Our last blog took a look at how five of the strongest Premier League teams have prepared for the start of the 2021-2 football season, and how you can develop some of their skills in your own pre-season training using Coerver Coaching drills. In this piece, we’ll look at how some of the other Premier League clubs have been getting ready for the new season.
Pre-season preparation can make all the difference. For the opening weekend, we’ve rounded up the friendlies each club has played and taken a look at which stars they’ve bought during the summer transfer window.
Arsenal kicked off their pre-season with a trip to Scotland, where they took on Hibernian and Rangers, before returning to London to face Watford, Chelsea, and a North London derby against Spurs.
They’ve also made two exciting signings to strengthen their defence, bringing in young Portuguese left-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica and English centre-back Ben White from Brighton.
Villa spent most of their pre-season in the midlands, playing away at Walsall and Stoke before hosting Italian club Salernitana. They did finish with a trip to Somerset, beating Bristol City 3-0 at Ashton Gate.
The sale of Jack Grealish has funded a busy transfer window for Villa, with key signings including Southampton striker Danny Ings, Norwich star Emi Buendia, and Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey – but the one fans might be most excited about is the return of Ashley Young, who left the club a decade ago.
It’s been a very exciting pre-season for Brentford as they get ready for their first-ever season in the Premier League, and it’ll be the first time their new stadium fully opens to fans.
Their pre-season fixtures began with matches against local opposition, AFC Wimbledon and Boreham Wood, before testing themselves against some Premier League opponents – including a 2-2 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford. They finished with an impressive 2-1 win against Valencia.
Brentford have made a lot of signings this summer to strengthen their squad, but perhaps the best is Kristoffer Ajer, a 23-year-old Norwegian defender from Celtic. Premier League fans who haven’t seen much of Brentford before should also watch out for Ivan Toney, who was the Championship’s top scorer last season.
Brighton and Hove Albion
Brighton’s pre-season has been quite short, as they’ve played only three times. Like Arsenal, they drew with Rangers up in Scotland, before beating Luton and losing to Getafe back in England.
Their most exciting summer signing is Zambian international midfielder Enock Mwepu from Red Bull Salzburg, but they’ve also picked up some young stars, including goalkeeper Kjell Scherpen from Ajax and England Under-17 midfielder Jeremy Sarmiento from Benfica.
Burnley went on a winning streak around Lancashire in pre-season, recording wins against Morecambe and Salford at home before beating Oldham, Blackpool, and Tranmere on the road. Their only loss came in their final fixture, a 2-0 defeat against Spanish club Cadiz.
They’ve also signed Welsh goalkeeper Wayne Hennessy and young Irish international centre-back Nathan Collins to strengthen their squad.
Palace have spent most of their pre-season on the road, beating Walsall, Stevenage, Ipswich and Reading, before returning to Selhurst Park where they drew with Charlton and beat Watford.
They’ve signed Danish CB Joachim Andersen from Lyon and picked up former Saints and Liverpool full back Nathaniel Clyne on a free. They also have a new manager: Arsenal legend Patrick Viera took over from Roy Hodgson this summer.
Everton beat Blackburn and Accrington Stanley before heading off to Florida for a pre-season tournament, which they won after beating Mexican side Pumas UNAM and Colombian club Millonarios.
They’ve’ brought in three new players: winger Andros Townsend from Crystal Palace, goalkeeper Asmir Begovic from Bournemouth, and former Leicester midfielder Demarai Gray from Bayer Leverkusen. Like Palace, Everton also have a new manager – Rafa Benitez has taken charge for the 2021-2 season.
Leicester’s pre-season got off to a tough start, with a defeat against Wycombe and draws against Burton Albion and QPR. However, they’ve picked up as the season approaches, with a 3-2 win against Villarreal and victory over Manchester City in the Community Shield.
Leicester picked up Southampton full-back Ryan Bertrand on a free transfer but their most exciting signing is Zambian striker Patson Daka, who scored an outstanding 51 goals in 58 games over the last two seasons for Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg.
Newcastle spent most of their pre-season in the north of England, starting with defeats against York City and Harrogate Town before finding their feet and beating Doncaster, Burton and Norwich.
The Magpies have brought in three promising young players over the summer: defenders Charlie Wiggett and Remi Savage from Chelsea and Liverpool, and striker Cameron Ferguson – the son of former Newcastle star Duncan Ferguson – from Tranmere.
Norwich’s preparation for a return to the top flight began with a series of good wins in Norfolk, as they beat King’s Lynn, Lincoln and Huddersfield before an emphatic 5-0 victory over Gillingham. Their only defeat came when they travelled to the north east to face Newcastle.
Norwich’s most exciting signing for this summer has been a loan – they’ve brought in Chelsea and Scotland star Billy Gilmour, who was impressive last season and will hopefully see more first-team football at Carrow Road.
Saints enjoyed a successful tour of Wales in pre-season, recording wins against both Cardiff and Swansea, before returning to St Mary’s to host Spanish clubs Levante and Athletic Bilbao.
This summer, Theo Walcott made his loan move into a permanent return to Southampton, while they’ve also brought in left-back Romain Perraud from Brest and young players Simeu and Livramento from Chelsea.
Spurs went unbeaten in pre-season, including a draw with Chelsea, and away wins against Colchester and MK Dons. They finished with their only home fixture, a North London derby against Arsenal, coming out 1-0 winners.
Tottenham brought in Bryan Gil from Sevilla in a swap deal for Erik Lamela, and signed Argentinian centre-back Cristian Romero – who was in the Copa America team of the tournament – from Atalanta.
Watford played three pre-season friendlies against local clubs, earning draws against West Brom and Stevenage before a defeat against Crystal Palace.
A whopping thirteen players have joined Watford during the summer window, perhaps the pick of which are left-back Danny Rose and striker Joshua King – both signed on free transfers and bring valuable Premier League experience and talent to the club.
West Ham United
West Ham will start the new season on the back of a seven-match unbeaten run. A trip to Scotland saw them beat Celtic 6-2 and draw with Dundee, and they picked up another three wins and a draw on the road before returning to the London Stadium to beat Atalanta 2-0.
The Hammers have had a quiet transfer window, bringing in PSG keeper Alphonse Areola on loan and acquiring a few young talents, but are reportedly still interested in signing United’s Jesse Lingard and Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma.
Wolves travelled to Spain for a pre-season tour, facing Real Betis and Las Palmas before returning to the midlands to face Stoke and Coventry, and hosting Celta Vigo at Molineux.
Their new manager Bruno Lage has brought in a few new players, including two Portuguese stars: goalkeeper Jose Sa and winger Francisco Trincao.
If you missed our last blog article which has some fantastic drills and tips for coaches for pre-season training go here https://www.coervercoaching.com/blog/premier-league-pre-season-round-up/.
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