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Premier League Winners and Losers – Week 5

Arsenal
The loss away to Fulham is a distant memory as Arsenal find themselves top of the Premier League after 5 weeks. The win at Bolton was impressive not only coming after a long mid-week trek to the Ukraine in the Champions League, but also considering that Arsenal had lost 13 of 27 matches in the north-west in the past four seasons.

Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United grabbing all the headlines, but Arsenal have quietly moved it up a gear since the Fulham loss scoring 10 goals in their last three league games. With no games against the big four until mid-November, Arsenal have an excellent opportunity to put together an impressive winning steak heading into a couple of blog November showdowns.

The only dark cloud hovering Arsenal is injuries. Injuries ruined their title charge last season and matters have not been improved by Arsenal’s strategy of buying injured players this summer (two-and-a-half games is the total combined contribution of Nasri, Silvestre and Bischoff to date). Add in Rosicky, Diaby and Eduardo and Arsenal already have half-a-team in the trainers room.

Manchester City Brazilian Duo
Man City raised eyebrows throughout the soccer world when they splashed over 50 million pounds on Brazilian strikers Robinho and Jo. Three games into their partnership the pair have grabbed 5 goals in two City wins. Man City’s biggest win in their Premier League history came on the day they effectively became the richest club in the league.

Shaun-Wright Phillips
If he scores next weekend then he will have netted as many league goals in his first four matches back at Manchester City as he did in 82 Premier League outings at Chelsea.

Wigan
Since the defeat of Derby in late February, Steve Bruce’s side have conceded less than a goal a game and have only twice conceded more than two goals in a match. It is this defensive strenght that keeps Wigan in the Premier League.

Losers

Chelsea
Had  agreat opportunity to open up 9 point gap over Manchester United and failed. As the season progresses United will get better and Chelsea might be ruining that they let Sir Alex off the hook. More worrisome to Chelsea fans is while their home unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge continues is that they have drawn four of their past six home league matches – all by a scoreline of 1-1.

Portsmouth
Crouch and Defoe are a great partnership at home, but 4-4-2 is not a formation that suites Pompey especially away from home. Portsmouth’s team is set-up to play 4-5-1 and Harry Redknapp has to make a choice which one of this England strikers sits on the bench when Pompey play on away from home.

Spurs
The Tottenham nightmare continues with another miserable home draw against Wigan. Spurs are still the only side in the league without a league win this season and they have won just three times since their Carling Cup victory in February. When you are relying on Darren Bent to score 15-20 goals a season, you know your season is in trouble. What I don’t understand is why Spurs put the, selves is this position. They knew Berbatov was going to go to Old Trafford, but by holding on to him until the last possible moment they hurt their own chances this season over an extra 3-4 million pounds.

Paul Scholes
Replaced against Liverpool last weekend (after 66 minutes) and also against Chelsea on Sunday (after 55 minutes) it has become very clear that Paul Scholes can no longer compete on the big stage when it matters most. He scored just twice last season the sad truth is Scholes can no longer justify his place in the side.

Newcastle
Eight managers have turned down the job and Mike Ashley has put a ridiculous valuation on the team. While Spurs will improve the teams around Newcastle are Bolton, West Brom and Stoke who are all relegation candidates. Newcastle now belongs in that group. They are not too big to get relegated and I am sure that Michael Owen is counting the days until January 1st when he can sign for someone else.

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