The international break brings with it not just more vitriol toward Ashley Cole but also the latest edition of SB Nation's Premier League Power Rankings. Through seven matchdays, it's hard to argue with the club at the top of the power rankings - you may have heard of them.
Yes, Chelsea is back on the perch after briefly being unseated by Manchester United. Roberto Di Matteo's men produced a pair of quality results in the two weeks since the last power rankings were released, defeating both Arsenal (away, 2-1) and Norwich City (home, 4-1). That was obviously enough for our esteemed voting panel to restore the Blues to the top.
Congratulations on doing the right thing, gentlemen.
As for the rest of this week's rankings, you ask? Let's take a look. For reference, here is a link to Week 7's rankings.
1. Chelsea (Average ranking of 1.23): Already discussed in the introduction, and there's not much to add, really. A deserved placement for the league's best-looking side thus far.
2. Manchester City (2.31): To quote the old man from Dazed and Confused who hounds Randall "Pink" Floyd at the Little League baseball game, City are "looking tough." They clawed back from conceding an early penalty to defeat Fulham at Craven Cottage and then dismantled Sunderland at home. And, you know, they still aren't play at their optimum.
3. Manchester United (2.62): Losing to Spurs. At Old Trafford. Yeah, that cost United some loyalty votes. The Devils remain a formidable side, though - just look at last weekend's performance at Sports Direct Arena. Or is it St James' Park again? Whatever.
4. Arsenal (4.54): Who should be fourth? I'm not really sure. I don't think it should be Arsenal, however. The Arse are currently seventh in the real table. They've lost to Chelsea and defeated West Ham since the last power rankings were released. That win over the Hammers, it wasn't exactly straightfoward, either. Arsene Wegner's boys are hanging around the Champions League places, sure, but holding down one of them - not for my money.
5. Tottenham Hotspur (4.92): Hey, it's Spurs. Do they really deserve to be this high? Unfortunately, yes. Tottenham, buoyed by the win at Old Trafford, are playing extremely well at the moment, and find themselves fifth in the actual league table. Andre Villas-Boas may well have struck a solid balance for this side. We'll find out when they welcome Chelsea to White Hart Lane on October 20.
6. Everton (5.54): So they've lost WAGNH favorite Marouane Fellaini for a few weeks. Based on what I've seen from Everton thus far this season, they actually should be able to manage quite well without him. David Moyes has done a sterling job with this outfit, and they should only get better as Kevin Mirallas becomes more comfortable in England. The draw at Wigan may look suspect on the surface, but trust me that's not a bad result. This is a deserved placement.
7. West Bromwich Albion (7.08): Consistently consistent. West Brom are not going to blow you away, but, then again, they certainly aren't going away this season. Well done, Steve Clarke.
8. Newcastle United (8.77): Not particularly impressive. I'm actually surprised Newcastle were able to hold steady at eighth in the power rankings following a disappointing 2-2 draw with Reading and the aforementioned dissection at the hands of Manchester United. But they have Wonga going for them - which is nice.
9. Fulham (8.92): There really isn't anything all that exciting about Fulham. Except Dimitar Berbatov, that is. And he didn't play at the weekend, so. Ninth last time, ninth this time - fine by me.
10. Sunderland (11.15): Steven Fletcher is still scoring goals, right? He didn't at the weekend? Oh. Well, that's because of Joe Hart. That guy's superhuman.
11. West Ham (10.85): Big Sam just about deserved a point from the match against Arsenal. He can blame Kevin Nolan's profligacy from that. Still, West Ham are doing what Big Sam teams to - annoy, and survive.
12. Liverpool (12.00): Liverpool Football Club - 12th in the power rankings, 14th in the actual league table, and 21st in our hearts. Jokes aside, this team is starting to click. Watch out.
T13. Swansea City (12.54): The honeymoon for Michael Laudrup has been over for some time. Perhaps more worrying, however, is the form of Danny Graham. You'd still expect for the Swans to maintain mid-table success throughout the season with their array of attacking talent.
T13. Stoke City (12.54): Stoke with five draws thus far. Who would have thought?
15. Wigan Athletic (15.23): This team ain't half bad. Franco Di Santo has three goals in five matches. Yes, that Franco Di Santo (good on the kid). And Arouna Kone looks an excellent signing. Wigan to escape the drop - again. How does Roberto Martinez do it?
16. Aston Villa (16.08): Put it this way, current Villa is still a lot better than Alex McLeish-era Villa.
17. Southampton (16.77): Contuning to score goals, at both ends mind you. Seventeenth is dead-on for Saints. Nigel Adkins would do well to drop some cash on a couple Premier League level defenders in January.
18. Reading (18.15): Consecutive draws against Newcastle and Swansea have to be considered excellent results for Reading. Still, I'm not sure how Reading manage to improve their standing. I'm just not sold that they are a better overall side than those immediately above them.
19. Queens Park Rangers (19.00): How Mark Hughes is still employed by QPR is beyond me. This is particularly bemusing when you consider Blackburn are in need of a new manager following the dismissal of Steve Kean. Head back to Lancashire, Mark. It's meant to be.
20. Norwich City (19.38): The Canaries have conceded nine goals in their last two matches. Those results were of course against quality sides, but there still has to be some serious worry at Carrow Road. It's looking rather ominous for Chris Hughton and company already.