IS it all over by August? Well, it sure looks that way. The Mancs and their noisy neighbours have hit the ground running. The Chavs and ourselves look like the best of the rest (particularly when Chelsea’s new mercenaries arrive). And the north London part-time rioters look to have shot their bolt.
It’s a pity the Arse could not get some of them rioters to go to an odd match or two in the Emirates to liven the place up a bit. I mean, 250 fans went to the Udinese match in Italy. Two hundred and fifty! Some fans they are!
Nasri was spot-on (if ill-advised) with his comments that Arsenal fans lack passion, but they should realise that – whether they like it or not – that they now merely are a breeding ground for the bigger clubs. A bit like Dario Gradi at Crewe without the pretensions.
Conceding eight goals is unthinkable if you have any thoughts of grandeur – even against a United side who played football. Eight goals and not one header! Okay, okay, a good few set-pieces alright but not one header … very un-Man United like!
Meanwhile, City have bought well, with Džeko the pick of the bunch. Lest any one of you suggest that he is not a recent purchase, I beg to differ ... he just cannot be the same player that inhabited that body last season. Bill Bixby eat your heart out.
And so to the Pool. It’s a case of so far, so good, although dropping silly points to Sunderland does not help. The new signings look like solid investments (particularly Enrique, a snip at six million pounds). Adam has done exactly as was said on the tin when purchased (good worker, nice left peg and comes up with the occasional goal).
However, Henderson and (more worringly) Carroll do look a little lost at times and it will take time, perhaps too much time to adapt to a Carroll style of play, Where in his game is he better than Peter Crouch, who would have cost a fraction of Carroll’s fee? Henderson has to be given a certain leeway due to his age and lack of experience. But his lack of application and zest when on the field would worry me at this juncture. Certainly he is the obvious candidate to make way when Stevie G returns, as it cannot be the effervescent Lucas, whose performances this season would suggest that he and Mr Džeko have experienced the same transmogrification.
So it looks like a straight fight between the Manchester club and the club from just outside Manchester for the title, with ourselves and Chelsea vying for third and fourth, and Arsenal and Spurs out of it already. The bookies (those harbingers of future doom) have the Gunners at 25/1 and Spurs 100/1 already.
September 18 looms large when Chelsea take their motley crew to play United and we visit north London to take on Spurs. Results that day will either copper-fasten my belief that it’s all decided already or blow such foolish predictions out the door. Now, where did Eden leave the key to the lab?