balance is not what we want. We have to bear in mind the timings because clubs are acting in different ways. Number-wise, some positions are overbooked. Some positions, the specific qualities are still not there. It’ll be hard to do it in one window. It’s a constant evolution. You need a clear direction of what you want to achieve.”
Speaking ahead of their first season as defending Champions, Jurgen Klopp had a lot to say especially about Marcelo Bielsa with Leeds United their first opponents of the season. This will be the first time that the pair lock horns and it’s a game that many have waited years to watch. It saw the German lavish the Argentine with praise and reveal that he’s done his research on the man who thrives on research.
“I admire him (Marcelo Bielsa), but I was never close enough to him. I watched his teams playing, that’s pretty exceptional. The rest I got from newspapers and stuff like this. I analysed some games, even in the past already and had a look at that.
“We have a different approach; there are similarities obviously, but there are big differences as well. I like him without knowing him as a proper character, obviously. And maybe the hardest-working of all of us, I don’t know, I think we all work pretty much but I don’t think we really can compete with him in that area.”
The Blues have had arguably one of the greatest transfer windows that modern football has seen and it has lead to them being apparently one of the bookies' favourites to lift the title. Whether that’s a shocker or not, Chelsea certainly have a lot of pressure on them to succeed and Frank Lampard addressed that in his first press-conference of the season. The Blues boss admitted that fans should be excited but at the same time, they need to pace themselves.
“I understand that and I hope Chelsea fans are excited because we have brought in a high level of players. But I know what it takes to win the Premier League. City and Liverpool have run over a few years. I hope we will improve. We know expectations are there, but we want to improve and not get ahead of ourselves.”
Having spent an eventful nine odd months as Tottenham boss, Jose Mourinho and the North London side embark on his first full season as a manager in London. Not his first gig as a manager of a relatively large London club and as the Amazon docu-series proved, it’s been an interesting start to his time. However, with the transfer window still open, the Portuguese boss has revealed that Spurs are far from done in the market with them targeting a striker.
"Yes, I want, I need a striker, but I want to make it very, very clear that the club – the structure above me – knows that I need a striker and also wants a striker. Are we going to get one? I honestly believe so. For the balance of the squad, the team needs it because at this moment the squad is getting very balanced, with different options for different positions.
"Especially after the gift we had from the EFL and UEFA, that gives me after 20 years of football a unique experience of playing Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday for two consecutive weeks."
A 16-year exile is finally over and Elland Road awaits their first Premier League game in what has felt like a century. It’s a sensational start with them up against reigning super Champions Liverpool in what will be Marcelo Bielsa and Jurgen Klopp’s first meeting as managers. The Argentine didn’t have a lot to say but confirmed that he will be staying with the Peacocks and that the club’s two new signings are the right players for Leeds.
“They (Robin Koch and Rodrigo) are two players who have the correct level to play in the Premier League. If there are going to be any new signings we will let you know in time.”