Jose Mourinho is figuring it out, showing his tactical flexibility and his willingness to admit mistakes with his squad selection. Chelsea’s side now looks more pragmatic yet able to play on the break. With a remarkable amount of depth and versatility, Mourinho has the luxury of rotating his side and allowing players to pop up in different areas of the pitch. It is already working well and Chelsea look like a real title contender.
Newcastle United is the Premier League’s least predictable side. Performances vary from game to game, and what we have repeatedly seen is that when the chips are down, Alan Pardew’s side always seems to rally. It is also worth noting when Yohan Cabaye is fit and in the mood; Newcastle’s record over the past three seasons resembles more a European contender than a relegation fighter. He is the key.
West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce’s false nine, using quick ball movement, caught Spurs by surprise. Ravel Morrison was particularly effective in the 4-6-0 formation that saw the Hammers control the tempo of the match long before they broke through and scored. Tottenham‘s failure to cope at White Hart Lane with this tactical surprise was particularly shocking given how astute André Villas-Boas normally is.
Adnan Januzaj is the newest sensation to come through Manchester United. Obviously the historical track record of United is excellent in developing youth products. However since the quick rise and quick fall of Federico Macheda, foreign-born Manchester United youth products are viewed differently. The key for Januzaj will be to use his opportunities wisely, develop a strong fitness routine and show the type of consistency Macheda lacked.
Liverpool’s play going forward has been mouthwatering since the return of Luis Suarez. Daniel Sturridge continues to be outstanding and the addition of Victor Moses on loan from a very generous Chelsea has further enhanced the Reds attack.
AS Roma is quite possibly the best team in a top European league right now. Yet they are not in Europe and sold off a few key players this summer. Rudi Garcia is a good manager – we knew that from his league/cup double at Lille a few years back. This season he was reunited with Gervinho who hasn’t played well since leaving Garcia and Lille, and the former Arsenal man has been outstanding. The French manager has gotten performances out of just about everyone in the squad to this point and Francesco Totti has been absolutely outstanding, even at 37.