English Premiership

SIX things learnt from Week 4

2014-09-16 09:58
Cesc Fabregas (AFP)
Cape Town - Chelsea are the run away leaders of the English Premiership and it looks like their rivals might not be able to catch them.

Read: EPL Team of Week Four

Here are six things to be learnt from Week 2:

1. City are not the same without Yaya Toure

Frank Lampard was back in the English Premiership on Saturday, albeit in a lighter shade of blue but his debut last just 45 minutes. He was off the pace and looked every bit of the 36 years of age he is.

Lampard was in the side to replace Ivorian Yaya Toure, who was left out after travelling back to England from playing in Ivory Coast’s AFCON 2015 qualifiers. Toure is simply irreplaceable and Manuel Pellegrini found this out on Saturday.

Arsenal’s Jack Wilshire was allowed time and space in midfield which allowed him to have a great afternoon at the Emirates and something that would not have happen if Toure was out on the field. Manchester City looked a different side without Toure and Arsenal capatilised on his absence.

Pellegrini will be well advised to reconsider leaving Toure out of such high profile games in the future.

2. United better but is LVG to blame for slow start

Manchester United fans were sent into mass hysteria after their side returned to winning ways against the dreadful QPR but is Louis van Gaal to blame for the side’s slow start to the league? I believe so! Why weren’t Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo signed up immediately after the World Cup ended?

It took United until deadline day to confirm these signings and there seems no acceptable reason for the delay. I understand that the Angel Di Maria and Falcao deals required more negotiation than normal but the Blind and Rojo deals should’ve been tied up without delay.

Blind was composed in midfield against the R’s while Rojo proved his worth in defence. Had this pair been available on matchday one then I’m sure United would not already be seven points adrift of Chelsea.

3. Liverpool need to avoid distractions

I’m not sure Liverpool’s shock loss to Aston Villa can be blamed entirely on Rodgers’ decision to leave Raheem Sterling out of the starting line-up against Villa. This decision was presumably made with Liverpool’s Champions League return in mind and trying to ensure the 19-year-old star stays fit for the grueling season.

Were Liverpool already thinking of Tuesday evening when Paul Lambert's men opened the scoring at Anfield?

Liverpool's performance was poor and they failed to produce any of the goal scoring threat that had seen them run riot against Spurs in Gameweek 3. Sterling is turning into one of the best players in the league and his spark was missing at Anfield. Liverpool certainly need to avoid silly loses like this one if they want to chase down that infamous 20th league title.

Rodgers will soon need to decide whether improbable European glory is worth putting potential domestic at risk.     

4. Chelsea are bordering on the sublime

Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas are stealing the headlines but this Chelsea side is powerful in almost every position and Jose Mourinho has managed to get his team playing such a wonderful brand of football that is leaving commentators running out of new ways to complement the side.

Chelsea will be incredibly hard to beat this season with the likes of Matic, Ivanovic, Azpilicueta and Cahill all playing incredibly well but still coming nowhere near a headline such is the nature of Chelsea's attacking potency.

Chelsea are now 8/11 to win the English Premiership and it would take a very brave punter to bet against them in this form.

5. QPR are going down

Unless something distract happens, Queens Park Rangers will be going down (again) after the 38 games the the English Premiership season.

Harry Redknapp’s side were utterly dreadful against Manchester United, offering little in attack and allowing Manchester United ample time and space in the middle of the park. Instead of pressing, QPR sat deep and tried to defend in the final third of the park. Against the likes of Di Maria, Mata and Rooney, it was also going to be a case of when and not if United would score.

‘Arry has the players at his disposal to fight to stay in the league but that fighting spirit has been lacking so far this season. Unless there is immediate improvement then QPR fans best get ready for another season in the Championship.

6. Same old, same old Ben Foster

It’s not exactly something new learnt, in fact, if you’ve been watching the English Premiership for more than two weeks then you would’ve seen Ben Foster make some sort of incredible mistake. Foster allowed a tame shot from Everton's Kevin Miralles to slip under his body and gift the Toffees all three points.

Foster, who has eight England caps to his name, is probably one of the most unreliable goalkeepers in the English Premiership. It must be incredibly tough on Baggies fans to see him in the starting XI each week, knowing that a(nother) howler is just around the corner.

Enjoy Ben's lastest bunder:


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