London’s ‘Big Three’ are on the rise

Chelsea, Tottenham, and Arsenal are undoubtedly among three of the biggest clubs in England and despite the latter two’s recent struggles, the world even.

The Blues are coming off a phenomenal campaign in which they won their second Champions League trophy against Manchester City.

As for the Spurs they may be in the midst of an excruciating silverware drought but that doesn’t stop them boasting England captain Harry Kane as their franchise player. Somebody who put up 23 strikes and 14 goal assists throughout the last domestic season. While in 2019 their fairy tale European adventure ended in the final against Liverpool 2-0, still a sensational feat regardless given no one gave them even half a chance to make it there.

Now onto the Gunners. Despite their poor results in recent campaigns that didn’t stop Mikel Arteta winning the FA Cup final as well as the Community Shield during the initial stages of his tenure in charge of the club. You can just never quite tell what to expect from these wildly different, but also wildly similar franchises. And for varying reasons as well as factors, each one is going to be looking to burst out with a momentous year throughout the upcoming season and here’s exactly why that is.

Chelsea FC – What impact will Timo Werner have?

The Blues x-factor is German Striker Timo Werner. Contrary to widespread belief at just 25-years-of-age he still has a significant amount of improvement left in him. That’s despite his 14 combined G/A throughout the last Premier League campaign. He had his fair share of critics and he still conjured that up despite the ridiculous amount of pressure placed upon him at Stanford Bridge. He was also responsible for his sides second goal against Real Madrid on Day 12 of the Champions League. That fine header gave his side a 2-1 lead on aggregate and ultimately helped them through to the final.

Not only that, if you go back throughout the earlier stages of his career you’ll see that after he left VfB Stuggart II to move to RB Leipzig his first two seasons for the Bundesliga-based side saw him bag 21 goals each year. If he is given the proper match time, coaching and guidance then there’s no reason he can’t reach similar heights if not better with his still relatively new London club.

Given Chelseas disjointed attack at times, there is no doubt in my mind at all that Werner is the man to piece that all together for the club as they attempt to make domestic strides and go deep into Europe once again. If the likes of Jorginho, Mount, Havertz and Pulisic can feed him smooth and easy balls, combined with an altered game for Werner, that has the extraordinarily strong potential to spell the end for a lot of Chelsea’s English rivals.

Putting Werner aside, the Blues are also the current Champions League victors as mentioned previously. The fact that they beat runaway Premier League Champions Manchester City despite shooting only two shots on target throughout that closely contested clash simply just shows that on their day they are more then capable of beating anybody.

Just two matches prior to that they toppled a Top Four desperate Leicester side by peppering away 17 shots at them to win 2-1. They are more then capable of beating any top side and with extremely adjustable and flexible game plans at that. They also cruised past both Atlético and Real Madrid to reach the European final. This is not a side to be messed with, make no two guesses about it.

Tottenham Hostspur – A new manager = a change in fortunes?

Now onto Tottenham. Nuno Espírito Santo the former Wolves manager now holds the head reigns at the club, and he’ll be looking to make an immediate impact with the Spurs. The ex-Porto player previously led Wolverhampton to an illusive EFL Championship and among his highlights in the big league was leading them to 7th place in the 2018/19 season. Given the Wolves budget compared to other clubs this was/still is a very impressive feat. So, it’s safe to say he knows how to achieve success with limited finances and on a restrained budget.

He’s also exceptional at player development. Under Santo’s guidance Raúl Jiménez scored 13 and 17 goals in his first two seasons playing for Wolverhampton. With that second-season mark being his highest ever goal tally throughout a single campaign in his entire playing career.

Alongside that 19-year-old Dutch Defender Ki-Jana Hoever, 19-year-old Dutch Forward Fábio Silva and 21-year-old English Midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White each featured in 12, 32 and 11 games this past season as they thrived becoming a regular part of the first team environment. The impact that he could have on both Tottenham’s more established players, as well as their starry-eyed youth could perhaps be paramount in their charge for a Top Four berth or even perhaps an unlikely run at the title. Even maybe the FA or Carabao Cup. The latter is still a half-decent trophy at the end of the day.

Not that Harry Kane or Son Heung-Min need any specified guidance at this stage of their careers, but they are obviously a humungous piece of the puzzle for Tottenham. Kane’s insane stats were already mentioned previously while just domestically this past campaign Heung-Min bagged 17 goals + 10 assists. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if they can keep that historic form up, along with some more consistent efforts from the rest of the side then this may finally be the year that those at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium finally have something to cheer about.

Arsenal FC – Is turning draws into wins the answer?

Finally, onto Arsenal. Last campaign the Gunners proved to be victorious on 18 separate domestic occasions. That was the same number as Tottenham, just one of Champions League winners Chelsea and only two of off last season’s English Champions Liverpool. The major difference between the Gunners and the rest of them however is that the other three knew/know how to hold a game out to get the draw or turn a should-be-stalemate into a win. Arsenal drew seven games last season, the Spurs eight, Chelsea 10 and the Reds nine.

The Gunners last loss of the season came in the 76th minute when Bernd Leno unfortunately produced an own goal vs Everton. Their game prior to that Arsenal had to rely on a late, late, late 97th minute Eddie Nketiah strike just to snatch a point against Fulham. This would have been a major issue worked upon by Mikel Arteta and his coaching staff in the off-season.

While only aiding Arsenal’s pursuit of closing the gap between them and those other top tier sides is Nicolas Pépé the former Lille turned resurgent Gunners Attacker and Emile Smith Rowe, the 21-year-old Croydon-born future of the club. And the same young man who just very convincingly inked a new long-term contract with the club.

Pépé might have initially struggled early on but during the latter stages of the campaign just past he was as good as any plying their trade in England. And there are strong hopes that he can carry that late season form over to the just-about-to-start one and really get Arsenal off on the right foot and be a potential match-winner for them.

For context Pépé banged in five goals over the last four games of the Premier League season, including twice against Brighton on the final day. Prior to that he also scored twice against Crystal Palace, at Selhurst Park no less. On the season he had 10 League goals overall and if he can help out ‘Auba’ and Lacazette in that department more often than not then Arsenal should be well on their way to a commanding season.

As for Smith Rowe he produced four assists last season, along with 27 shot assists from just 20 matches played. Despite his age he has an incredibly high Footballing IQ and as he settles further and further into Arsenal’s starting line-up he should only get better and better. It won’t be too long before he’s terrorising the best of the Premier League. Better yet the Academy Graduate knows what it means to represent the once proud club and he seems hell bent on getting them back to the glory days that the club once experienced under one Arsène Wenger.

So, there you have it. Each and every one of these ‘Big Three’ London teams have more then enough reasons to believe that this could be their season. For Chelsea that obviously entails at least a Top Three spot domestically and then going deep into Europe once again. While the expectations for the latter two should be slightly more subdued, but they should still nevertheless be extremely optimistic about what they can each potentially achieve and win this campaign. It’s always exciting when these three are on the ball, so let’s see what they got.