The new season of the premiership has begun and how… There have been some great results, some great matches over the last few weeks. Its pity that there won’t be any EPL matches in the first week of this month because of international matches but this provides a great opportunity to look back on the start of the new season
The Usual Suspects
Of the famous “Big Four”, Chelsea really looks like “The” team to beat at this moment of time. They have the team which looks settled and above all they have not lost any key player. They managed to keep “Mr. Chelsea” John Terry and Didier Drogba at the club. Their new manager Carlo Ancelotti seems to have found the most effective system to play. Hence, at this moment my money would be on Chelsea.
When Manchester United kicked off the season, everybody knew that they would be light weight in front of goals this season in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. But The Red Devils recovered pretty well especially after the shock defeat from the hands of newly promoted Burnley, to thump Wigan and beat the in form Arsenal. I think Manchester United would be a bit inconsistent this season considering their lack of depth in the strike power.
If Xabi Alonso would have stayed at Anfield, I would have tipped Liverpool to be the strongest contender for the premiership crown. But his departure has disrupted the Rafael Benitez’s entire system. Steven Gerard can not play freely in that midfield because there is no Alonso. It was Alonso’s vision and his ability to see the runs Gerard and Torres that made Liverpool so dangerous. But this season, like Manchester United, Liverpool too would be inconsistent. Also the fact that they have already lost against Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa, puts more pressure on them.
Nobody would have expected Arsenal to start the season, the manner in which they have done. They destroyed Everton on the opening day, made the meal of Portsmouth and were too good for Celtic in Champions League play-offs. But their juggernaut came to a halt at Old Trafford. They Lost to Manchester United in a very tight match. They were better than their title rivals for most of the match. But it was that period of ten minutes, for which United were superior, rattled the Gunners. They lost it in the physical battle and not in the footballing battle. Its how Arsenal can handle such physical challenges thrown towards them by the opposition teams, will decide their fate this season.
Manchester City with their star studded squad are looking good. Though they have just edged past their oppositions in all the games, the important thing is they are having 100 percent record until now and that’s what matters in this tough league. But their big test will be on this weekend when Arsenal will visit blue half of Manchester.
Harry Redknapp has revolutionized the fortunes of Tottenham Hotspur. This season he has really a fantastic squad with two good players available for each position. This change can be seen in the performance of Spurs this season. Aaron Lennon is really looking in menacing form. If they can continue their current form, they can really push “Big Four” all the way.
One would have expected Everton and Aston Villa to really challenge the others for the Champions League place. But both have started slowly and don’t really look the threats to “Big Four”.
Rest of the pack
Burnley have really caught the eye with the upsets against Manchester United and Everton. Stoke will again be a hard team to beat. I think the battle to avoid the relegation would as intense as the battle for the title. I think seven to eight teams would be involved in the Relegation battle. Wolves and Portsmouth really look in danger.