The other guys for the top four race… Scorecard after five games


Arsenal, a whole new story

Newcastle weren’t anywhere near their best for Arsenal’s visit to the St. James’s Park but take nothing away from the Gunners, the games they won so far were the sort they would have lost last season. Two away wins on the bounce, to think they only won once on the road all year long would give an insight into how lots have changed with Arsenal. Cardiff and West Ham aren’t formidable enough to judge a serious team, but with a paradigm shift, and the uncertainties that Ivan Gazidis created with his departure to AC Milan, Arsenal deserves all the credit for keeping the ship steady to face tougher days.

Everton is next for Arsenal at the Emirates, Marco Silva’s side are underwhelming to say the least, the loss of Richarlison hasn’t helped but losing to Westham like that and dropping points consecutively from winning positions leaves so much to be desired; Arsenal will not cut anyone as a serious title contender, they won’t win the league but they are a good bet for the final spot in the champions league from England via the league, they could still go all the way in the Europa league, but if they get their acts right, they are primed to beat the chasing pack to the fourth spot.

Style of play has changed at Arsenal, the midfielders no longer hoard the ball, they press hard to frustrate opponents but they still leave gaps behind to allow opponents back in, this must be fixed as it remains the major Achilles heels in the Arsenal armour.


Manchester United in familiar terrains

Regardless of what the English media thinks, Jose Mourinho is a winner, an achiever of note and a massive plus to the Premier League, is he the right fit for Manchester United? That’s another question all together and the answer depends on who’s asking. Manchester United will never be the same after Sir Alex Ferguson, we all have to admit that, the errors of David Moyes will not be fixed overnight, and if you feel Jose Mourinho isn’t the answer, statistics are there to prove you wrong, he’s won the Europa league if you care to know.

Manchester United are just six points off the top but they aren’t fearsome, teams now take them on like a regular team, they can slip up at any point and they struggle to kill games off, they aren’t well placed to be champions but they can break into the top four and seal the spot, a lot has to change though, from approach, to demeanor especially when leading, they have fans to keep happy, they have points to gather everywhere, they have lost to a rival in the mould of Spurs, it hurts more when you see how Spurs lost three straight games afterwards, whatever the case may be, remember form is temporary, Jose Mourinho’s class is permanent.


Tottenham Hotspur… Complete outsiders?

Mauricio Pochettino said recently that Tottenham are never going to compete for anything this season, believe him because he was right. Remember how Arsenal became a pretender? The Emirates stadium story? The Arsene Wenger part in the narrative? Spurs are in that shoe now and they have a very long road to walk in a very inconvenient undersized shoe with torn laces.

Tottenham raised a lot of brows when they dispatched Manchester United at Old Trafford, but for those that ignored the result and focused on the game, they weren’t spectacular; Lucas Moura was the X-Factor on the night, United were better by all standards but Romelu Lukaku failed to take chances even with an open goal, hence the result.

Spurs have it all to do if they want to once again challenge for title and beat Arsenal on the log, they have to stay fit and hope great players become available for cheap as they sincerely don’t have money to sign anyone. Dele Alli’s injury should heal soon and they should have Hugo Lloris back too very soon, in his absence, Michael Vorm didn’t do badly but the imposing figure of the French world cup winner can’t be underestimated. If care is not taken, Spurs may fall farther than sixth.


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