At such an early stage of the Premier League season any references to the league standings are fairly meaningless. Yet it is still hard work.
Players are still settling into new systems and team mates, clubs to new managers and coaching regimes. You could compare it to buying a new car and driving it away from the showroom for the first time. Everything is new and exciting yet all the little post-delivery issues will soon show up-an adjustment here, a slight retuning there. Football clubs are no different and the opening few weeks of the season will see some clubs working through similar problems.
As far as the Premier League is concerned, fans of the three promoted clubs don’t necessarily expect a poor start to their new season but they will anticipate a difficult one.
A subtle difference which reflects the adjustments their teams have to make for the higher level of football, as shown in their early season form. Going into the international break. Burnley, Leicester City and QPR have played nine games between them with just one victory; QPR’s 1-0 win over Sunderland to their collective name.
Making such a transition is part of football..and life. The quicker you adapt, the more you will prosper. And that’s exactly what the three promoted clubs are going to have to do, to evolve.
When former US President John F Kennedy announced his countries plans to put a man on the moon he proclaimed;
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.. because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept…one which we intend to win.
The three promoted clubs also need to choose to do the hard things. It would be easy for them to settle into a comfort zone and ‘take the money’ before dropping down again.
I sometimes feel there was an element of that in Norwich’s 2004/05 Premier League season. Maybe some players felt we weren’t good enough to be there; there was doubt in the hearts and minds of some, a conviction we’d struggle and come back down again?
Which we did.
Had our mentality been better maybe we would have had a good chance of staying up, of not just surviving but prospering?
Burnley, Leicester and QPR will need to display flexibility and have a positive attitude towards the change in their professional status and the new and difficult challenges that come with it.
Because those who display those qualities have a big advantage over those that might be resistant to it. And there will be clubs and players who might not be so willing to take that next big step this season.
Something that will be as valuable as precious points won to any quickly adapting new boys.