It’s been over a year since Chelsea had any reason to keep an eye on the top of the table. In what we hope to become and stay a regular feature, we take a look at what’s happening around the Premier League, where just one single point separates the top five teams (including Chelsea!). It’s promising to be an exciting season, and with Chelsea hopefully in the thick of it, an absolutely nerve-wracking finish.
At the very top, Pep Guardiola’s dominant Manchester City team has come to a grinding halt. After fans booed them off the Etihad pitch at the weekend, Pep will have some stressful work to do to get his team winning again. Having started the season with an unbelievable 10 wins in a row in all competitions, the blue team from Manchester are winless in 5, including a 4-nil humbling at Barcelona and the most recent, weak home draw against Southampton.
97 - Percentage of Man City fans who thought Pep Guardiola would have won the Premier League, Ryder Cup & Super Bowl by now. Crisis.— OptaJoke (@OptaJoke) October 23, 2016
Things are going rather more swimmingly over in Merseyside with Liverpool joint at the top. Jurgen Klopp’s aggressive game has both admirers and disbelievers, but without European football (they lost the Europa League final to Sevilla) they have managed to maintain their style as there is ample resting time for hard-worked players. It remains to be seen how a full season of swashbuckling play will take its toll.
4 - Liverpool's nine PL goals from open play at Anfield this season have been scored by either Coutinho, Firmino, Lallana or Mane. Fab.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 22, 2016
Mauricio Pochettino has found it tough to score goals without a pure striker in his team and the extra European workload on his creators. Harry Kane finds himself in the recovery room at a time when he is needed most and attacking midfielder Heung Min Son’s goal scoring form has dipped after initially finding the striking role a good fit. It takes experience to successfully manage a team through the Premier League and the Champions League at the same, something which is not in the Spurs DNA. They do however remain unbeaten in England — the only other team who can claim that are Carlisle United of League Two.
Tottenham registered their least amount of interceptions in a game so far this season vs Bournemouth, just 5 (usually averaging 12). #BOUTOT— Simply Spurs Stats (@SimplySpursStat) October 23, 2016
Over at Arsenal, Wenger is quietly riding high in his final year of contract. They also sit joint top of the league, and they have also produced some dominant Champions League performances to match. Theo Walcott, of all players, is playing in beast-mode together with the usual quality of Ozil and Sanchez. If Arsene Wenger is to finally leave Arsenal, he will give his all to end on a high note and add new trophies to the cabinet.
6 - Theo Walcott has scored six goals in his last four home games for Arsenal, as many as in his previous 24 at the Emirates. Faith. pic.twitter.com/N35ie4xvw3— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 19, 2016
Regarding Chelsea, it would seem that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. The horrific loss at Arsenal brought about a new, tailor-made, destructive formation that has swiped everything aside and gained a Champions League spot at the same time. Evidently however, there remains room for improvement and there are plenty of hungry players on the bench; Conte and the team still have lots of work to do.