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The Wonderful Chaos of the 2020/2021 Football Season

Football is a funny old game, a wise man once said.  When you expect a team to win, it can lose woefully. When you expect a team to lose, it can win emphatically. Teams can look rubbish for a long time until they meet a team expected to thrash them and suddenly turn into 1970 Brazil.

There are some constants i.e. Ronaldo and Lewandowski banging in goals, but nevertheless, this season has been particularly absurd and chaotic for a lot of teams and we can prove it. Let’s look at some of the funny occurrences that have happened in football recently.

Let us start with Getafe. They have now won only 1 of their last 6 games. That win was against…you guessed it….FC Barcelona. In that 6-game period, they have lost to Real Sociedad and Villarreal, conceding 3 goals each against both teams. They have also lost at home to Granada 1-0 and drawn 2-2 with a dysfunctional Valencia side. Yet, it was against FC Barcelona that they found joy, running out 1-0 winners in classic Getafe fashion.

Aston Villa have won only 1 of their last 4 games. They have had 3 defeats and one victory. That victory came against…you guessed it…Arsenal. They actually beat Arsenal 3-0 at the Emirates, then went back to losing like they were doing before playing Arsenal. Before facing Arsenal, they lost 4-3 against Southampton at home, a result that flattered them as they were 4-0 down after an hour. Before that, they lost 3-0 at home to Leeds United, with Patrick Bamford netting a stupendous hat-trick within 20 second-half minutes. It just had to be Arsenal, eh? As usual.

Valencia have won only 1 of their last 6 games, racking up 3 defeats. Their one victory was against…you guessed it…Real Madrid. They actually beat the 13-time European champions and defending La Liga champions 4-1, scoring 3 penalties while being helped by a Varane own goal. Of course, they went on to draw with Alaves in the next game, this past weekend. In fact, they were 2-0 down after 15 minutes! Football, bloody hell!

La Liga’s all-time top scorer, Lionel Messi, has now scored just 1 goal from open play in 16 games, for club and country. Yes, Lionel Messi…reigning Ballon d’Or winner who has won it 6 times. The guy who has won Pichichi 7 times, including the last 4. The guy with over 700 career goals. One of the best finishers of all time. That Messi! In fact, he has the worst NPxG (non-penalty expected goals) underperformance of all La Liga players so far this season. He also has the 2nd worst NPxG underperformance of all players in Europe’s top 5 leagues. As a result, Barcelona, 26! time La Liga Champions are currently an unbelievable 12th in their league!

Not to be outdone, former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City side, a team that won back to back Premier League titles as recently as 2 years ago and broke the EPL point tally record are currently ..you guessed it…13th! in the Premier League. Guardiola is arguably a top 3 coach in world football, Kevin De Bryune (EPL Player of The Year Holder) is arguably the best midfielder in the world and Man City have scored only 10 goals this season and conceded 11! Chaos!

What about City’s eternal rivals Liverpool?  Despite a bewildering loss to Villa, they are joint top of the EPL with Tottenham but are lowkey breaking records in their own chaotic way. Liverpool currently have 9! first-team players out with injury. So far, Liverpool have already had to deal with a number of blows this season including Virgil van Dijk, Thiago Alcantara, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Allison, Joe Gomez and most recently Keita (who just came back from injury) .

To crown it all, Eden Hazard’s next goal looks like it might not come until next year. If that happens, an Eden Hazard goal in a Madrid shirt would become a yearly occurrence. I’ve jinxed it now, I know. Injuries haven’t helped him at all, admittedly, but this man was signed for 100m, wears Ronaldo’s number 7 shirt, and has played 26 games for Madrid. Surely, even with injuries, he should have scored up to 5 goals, at worst, by now. 2 goals in 26 games for an established star who cost 100m is simply inexcusable. Not even injuries can excuse this return. This is THE Eden Hazard. Football is such a funny game.

A couple of factors could be responsible for such a chaotic season. The quick turn around due to the Coronavirus and lack of preseason, Injuries, the lack of fans in the stadium can result in a training ground atmosphere for players and prevent typical big game intimidation, Burnout in City, plus Barcelona recently has become synonymous with chaos … Regardless we for one are loving the chaos of this season and can’t wait to see Tottenham, AC Milan and Real Sociedad somehow win their leagues!

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