As we approach the mid-point of an enthralling Premier League season full of all the thrills and spills expected from the greatest league in the world, here are 5 things we have learned so far.
1. Chelsea are not that bad after all
Cast aside the hiccups that saw Chelsea draw at Swansea and loose to Arsenal and Liverpool in the early part of the season; Chelsea have been completely transformed under the stewardship of Antonio Conte. A reminder that this is largely the same team who underperformed under Jose Mourinho. Conte has been a revelation, re-moulding and not scared to try something new. The Chelsea boss is getting the best out of key players, namely Diego Costa and Eden Hazard and has had an unexpected gift in the form of the performances of Victor Moses. Chelsea are playing great football and will take some stopping to become Premier League champions.
2. Man City couldn’t keep a clean sheet in a launderette
Pep Guardiola’s men haven’t been great in the early part of the season. That being said they haven’t been awful either. They have been mediocre at best with the talent on offer at Manchester City. One clean sheet in seventeen games makes for hard reading for City fans. They have to improve defensively to mount a title challenge.
3. The race for survival is on
With six points separating the bottom eight teams, the race for survival in this year’s Premier League campaign could be as exciting as the action at the other end of the table. The cluster of games over the festive period will be very interesting and should help to identify those up for the fight for top flight survival.
4. Arsenal didn’t capitulate in November
November has traditionally been a bogie month for Arsenal. However, The Gunners successfully negotiated the penultimate month of the year (League Cup aside) in quite some style. Alexis Sanchez’s performances as an out-and-out striker have been a highlight in the league so far this season. Whether Arsenal are simply delaying their usual slump remains to be seen, but if they can keep up current form, who is to say they can’t push Chelsea all the way?
5. Jose’s United still a work in progress
A round up of all things Premier League wouldn’t be complete without a detailed mention of the Manchester United boss and all round master of deflection Jose Mourinho. United this season have been like the naughty kid in class – there’s no doubting the bags of ability under the surface, but the lack of discipline is letting them down. Not tight enough in defence, not clinical enough in attack. Compounded by megabucks summer signing Paul Pogba not setting the division on fire as expected, Jose’s touchline antics and the ongoing questions that surround talisman Wayne Rooney, it’s clear there is lots more to do at United before they can really compete.
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