In what feels like the nick of time, the Premier League is back from yet another epic international break. After just the fifth week of action, things are already starting to shape up.
Teams at the bottom are looking ominously up and the big sides are already beginning to fortify their positions. Here’s what we’ve learned from our mid-September fixtures.
Spurs failing to build and feeling pressure
What a difference a few weeks can make eh. After week three, Spurs were purring with three wins from three and an excellent showing in their victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford. At that point they were six points clear of United and Arsenal.
Whether it’s injuries or pressure, Spurs have decidely failed to build on that excellent start. They were shaky and error prone in their home defeat to Liverpool on Saturday, failing to really show their true quality and paying the price. Kane looks goosed as well.
Leicester look like this season’s Jekyll and Hyde
Going into their away day at Bournemouth, Claude Puel’s Leicester had already lost twice. However, that duo of defeats had come against top class opposition in Liverpool and Manchester United, and they had played very well in both games.
In fact, they had been lucky in the two games they had manged to win, making them a nightmare for all accumulator players in the land. Their 4-2 defeat to The Cherries was another performance that will bemuse Foxes fans. They started well enough, but were way too open and generous to Bournemouth, giving them vital time on the ball.
If they’d pressed and harried the way they did at Liverpool they may have nicked a point or better. There is real quality in Puel’s team, but it may be yet another case of which Leicester turn up week by week this season.
Man City and Liverpool starting to look creative again
Both Liverpool and Manchester City could have won by much more handsome margins than they did this weekend. Much was made of their wastefulness in their victories, with numerous chances squandered between the two teams.
However, the fact that the two most fierce attacking sides of last season are now starting to prowl again is something rival teams should be very wary of. Liverpool in particular will have wanted to have taken at least one more of their many chances created at Wembley on Saturday, but they will confident of finding the net with more regularity if they continue to be so creative. Man City were at their intimidating best as well against Fulham and on another day either side would have score four or five.
Everton are going nowhere fast with that defence
Such a leaky defence is only ever going to trip you up in your ambitions, and Everton have looked chaotic at times. Their defeat at home to West Ham was no exception, with the Hammers’ first goal coming from a direct ball over the top catching out a dozing high line.
Silva and his new club shelled out £45 million on new defenders in the last transfer window. It is still only very early days, however, they will have to shore up that leaky back-line if they are to have any hope of putting pressure on teams in the top six. Silva’s defensive record in the Premier League is not great, but with better players at his disposal at Everton he will need to improve that and fast.
Burnley looking like relegation fodder
Barely sixteen weeks ago Sean Dyche was being rightfully lauded for his staggering achievements with Burnley. Five games in to the new season and the Lancashire club and their popular manager look to be in free fall.
In their defense, Wolves is looking increasingly like a place where it’ll be tough to get a win this season. However, had it not been for Joe Hart’s heroics in goal, they would have been on the end of a humiliating rout. They offered nothing in the Black Country that hinted at confidence or quality and Dyche is rightfully concerned saying his team is “stuck in fog”.
Bottom of the table with just a point taken from fifteen available, they currently look doomed, even at such an early stage. Their failure to invest heavily in the squad could really come back to haunt them this season. The Clarets are going to have to rediscover that solid, hard to beat mentality if they are going to dig themselves out of this current hole.