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EPL Power Rankings: Week 2

Aug. 14, 2010 - 06323337 date 14 08 2010 Copyright imago Didier Drogba of Chelsea Celebrates Scoring His Side s Fifth Goal Barclays Premier League Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion 14th August 2010 PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK Football men England Premier League 2010 2011 Action shot Vdig 2010 horizontal Highlight premiumd.

After week two of the Barclay’s Premier League the goals have continued to flow. Chelsea are off to the best start for any club in England’s top division since 1888 and there have already been four games with at least six goals scored. This seemed like a high time to debut EPL Talk’s official power rankings. Updated every Tuesday, these rankings will sort EPL clubs from 1-20. Feel free to leave your own lists/criticisms of this list in the comments section.

1. Chelsea

The departure of Joe Cole and Michael Ballack rose red flags around Stamford Bridge about whether or not Chelsea could match their torrid scoring pace of last season. Twelve goals in two games seems to have answered that question emphatically. Granted, West Brom and Wigan aren’t exactly the elite of the Premier League but the Blues dominance is difficult to overlook. But their John Terry and the rest of Chelsea’s defense needs to be tested by a quality side before their position at the top becomes permanent.

2. Arsenal

Welcome back Theo Walcott. A hat trick, albeit against Blackpool, is a good start on the road to realize the 21-year-olds vast potential. Arsenal is looking like a side without any glaring weaknesses, goalkeeping aside, but no real stars. If Walcott can build on this performance than Arsenal can make a legitimate challenge to Chelsea and Manchester United.

3. Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson will be disapointed not to have all six points after two games after a draw at Craven Cottage but the Red Devils are still a title contender. Giggs and Scholes are showing that age doesn’t have to be a detriment and Javier Hernandez, while still learning, is looking like a valuable addition at Old Trafford. Own goals continue to pour in but one has to wonder how long United can survive without Rooney contributing.

4. Manchester City

The big-spending Manchester City still needs awhile to gel but Joe Hart’s unbelievable form is keeping Manchester City afloat and dangerous. James Milner is already looking worthy of his hefty price tag and Carlos Tevez is picking up where he left off last season. Questions remain about Roberto Mancini’s managing and his relationship with his players but there’s simply too much talent at Eastlands for many teams to challenge them.

5. Tottenham

The results from Tottenham’s first two matches are exactly how one would want to start off an EPL campaign. A draw against free-spending Manchester City and a win against Stoke is a good start but they haven’t looked like a team ready to retain their top-four status. Garreth Bale is a very early candidate for player of the year but he can’t do it alone. As the season goes on we’ll see how Harry Redknapp’s team juggles Europe and their League duties but it’s par for the course so far.

6. Bolton

Bolton were a mid-table side for nearly all of last season, never really threatened by relegation and never looking likely to make a charge towards the top of the table. Some key additions in the midfield have done a world of difference and don’t be surprised if Bolton are hovering around a European spot come May.

7. Liverpool

A decent performance against Arsenal was followed up by a total dismantling at the hands of Manchester City. Liverpool’s stars, Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt, are all out of form and Pepe Reina is looking like a liability in goal. Roy Hodgson has absolutely mad a positive impact on the club since his arrival but will the off-field turmoil have a detrimental effect on the team’s performance as we get deeper into the fall?

8. Fulham

Fulham look like a side who know how to grind out results with two hard-fought draws. With no European competition to distract them this season, don’t look for Fulham to fade down the stretch like they did last year. They don’t look like a top-seven side as of yet but they should not be underestimated.

9. Birmingham

The surprise of the EPL last season is off to a fine start with a come from behind draw against Sunderland followed by a come from behind victory over Blackburn. Ben Foster, looking to fill the shoes left by Joe Hart, endured himself to the Birmingham fans with a superb penalty save against Blackburn.

10. Newcastle United

A 6-0 thrashing of Aston Villa probably said more about Villa’s turmoil than Newcastle’s talent but they still look like a team likely to stay out of the Championship for another year. Andy Carroll’s hat trick should boost his confidence and give the Magpies an attacking edge going forward, assuming they don’t sell him by next Tuesday.

11. Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy drew a bit of criticism for saying that he would be happy with simply avoiding relegation and he’s off to a good start. Four points from two games is a fine start for Wolves who look to build on their survival last season.

12. Everton

Everton’s slow starts are becoming all too predictable and the sooner David Moyes’ side snap out of it the better. Everton are likely to retain Steven Pienaar which should help their cause but their tendency for one dire mistake per game is the difference between their one point from two games rather than four. Everton will inevitably find their form and become one of the top six or seven teams in the league but will it be before they fall into too deep a hole?

13. Aston Villa

Maybe it was James Milner’s departure or maybe it was Kevin MacDonald’s decided lack of enthusiasim for management but Villa’s 6-0 defeat to newcomers Newcastle was as ugly a performance as you’ll see in the Premier League. The inability to recover from a missed penalty raises major questions about this team’s mental state.

14. Blackburn Rovers

At times it’s difficult to remember that Blackburn is even in the Premier League. Not that they are bad, they’re just a incredibly average side. They are solid on all fronts but even some of the most devoted EPL fans would struggle to name their starting 11. They don’t look likely to mount a challenge to the elites but won’t drop points against inferior sides very often.

15. West Bromwich Albion

It’s hard to fault anyone for giving up six goals at Stamford Bridge and the newly-promoted West Brom successfully rebounded this weekend against Sunderland with a 1-0 victory.

16. Sunderland

Can Sunderland overcome their inconstancy this season? All of the early indicators point to, well, no. A stellar first half in their debut against Birmingham gave way to a diaspointing final 15 minutes and the consolation of a draw. A 1-0 defeat to West Brom leaves Sunderland with just one point from two games against very beatable opponents. Also, an early red card is a bad start to a side that led the league in dismissals last season.

17. Blackpool

Well so much for that. Blackpool’s surprising 4-0 thrashing of Wigan gave way to a 6-0 embarrassment at the hands of Arsenal. Whether or not the Tangerines can stay up this season depends on which side shows up more consistently. Playing most of the first half of the season away from home could end up being a blessing in disguise for Ian Holloway and his team. If they can avoid falling too far behind in the early stages they may pull of the impossible and surge to safety on the backs of their raucous supporters.

18. Stoke City

Despite being the latest team to reignite the instant replay debate Stoke City are still just a few players short of being a safe side. Their offense is dependent on set pieces and the long throws of Rory Delap and their defense can be a little porous at times. A opening-day defeat to Wolves is concerning but their performance against Tottenham was impressive, in spite of the late-game controversy but a 2-1 defeat gets you the same amount of points as a 4-0 route.

19. West Ham United

“Speaking of the Championship, let’s talk about West Ham.” That was how James Richardson started off the discussion of the Hammers 3-1 defeat of Bolton on the always entertaining Football Weekly from The Guardian and it’s hard to disagree with him at this point. West Ham look like a lost side, with no real direction and no real plan. Avrahm Grant needs to figure something out quickly before they’re season becomes a lost cause. There’s no Hull City or Burnley to save them from relegation this year.

20. Wigan

They hold the record for worst start to an EPL season ever so how can they not hold the bottom spot? There’s little doubt that Wigan has been the worst side early in the season and the new favorites for relegation. Not only did they lose by a combined 10 goals to Chelsea and Blackpool but they did it at home, against two teams who don’t travel particularly well. The Wigan side that shocked Arsenal late last year is nowhere to be found and if they can’t find that form soon it will be a very, very long season for Roberto Martinez’s men.

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  1. Phil Sandifer

    August 25, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Bolton’s four points against relegation favorites West Ham and midtable favorites Sunderland put them ahead of Liverpool, who drew with Arsenal and then had a crap game?

    I mean, OK, Bolton are doing quite well this season, but really? I think bookies would be mighty happy with anyone putting down money on them finishing ahead of Liverpool this season.

  2. Gary

    August 24, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Grammatical error sprinkles? Haha.
    To be remotely serious, I like the idea of a weekly ranking based on performances.
    I think Bolton look OK, but chasing Europe? Not sure.
    Spurs have looked sublime and suspect all at the same time, as usual, LOVE IT.
    You think Walcott will come good? Meh.
    Chelsea have an easy run and will continue to rack up the goals and the points, so real contenders better get going quick or hope for a cold spell from the champions. Whack truth.
    Excited for Spurs v Young Boys tomorrow. I refuse to crack a Young Boys joke.
    No Playskool ‘my first football pitch’.

  3. Allen

    August 24, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    If this column is meant to be taken even remotely seriously, then goodness me you have simply got to fix all of the glaring spelling/grammatical errors in your article. “Samford” Bridge, Andy “Carrol”, and grammatical errors sprinkled throughout the article are just a few things that I’ve noticed.

  4. Jacob

    August 24, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Everyone is glossing over Newcastle’s win over Aston Villa. Yes Villa are having trouble right now but scoring 6 goals and keeping a clean sheet is very hard against any EPL club. Aston Villa are not the worst team in the league…right? So why is everyone still not believing in Newcastle?

  5. karshy72

    August 24, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    i really like the look of blackpool this year.. the way they are playing (not the results but the actual gameplay), they are going to be entertaining…if they can beat the smaller sides, they are going to be the birmingham of last season but will play much better football in the process….

    i agree with most of the ranking but it is indeed too early to tell…

    and lastly city did not look better than united, they drew at fulhum which has been a tough away fixture for them for some time now..havent won in 3-4 i think…so i wouldnt put a lot on that…but city deserve the 4th position…even though i hate to say it i think they’ll push arsenal for third come the end of the season…but thats about it for them…

    • somervillain

      August 24, 2010 at 5:16 pm

      Even ignoring Spurs’ vastly superior home record last season, by using your own strange logic, White Hart Lane has been a much more nightmarish fixture for City than Craven Cottage has been for United, so their draw at Spurs is even more impressive.

      Which leaves us with the question of which side’s 3-0 home win was more impressive. I’ll leave it to you to explain how thumping a promoted side is ranks ahead of thumping The Most Successful Club in English Football.

  6. AmplifiedtoRock

    August 24, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    To quote Yespage, “I don’t know. I think this early in the season, you pretty much need to stop at the top 3, if that. Comparing the likes of Blackpool, Stoke, Sunderland, West Brom, Newcastle, etc… is just impossible at this point.”

    Spot on. Though, to be fair, I thought Blackpool were right in it with Arsenal until the sending off/penalty incident which killed the game as a contest. They might surprise a few people this year.

    Either way, well done John for having a go at ranking the Premier League sides so early in the year. Clearly, there will be many twists and turns between now and May and I applaud your efforts. I look forward to seeing how these change over the course of the season and, as always, whom the vitriol will come from on a week-by-week basis.

  7. Scott Alexander

    August 24, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    The departure of Joe Cole rose no red flags whatsoever. Especially in light of the additions of Benayoun, Ramires, and hopefully a healthy Essien. Ballack’s departure was probably time but could be worrying when talking about winning. It won’t detract from scoring however.

    How does Cesc Fabregas not constitute a star? He’s one of the top players in the premiership and a charismatic leader to boot.

    Maybe Man U gets the top 3 on deserved pedigree but it’s hard to say that Man U looks better than Man City after yesterday

    Spurs outplayed Man City and won at The Britannia

    Bolton were very ready for relegation until Coyle bucked Burnley and their fortunes flipped

    Liverpool need new ownership and barring that they at least need new fitness coaches to keep Torres moderately healthy or they’re in a lot of trouble

    Foster isn’t Hart and Foster isn’t going to keep City in as many games as Hart did.

    You’re probably right about everybody else but Wigan will recover if they can keep Martinez

  8. Yespage

    August 24, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    I don’t know. I think this early in the season, you pretty much need to stop at the top 3, if that. Comparing the likes of Blackpool, Stoke, Sunderland, West Brom, Newcastle, etc… is just impossible at this point.

    • Duke

      August 24, 2010 at 4:24 pm

      I think this early in the season this kind of exercise is pointless.

      Some players and teams will take a few weeks to hit their stride, especially with the WC over the summer. Some that look great now will fade back to mediocrity, and vice versa.

      Let’s talk in November or December.

  9. Chris McQuade

    August 24, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    The departure of Joe Cole and Michael Ballack rose red flags around Samford Bridge about whether or not Chelsea could match their torrid scoring pace of last season.

    WHOA WHOA WHOA…Hold up.

    Cole and Ballack were surplus to requirements and I and many others saw their departures as inevitable and dare i say it, good. As younger, better players would get playing time. See Scott Sinclair and Bruma in the C Shield.

    Chelsea came into this season no weaker and with Michael Essien at full fitness, dare i say? Better!

    Also, it’s Stamford.

  10. E-nazis

    August 24, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    my last post was deleted talk about biased websites am i not allowed my own opinion anymore?

    • Chris McQuade

      August 24, 2010 at 2:26 pm

      Right of reply:

      Just had a quick check on Word Press & we haven’t deleted any comments from you.

      • Barry Conlons Dentist

        August 24, 2010 at 6:03 pm

        Lies…its all lies i tell thee

  11. Vious

    August 24, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    The way Liverpool is playing, them being where they are in these rankings is quite generous

    Being around 10th is more realistic

  12. barry conlons mum

    August 24, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    i stopped taking this website seriously after the second time i visited..its mainly morons with no real knowledge of football or american glory hunters trying to justify themselves….they keep putting city down we keep making them eat their words,im quite happy for them to carry on their shameless football immaturity and lack of understanding. woot woot

    • Yespage

      August 24, 2010 at 2:53 pm

      I personally can’t take people seriously who keep coming to a website they don’t take seriously and consider ‘moronic’. It’d probably take quite a big moron to continue coming back to read such ‘inferior’ commentary.

    • MNUfan1991

      August 24, 2010 at 4:08 pm

      What do they say about the closing door and your “behind”?

    • mw828

      August 24, 2010 at 5:30 pm

      haha making them eat their words by getting 5th? thats pretty awesome.

  13. somervillain

    August 24, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I’m dying to hear how you regard a 3-0 home demolition of Liverpool and a point in London at Spurs as less impressive than a 3-0 home demolition of Newcastle and a point in London at Fulham. Go on, let’s hear it.

    • Evan

      August 24, 2010 at 2:07 pm

      It’s to make all the glory hunters feel more secure.

    • Brickthrower

      August 24, 2010 at 2:27 pm

      Easy. Manchester United looked much better in their draw with Fulham than Manchester City did with Tottenham. Did you watch the Tottenham game? It was completely one sided, they had no midfield, and they are lucky they got a draw due to tremendous goalkeeping. Did Man City look great against Liverpool? Sure, but I don’t think it means they are in better form than United thus far.

      • Huh

        August 24, 2010 at 3:56 pm

        Not at all Brick, Spurs were better in the first half yes but City’s players stopped them scoring and the Spur’s players stopped City scoring so it is known as a draw do you understand?
        Now in the Fulham game Utd scored 2 and Fulham scored 2 agreed? So again a draw, are you still with me? but only the Referee stopped Utd getting beat in this game and not the Utd players, how is this you might ask, well remember Vidic clearly trying to rip the shirt of the Etuhu and then to cap this off swinging wildly at his legs after the ball had gone? One of the most nailed on penalties you will see this year and all this in full view of a Ref who choose to pretend he didn’t see this big decision against Utd (a phobia known as dodgyitus) even though he was looking right at it, from a clear vantage point (seems to happen a lot with Utd just, ask the Villa about dodgy ref’s in finals). Not to mention the non-penalty he gave to Utd for ball to hand from 1ft which was going nowhere, with only Fulham players any where near (in a desperate attempt to give Utd the 3 points? )these are the decisions Utd get plenty of every season more so than Chelsea, Arsenal or any other club (so much so that nobody even really questions them that much any more). Fulham were also the better side on the day, Zamora completely ripped Evans apart but the spuds will still finish much higher than them (IMO). So when we use your own twisted logic it’s 3-2 Fulham and Utd only beat Newcastle at home well done!!

        • Jason

          August 24, 2010 at 4:54 pm

          Citys players? Really? Let’s clarify… Joe Hart stopped them. Anyone else in goal it’s most likely 4-0 before the half.

          Also, I didn’t think City looked that good against Liverpool. Hart again saved the day, 5 times to be exact. If not for Hart you could be looking at 0-1-1 or possibly 0-2-0 (probably not).I hate United but you can’t single one player as keeping them in their matches like Hart for City.

          I think a better case would be Arsenal moving down as they probably should have lost to Liverpool and Blackpool isn’t a win to brag about.

          • somervillain

            August 24, 2010 at 5:12 pm

            If I desperately didn’t want City to come good this season, I suppose I could convince myself they didn’t look that good last night. Fortunately, I have better things to do than desperately try to distort reality to conform to my fantasy world.

          • Huh

            August 24, 2010 at 6:58 pm

            Jason, so your saying the defenders did nothing so we could have took them off, added more forwards as the defence weren’t needed as it was only Hart stopping them, my, my you have a great understanding of Soccer don’t you (whatever that is!).By the way what was the possession % in this game must have been heavily in the favour of the Spuds?

            Liverpool were totally out played what are you on about? A decent save from N’Gog which I would have expected any keeper to get to (deflected from distance I might add, it was going to roll to Hart otherwise)a great double shot stop N’Gog’s was the first but Lescott was on the line and would have cleared, the second was a Torres’s blasted shot which was a great star save there was one other save I would expect any top flight keeper to get any others were pass backs basically. City dominated this game from beginning to end. I haven’t a clue where your coming from with this. Or is this the new way now? Every time hart makes a couple of decent saves City were lucky, Hilarious.

            What the hell is does this mean? ‘0-1-1 or possibly 0-2-0’ do you know that this is a football blog?

      • somervillain

        August 24, 2010 at 5:08 pm

        We know you didn’t watch the Tottenham-City match. Spurs had an incredible 30 minutes where they peppered the City goal with shots, but in the other 60-plus minutes, City were the better side.

        United got outplayed by Fulham and were fortunate to get a point thanks to a gift own goal and a clear penalty to Fulham for shirt-tugging that went uncalled.

        • Jason

          August 25, 2010 at 7:41 am

          TO “Huh”, I don’t think I’m going to praise a City defense that forces a keeper to make 8 saves one game and than 5 the next. So I will repeat and I don’t think anyone can disagree (all though I’m sure your narrow minded mind will) that Joe Hart is the reason City doesn’t have a loss to Spurs.

          I also never said City were lucky, I simply stated that a tie which would have been a loss if not for Hart and a 3-0 win against a struggling Liverpool squad where your keeper is forced to make 5 saves does not put them ahead of United.

          And yes I’m aware possession in the Spurs game was 65% City or so. Unfortunately for City they couldn’t create anything more that 2 attempts on goal from that.

          My sincerest apologies for switching the draws and losses column. I’m sure you had no clue what I was referring to.

          Everyone is all hopped up on City and the money they spent. They drew 1 and won 1, until they do more than I can’t place them over a team (United) that have the same record but have proved they can win consistently. Sorry I don’t think that’s wrong.

          • Huh

            August 25, 2010 at 2:40 pm

            Dear oh dear Jason’s back. Listen I could have been in goal against Liverpool and City still would have won 3-1. what are you on about at all???? Give it up man!

            ‘My sincerest apologies for switching the draws and losses column. I’m sure you had no clue what I was referring to.’
            I still don’t have a clue what your referring to!!!

            Spurs came out like a bull in a china shop desperate for the win they tried their best (and will probably not match that this season) but still could not get a goal, yes the first 30 minutes were all theirs the rest was more in favour of city as you have noted we had the ball for 65+% of the time. Those 2 chances City had could have been 2-0 but it wasn’t, exactly the same as Spurs they didn’t score there is no other result, no if’s or buts. As me old man always said if my Auntie had balls she’d be me Uncle. |A DRAW is all they could manage they could have had a billion shots on target but it’s still a draw. What’s so hard to understand about this? If Given was in goal who’s to say it would have been any different or that he wouldn‘t have dribbled the ball around the full Spurs team and then scored with a cheeky little back heel on the goal? No one because you can‘t and it DID NOT happen. End off.

            To my knowledge this is a week by week thing regarding (but maybe I’m wrong) this season not last, not 2 or 3 years ago but THIS season, and if I not mistaken you are saying that Fulham is a harder away game to win or draw than Spurs??????? Also that Newcastle is harder home game to win or draw than Liverpool?????? I simply can’t believe anyone thinks this, if they do then they’re not playing with a full deck and should follow ice skating or similar instead of football. End of!!!

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