Andrey Arshavin isn't the only one casting a sharp eye toward the SB Nation Premier League Power Rankings, powered by Old Spice (not really). We at WAGNH have been throwing our attention (well, I have) toward the rankings since the inaugural table was released back at the end of August.
There has been some significant movement in the latest release - for Week 8 - though Chelsea, as you would expect, remain at the top of the Prem pile. In fact, Roberto Di Matteo and Co. actually stretched their lead in the rankings thanks to our special boy, Juan Manuel Mata. Chelsea are more than a point ahead of the Manchesters, who currently occupy second place as a pair. Aww, cute.
For reference, click here to have a look at the official Week 8 release.
Anyway. Let’s move on to the rankings in full, shall we?
1. Chelsea (Average ranking of 1.08): Stephen mentioned in his short reaction blurb for the main power ranking article that he was disappointed with the team fielded by Spurs on Saturday. I think we all were. Nevertheless, you can only defeat what's in front of you - and Chelsea did that with some style. Winning away to a side that no doubt will be challenging for a Champions League place is never bad.
T2. Manchester United (2.46): Most impressive in attack, maligned in defense. So it goes for Sir Alex Ferguson's men at the moment. Can't really argue with this placement, though I ask: What kind of bet can I get on a 4-4 this weekend?
T2. Manchester City (2.46): The reigning champions should have dropped points at West Bromwich. They really should have. But thanks to a rather large Bosnian, and some wastefulness from one of our own, City managed to somehow claw back and record a 2-1 win. That's what champions do, right? What champions don't do, however, is pull a Sergio Ramos in Amsterdam. This team is lacking the edge it had last season, and are deserving of dropping into a tie in the latest edition of the power rankings.
4. Tottenham Hotspur (4.92): Props to AVB's boys for displaying some grit in the eventual defeat to Chelsea. Shockingly, I don't have a problem with Spurs climbing a spot to fourth this week. I do have a problem with the following from the original power rankings article, though: "The good news is that, for most of the game, Spurs looked like they're about as good as Chelsea." Really? Really?
5. Everton (5.61): The absence of Marouane Fellaini and Darron Gibson (yes, that Darron Gibson) has left David Moyes in a proverbial midfield pickle. That being said, this Everton edition is showing much more character than usual for Everton sides (see the weekend's 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers). And Moyes sides have plenty of character. Trust me, Everton aren't going anywhere.
6. Arsenal (5.92): Oh, Arsenal.
7. West Bromwich Albion (8.77): Team Kraken hold steady in seventh. What did I say last time around, consistently consistent? I wonder what kind of push WBA would have received had they actually held on against City, or if Romelu Lukaku had buried one of his 20 chances (I love this kid, but he must hit up all of the FIFA 13 shooting skill challenges)? Meh, I loathe theoreticals.
9. West Ham (8.85): Big Sam. Doing big thangs. Apparently the Hammers have some flair to go with that horridly annoying efficient physicality for which Big Sam sides are known. Even Yossi Benayoun showed up against Southampton. Actually, I think that's an indictment of Southampton more than anything. Nevertheless, West Ham are deserving of their leap from 11th to ninth in the rankings.
10. Newcastle (9.31): The Pies floundered this week, spiraling from eighth to 10th. I suggested in our last breakdown that I thought Newcastle were ripe for a fall, and so it proved following a disappointing draw with Sunderland. They played with 10 men for a majority of the match and nearly held on to win, though, which could provide some strange sort of momentum. I guess.
11. Liverpool (11.38): Moving on.
13. Sunderland (12.08): Martin O'Neill can't seem to get much out of Sunderland at the moment. I expected much more from the Cats prior to start of the season, and I can still envision at top-half finish - particularly if Stephane Sessegnon regains some semblance of the form he displayed last year. Right now, though, 13th is pretty much dead-on.
14. Stoke City (13.38): Doing just what you would expect. And annoying many an Arsenal supporter in the process. If Stoke were to move from this area of the table (12-16th) at all this season, I think I would be proper surprised. Like surprised kitty surprised.
15. Wigan Athletic (15.62): The Latics host West Ham on Saturday. That seems to be like a pivotal fixture for the side involved not named West Ham.
16. Norwich City (16.07): From bottom of the table to out of the relegation zone - that's how far a win over Arsenal can get you. Fast forward a few days and all a win over Arsenal can get you is a Big Mac and maybe, if you're lucky, two apple pies. Don't expect Norwich to hang around this spot for long.
17. Aston Villa (16.54): I admit it, I was wrong about Villa. I reckon Alex McLeish has cursed this club. Paul Lambert must win this weekend against Norwich. He has to.
18. Reading (18.53): Not bad. Well, not that bad. The Royals have collected five points from their past four matches, and have a friendly run over the next four weeks - three of Reading's next four come against Fulham, QPR and Norwich. The time, as they say, is now.
19. Queens Park Rangers (18.77): Mark Hughes in!
20. Southampton (19.00): I said in the summer (to myself) that, though Gaston Ramirez was one hell of a signing, Nigel Adkins would rue not throwing some of that transfer wad at a couple of proper defenders. Nathaniel Clyne, mind you, is not a proper defender. Still, I don't expect them to stick to the foot of the table for long - not with the kind of attacking talent Adkins can call upon.