We are just six gameweeks into the 2012-13 Premier League season and the fans can be surely assured of another 32 gameweeks of drama, excitement, goals and flamboyant football.
The points table is starting to take its shape, with European champions Chelsea at the summit, while rivals QPR sit at the bottom.
Without further ado, let us have a look at five thing we’ve learned from the opening first six rounds of matchups...
1) Rangers in Trouble
Last season, QPR narrowly avoided relegation on the final day of the season. This time around, the owners were keen to avoid such a rollercoaster and mediocre season and were instead aiming for a top-10 finish.
Subsequently, the club had a crazy summer transfer window with Mark Hughes signing 12 players including the likes of J.S. Park, Fabio Da Silva, Julio Cesar and Granero. With these transfers, many expected Rangers to flourish in the Primer League this season, but the results have panned out quite the other way round.
As aforementioned, the Hoops are currently lying at the bottom of the table, without a single win to their name. The team has been horrendous thus far, with the players failing to gel with one another and lacking the determination and passion to succeed.
Hughes will quickly need to find a solution for the misfiring form of his players or the club could well be heading towards a relegation fight again this term, something he promised they would not be involved in.
2) Young Blood at the Kop
Liverpool were unable to buy the players they had targeted during the summer transfer window as the owners apparently lacked the required funds.
As a result, manager Brendon Rodgers had no other option but to put his faith in the team’s youngsters and hope that the latter would actually go on to live up to their potential and produce the goods for the Reds.
Until now, the youngster surely haven’t disappointed their mercurial manager. The likes of Raheem Sterling, Suso, Andre Wisdom have all been magnificent this season and first-team regulars and relatively experienced stars like Joe Allen, Marin Kelly and Jonjo Shelvey, too, have performed exceptionally well for the team.
Liverpool might not be as high in the table as they would like, but their future is brimming with promise and it won’t be time before the 18-times English champions finally start vying for the top honours domestically again.
3) The case of Everton and Tottenham Hotspur
Notorious slow starters, Everton have been quite off to flyer in the 2012-13 season with the Toffees bagging 12 points from the first six games.
David Moyes’ men have been playing high-quality and attractive football lately and their left flank duo of Piennar and Baines practically one of the best wing partnerships in the Europe. Likewise, Tottenham Hotspur too are finally transforming into a cohesive unit under former Chelsea manager Andre Villa-Boas.
Against United, one could see how destructive the likes of Vertonghen, Bale, Lennon and Dembele can be on their day and things will only become better with the return of Adebayor and Assou Ekotto from injuries.
If both, Everton and Tottenham are able to perform the same way they have been over the past two weeks or so, then the duo could surely challenge for a top-4 spot this term.
4) Chelsea Are the team to Beat
16 points, unbeaten in the league and an impressive performance against fellow Londoners Arsenal over the weekend, Chelsea are surely the team to beat right now.
Di Matteo might prefer substance over style, but that doesn’t really matter as long as the team is heading in the right direction.
Blues’ defence has been rock-solid and the midfield and attack fairly consistent. Likes of Hazard, Oscar and Mosses have injected some fresh blood into the team and Fernando Torres’ return to form has only helped the matters.
Moreover, there adequate covers for all positions and the correct blend of youth and experience make the Roman Abramovich owned team the favourites to lift title come May.
5) Faltering Manchester Clubs
Last season, the Premier League title was primarily fought between the two Manchester clubs, with the blue side eventually prevailing with the trophy.
This season, the two rival clubs have been relatively sub-par. On one hand, Manchester City are just able to grind out results like the Manchester United of last season, whereas the Red Devils themselves on the other hand, are faltering and struggling against almost every decent team with players of equal calibre.
With Chelsea firing on all cylinders and looking much more complete and stable team than their Manchester counterparts, both Mancini and Alex Ferguson could have a harder time challenging for the illustrious Premier League crown this season.
What have been the biggest takeaways for you from the opening to the Premier League season?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald