Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Where We Are In England

This is written by Travis Lankford:

The state of the Premier League is returning to normal, at least if you aren’t a Liverpool fan, despite a few shock results in the first few weeks. The Premier League is taking another international break so what better time to roundup the results so far than now. Personally, I couldn’t be happier with table but I am a Chelsea fan. There are some interesting places for certain teams and even more interesting is how they got there.
As mentioned earlier, Chelsea sit in first place with nineteen points and are four points ahead of the Manchester clubs. While their defending (and lack of width) has caused some uneasiness during games, Chelsea have managed to only drop points away to West London rivals, QPR. 
Both clubs from Manchester have shaken off their early jitters and have churned out results and have started to look like the clubs that dueled for the Premier League crown last year. They sit at fifteen points. City still looks somewhat shaky at the back and United is having a bit of an injury crisis among their center-backs. United’s recent defeat to Tottenham brings this to mind. Everton, Tottenham, and West Brom (yes, you read that correctly) follow with fourteen points. All three have been churning out results but West Brom will be the happiest with their early run of form.
Arsenal have floundered and have claimed twelve points. Arsene Wenger still has yet to address the defensive frailties that have plagued his side for many seasons now. Cazorla looks to be an amazing signing but they are committing too many errors at the back to challenge for anything other than a Champions League spot.
The next six sides, West Ham, Fulham, Newcastle, Swansea, Stoke, and Sunderland sit at 11, 10, 9, 8, 8, and 7 points, respectively. West Ham have righted the ship after some early defeats. Fulham has settled back into their place as a mid-table club after some early scorelines that were quite flattering. Newcastle seems to not be riding so high like they did towards the end of last season. Swansea started out hot but have cooled down dramatically. Stoke have been unsurprising and still sit in the middle of the table. Sunderland shouldn’t cause too many problems but Steven Fletcher seems like a signing that will make a big difference for them (along with Adam Johnson).
Liverpool. Oh Liverpool. My favorite line about Liverpool so far (a repeat from last season) comes from a person I follow on Twitter. He said, “Anfield has become a real fortress as of late, even Liverpool can’t win there.” What is disturbing, from an objective point of view, is that Brendan Rogers has pushed Martin Skrtel up top the past two games. Isn’t this the man that exiled Andy Carroll because he didn’t fit their play style? As a Chelsea fan, I remember a certain manager trying to fit square pegs in round holes and Rogers is teetering on the precipice of repeating this at Liverpool. Brendan, in case you don’t know, it didn’t work out and he was fired in March. Also, Liverpool sit on six points…from seven games…I’ll leave you with that.
The next six sides will be fighting to stay up and out of the relegation zone. Wigan and Aston Villa sit at five points but both sides seem completely different. Wigan has put in some very good performances yet Aston Villa have done the exact opposite and been dreadful. Southampton are at four points, just above the relegation zone, and that is disheartening. They put in a ton of effort against Manchester United and looked to really challenge the Premier League regulars until a bit of reality struck.
Reading and Norwich sit at three points. The latter put in a string of great performances last season but seem to be struck with the Second Season Syndrome. QPR rounds out the relegation zone with just two points. Mark Hughes must be feeling the heat after the amount of money they spent in the transfer window this past season. In short, they have been horrible.
Now, if only this international break would be over so we can get back to some more Premier League action!

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