Premier League: Quarter Pole Update

With about 1/4th of the season already behind us, let’s take a glimmer at what’s happened already this season. Chelsea got off to a roaring start, scoring 21 goals in their first 5 games. Man City looks to be a real candidate for a Champions League spot and possibly even the league title, thanks to solid defensive play. Liverpool’s early season petulance saw them in the relegation zone, and Roy Hodgson was keeping an eye on the local job section of the paper.

Rooney's lone goal this year came from the spot

Off the pitch Wayne Rooney staged a one manned mutiny against United turning a nation and an entire fan-base against him; only to sign a multi-year extension two days later. While United fans might take some time to forgive the England star, he himself is more focused on returning from injury and regaining his form (scoring just once this season).

Some incredible performances were conjured up as well. Wigan’s 1-0 victory over Spurs, after giving up 10 goals over the first 2 games. Arsenal’s 2-3 defeat at the hands of West Brom shook things up as well, and truly underlined the Gunners’ injury crisis that just wont go away. A healthy Chelsea team looked at their wit’s end against Man City in a September classic that began the chatter of City as title contenders. Man United gave up a 2 goal lead against Everton in injury time, which underlined their early season defensive struggles.

The Table through 10 Games:

New Boys Progress:

Blackpool can be considered one of the surprises of the season so far, especially after an opening day cracker, and a stunning victory over Liverpool. But can Ian Holloway secure enough points to keep the Tangerines up? Hull City nearly crashed out in 2009 even after a marvelous opening two months. The locals at Bloomfield have plenty to be concerned about, especially after factoring the team’s PL leading 21 goals against.

While Blackpool may have started the season as favorites to go right back down, most pundits didn’t expect much from the likes of West Brom either. Averaging just a hair over 30 points in their previous 4 Premier League campaigns, the odds were certainly in favor of the Baggies plunging yet again. But manager Roberto Di Matteo seems to have his side playing well on both sides of the ball, and without a defeat at home.

Even outside of the Toon Army, many people expected Newcastle to stay up. After dominating the Championship last year, it was clear they belonged in first tier football. But consistency has been a problem once again, with the squad firing home 5 goals one game, but seeming over-matched the very next. Perhaps the Magpies’ place in the middle of the table is quite fitting.

Fun Facts through the first quarter:

A frustrated Cole after a lackluster performance at Anfield

– Liverpool went without a victory in the first 7 games in which Joe Cole played.

– Darren Bent’s 95th minute equalizer against Arsenal came exactly 364 days after Michael Owen’s 95th minute winner in the Manchester Derby last season.

– Italian coaches took home the Manager of the Month awards in consecutive months (Ancelotti and Di Matteo). City’s 2-0-2 record in October does not help Mancini’s hopes of keeping the streak alive though.

– Arsenal’s clean sheet against Man City last week was it’s first shutout away from the Emirates in almost 10 months.

– Didier Drogba’s impressive opening game hat-trick (which took 22 minutes) was still slower than Jermain Defoe’s feat last year, accomplished in a span of just 6 minutes.

– Ryan Giggs wasted no time, scoring on Aug 16, continuing his streak of scoring in every season since the formation of the Premier League  (1993-2010).

– Every team in the PL has been held scoreless in at least one game this season.

– Man United is the only team to remain undefeated this year, yet they remain in 3rd position after drawing 5 of their first 8 games. NOTE: they drew just 6 games in all of last season.

– Until Monday night, Blackpool was the only PL team who had yet to record a victory at home this season. 5 clubs are still win-less on the road.

So what do the remaining 280 games hold in store? I expect plenty of drama, a few more shockers, and plenty of jockeying up and down the table. Enjoy!

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