With 10 games gone, the Premier League is more than a quater of the way through the season. Footyblog.net has its say on the start to the season of the top teams.
1st – Arsenal (25 points) 9/10
Following Arsenal’s 3-1 opening day defeat to Aston Villa, the Gunners have no looked back, winning eight and drawing just one game. Much has to be credited to the work of Arsène Wenger and his signing of Mesut Özil and the impact the German international has had. Two goals and four assists in his opening seven games have helped the North London side stay unbeaten.
His arrival, however has done much more to the team. Özil is beginning to bring the best out of Aaron Ramsey, who has arguably been the player of the season so far. The Welsh international has scored 10 goals in all competitions and is the clubs top scorer Olivier Giroud.
An impressive performance last time out saw them beat rivals Liverpool 2-0 and move five points clear at the top of the table. Arsène Wenger will know a win against Manchester United on Sunday will complete a perfect start to the season and move them 11 points clear of David Moyes’ team.
2nd – Chelsea (20 points) 7/10
Mourinho’s return has hardly seen Chelsea fly out of the blocks but they have made a solid start to the season. The club sit second on goal difference having had some big wins over the likes of Cardiff. A 2-0 defeat away at Newcastle last weekend exposed again, a weakness in their form away from Stamford Bridge, where they have only won one league game, away at Norwich.
Much has been made of Mourinho’s team selection, with the likes of Juan Mata and Cesar Azpilcueta having to settle for much less game time this season, a move especially in the case of Mata, which has been criticised.
Another disappointment for Mourinho will be the slow start of a number of his signings. Samuel Eto’o has only found the net once in Chelsea colours as has Willian. Although both will need more time to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League.
3rd – Liverpool (20 points) 8/10
After a few seasons of mid table mediocrity, Brendan Rodgers seems to be making some progress at Liverpool. A solid start to the season see’s them also on 20 points. Prior to their disappointing defeat at the Emirates on Saturday evening, Liverpool were right up there at the top of the table and that will please fans.
The most pleasing aspect has been the partnership between Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez. Between them they have notched up 14 Premier League goals, with Sturridge the joint top scorer in the division. The link up play between these two has at times been absolutely phenomenal following Suarez’s return from his much publicised about ban.
The one thing Liverpool need is for more players from around the pitch to start chipping in with goals. Liverpool’s next to scorer is Steven Gerrard with two goals and only Victor Moses has also scored in the Premier League. All in all it must be imagined that Liverpool fans are reasonably happy with their start to the season.
4th – Spurs (20 points) 7.5/10
Following a summer which saw the Spurs squad change massively, AVB’s Tottenham have made a solid start to the season. Having missed out on the top 4 last season the North London side would have been determined to bounce back strongly at the start of the season and bar a few hiccups, they have done so.
The rise to fame of Andros Townsend amongst all the new mega money signings has pleased Spurs fans. The youngster played a key role in sealing England’s qualification to the 2014 World Cup and has played and equally key role in the Spurs team. The number of clean sheets the club are keeping will also be pleasing, 13 in all competitions.
AVB will be disappointed that Spurs are yet to beat one of the big teams in the league, losing to local rivals Arsenal as well as drawing with Everton and Chelsea. The only major blot on Spurs’ card was their 3-0 home defeat to West Ham.
5th – Manchester City (19 points) 6.5/10
City’s start to the season has by no means been perfect but with new manager Manuel Pelligrini, things look to finally be on the up. With the exception of the 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge, City had won six on the bounce in all competitions, most recently a 7-0 mauling of Norwich City.
At the Etihad City are playing some scintillating football, as mentioned putting 7 past Norwich, beating rivals United 4-1, Newcastle 4-0 and Everton 3-1. However they are struggling on the road. Defeats at Cardiff, Chelsea and Aston Villa as well as a draw at Stoke have made travelling a pretty miserable experience so far.
Another real concern is the form of Joe Hart. A number of high profile errors saw him dropped from the first team against Newcastle and then Norwich in favour of Costel Pantilimon, who looks set to maintain his place after two clean sheets.
8th – Manchester United (17 points) 5.5/10
For David Moyes it was always going to be a difficult task replacing Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, and United’s start to the season has proved that. After the impressive opening day 4-1 win at Swansea, United went on the draw with Chelsea, lose to Liverpool, get battered by Manchester City as well as an embarrassing home defeat to West Brom.
Five wins out of six in all competitions has seen Moyes’ men start to turn a corner as they adapt to life without Fergie. A win at home to Arsenal next weekend will move them to within five points of the league leaders and back into contention to retain their Premier League title.
The form of Wayne Rooney has been one saving grace for Moyes. The England international has been back to his best in recent weeks, scoring goals and setting up others. The emergence of Adnan Januzaj has been another pleasing aspect. The youngster netted a brace to turn around the match against Sunderland and since then United have started to move forward.