With both Man City and Liverpool losing heavily, the Premier League has brought uncertainty in the early season, meaning a close defense could be enough to win it. We can begin to decipher on a club-by-club basis why: Liverpool has stopped pressing, the midfield of Manchester City lacks bite, but there is an irony on a macro level that goes beyond tactical study.
It may be that vacant stadiums have taken so much pressure off the shoulders of players, producing training-ground scenarios that favor therapeutic completion and defending switched-off. But that does not justify why the same 5-2s and 4-3s glut has not occurred anywhere else in Europe.
It still seems that football imitates life. It would be a fitting twist in this most unforeseeable of times to be alive if the tactical pillars of the last decade were flipped on their heads and if Jose Mourinho, the most controversial of personalities, was to enjoy a baffling revival.