This weekend the greatest football league resumed after another international break.
The Table has changed a little since the last piece I wrote 4 matches ago, let’s get stuck into what has been happening!
The most obvious changes are West Ham and Swansea falling out of the top 4 and Southampton and United joining City and Chelsea.
Chelsea are doing everything in their power to defy me, and everyone else. They have dropped only 4 points from a possible 36 and it’s time I faced the facts, they are unlikely to be stopped this season. The chemistry between midfield and the strike force is one of beauty. Defensively the chosen one’s teams are always solid but this time he really has managed to blend a solid defense to an impressive attacking force. 32 from 36 points, 2 dropped over the 4 games.
Somewhat surprisingly they dropped 2 points against Manchester United at Old Trafford, a good result for United but a game they might have expected to win when others, less renowned perhaps, had taken more from the Red Devils.
Full points were bagged against a spirited QPR, a hopeless Liverpool and West Brom.
Manchester City are falling apart it seems. Conceding goals on their travels in Europe to teams not really fancied and leaking goals at an unprecedented rate in the EPL, City are dropping points all over the country. A trip to London saw them lose 2-1 to unfashionable West Ham before claiming 3 points in a narrow win against Manchester rivals United.
The following fixture was against QPR, a team definitely performing better than their table position suggests but usually unable to clinch the result they deserve. On this occasion the Londoners took a point. Against Swansea, City had to come from behind to grab a win. They will need to go on a sensational run of wins to catch Chelsea now. 24 points from 36, 5 dropped over the 4 matches.
Manchester United are currently sitting 4th. A bit of a surprise really but they getting results despite injury woes. 2 of the last 4 games have already been covered above, the other 2 were a draw against WBA and a win against Arsenal at the Emirates. Arsene Wenger is struggling this season but as I keep telling everyone there are still a lot of games to be played. The cream will rise to the top but will it be soon enough to get a European place?
United have 19 points from the possible 36, 5 points dropped in the last 4 matches.
Arsenal lie 8th at the moment. They started the 4 games under discussion well with 2 good wins by decent margins. Sanchez scoring freely and the Gunners climbing the table nicely. The next two have been a let down for the fans. Swansea beat them 2-1 and United came to London with a make-shift back three and not much else and still took all the points and with a bit more composure from Di Maria could have lead 3-0 before the stunning Giroud goal which added a little excitement to an otherwise injury filled match.
The league table is quite congested from 4th to 10th with only 2 points separating the teams placings so a lot can change here very quickly. Everton are currently 9th and despite 2 wins in the last 4 and only dropping 4 points don’t seem to have the same passion they exhibited in Martinez’s first season.
Tottenham are also on 17 points and lie 10th. Spurs lost to the resurgent Newcastle, won against Villa in a bad tempered fixture, lost to Stoke and then battled to win against Hull only managing to score after Hull were reduced to 10 men. Interesting times ahead for Pochettino. 17 points gathered from 36, 6 dropped in the last 4 matches.
As predicted, Liverpool are struggling. Much to the delight of many Manchester fans, myself included, the Anfield crowd just can’t find any rhythm. A nil all draw against Hull was followed by 3 consecutive defeats. First Newcastle outmuscled them 1-0, then Chelsea outplayed them 2-1 and finally Crystal Palace destroyed them 3-1.
Mario Balotelli wasn’t even selected for the Palace game so the blame can’t be laid at his feet for once. Sturridge is still injured which doesn’t help matters but surely the “progressive style” of Brendan Rodgers should be able to stem the slide? 14 points collected from 36. 11 points dropped in the last 4 matches. The next match is Stoke at home, with the support of the Kop they might just get over the line.
Southampton are the surprise package of the season. Currently they lie 2nd with a game in hand. Strangely Southampton have lost only to two clubs, Liverpool on the opening day and Spurs, against their former manager. Their next fixture is against Villa away. Besides the two losses they have not faced any of the traditional big clubs so the current form doesn’t give a true reflection of their league strength but they are definitely on a great run, 25 points collected from 33. No points dropped in the last 3, match 4 (12) is tonight.