Goals are just the outcome. Plenty of graft is needed to get the ball into the back of the net.
In fact, it’s one of the uglier facets of the game that usually gets the move started – the tackle.
Sometimes clean, sometimes dirty, bravery and anticipation is needed to pull off a well-timed challenge or risk the wrath of a referee.
And just three games into the season, it’s already becoming clear which sides are ready to get their shorts dirty to win the possession.
Let’s go through the list below to know which teams have attempted the most tackles this season.
LIST OF CLUBS WITH MOST TACKLES IN THE 2016/17 SEASON SO FAR
Bournemouth – 42
Chelsea – 44
Burnley – 44
Manchester City – 46
Manchester United – 52
Leicester City – 52
Southampton – 54
West Brom – 57
Swansea – 57
Liverpool – 59
West Ham – 60
Everton – 61
Watford – 64
Arsenal – 64
Stoke City – 65
Hull City – 67
Tottenham – 69
Middlesbrough – 69
Crystal Palace – 75
The 2016-17 Premier League season looms as perhaps the most compelling there has ever been, in large part due to the influx of elite tactical minds to the league’s powerhouses.
At Manchester City, Guardiola has arrived with a CV none of his contemporaries can match; at Chelsea, the authoritative and savvy Antonio Conte has been brought in to oversee a restoration; at Manchester United, a refreshed and buoyed Jose Mourinho has returned to take the reins at England’s colossus.
These revered bosses join a managerial crop that includes Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool and Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham.
Last season, a cocktail of factors created a division of extreme turbulence – the initial effects of an enormous TV rights deal that strengthened the league’s middle class was a significant one – but most telling was the uneasiness that surrounded the country’s high-profile coaches.