I am writing this before the Man U game, but besides some magic of Di Maria and Falcao, I doubt if I will be missing out on anything significant. As a Chelsea fan, this was a largely quiet win with a routine victory largely hyped up because of a stumble last season and Diego Costa finally being unable to appear for Chelsea in a Premier League game!
And what a miss that was. With Aguero getting four in a game, one could expect Costa to be just a little more motivated in the next game he plays. Ominous signs for Man U. But this could be a fascinating season long competition between two top strikers who both seem to be a little injury prone. These two players will be critical for their teams, and they get me started with my talking points of the week.
1. Chelsea are not the same without Costa: I have heard and read enough critics claiming Chelsea will be able to cope without Costa on the basis of the Blues’ performance against Palace. I could not disagree more. Yes, Oscar stepped up, and we controlled the game better. But against better teams who won’t give up a one man advantage that easily, it will not be so easy. Only if Delaney had some brains, this could have been a tough, tough outing.
Drogba is past his prime and I wouldn’t expect more than five goals from him across all competitions this season. Remy needs to level up because he is just not getting the basics right. We have also been wasting a bunch of chances. Saw that against Schalke and Bolton, and I thought, based on yesterday’s performance, we still haven’t found the answer. Costa is the only striker with a real killer instinct and Mourinho’s effort in keeping him fit will decide how successful we are this season,
2. City are no better: The same can be said about City and considering how injury prone Aguero is, I think City cannot take anything for granted. Its a brilliant team but they do not have anyone in the same class as Aguero. Dzeko flatters to deceive. Jovetic doesn’t bother flattering either. Yes, there’s Toure but Toure isn’t going to do the bulk of scoring, and I see City struggling to get goals if teams can control Aguero. Much easier said than done.
3. The EPL is officially a two horse race: Considering the history of the Premier League, I may have to eat my words but looking at Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton and Man U play up till now, I think they will give us a brilliant spectacle in run in for the 3rd and 4th positions. Can’t see the teams, which can’t even put up a fight at this juncture really going the distance.
Arsenal lack a leader, have the perennial injury crisis and can’t get the right players in the transfer windows. Tottenham are a clinical striker short. Liverpool were lucky against QPR and are clearly having problems without Suarez and coping with European football. In fact, my favorites are Man U and I think they will successfully do what Liverpool managed last season. Arsene Wenger should be a worried man.
4. Arsene Wenger should retire (Because he never will be sacked!): I don’t want to repeat how Wenger screwed up a potentially season defining transfer window or how he just can’t get the annual injury crises sorted at Arsenal. But more frustratingly, he doesn’t seem to have a plan B and without Ozil in the center and Walcott on the wings, Arsenal are playing boring football.
The club now needs a new vision and a new philosophy. It might just do Arsenal a world of good if they don’t make it to the top 4 this season. That could force the hand with the Arsenal Board that seems contented with Wenger’s lack of ambition and planning for the season.
5. Southampton’s run should be very interesting: Its not just the 8-0, but the way Southampton have carried on despite an exodus of a number of key players and a brilliant coach is just superb. After eight games, they are just a point behind city and Koeman should be credited for having done a splendid job.
Last season, they just couldn’t keep up the form, and that will be a real challenge. The club showed ambition and the consistency will be the real barometer of improvement made over last season. Besides Chelsea, Southampton will be the team I will closely follow this season.
On a side note, considering Costa was injured, I was really looking at some of the goal scoring talent on display this weekend. And I must admit that Mourinho’s biggest miss of the season seems to be not picking up on Santiago Vergini. What a super strike at the St. Mary’s Stadium! Doesn’t matter if it came for the wrong team. Mou, sign him up.
My wishlist for the coming week: A thrashing of Maribor and Costa making it back against Man U.
What did you think of the week? Did Felipe Luis impress you? Was Remy under par? What about John Terry’s 500th game in charge as Captain? Captain, Leader, Legend. Of course. But how many more games do you think he will play for Chelsea? And who do you think will succeed him? Post your comments below. Blue blood as ever, KTBFFH.