The Premier League October Review: Part 1

Listen to Hit Row Z’s first ever podcast here! 

Read The Premier League October Review: Part 2

Read The Premier League October Review: Part 3

After the opening few fixtures in the new Premier League season, I assess how well each of the twenty teams have fared so far.

Here are the first seven…

Arsenal

After finally exceeding their transfer budget of £40m + £1 to bring in Galactico Mesut Özil, Wenger has a team that have shown as much devastation as they have conviction in their opening fixtures. 16 points and 14 goals hints at the Gunners being able to launch a serious title challenge – the continuity that Wenger’s leadership is certainly providing consistency of form amidst the mixed results of their closest rivals.

What they need to succeed: Keep Giroud fit, continue to allow Özil to express himself and buy a new centre back in January.

Aston Villa

Lambert has no doubt proved many doubters wrong with his side’s start to the season boasting a 50% win ratio in the league so far. After claiming impressive scalps against Arsenal and Man City, the Midlands side sit only three points away from a European spot having also already played Liverpool and Chelsea. Benteke’s injury has been a major blow after bagging four goals in the league so far – although lanky new signing Libor Kozák has already proven he can be a nuisance in the penalty box.

What they need to succeed: Utilise the pace of Weimann and Agbonlahor on the counter attack and keep Guzan and Vlaar fit to cement the defence.

Cardiff City

A good start by the newest Welsh addition to the Premier League, Malky Mackay, like Paul Lambert, has already guided his team to victory against Man City. Two wins and two draws show Cardiff have shown they have what it takes to rub shoulders with the big boys. Despite the luxury of being able to field bigger name players like Bellamy and Whittingham, it is Kim, Gunnarsson and Frazier Campbell that have been most influential in the attacking third.

What they need to succeed: More solid performances from Caulker, and for Odemwingie to find form and forge a potent partnership with Campbell.

Chelsea

Despite a seemingly mixed start to Mourinho’s second reign, Chelsea have still only lost one in the league so far this campaign, however he is already having to fend off critics with a massive stick. The squad rotation debate returns after the Portuguese manager has restricted the game time of David Luiz and last year’s player of the year, Juan Mata. Draws against rivals Man Utd and Spurs could prove an invaluable two points come the business end of the season.

What they need to succeed: Find their scoring boots. After starting just two games, loaned out Romelu Lukaku has already scored more goals in the league for Everton than Torres, Ba, Eto’o and Schürrle put together.

Crystal Palace

Ian Holloway will argue it’s a marathon not a sprint, however already the writing looks on the wall for the South East London outfit. Six defeats so far is worrying, especially given fellow newbies Hull City and Cardiff have notched up 19 points between them. Their only win came against fellow strugglers Sunderland, who are the only Premier League team below them.

What they need to succeed: A miracle. Significant investment in January seems the only way out for Palace as things stand. Recruitment could be futile, however, as unless their current form drastically improves, they may be too far adrift come winter.

Everton

Roberto Martinez’s Everton have made a solid start so far this year, occupying a comfortable top half position at this early stage, two points ahead of David Moyes’ Man United . The loan introductions of Belgian ‘fridge’ Lukaku and the composed Gareth Barry, alongside the emergence of the fearless Ross Barkley have made the Toffees a formidable outfit that have only lost one game in the Premier League so far.

What they need to succeed: Make sure Lukaku plays every possible minute of every league game until the end of the season. No, really.

Fulham

Prior to Darren Bent’s late winner against Stoke, Fulham’s only other league win so far this season also came against a crumbling Sunderland side and Martin Jol has already had to attempt to appease the boo boys. The troubled start will be worrying the new owner who may have ambitions beyond floating around in mid-table obscurity – although even that seems like a pipe dream on current form. Everyone’s favourite Dutch uncle may just be following the Michael Jackson statue out of Craven Cottage sooner than he hoped. Before his injury, Scott Parker has added tempo and tenacity to the team, although his colleagues in front and behind him need to at least meet his effort halfway.

What they need to succeed: Positive momentum. A good run of results will work wonders for Fulham although they may need Berbatov to start scoring again.

Read The Premier League October Review: Part 2

Read The Premier League October Review: Part 3

Listen to Hit Row Z’s first ever podcast here! 

Trackbacks

  1. […] Read The Premier League October Review: Part 1 […]

  2. […] Read The Premier League October Review: Part 1                                                                                                                                                  […]

  3. […] recently penned my October Review, assessing how each of the 20 Premier League teams have fared so far, new managers, new players […]

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