Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday Morning Keeper - EPL Week 10

Have you ever seen the episode of Seinfeld called “The Opposite”? It was at the end of Season 5 where George resolves to start doing the complete opposite of what he would normally do, going from unemployed and single to a overnight success, completely turning his life around and establishing his character for the remainder of the show. Elaine, on the other hand, had always been more successful than George but all of a sudden she gets kicked out of her apartment and loses her job exclaiming, “I’ve become George!” Jerry can only sit back in amazement and marvel at the wonder of how, “first Elaine was up and George was down, now George is up and Elaine is down.” It may be a drawn out analogy, but this appears to be describing the situation of Manchester City and Liverpool after this weekend.

Manchester City has gone from 2 points out of first in the tables after beating Wigan, Chelsea, Newcastle, and Blackpool in consecutive matches, to now being in 4th place and 8 points out of the top spot. Man City lost to the lowly Wolves on the road 2-1 in what can only be described as an embarrassing loss for the highest payroll club in the world. Liverpool, on the other hand, was in 19th place just two weeks ago when a new ownership group swooped in and has turned the club around, winning their last two matches and moving up to 11th place in the tables. Liverpool did it this weekend on a late goal by Maxi Rodriguez to grab 3 points in the 1-0 victory over Bolton. Just to be clear, Manchester City is still sitting pretty in the driver’s seat for a Champions League invitation and Liverpool still has some work to do to move up to join the rest of the “Big Four”. However you can’t help but wonder what might happen in this “bizarre-o” world of the EPL if things continue this way for Man City and Liverpool.

USMNT star, Clint Dempsey, decided to take Fulham on his back and scored both goals for the club in their victory over Wigan at Craven Cottage. For Fulham it was a much needed burst of energy following two straight losses and a chance to move up the tables into 9th place, just 3 points shy of qualifying for Europa League for the second straight season. However, it was only the second victory for Fulham in 10 matches this season, hardly convincing when Chelsea has 8 and Arsenal has 6 wins each. Here is something that has flown under the radar until this weekend; Dempsey is having a really good year. His team isn’t necessarily playing their best, but with 5 goals already this season, he’s more than half way to his career best of 9 goals last season for the club. He is 2 goals out of the lead for scoring in the entire league and needs to continue this form if Fulham is going to climb through the rankings.

So much for the rest of the league catching up to Chelsea, it is just a run-away now with the only team that can stop Chelsea is Chelsea. Here are the standings at the top and bottom after 10 weeks:

1. Chelsea – 25 pts, +24 GD (8-1-1)
2. Arsenal – 20 pts, +12 GD (6-2-2)
3. Manchester United – 20 pts, +10 GD (5-5-0)
4. Manchester City – 17 pts, +3 GD (5-2-3)
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17. Wigan Athletic – 10 pts, -11 GD (2-4-4)
18. Blackburn – 9 pts, -3 GD (2-3-5)
19. Wolverhampton – 9 pts, -9 GD (2-3-5)
20. West Ham United – 6 pts, -11 GD (1-3-6)

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