It’s that time again in the football calendar. Where you can go for a nice, peaceful Sunday roast at your local without the football on, and when all Premier League fans hibernate. Yes, it’s international break! But it’s not all doom and gloom, I mean, it’s September so FIFA 18 is out. Speaking of which, September has told us a lot about this years Premier League so far. Harry Kane has stated he doesn’t want September to end, with his 13 goals in seven games, while some teams didn’t even get started, and one team still hasn’t scored a goal. As we get closer to the hectic Christmas period, the Christmas number one is still unclear, and the relegation rivals look like they might have another contender, so lets take a lot at five things we’ve learnt in the Premier League week seven
1) City make the first big statement in the battle of Manchester… I mean Premier League.
While Manchester City’s 11 goals in two games prior to their victory at Stamford Bridge was very impressive, their 0-1 victory over the champions was the first big statement in the race for the title. Winning at Stamford Bridge is one thing, but doing it without your star player in Sergio Aguero, and the very impressive Benjamin Mendy, shown that Manchester City might just be the real deal, and although they are only ahead of their neighbours by one goal, they have definitely made the first big step by passing arguably the hardest test of them all with flying colours, victory away at the champions. Despite their defeat, Chelsea themselves are still well within the title race, as are Spurs and of course, the unbeaten Manchester United are too, but after this weekend, Pep Guardiola’s first real presentation of tactical superiority since taking over at City shone through and provided one of the most impressive victories in the Premier League in recent years making Manchester City the favourites for the title.
2) Everton are in trouble
Each year the Premier League provides some sort of a shock in one way or another, and at least one team either over performs or under performs. So step forward Ronald Koeman and Everton. Despite Everton’s lack of trophy success and failure to qualify for European competitions on a consistent basis they are never involved in a relegation battle, in fact they are one of only six clubs in the history of the Premier League to never be relegated, not even Manchester City can boast that. However, unless things change, they may well be involved in a well contested relegation battle. Ronald Koeman can’t take all the blame however, one of Everton’s famed qualities is that they’ve always managed to trouble the top teams and crack the top eight on a very low budget, but this time round, when you sell your clubs all time Premier League top scorer, you’re gonna struggle. On paper, Everton probably had one of the best summer transfer windows, but considering they couldn’t keep hold of Romelu Lukaku who was their top scorer last season with 26 goals in all competitions and in second place was Ross Barkley with only six, it’s fairly obvious why they struggling. So step forward Wayne Rooney.
3) Harry Kane must be considered one of the best
We could talk all day about Harry Kane and how incredible his breakthrough has been in the last three years. But in that time, there has been a debate on whether or not he is regarded as world class or not. Some say he’s got to do it for longer in order to have that label, others say you’re only as good as you’re last season. But the stat man says; Harry Kane has outscored every single player in the top five European Leagues in the year 2017 as of the end of September. So if fellow number nine’s like Luis Suarez and Robert Lewendowski, even Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are considered world class, then why isn’t Harry Kane? He’s scored more than them this year and already has two Golden Boots. In fact he may well be on for his third Golden Boot in the Premier League and he is only 24, Alan Shearer only got three in his entire 14 year career in the Premier League and he’s scored more goals than anyone else in the competition. I know what you’re thinking, but Harry Kane is just that good already.
4) Liverpool are still shaky at the back
Everyone who knows Liverpool knows what Liverpool needed this season… a centre half. In saying that arguably, Liverpool’s best business this recent transfer window was keeping hold of Philippe Coutinho from joining the mighty Barcelona, plus Mohamed Salah has been brilliant as well, scoring six goals so far. However, Liverpool’s problems continue to be at the back. The current top four in the Premier League have solidity at the back, and this is much of the reason for their early success. Goalscoring isn’t Liverpool’s problem, on paper, they may have the best strike force in the league, but defensively they continue to struggle. Their pursuit for Virgil Van Dijk was well documented and they may still get him in January, but will it be the fix for them at the back? But this is exactly what happened with Dejan Lovren, and he’s hardly helped them out. Liverpool are a top side and are back where they belong within the Champions League, but the big trophies will continue to evade them unless they seal the cracks in their defence.
5) The gap between top and bottom half is already widening
It’s fair to say a few teams are playing a lot better than we would of expected in the early days of this season. Burnley and Watford have started very well indeed and both sit in sixth and eighth respectively, both on 12 points, while Newcastle are fitting back into life in the Premier League comfortably on 10 points. But the bridge between the top and bottom half is beginning to take shape now. The bottom six all sit on seven points or less from the first seven games, and all look set to be involved in a relegation scrap, while although Stoke, Southampton and West Brom sit just above them on eight points, they have all performed fairly good so far and should stay within the top half come Christmas time. Teams within the top half could well still be involved in the already heavily participated competition for survival, but if the first few games are anything to go by, it looks like the table may not change much come the new year.