Another tough weekend for the big four as things get a little tighter at the top of the English Premier League after week 15.
It has been well documented that I am not a fan of Bolton boss Gary Megson and his $20 million summer signing Johan Elmander. When they lost to Tottenham on Harry Rednapp’s Spurs Coronation Day back on October 26 Bolton were rooted at the bottom of the table. Since then, Bolton have won four of their last five matches and now sit in the top half of the table – seven places above Spurs. Elmander has responded with three goals in the last two weeks and Megson should be the Premier League Manager of the Month for November.
Only Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool have a better defensive record than Fulham this season. Fulham’s problems are scoring goals as only West Brom have scored fewer goals this season. Buying a proven goal scorer is high on Roy Hodgson’s Christmas wish list.
I am getting fed up putting Arsenal in the winners category one week and the losers the next. Arsenal’s inconsistency this year will cause them the title. Arsenal are at their best when they play against teams that can play attractive soccer like Chelsea and Manchester United. That is why I think that Arsenal have a better chance of winning in Europe than they do domestically.
It has been a stuttering start to the season for the Champions we now sit 6 points back of Liverpool with a game in hand. With Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal all to travel to Old Trafford after Christmas, it must worry Liverpool fans that United are still hanging around.
It has been a good week for Wigan. They were fortunate to beat both Everton and West Brom, but they did nick both games and as a result are sitting in 11th position with 19 points instead of second bottom with 13 points.
The fortress that was Stamford Bridge has gone as they have dropped 12 points at Stamford Bridge already this season. More worrying to Chelsea fans is that Chelsea have already played Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United at home this season and have only managed one point.
Liverpool had a great chance to go three points ahead of Chelsea and instead could only manage a disappointing draw at home against a poor West Ham team. With Fernando Torres out with another hamstring injury, Liverpool have failed to score in their last two Premier League matches. Withy only 21 goals in their 15 league games, Liverpool are scoring almost a goal less a game than Chelsea.
The British media fell all over themselves lauding Big Phil when his Chelsea team destroyed Portsmouth on the opening day of the season. Teams have caught on that Big Phil likes his full backs to attacks down the wings and have started to plan against it and Big Phil has not adjusted.
Three months into the season Chelsea are losing to their main rivals in the Premier League, are out of the Carling Cup and have still not qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League. Not quite the first three months that Peter Kenyon and the rest of the Chelsea brain trust envisioned.
All three of the clear-cut chances West Brom had at Wigan were the direct consequence of a Bramble error. Has their been a worse defender in the history of the Premier League?
Eleven goals in 15 games is the sort of fire power that gets a team relegated and that is what will happen to West Brom this season.
Similar to Arsenal I am fed up bouncing Aston Villa from the winners to the losers column every week as their inconsistency is driving me crazy. The fourth Champions League place is within Aston Villa’s reach if they can sustain a consistent run of form. Or will Villa bottle it and come in 5th this season?