Okley dokely after the international break the Barclays Premier League will resume this weekend. Its 7 games in, so how is it looking. Well it has a familiar look at the top with Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs in close attendance. But massive strides made by Everton (who normally have a shocking start) and big congrats to West Brom who apparently have had their best start to a top flight season for over 100 years (at home) and that season they topped the table – could it happen again!!!!!!! It will be the usual scrap at the bottom (with some teams already in there who would expect to be higher)
Basically it would be remiss of me to make too many predictions with 31 games left but what I will say is I reckon like the beginning of this season, there will be a number of “so called” shock results against the “so called” elite teams here’s a summary on what’s happened and may happen in the future team by team – I’ll start from the top hey.
Chelsea – Brilliant start for Roberto Di Matteo (could not have asked for more really, well apart from 7 wins I suppose) – following on from last seasons Champions League and FA Cup triumphs. Lack of strikers may be their undoing and they can be caught out at the back – though proved at Arsenal they do have backbone. They will be close and if Falcao can be lured in January then the Premier trophy may be returning to the Kings Road.
Manchester United – Down to the bare bones defensively and a midfield that can still be dominated – but still 5 wins from 7 games. If they get their defenders back they will be challenging right to the end, especially with RVP, Rooney, Welbeck and Chicarito to put the ball in the net. A midfield enforcer in January could be the catalyst to regain the league title (and a defender in my opinion) because as they found out last season – it does not matter how far you are behind, second is an awful place to be.
Manchester City – The champions have had an up and down start, but are still unbeaten in the league. Lack of clean sheets have been a problem, but with the best squad in the league and more time for the new signings to gel, they are still the team to beat.
Everton – Brilliant start (for a change) and from what we have seen so far, they definitely have a 1-11 to challenge any team, if they keep their players fit a top four challenge is definitely on.
Tottenham Hotspur – They are definitely beginning to believe in the new AVB project at the Lane, after a slow start they have improved culminating in a deserved victory at Old Trafford for their first win there in 23 years – maybe that will be the push they need to challenge for even more than the top 4. Chelsea at home this Saturday btw 😉
West Brom – An excellent start, Steve Clarke’s first management role could not have gone better, they have played some fantastic football and their fans must be in dreamland. If they continue in this vain then a fun packed season is in store.
Arsenal – Doom and gloom was the order of the day at the start of the season especially with the loss of RVP to direct rivals, but the Arsenal have been very good this season and will be challenging in the top 4 and possibly for the title too. However lack of consistency could be their undoing – after an outstanding performance at the Etihad only brought a point home and then defensive lapses against Chelsea costing them a couple of weeks ago. So still a few questions to answer.
West Ham – Excellent start from the Hammers – they would have easily taken the 11 points from their first 7 games. With Big Sam in charge and their ability to mix it up when necessary, you’d imagine they will be ok as they have goals in them especially with the astute acquisition of Andy Carroll, an archetypal Allardyce player.
Fulham – According to Bobby Zamora, no one liked Martin Jol, well imagine if they did like him. I’d imagine Fulham fans are more than happy with how things have gone so far this season, especially with the loss of a number of players from last season including the very influential Dembele and Dempsey, though Berbatov and Petric have settled in well. Defensive lapses on occasion have cost them points already this season and they will need to keep a check on this.
Newcastle United – This season has felt like a bit after the Lord Mayors Show. They have started the season slowly, despite an excellent win over Spurs on day 1. Seemingly they have 2 strikers who have goals in them, but can only seem to get one scoring at a time. Once they both start clicking, they’ll be fine and will push for a top 6 place.
Swansea – A brilliant start to the season for new manager Michael Laudrup, however results have been much harder to come by in recent weeks. Some reports of discontent in the camp. They do say the Premier League is one of the hardest leagues to arrest a slump and work is needed to make sure Swansea do not get sucked into a relegation squabble. Coming from 0-2 down versus Reading on their last outing hints at some signs of recovery, probably could have done without the International break though.
Stoke – A slow start from The Potters, but they have had a tough fixture list with trips to Anfield and Stamford Bridge as well as home matches against the Champions and Arsenal to negotiate (just the small matter of Old Trafford next up this Saturday). Tony Pulis will be hoping to make sure that his combative team make up the points in the next run of fixtures and move further up the table.
Sunderland – An unbeaten start until their defeat by Manchester City on the last weekend of fixtures. Hard to say how their season has been especially with a postponed game against Reading still to be played. Slow start, the manager will be expecting improvement over the next few weeks and some new names on the goalscorer sheet too.
Liverpool – The answer to the question what does Brendan Rodgers and a baptism of fire have in common. Arguably their play has deserved many more points but they are where they are and may regret not replacing (or at least keeping) Andy Carroll. Due to their lack of strikers and the fact that the new manager is trying to implement a new style, it may still take some time for the team to get to a position that the fans will be happy with.
Wigan – Good old Wigan have begun their 8th successive season in the Premier League and all I can say is well done. Despite them beating my team at a crucial point of last season, they have been a breath of fresh air. Who knows what they will do this season. Personally I wish them all the best – a side that is batting way above their average and fully deserve to do so – good luck Roberto and Dave.
Aston Villa – A worrying start for the new manager – but recent improvements have seen them pick up more points in the last few fixtures. Paul Lambert is fully aware of the size of the task at Villa Park and survival is his goal as his track record shows the more times he spends at a club the further they progress in the right way.
Southampton – Have lost a number of leads this season, which at this level is criminal and can be fatal in regards to staying in this league. Questions have been made against the manager (especially his substitutions), but Nigel Adkins is a strong character and if they can shore things up at the back, they have the firepower to get the goals to keep them up in my opinion.
Reading – A muddling start from Brian McDermott’s boys and like Southampton are learning the hard way about the differences between the Premier League and the Championship. Again as can be the case for newly promoted sides, defensive lapses have been their downfall, though they have been on the end of some poor referring decisions. Main concern has to be a lack of firepower at this stage. It could be a long season.
Norwich – Another new manager who has had a very difficult start to the campaign. Chris Hughton has been in the Premier League before but this has to now be his toughest challenge. Too many goals leaked the main issue and this needs to be addressed or they may be cut adrift
QPR – A massive budget, loads of new players but bottom of the Premier League. Mark Hughes is under huge pressure and he will need his players to gel sooner rather than later. Defence is the main area for concern and maybe more time is required after the acquisition of so many players – will he get the time though??????? – victories required asap me thinks.
Let me know your thorts – a massive few weekends to come – me knows 🙂