Now that the EPL has kicked back into gear, it seems that every team (with the exception of Arsenal and Sunderland) are finding the back of the net. Although the strikers and attackers need a little longer to get back into the swing of things and get back to mid-season form, it seems that the defenders are having a hard time getting going in the 12/13 season. Are we seeing a new breed of attacker? A break down in the new era of defender? Or is there something else afoot that is causing the early season goal totals to skyrocket?
A new breed of attacker. Even Liverpool is finding the back of the net against last year’s best defense. Have the attackers gotten that much better? With Sergio Aguero injuring his knee in the first game of the season and with Wayne Rooney finding himself on the bench in the second match (and relegated to the stands for the next month), you would have thought that the Premier League would be missing a few goals. Add in that RVP barely got a sniff of a chance in his first outing and the fact that he is having to learn a new system, you would have also counted him out of a big scoring total for this new season.
A breakdown in defense. Only three teams have prevented their goal from being breached this season, with only 6 teams allowing fewer than two goals over two fixtures. Manchester City and Manchester United had two of the best defenses last season and they both have already allowed 4 and 3 goals, respectively. Many will point to the implementation of Michael Carrick in the United defense, but United spent most of last season juggling their defenders and rarely were able to depend on a consistent pairing…also, Vidic looks in better shape than he may have been in his entire career.
Some magic force plaguing the EPL that causes goals to fly in… Although we will probably see everything even out as the season rolls on, there is certainly something different about this season. Perhaps defenders have become a little goal obsessed themselves and their constant forays into the attacking third are affecting the goal totals. This would factor in for both teams on the pitch. The attacking team would see their defenders snag a few more goals each season and see them contribute to their team’s goal totals. The other team would become increasingly susceptible to a fast-break and they could get pegged back quite easily.