This is my take on Football365.com weekly winners and losers column after week five in the Premier League.
While the actions of Emmanuel Adebayor’ got all the attention this weekend, this was a huge statement win for Manchester City. All summer pundits where talking about whether they could break into the big four, and even after winning their first three games most soccer observers were still not convinced that they are actual title contenders. A win this weekend at Old Trafford and their will be no doubt that Manchester City will be a Champions League contender this season.
Success and failure in football is so delicately balanced at times, Consider that Chelsea sit on top of the Premier League after 5 games with a 3 point advantage over Manchester United. Carlo Ancelotti is getting a lot of praise for how well Chelsea have started. But consider that if Chelsea’s games this season had only consisted of two periods of 45 minutes then they would have dropped five points already, and everyone would be talking about the bad job that Carlo Ancelotti is doing.
When Drogba is motivated as he is now, he is the best center forward in the Premier League. With four goals and three assists in five games, Drogba has been involved in more goals than any other top-flight player to date. How Chelsea cope without him for a month in January could well determine whether the Premier League title returns to Stamford Bridge.
Three of the top four goal scorers in the Premier League this season are English. With Defoe, Rooney and Darren Bent all in great form, Fabio Capello will have some tough choices to make when picking his England forwards for the 2010 World Cup next summer.
With four goals in four games, Adebayor has given Man City the big target man that they were missing last year. One complaint about Adebayor at Arsenal was the number of chances he missed, but that is something that he seems to have corrected at City.
Vilified in the English newspapers for his stamp on van Persie and his length of the field run to celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans, Adebayor will undoubtedly be suspended this week. With Tevez and Robinho out injured, City will be forced to go to Old Trafford this week with Craig Bellamy as his one true striker.
After visiting old Trafford, City play West Ham at home and Aston Villa away. With Adebayor, City could easily drop points in all three of these games, wiping out the great start to the season they have had,
After the 6-1 thrashing of Everton on opening day, everyone was buzzing about this Arsenal side and whether they will finally win something this year. Now after two tough loses in Manchester, some people have already started to push the panic button.
When the 2009/10 fixture list came out and it showed Arsenal had early season away games at Goodison Park, Old Trafford and Eastlands, even the most optimistic Gunner’s fan had to expect that they would drop some points. And they did, but now the schedule gets a lot easier for Arsenal with only Spurs and Chelsea as difficult games in the next 10 weeks, giving Arsenal plenty of time to go on a long winning streak and get back into the title race.
Five games, five loses. Will Pompey challenge Derby County’s record for futility in the Premier League this season?