Another week of action has taken place in the Premier League, so let’s see what has made the Good and Bad lists this week.
- Congratulations to Manchester City who have won the 2015/16 Premier League title. Ok it’s not quite wrapped up but if they threw down a marker last weekend then the sunk it even further this. It was more to do with the misfortune of their rivals then their routine performance over Watford but Raheem Sterling will be no doubt delighted to open his Manchester City account while they still look resolute at the back with a 4th clean sheet in a row, even more delighted will be Manuel Pellegrini who has already opened up a 8 point gap of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. The only cause for concern will be another blank for Sergio Aguero but now there seems to be goals from all over the pitch it won’t matter too much while City are riding on this crest of a wave.
- Crystal Palace. Who would have thought they would have been London’s top club after the first month of the season, not many that’s for sure. It wasn’t just a smash and grab job at Stamford Bridge on Saturday it was a well earned win for Alan Pardew’s men who he himself also manages to get another win over Jose Mourinho. Cabaye looks a very astute signing more to the misery of Spurs fans, if they can keep this level of performance up then they have to be looking at a Top 8 place this season.
- Swansea another team with Top 8 aspirations but on these performances could go even higher. They continue the season unbeaten and in Andre Ayew will no doubt in my mind have one of the signings of the season especially as he didn’t cost a penny. His link up play with Bafetembi Gomis looked exceptional yesterday with Gomis savaging the United Defence all afternoon and I don’t know about you but I never get board of Gomis’ goal celebration (unless he scores against Spurs this season). A shout must go to Jonjo Shelvey whose performances have warranted a call up to England Squad, Swansea are looking very easy on the eye as of late and certainly getting the points there performances deserve. It’s far too early to mention but I think Garry Monk has the making of a future England manager.
- West Ham responsible for a lot of coupon tearing up and down the country this weekend no doubt. After their abysmal defending last weekend at home to Bournemouth, The Hammers bounced back in emphatic fashion with a 3-0 win at Anfield. It seems as if Slaven Bilic has managed to get his players up for another game against big club as they’ve managed to win away at Arsenal and Liverpool now he just has to try and get a bit more consistency so they can also get points from the lesser sides in the table. I’m sure that’s something Bilic will think about over the break but for now on Saturday I’m sure he was only worrying about celebrating their victory on Merseyside
- Arsenal as much as it pains me to say it. The performance at St James’ Park wasn’t amazing but after Mitrovic’s sending off for a stamp after a quarter of an hour, it was always going to be a case of when the winning goal came. They got a slice of luck when Oxlade-Chamberlain’s shot was deflected in by Fabrizio Coloccini but again it’s been a classic Arsenal performance but the fact they got 3 points in a weekend when the majority of their nearest title rivals didn’t all but erases their opening day defeat to West Ham at The Emirates.
- Tottenham’s below average start to the season continues as that first win of the season continues to elude them, there are some positives in that we didn’t concede and on the flip side we are unbeaten in 3 matches, but we are certainly lacking in the final third. Again Harry Kane was left to do it all on his own on Saturday, the situation seems to be slowly getting rectified with two signings waiting to be cleared and ready to play, but I just hope Daniel Levy has another masterstroke up his sleeve otherwise it could be a very long Autumn for Tottenham fans.
- Chelsea’s start to the season is only slightly better due to their win against West Brom last Weekend. A 2nd defeat in 4 matches already this season compared to losing only 3 last (and their third came when they were already on the beach celebrating title success) means they already have their work cut out if they are going to have any chance of defending their title. Branislav Ivanovic looks shot to pieces at Right Back, although Jose Mourinho blamed no-one after the game he must now feel either a change in personnel or even a couple more new faces need to be added if Chelsea are going to bring themselves out of what seems to be a title winning hangover.
- Liverpool, surprised many (ok maybe not Liverpool fans as obviously it’s their year) with their start to the season after 2 wins and a draw with 3 clean sheets but that bubble was burst on Saturday after being routed by West Ham on Saturday at Anfield. If the first goal should have been avoided then the second was abysmal, ladies and gentlemen it’s great to see the real Dejan Lovren return. Add to that the misery of Coutinho being sent off and then a late third and the pressure just edges back on Brendan Rodgers. Will the board trust him with any more money in the next day or so or are they biding their time to give him a present in a shape of a P45 before Christmas.
- Manchester United also had the same points and Goals conceded record as Liverpool and like them it all went down the swanny on Sunday at the Liberty Stadium. As for Wayne Rooney that’s now 4 games without a goal in the league this season, the drought continues and the question will now be asked once and for all is Wayne Rooney a busted flush? he just looks constantly knackered this season. As for the Goalkeeping saga at Old Trafford, Louis Van Gaal must have thought he had it sorted with the signing of Sergio Romero but after yesterday’s mistake he must be thinking he’s back to square one again. Could there be a massive u-turn and Victor Valdes be set to play after the international break? – Well stranger things have happened. Watch this space.
- Sunderland bottom of the table and it looks like they are going to be there all seasons with their performances, Dick Advocaat is saying he needs at least 3 or 4 more players before the end of the transfer window. Unfortunately one of those seems set to be Fabio Borini, is that what The Black Cats really need another misfiring striker, I think they need to sort their Defence and Midfield out first as a more pressing concern. It’s going to be a long old season at The Stadium Of The Light, the big question will be whether Dick Advocaat lasts the course of it.