The sacking of Sunderland boss Paulo di Canio and the overwhelming 4-1 defeat of Manchester Utd by their City neighbours unsurprisingly earned the headlines during a weekend of Premier League activity. Di Canio’s position could not have been helped by television scenes of him confronting an angry set of supporters after another poor display, this time at West Brom. Meanwhile, David Moyes must now be feeling the pressure after two league defeats in five matches and a derby day mauling, yet away from these headlines two other stories are emerging just five weeks into the new campaign.
After losing 3-1to Aston Villa on the opening day of the Premier League season, the home fans chanted for manager Arsene Wenger to spend some money to strengthen an apparently weak first team squad. Having recruited Mesut Ozil since that day, the Gunners now lead the table in a swift reversal of fortunes as they now look to extend a winning sequence of five matches.
While Wenger will be mindful of a long season ahead, he can certainly be pleased with the current form of his team as he strives to end a seemingly eternal wait to add further silverware to the trophy cabinet.
Yet, a quick glance at the league table will serve as a reminder that Arsenal cannot afford to be complacent as Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea all celebrated weekend victories to reinforce their claims to secure the Premier League title.
However, sixth placed Everton remain the only unbeaten team in the division and they have quietly slipped under the radar after three early draws. Losing Marouane Fellaini on transfer deadline day was considered a blow for manager Robero Martinez but this may eventually prove to be shrewd business by the new Toffees boss.
The emergence of Ross Barkley as a midfield player with genuine Premier League pedigree has most definitely softened the loss of Fellaini. He has responded to the opportunity presented to him by Martinez with a series of eye-catching displays in the Evertonian engine room earning him an England call-up for his efforts.
Add his growing influence on the team with the season long loan capture from Chelsea of Romelu Lukaku and there is a sense that Everton could yet challenge the top four positions subject to some reasonable luck on the injury front. If Leighton Baines can be persuaded to ignore the anticipated advances from Manchester United in the January window, his creativity from set-pieces will add further weight to their Premier League aspirations.
It may still be early days in the Premier League campaign but there are already strong indications that this campaign is becoming increasingly open with several challengers vying for supremacy at the top of the league.
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