12 September 2020 16:37

The new Premier League season has started just 48 days after the previous campaign ended.

neil lennon

Premier League table: Latest standings with Arsenal, Liverpool, Leeds in action

It is important that we continue to promote these adverts as our local businesses need as much support as possible during these challenging times. Join thousands of fans who have signed up to our Celtic newsletter. You'd think by now people would have realised it's foolish to write off Scott Brown. The Celtic captain has an off day or a slight dip in form and there's a stampede from some to claim his legs are gone. I'm not sure it's the majority view, mind you – just the usual suspects on social media.

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But it's something Brown seems to use as motivation every new season. I've no doubt Brown will be the first name on the teamsheet for Neil Lennon when it comes to the big games. Celtic have a lot of midfielders but none like Brown. Plenty have come in with the promise of being his long-term replacement but he's managed to see them all off. Brown is still the main man but I do think Celtic need to use him more wisely this season.

neil lennon

But while Brown says he feels 21, the reality is he's 35. I know he prides himself on his fitness and he's changed his lifestyle to prolong his career. At the same time, I don't know many players in the world playing that role at his age – it does take its toll. Lennon can afford to allow Brown to sit it out from time to time because he'll know there's another motivator out there on the pitch. I'm not sure I buy the notion Brown's had a poor start to the season either.

neil lennon

It's always the case when you have a poor game at 35 you're finished but when you do so at 25 it's just a bad day at the office. There will be a time when Brown does finish up and that's when people will realise he's In the meantime, he'll be needed right now and there is no doubt Celtic need to But don't forget Celtic have dropped the same number of points as Steven Gerrard's side – even if there's a lot of big talk coming out of Ibrox. This is an important spell for Celtic, though, and they need the new faces to get up to speed. Celtic needed him a month ago and that ship has sailed. Barkas has admitted it's taking him time to settle in Scotland, that's understandable.

neil lennon

It took me time as well getting used to life in Glasgow, figuring out what people were saying to me and trying to work out how they could eat things like square sausage. It's especially hard for a keeper as the role is completely different at Celtic and Rangers. Celtic have invested heavily to get him and he deserves time to find his feet. It's too early in the campaign to be writing off Brown, Barkas or Celtic for that matter. Get the latest Welsh rugby news sent straight to your inbox Sign up Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Invalid Email With the Premier League's return for the new 2020/21 season, the resumption of action will also see the return of VAR.

English top-flight clubs have agreed to key changes to VAR for the new season which will see the league operate in line with FIFA's protocol, after the system endured a controversial first season. In July 2020, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) transferred the responsibility of VAR to FIFA after inconsistencies in the Premier League's application of the technology. A Premier League statement confirmed their clubs had to agree to important changes in VAR protocol for the new season, saying: "At the Premier League's Annual General Meeting, shareholders agreed to rules relating to Video Assistant Referees (VAR) and substitute players for the 2020/21 season. Here's everything you need to know about the important changes to VAR: However, Mike Riley, leader of the Premier League's PGMOL group, was against the use of the monitors and it wasn't until January, in the FA Cup, that they were first used in England. Across Europe and in the Champions League, the on-field monitors have been used to great effect and referees will now consult the monitors on a more frequent basis for subjective decisions, such as goals, red cards and penalty kicks. Goalkeeper encroachment on penalty kicks From the 2020/21 season, there will be no tolerance on goalkeeper encroachment from penalty kicks which will inevitably result in more retakes. If a goalkeeper saves from 12 yards but has stepped off their goal line before the shot, VAR will order a retake of the penalty. This will not apply if the penalty is missed without the interference of the goalkeeper (if the ball is hit over the bar, for example). Player encroachment on penalty kicks Similarly, there will be no tolerance for player encroachment. However, as with goalkeepers, this will only apply if the player who has encroached is directly involved in the aftermath of the penalty (for example, clearing the ball after the goalkeeper's save or hitting the woodwork). Assistant referees will be asked to keep their flag down for any goalscoring chances, to prevent any incorrect offside calls. Unlike 2019/20, where players were told to ignore the flag and play to the whistle, assistant referees will not raise their flag and VAR will review any marginal offside decision to ensure the correct outcome is reached. There will be no change to the offside rules and no tolerance levels will be allowed. Although, on tight calls, fans watching the game on the TV will be able to see if a player is on or offside via the colours of the lines shown. Should a player be onside, the line will turn green, or will alternatively turn red if a player is offside. Arsenal couldn't have made a better start to the Premier League season if they tried. Sure, the fixture list was on their side with an opening weekend trip to newly-promoted Fulham, but there was certainly scope for slipping up against a team fired up for their top flight return. However, on this occasion, there was some extra plot-lines for Gooners to keep an eye on with two Brazilians making their debut in the famous red jersey: Gabriel and Willian. To say their respective Premier League bows for the club couldn't have gone better would be an understatement and Gabriel, despite his deep-lying position, even popped up with a goal. Willian impresses vs Fulham Even if you take away that treble of assists, though, Willian looked like a class above the rest and showed exactly why he was rated as Chelsea's best player last season. By the time Willian was hooked off in the second-half, the Brazil international boasted a passing accuracy of 96%, completed five ball recoveries and created three chances for his teammates. I'm sure we can all agree that after such an impressive debut that it would be rude not to enjoy Willian's display in all its glory, so check out the full video down below: For a Brazilian winger, Willian might not have the sort of flair you expect to see from his compatriots, but boy does he continue to be efficient in the Premier League. I don't doubt for one second that Hakim Ziyech will eventually start producing the numbers to overwhelm Willian's contribution, but I hardly see that being the case while the Moroccan settles. There's just something about Willian that makes him ominously effective in the Premier League, so expect his detractors at Stamford Bridge to get quieter and quieter as the season goes on. But then again, a certain Henrikh Mkhitaryan had an Arsenal bow like this, so who knows... The new Premier League season has started just 48 days after the previous campaign ended. Premier League fixtures on TV: How to watch EVERY game this weekend Best Fantasy Premier League 2020 picks: Who will score big points? Fulham and Arsenal kick things off in Saturday's lunchtime fixture. But the standout game sees champions Liverpool take on Leeds, who are back in the top division for the first time since 2004. The Reds ended their 30-year wait for a league title last season, while also winning their first Premier League trophy. On only eight occasions in the 28 seasons of the competition have the Premier League champions lifted the trophy again in the following campaign. ALSO SEE: Liverpool fired Premier League title warning by Man City ace