From the 3 A’s to the 3 W’s. Premier league as it stands. Part 2

Newcastle United- An underwhelming start to Newcastle’s season, with a home draw to Southampton followed by a disappointing loss to Swansea six days later. Newcastle looked a good value for their lead against Southampton, with new signing Wijnaldum getting on the score sheet, before Shane long equalised for the away side. The loss to Swansea bore no resemblance to the Newcastle side that had played so well a week earlier. Janmaat earning himself an early bath further compounded the poor performance. Steve McClaren has responded by bringing in Florian Thauvin to add some much needed creativity to the Newcastle attack.

Norwich city- One win, one loss from the Canaries opening two games in the Premier League. The loss to Crystal Palace could have been so very different, if the referee hadn’t deemed Cameron Jerome’s acrobatic effort as dangerous play. Nevertheless Neil’s men picked themselves up and brushed aside Sunderland to record an impressive win. It will be a difficult season for Norwich but with a side full of both Premier League experience and youth, they may just survive the drop.

Southampton- Last season’s excellent performers   have gotten off to a rocky start with a draw and a loss from their first two games. They had to come from behind to grab a draw against Newcastle, which was then followed by a poor performance at home to Everton. Ronald Koeman’s men haven’t looked like the side we saw last season, but with the likes of Jay Rodriguez and new signing Claise just returning from injury, things could begin to turn for Southampton.

Stoke City- An unlucky opening day defeat to Liverpool, followed by a superb comeback against Spurs, see a much changed Stoke side enjoying themselves this season. They could have so easily picked up a point at home to Liverpool; they just needed to be more clinical in front of goal. As the cliché goes, football is a game of two halves, and that was certainly seen at White hart lane, as Spurs dominated the first half, racing into a 2-0 lead, only for a rejuvenated Stoke side to return for the second half, scoring 2 goals in 5 minutes. Long gone are the days of Stoke only being known as a long ball team, with the likes of Affelay, Bojan and now star summer signing Shaqiri joining the ranks at the Britania. Stoke fans have a lot to be happy about.

Sunderland-A catastrophic start to Sunderland’s season see them bottom of the table with two heavy losses. An opening day rout at the hands of Leicester city was followed by a humbling by premier league new boys Norwich. The players don’t look like they want to play for the football club, and it is hard to see any sort of shape to the Sunderland team of present, with O’shea and Kaboul regularly sitting deep in their own half whilst the rest of the team runs around like headless chickens. They have made a lot of signings during the summer and you feel they will kick on eventually. Duncan Watmore seems to be the only good performer so far, with a debut goal against Norwich, but for now it’s dark times at the stadium of light.

Swansea City- An impressive start to Swansea’s season, picking up a hard worked draw away to Chelsea before an easy and well deserved victory over Newcastle. Andre Ayew looks to have settled right in at Swansea, with two goals in two games for the Ghanaian international. His performances have been fantastic and Garry Monk’s side looked sharp against Chelsea, and quite frankly could have gone home with all 3 points. The victory over Newcastle was, in the end, a walk in the park for Swansea, who never looked under threat during the 90 minutes.   Garry Monk’s men look like a well rounded team, and if they keep performing as well as this, they could cause quite a few upsets.

Tottenham Hotspur- A difficult start for Spurs, saw Pochettino’s men fall 1-0 away to Manchester United, before letting a 2-0 lead slip at home to Stoke. 20 minutes into the new season and Spurs were all over one of the contenders for the league, but an unfortunate own goal from Kyle Walker saw spurs retreat and struggle to create anything until the last 10 minutes of the match. It looked to be a different story when the raced into a 2-0 goal lead against Stoke, but again the momentum changed as soon as Stoke got a goal back. It seems like a mental battle for Pochettino’s side, who have all the quality to be contenders to break back into the top 4. It will be interesting to see how Kane performs in his second season, with the pressure fully on.

Watford- Two draw to start off Watford’s campaign back in the Premier League. They were so close to an upset at Everton, where they twice led, but unfortunately they couldn’t hold on as two well worked goals from Everton saved face. A hard fought 0-0 draw against West Brom followed, with not many chances falling to the home side. The likes of Troy Deeny and Ighalo will have to be clinal in front of goal if Watford want to stay up. It will be a difficult season for them, but they definitely look up to the task.

West Bromwich Albion- Not the start Tony Pulis would have wanted for his men, being humbled by Manchester city at home before struggling to a draw against newly promoted Watford. They never really looked to cause trouble against City and it was an uncharacteristic like performance from a Tony Pulis side, with City easily breaking them apart. The 0-0 draw to Watford was tough, and the best chance of the game fell to West Brom’s Saido Berahino, who really should have scored. Last season’s inform striker is linked with a move away from the club, but with the impressive acquisition of Solamon Rondon , West Brom will have at least one striker who is known for converting his chances.

West Ham United– The Hammers started the season off in wonderful fashion, shocking Arsenal with an impressive 2-0 victory at the Emirates. It was unfortunately followed by a 2-1 home defeat to surprise package Leicester city. Much was said about Reece Oxofrd’s performance against Arsenal, and without being too critical on the young lad, it was only one game. Arsenal were poor, and Oxford did his job, in the end quite comfortably. That’s not to say he won’t become a premier league star, but for now his performance must not be overstated.  Payet looks to be the signing of the season. The Frenchman seems to glide past people with ease, and he has given West ham some much needed creativity in the final third, where they were often lacking. A solid top half finish is in the making for the Hammers, but consistency will be key for Slaven Billic’s side.

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