As the first month of the Premier League season comes to a close and after each team have played three games, we are no nearer to knowing who the stand out stars of the 2014/15 season are. It is still very much a four horse race, I haven’t included Manchester United for good reason, and it’s not just because they started the season badly.
Truth be told, I sat down to write about how Chelsea were the best team in the Premier League, but then I thought I could write the same about Arsenal. And that got me thinking, although impossible to tell the winners, you can usually tell the two teams who will run close at the end of the season. But this year, there are four, the same four that started the season as the most likely to claim the trophy.
The blues made it three from three as they beat Everton 6-3 in the game of the weekend yesterday evening and Diego Costa made it four from three as he bagged two. Chelsea have impressed from day one as they played extremely well against Burnley and Leicester. The teams work ethic as well as pieces of individual brilliance made me think that this is the team of the year.
However, they haven’t really been challenged yet. Two recently promoted sides, and a game against a team who decided not to defend in the second half of their match yesterday. Hardly a test. Their defence was not up to scratch yesterday, but its a good job they have World Class attacking players who were at their best.
They face Swansea the week after the international break, but the first real test of their season will be their match up with Manchester City on Sunday 21st September. Solid defence in Man City, and solid attack in Chelsea. Mouthwatering.
I wrote about how I thought The Gunners could be able to win the Premier League this season before the campaign started, and I haven’t been proven wrong yet. Although they haven’t managed nine points from their three games, they are still unbeaten. They showed spirit against Crystal Palace after falling behind and came back from two goals down against Everton last weekend. It is this spirit that could bring them through.
However, they have conceded too many set pieces already and that could be their downfall. They are also showing the same traits that let them down last season, underestimating the smaller teams and dropping points when away from home. They drew 2-2 at Everton and 1-1 at Leicester. Arsene Wenger has to change this mindset in the team, and when he does, Arsenal could be closer than ever to reclaiming the title that has eluded them since ‘The Invincibles’ won it in the 2003/04 season.
The Gunners face Manchester City after the international break, but it is usually these games that bring out the best in the team. It will be interesting to see if this is still the case this season, but if they really want the trophy, they need to start beating the smaller teams.
City were the favourites for the league before the season started. Their summer consisted of ensuring the contracts of their key players were updated and a few additions in key areas. Not the spending spree you would imagine of when you think of the current Premier League champions. So far they have only impressed against Liverpool, yet they beat Newcastle 2-0 in unconvincing circumstances, and it is this that makes them challengers. The ability to get wins when playing below par.
However, this weekend they seemed to be struggling with a case of ‘the Arsenal’s’. They lost against Stoke City away from home after naively approaching the game with a sense of complacency, something that midfielder Fernandinho warned them against just days earlier.
City have by far the hardest opening games of the lot, they have already faced Liverpool (winning 3-1 at home) and their next two games after the international break include Arsenal away, and Chelsea at home. Intersect that with a visit to Bayern Munich and City fans have cause for concern. Next month will be a true test of their Premier League credibility. Between 3-6 points, and they will be in the race, less and you may start to worry.
Finally we come to last years dark horses Liverpool. They have so far been hit and miss this year, playing well to beat Southampton on the opening day, then being abysmal in the second half as they lost to Manchester City 3-1. They won convincingly against Tottenham Hotspur but they were far from their best. Spurs made them look better than they were.
This inconsistency has to go if they want to win the league, or even come close like last season. Gone are the days when teams wouldn’t prepare for them as now everyone knows what to expect from the reds. Although, teams need to watch out for Brendan Rodgers men as they look as strong without Luis Suarez as they were with him.
So, who do you think will win the Premier League? Answer our poll below, or let me know in the comments section underneath this article.