james debate
james debate

Tuesday 11 November 2008

Another week goes by and Chelsea are still top of the league. But credit to Liverpool, they are keeping up so far. Meanwhile Arsenal and Man United continue to faff about without either one ever really looking the business just yet.

Chelsea's Anelka, despite never really looking particularly good, has somehow fired his way to the top of the goal scoring charts with 5 goals in the last 2 premier league games. Sounds like a man who's truly on top form right? Well all I can say is that anyone who has actually watched the games will think far less highly of Anelka than those who are just going by the stats. Don't get me wrong, his goal tally is excellent recently, and to be honest there's not a whole lot else you can ask of a striker, but the stats don't tell the whole story. Anelka, in any given game, misses a whole host of sitters and open goals and one-on-ones that most other premiership strikers would put away without a moment's notice. The fact that he is still managing to get a number of goals says less about his own ability, and more about how brilliantly the Chelsea team is playing behind him in order to give him so many chances.

Lower down in the league Tottenham look a whole new team under Harry Redknapp, having clawed their way off the bottom place in the table all the way up to 16th with 10 points from the last 4 games. Darren Bent now looks like a man who can't miss, and as much as I never thought i'd say this, must surely be forcing his way into the reckoning for an England squad place.

Newcastle, meanwhile, continue to be football's funniest tragedy, still underperforming and languishing in relegation zone. Now Tottenham fans can finally relax and start heaping scorn on those even worse off than them, and Newcastle is a fine place to start.

So where are things likely to go from here? Well I still think Chelsea will win this season. And that's not just me talking as a Chelsea fan, ask anyone and I was furiously pessimistic at this point last season, I am nothing if not a realist. United will hit form eventually, no matter how bad they look at times now, and so will probably finish the season in second place, sorry Liverpool, you're going down to third. The wild card in the top four this year is Arsenal, who at time look half decent, and at times utterly lost. Depending on whether or not Wenger can whip them into any form on consistency they will end up fourth and maybe lower, dropping out of the champions league qualification places. Personally I'm a big believer in the strength of status quo so I'm going to go for the former right now.

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