The Premier League
Everyone was expecting the big run to run away from the rest of the league and the newly promoted teams to get relegated. That still might happen, but after six weeks the story has been the unexpected. ho would have predicted that September would end with Tottenham and Newcastle as the bottom two and that Arsenal would have two loses already?
It is good for football to have a competitive league where everyone thinks they have a chance to win every week. Hopefully this will continue as we get further into the season.
After their shock win at Arsenal, Hull already have as many points as Derby County had last season. Not bad for a team that was expected to challenge Derby’s record.
What has been most impressive about Hull’s start to the season is that they are unbeaten in each of their three away matches this season. Phil Brown so far, it is arguable that, from their perspective, this Saturday’s win in London mattered most by underlining the possible significance of their win at Newcastle two weeks ago. With the Toon losing at home again and Hull climbing eight point clear of the relegation zone, that 2-1 win victory suddenly assumes the crystal-clear perspective of a critical six-pointer. In six months’ time, it may prove definitive in this year’s relegation fight. Because – and make no mistake about it – Newcastle are in a relegation fight and are the club most vulnerable if any of the three promoted sides defy the doom-merchants and continue to prove competitive.
Steve Bruce raised eyebrows with this signing but after six goals in his first eight matches, Zaki is looking like the best summer signing in the Premier League. Wigan’s problem is that Zaki is on loan for the season and I sure his price is rising after every goal.
Last year one of Arsenal’s biggest weaknesses was their inability to defend free kicks or corners. A combination of lack of size (Arsenal’s typical line-up doesn’t contain a defender or midfielder over six foot) and Wenger’s zone marking scheme means that of the four goals that Arsenal have conceded this season, three have been direct from a corner.
Championship teams do not lose away to Fulham and at home to Hull. It is all-right destroying the likes of Sheffield United in the Carling Cup, but Arsenal need more size and midfield experience if they really want to contend at home and in Europe.
Tottenham and Juande Ramos
Spurs have fewer fewer points than Derby County had at this stage last season! At this point last season Spurs had four points from six matches last season under Martin Jol — and the Dutchman was sacked in October. Is Ramos in line for the sack?
Winning the Carling cup last year solidified Ramos’s reputation as a cup manager. His ability to manage a team on a weekly basis is what is in doubt. Under his leadership Spurs have won only six league games in 2008 under the Ramos’s regime. He is a manager that continues to speak to the press via a translator and does not yet have a settled team.
Spurs next three games are at home to Hull, away to Stoke and home to Bolton. Ramos needs at least 7 points from these three games to save his job.
Newcastle have become the laughing stock of the Premier League and the appointment of Joe Kinnear as manager would be funny if it was not so sad. While Spurs are probably too good to go down, Newcastle are not. Kinnear’s next three games are Everton away, Man City at home and Sunderland away. They will be underdogs in all three matches and face the prospect of ending October with only 4 points with more than 25% of the season gone.
Fortress Goodison is no longer with three straight home defeats to open the season. David Moyes spent the off-season pleading with the Everton board to strengthen his squad, but for the most part the Everton board ignored him, Everton are going backwards and look like a mid-table team, (8th to 12th) instead of team challenging for Europe.