Now that we’ve actually had some football, we should start being able to tell who might actually be decent this season, and who else is likely to wave to Spurs as they head towards the bottom of the league. So what have we discovered so far?
Arsenal have not lost the habit of conceding first at home and then spending the whole of the game playing catch up.
Happily, we have discovered the ability to finally turn the possession into goals.
Hleb was being honest – he really is going to shoot more this season. A bit like Fabregas at the end of last season, when he says he’ll step up and score more, he means it.
Sagna is good. Potentially very good.
Spurs are bad. Potentially very bad.
Chelsea look like playing a more attractive brand of football this season.
Glen Johnson isn’t very good.
Jeremie Aliadiere can still miss the simplest of chances (I know he was offside, but the miss was a classic)
Liverpool are still utterly reliant on Steven Gerrard.
Benitez still has no idea what his first choice team is.
Steve Coppell is a very canny manager.
Spurs are not going to be close to the top four.
Mikel Arteta has finally got people noticing how good he is.
Wayne Rooney has feet like Aliadiere’s legs. Brittle.
Man City are going to have a good season.
Freddie Ljungberg really can’t run anymore.
Newcastle can keep dreaming about the Martins/Owen partnership – Michael will pull his hamstring/thigh/groin again in a couple of weeks.
Did I mention that Spurs weren’t very good?
Now is probably a good time to mention the bets I put on before the season started, based upon the predictions I made:
Man City to win the Premiership handicap (+40 points). Basically, whoever wins the handicap is the team that outperforms their expectations, i.e. last year it was Reading. Man City were predicted to come 12th. At 8-1, I think they’re a great bet.
Bolton to go down at 6-1.
Van Persie to be top scorer at 12-1 (not sure this’ll happen, but the odds were quite generous)
Removing Man Utd and Chelsea from the league, Arsenal will win it (15/8). This bet basically asks who’ll come higher, Arsenal or Liverpool, and at 15/8, I had to take those odds.
So, have you had a punt?