Part of the fun of a football goal is its rarity. Every one of them is a miniature miracle, because we don’t know how long we’ll have to wait for another. If there were suddenly 10 goals per match or something, they would feel less miraculous and a lot less special.
A few more wouldn’t hurt anything, however, and that’s what we’re getting in Europe so far this season. Average goals per game are up six percent so far in this year’s Bundesliga and Ligue 1, up 12 percent in Serie A and up an incredible 39 percent in the Premier League! Unsustainable? Almost certainly. Expected goals haven’t risen at the same rate in England, and the season’s still young enough for a few outlier matches to skew the averages. Since goals are down 11 percent in La Liga, perhaps any Premier League decrease will see an equal increase in Spain.
Things have been particularly fun and crazy thus far in Europe. We can hope it keeps up, and we can also celebrate the teams that have been the most fun.
Here are the 11 most enjoyable soccer teams in Europe’s Big Five leagues at the moment, plus lots of honourable mentions because you know what? There’s always room for more fun.
*Presented in alphabetical order.
– Atletico Madrid: No, seriously! Counter-attacking can be fun, and Atleti have shown signs of being particularly good at it this year. Angel Correa, Joao Felix, and Yannick Carrasco are excellent creators, and Luis Suarez? Well, he fits right in with manager Diego Simeone.
– Borussia Dortmund: It hasn’t been a torrid start for Lucien Favre’s squad, at least by our extremely high standards for BVB, but Erling Haaland has already scored four goals and American Giovanni Reyna has three assists. Jadon Sancho will likely get rolling again soon, too. BVB will always be must-watch.
– Hertha Berlin: Last seen scaring the hell out of Bayern Munich, Bruno Labbadia’s squad has scored eight goals on seven assists in three games. Matheus Cunha is one of the most exciting young players in Germany. And that’s saying something.
– Leeds United: There’s something to be said for making your shots count. Marcelo Bielsa’s squad is 10th in the league in shots attempted, but third in shots and goals. They seem to only create good chances, and Patrick Bamford (three goals) is converting at a high level again.
– Leicester City: Brendan Rodgers’ squad scored 12 goals in their first three matches before stumbling against West Ham. Jamie Vardy is ageless, Harvey Barnes has never met a long shot he didn’t like and new signing Timothy Castagne is creating at high levels down the right flank.
– Manchester City: Even when they’re not…