Despite still being in its infancy, the 2022-23 Premier League season is shaping up to be one of the most unpredictable and exciting seasons we’ve seen since the league’s inception in 1992. In just under a month, football fans have already witnessed heated rivalries, shocking upsets, and results that just make you scratch your head. All of the signs so far are pointing to a season for the ages: all thanks to the inconsistency of top teams and the surprising rise of unexpected contenders.
For the past four years, Liverpool and Manchester City have indisputably been the two best teams in England. The two teams have twice been involved in title races that went down to the last game of the season, with Manchester City beating Liverpool to the title by just one point each time. These teams have been labeled the only two choices to win the league this year.
Well, forget all of that, because neither team is sitting at the top after a month of play. Manchester City’s immortality is showing signs of waning, as the Manchester outfit was played to a 3-3 standstill by heavy underdogs Newcastle during Match Week Three. The Citizens were also down 2-0 at halftime against Crystal Palace just a few days ago. While they did eventually manage to win, that untouchable aura the champions have had for the past half-decade is seeming to wane.
Not even Liverpool is sure what Liverpool is doing at this point. They started the season winless after three games, opening their title charge with a 2-2 whimper against newly promoted Fulham. They were then held to a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace, a game where their €100 million striker got a red card for headbutting an opposition defender. Despite two underwhelming performances, Liverpool was still the favorite going into a Game Week Three matchup against bitter rivals Manchester United. They were completely outplayed in a 2-1 loss, giving their most hated enemies their first victory of the season. As stated earlier, even the higher-ups at Anfield are struggling to answer the question of Liverpool's legitimacy.
Brighton and Leeds are two teams that are having starts to the season that nobody expected, albeit for a good reason. Brighton had a respectable campaign last year, finishing at a solid ninth place, tied with Wolves on 51 points. Leeds wasn’t as good last year, finishing in 17th out of 20, just one spot above the relegation zone: a team heavily burdened by injuries that just managed to stay afloat. Going into this year, Leeds was seen by most fans as a certain relegation team, while Brighton was expected to fall a bit in the standings but remain relatively mid-table.
As you can probably guess from the context clues, both teams are heavily overperforming. Brighton opened its season with a 2-1 win against the mighty Manchester United at the storied Old Trafford, much to the surprise of literally everyone outside of the southern coast of England. Since then, the team has kept their start to the season strong, with wins against another quality side in West Ham and a 1-0 victory over their fellow upstarts in Leeds, who have had a similarly big upset in their opening four fixtures. After a win and a draw in their opening two games, Leeds welcomed the English giants Chelsea to Elland Road after they came off a big summer transfer window in terms of spending, in addition to an elite performance in an all-time classic 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur the week before. Leeds literally outran the 2021 Champions League winners off the field, covering 13.9 kilometers more than the Blues in an emphatic 3-0 statement win. Both teams are punching high above their weight, and while some regression is to be expected, both Brighton and Leeds are looking to finish high above their preseason expectations.
The Premier League is almost unanimously viewed as the best league in the world for good reason: the competition and spectacle it provides is simply unmatched, and this season it seems as though the craziness has been cranked up to 11. Arsenal is top of the league—that should be enough to let you know this Prem season is a little different from the rest. But I think I speak for almost all fans when I say that we love it so far.