A moment to reflect on the EPL Top 10
No English Premier League games are scheduled this weekend as the second international break of the season brings an end to the early stages of the season.
The break provides managers, players and fans from all clubs the time to reflect on their performances thus far.
Continuing on from their spectacular end to the 2011/12 season, Chelsea have begun this season in similar fashion. All components of the team are performing, with new signings Eden Hazard and Oscar making seamless transitions to the league. Striker Fernando Torres has also found form, giving the London club strike power up front, despite the loss of Didier Drogba during the Summer.
2. Manchester United
While perhaps not playing at their best so far in 2012/13, United still have managed to maintain a lofty position on the ladder. Below-par performances have still been converted into wins for the club, which will become very important by the end of the season. Marquee signing Robin Van Persie has lived up to the form he displayed at Arsenal, scoring five goals, including a hat-trick at Southampton.
3. Man City
It’s been a somewhat quiet start from the Champions. While remaining undefeated, City have drawn three games and have not consistently been the imposing force they were last season. More drama continues to trouble the club, with Mario Balotelli’s latest incident the most recent. The sky-blues still sit third and well-within striking distance of the ladder leaders.
Subverting their tag as perennial slow starters, Everton have exceeded expectations and sit in the top four. Consistent, solid performances have seen the Toffees only lose once. Key to this has been the goal-scoring form of important players such as Nikita Jelavic and Marouane Fellani, who have scored a combined seven goals.
A relatively slow start by Spurs has been turned around quickly, with the side winning its past four games. The run of victories includes a 3-2 away win at Old Trafford. Veteran Jermain Defoe has been a stand out, netting four goals after manager Andre Villas Boas showed faith in the striker, who found it hard to find first-team football in previous seasons.
6. West Bromwich Albion
It’s been a surprisingly fast start from WBA, who are equal on points with Everton and Spurs. The appointment of manager Steve Clarke has seemingly worked wonders for the club, with goals being shared around up front. The club can also boast that it has won all four of their home games thus far.
It’s been a solid start for Arsenal, only tasting defeat once at the hands of Chelsea. The biggest positive for manager Arsene Wenger is the form of new signings Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud, who have done a good job covering the loss of striker Robin Van Persie. The Gunners’ defence has also notably improved in season 12/13.
8. West Ham
Sitting top of the promoted teams, the Hammers can be very satisfied with their start to the season. Their direct style of play has paid dividends for the East London club, who now sit just one win out of the top four. The last-minute loan signing of former Newcastle and Liverpool striker Andy Carroll has been a positive one, with the 23 year-old fitting in well with the club’s style of play.
Despite the departure of three top players in Clint Dempsey, Moussa Dembele and Pavel Pogregnyak, Fulham have stabilised and sit comfortably in mid-table. The side is on the improve, with good form both at Craven Cottage and on the road in recent weeks.
10. Newcastle United
It’s been a mixed start for the Northern club, who haven’t quite lived up to their undefeated start last season. Comprehensive defeats at the hands of the top two placed teams, as well as scrappy away form has restricted the Magpies to just two wins from seven games.
Next Week: Bottom 10 clubs.