Anorak News | Usual Supects

Usual Supects

by | 26th, August 2003

‘WITH all the league tables on hospital performances, schools and crime, we finally have one we can understand: the Premier League.

Arsenal are a barrier to Chelsea’s progress

Here’s something that needs no explanation and spin.

After just two games, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea are occupying the top three places in the league.

In the olden days before Sky sought to rebrand football as family entertainment, the league table was only published after three games had been played.

But the broadcaster is always in need of filler and what more jam-like than a list of the teams in order.

Liverpool supporters will want to take much notice of the current order, given that their team have scored just one point from six possible.

Newcastle have achieved the same. And with both the Magpies and Liverpool losing six-pointers at home to Manchester United and Chelsea respectively their chances of either team winning the league look remote.

Sure, these are early days, but, as I say, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea are top of the table with the league’s only perfect records.

Of the new arrivals, Portsmouth are getting off to a fine start and were unlucky to surrender two points at Manchester City at the weekend.

Harry Redknapp’s team have spirit, a quality much needed to earn points while the sun is still shining and hope lives.

Wolves looked doomed. After two games? After one game. Conceding nine goals and scoring just one does not bode well, especially when you’ve played Blackburn and Charlton, two decent but by no means top sides.

Leicester are another thing entirely. They should survive. The Foxes showed enough talent against Chelsea to suggest that they will achieve a few notable shocks this term.

If experience counts for something, Leicester’s greybeard squad should keep the club afloat.

Elsewhere, the early signs are that Everton will be a tough team to beat, until they play one of the top three clubs. And Leeds will fade late in the season, when injuries and suspensions take hold, but narrowly avoid relegation.

The surprise package could come from Manchester City or Spurs. If injuries are few and luck smiles, one of them might make it to a top six finish.

Glenn Hoddle has assembled a decent squad at White Hart Lane and Kevin Keegan’s team will score goals.

But this is all educated guesswork. The only clear sings are in the top three places.

The season might be long but, as usual, the team that beats Manchester Untied or/and Arsenal will win the league. And on early evidence, that can only be Chelsea.’

Posted: 26th, August 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink