Premier League so far

Six games into the season and we are where we thought we’d be regarding the top 3. Manchester United and City are playing it out with ridiculously good goal differences (+17/+14). Both teams have had eye-catching wins but are only dominating the teams they really should. United have impressed more, fully utilising their squad. Ashley Young has settled in brilliantly taking the pressure off Rooney while Nani finally starting to look a little more like a team player. Defensively they’ve looked a touch wobbly and I’m not totally sold that Phil Jones is the new Bobby Moore/Duncan Edwards yet. The same reservations are there for De Gea. He loses too many crosses and the fact that he has made more saves than any other keeper this season might be an indicator of how open United are at the back.

Like their neighbours, Manchester City are showing real clinicalness in front of goal. Aguero, Dzeko and Silva have started the season well. Dzeko at times, looks like the complete striker with excellent movement, technique and an eye for goal. Aguero is Tevez with a touch more pace (and brains). Defensively and mentally they look suspect. The Community Shield was a painful bullying. Great managers must have a deep sense of belief to be able to manage such egos. I’m not sure Mancini (and Kidd and Platt) have it.

Chelsea are still on the radar and while their performances have stuttered, they put on an excellent performance at Old Trafford. If Torres had the goal touch to go with his pace and movement, the result would have been different. I’m not of the school that Lampard is done as a player (I never thought he was that good anyway) but its good to see Villas-Boas has the balls to drop players when he sees fit. Liverpool have struggled to integrate Carroll and are suffering in other areas. Carragher is looking his age, Henderson hasn’t the talent they paid for, Gerrard is just coming back, leaving out Kuyt and losing Meireles are mistakes.

Tottenham’s start has surprised me a little. I thought they would struggle more so bodes well for them. You might be surprised to see Newcastle in 4th but they are a defensively sound unit. Tiote is an excellent player (£2.5m bargain) and Coloccini has led the line well. Pardew has made some good judgement calls so far with Cabaye and Krul but don’t get over-excited, they always should gather points from a fairly easy start to the season.

At the bottom are the regulars. Plenty of team contain a lot of fight but deficiencies in ability. Steve Bruce at Sunderland must be under-pressure. He’s spent a lot of money and it’s not coming through (again). Bolton are on a terrible run this year but have enough nous to pull themselves up. The same can be said for West Brom and Fulham. I predicted Wigan, Blackburn and Swansea will go down and I’m sticking with it.

The big story so far this season (ignoring the Tevez tantrum) is the form of Arsenal. The papers love and need a story at the start of every season and this year its Arsenal. They’ve lost some serious quality in Fabregas and Nasri but they also no choice there. You can’t keep players who don’t want to stay and they cashed in well. The replacements and the reinforcements at the back aren’t good enough, putting them on a par with Spurs squad. They do need to invest in some serious talent and reports say they have the money. The players coming through aren’t ready yet and Wilshire is knackered until the Spring. But don’t bother writing off Arsenal. Apart from the predictable humiliation at Old Trafford (look at the team sheets), Arsenal have actually played okay so far and they will only get better as players bed in and stay fit.

Bring on the autumn weather!


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