Football365.com has their weekly winners and losers column and this is my take on their post this week.
Yet another impressive start to the season for Chelsea. With four wins in four games, although the schedule has been very kind to them with games against Sunderland, Hull, Burnley and Fulham. Chelsea weak schedule means they should be upbeaten when they play Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on October 4th.
Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka
The best pair of strikers in the Premier League and it makes you wonder what Big Phil was looking at when he said these two could not play together.
Two winning goals in less than a week and a call-up to the England squad means that Lennon’s England career could be back on track. This is bad news for a certain David Beckham as Theo Walcott is a certainity for South Africa next summer and I cannot see England taking three right wingers with them to the World Cup.
It has been a great start to the season for Spurs, but now we will get to see how good they really are. Next up is Manchester United at home followed by a trip to Chelsea. If Spurs are still unbeaten then I will start to become a believer.
Everyone was focused on the attacking options that Mark Hughes signed this summer, but with four clean sheets in four games, City are showing that they can grind out the wins when they need too. Similar to Spurs, the next two games, at home to Arsenal and then away to Manchester United, will tell us a lot about whether Manchester City are title contenders or pretenders.
After week one, I wrote how Aston Villa’s dip in form last season coincided with the signing of Heskey and the change in formation that resulted from that move. It is no coincidence then when Villa reverted back to their old 4-5-1 formation against Fulham that they won the game 2-0.
Tough loss at Old Trafford considering the value of the six-point swing that they gifted to the champions. Instead of being three points clear of United they are three behind, and defeat at Manchester City in two weeks’ time will most probably find the Gunners a full nine points off the top and like Liverpool, seeing their title aspirations end before fall.
Blackburn, Bolton and Portsmouth
Teams that avoid relegation usually have one of two players who can score the all-important goals that turn a loss into a draw and a draw into three points. Good goal-scoring center-forwards are a rare commodity and should be treasured.
Consider the three teams at the bottom of the table, Blackburn, Portsmouth and Bolton. Between them they have played ten games and scored four goals. None of these teams have a proven goal scorer in their line-up.
But look at who these teams have sold in the last 18 months. Bolton sold Nicolas Anelka to Chelsea, Portsmouth sold Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe to Spurs and Blackburn sold Roque Santa Cruz to Manchester City.
The money that these clubs received is nice, but none of them have replaced the goal scoring abilities of the player(s) they sold. As a result, all three will be involved in a relegation battle this year.