The 2020/21 season has kicked off with plenty of excitement, but it hasn’t been without a heap of challenges for European clubs hoping to manage minutes, reduce injuries and secure early points through a heavily congested fixture list.
The COVID pandemic brought football to a screeching halt in 2020. Mikel Arteta testing positive with Covid-19 in March was the first sign of how football would be affected and within days the program was suspended. Then came the massive news of the 2020 Euros being rescheduled to June 2021. While this major competition could be put back by a year, leagues around Europe had to scramble to restructure fixtures so they could finish play for the 19/20 season and allow teams to prepare for 20/21. Most countries resumed league play after a few months without fans in stadiums. The UK government’s tiered approach to fighting Covid-19 allowed 2,000 fans to attend some Premier League matches in the early part of the 20/21 season but after COVID spikes saw a surge in cases at the end of 2020 Liverpool and Everton, the last remaining Premier League sides planning to allow fans inside their stadiums, closed their doors again too.
Liverpool FC finally broke their streak and lifted the Premier League trophy to secure their first league title since its adoption. Jurgen Klopp’s side had a magnificent year in threatening to oust Wenger’s invincibles as the UK’s only undefeated Premier League champions in history, but fell just short with one loss. Liverpool look likely to retain their title in 2021, but fixture congestion and injuries loom as every team in the Premier League has already boasted at least one loss and a few draws. The competition remains really open. Despite finishing eighth in the League and enduring one of their most turbulent seasons in some time, Arsenal ended the season with silverware after winning the 2019–20 FA Cup for a record fourteenth time.
Arteta won a trophy in his first half-season as manager and morale in the club was high going into 20/21.
Celtic FC secured a historic season by winning all three domestic tournaments and completing the unprecedented quadruple treble in Scottish football. This landmark milestone cemented their dominance of Scottish football, but they can’t seem to find the same form in Europe as they failed to advance to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League. The Bhoys will look towards adding to its domestic trophy collection going forward into 2021 and another shot at Europe next season.
It was a year of Bayern Munich dominance in the UEFA Champions League as they shrugged off PSG in the final to see Hansi Flick’s side lift the famous trophy. In what was an off-year for the Spanish and England powerhouses, the void was filled by a strong Bayern side with class in every position on the pitch. While they will remain favorites to repeat their European success in 2021, their traditional rivals have all strengthened in order to pose a threat to Bayern’s European glory.
With only a few weeks for an off-season and more games to be played in the calendar year of 2020 and 2021 than any preceding season, clubs will rely on depth and shrewd acquisitions in a strange transfer market in order to climb up their respective tables. The 20/21 season started brightly for Arsenal who picked up the Community Shield and three wins out of the first five games - losing only to powerhouses Manchester CIty and Liverpool - but then endured one of their worst run of games without a win in 10 games. Injuries to key players, poor form and a few unlucky bounces saw calls for Arteta’s leadership to be questioned, but he has since corrected the ship and now looks to climb the table back into the European qualifying positions in the league after three wins on the spin over the Christmas period on the backs of young stars such as Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith–Rowe and the fit again Gabriel Martinelli.
In November we lost one of the greatest players to have ever graced the game. Diego Maradonna. Controversial at times but blessed with tremendous talent. RIP Diego.
It was a roller-coaster of a season, both personally and in footballing terms, but football remains an outlet for many to enjoy during extended periods of lockdowns and COVID regulations. What did you make of the year 2020 in football? Do you think Arsenal can build upon its FA Cup success in 2020? Can Celtic overturn the points deficit and achieve 10 in a row and write their name in the history books? Will Bayern be stopped in the UEFA Champions League? Stay tuned in 2021 for what promises to be an exciting and unpredictable finish to the season.
Looking for something to do for the kids during the next few months whilst we may still be in and out of lockdown? Join us at FUSE London with Arsenal Football Development coaching and training regimes that will have you training like the youngsters at Hale End. And keep an eye on our Orlando experience that we hope to be able to start running again in June/July/August.
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All Fuse experiences adhere to Covid-19 safety regulations and in the event of the experience having to be cancelled full refunds will be given.