How important is it to have early season momentum?

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By George Willoughby

The new season comes around and every club wants to get off to a positive start. There seems to be an added emphasis on achieving some early momentum, but how influential is it in the grand scheme of things?

Take the Premier League for example, nine games in and the table is constantly changing with the form of each team varying game-by-game.

Inevitably, certain teams have gotten off to better starts than others, but the table looks very different to what it looked like after the first five games. It can be argued that after playing five games it can provide an initial parameter for how successful the team will be for the remainder of the season.

However, take Watford and Arsenal and their greatly contrasting seasons so far.

Watford secured victory in their first four games of the Premier League season. There was even talk that Javi Gracia’s men could come close to replicating Leicester City’s 2015/16 title winning campaign. Despite their impressive start, The Hornets have come crashing down to earth and are now winless in four of their last five.

On the other hand, there are teams like Arsenal. Successive defats to Manchester City and Chelsea in their opening two fixtures created initial cause for concern. Since then, Arsenal have climbed into the Champions League places recording six-straight wins. After those two early defeats, the same criticism and negativity Arsene Wenger had to endure in his final years in-charge returned.

This is where the argument for how important momentum is arises. Two sides with very different starts to a season, yet they are rapidly moving in the opposite way to each other in the table despite Watford seemingly benefitting from some early season momentum.

Looking at the bottom of the table, for Cardiff fans, yes, picking up points seems an hard task right now. But, with that elusive first win versus Fulham, the season looks all the more optimistic now for the Bluebirds.

A string of wins for Cardiff would go a long way in putting behind their early season mishaps. Just like Watford and Arsenal, form can change in an instant, and this can be associated with any club going through both positive and negative momentum.

Whether the start you make to a season has any bearing and the end of it remains debatable. What we can be sure of is that after five games, and even ten games, there is still no definitive reflection of the end result after a gruelling thirty-eight match campaign.

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