Two 6-0 wins in a row can’t be wrong, and it’s the first time in living memory a team has ever started a season in this way. Chelsea are undoubtedly going to be champions for a few years yet. Didier Drogba is apparently carrying an injury, but is doing a terrible job of acting like it.
The Ivorian hit a hat trick against West Bromwich Albion during a game in which he was even not supposed to be playing, and Stoke City followed by a trip to West Ham United look like food and drink on current form, with the latter doing a good impression of a baby deer staring into the headlights of an oncoming truck going at 70 mph.
A home game against Blackpool then looms large on the horizon, in which capacity the scoreboard may need a temporary extension. It gets much more difficult afterwards, with a trip to Manchester City and a home derby against Arsenal, but nothing which will faze the nigh-on invincible Chelsea too much.
2. Man United
Given the might of Chelsea and the emergence of rivals City as title challengers, Sir Alex Ferguson may need to ask for a lift from God (or possibly The Devil, judging by the amount of injury time they get) to see Manchester United overtake Liverpool in the number of top flight titles won.
They looked vulnerable and sloppy, particularly at the back, against a Fulham side who were full merit for a point at the very least. Although their immediate fixtures are not the most daunting, they must counterbalance their league form with a difficult group in the Champions League, a task which will ultimately see them fall short in the long run.
Provided there aren’t too many of those, Berbatov may also finally blossom for United.
3. Man City
It is the sure sign of a future champion to grind out a result after being hammered for a great portion of the game. Their opening day trip to White Hart Lane against a potent Tottenham side would have been an utter humilation but for the form of Joe Hart, and after gaining an unlikely point, demolished a Liverpool side who didn’t do an awful lot wrong in front of the Sky cameras at Eastlands on Monday night.
So their first home test of the season is probably a sign of things to come, and ultimately many teams will find themselves frustrated when City visit, owing to the now solid looking defence which once leaked silly goals. City will finish high, there is no doubt about that, but greater rewards are likely to be reaped in the Europa League.
The 16th December is highlighted in the diary of every City fan, and undoubtedly, the visit to the Delle Alpi for their final group match against Juventus is a sign of things to come in the near future.
The quartet of Champions League qualifiers is completed by Arsenal, who will (as usual) fall short of Chelsea’s indomitable standards. With their favourable draw in the Champions League, the onus may be on maiden European silverware after coming so close in 2006 against Barcelona.
Their next four fixtures aren’t going to deprive Arsenal fans of too much sleep, and this will set the tone for an assault on the Championship. Alas, Arsenal will play well and stun many opponents with the most attractive football in the country, but just lack that cutting edge required to topple Chelsea.
Cesc Fabregas is staying for the moment, and if he remains at the Emirates, will be a cornerstone in the development of Arsenal’s youth in years to come – maybe through these tots, there is salvation for the Gunners…
Harry Redknapp’s team have once again made a strong start to the season, and look as though they will once again qualify for Europe through their attacking credentials. They didn’t “do an Everton”, and will now embrace the Champions League with both hands for as long as possible.
There is no chance of them winning however, and ultimately they will be drained of energy by the experience. Although a repeat of last season’s feat unlikely, their name could easily be on the FA or Carling Cup.
Not only do Tottenham have a trip to the San Siro to face reigning champions Inter Milan, they also have more money than could be feasibly imagined as a result of qualification to the group stage.
With the right investment into the squad and the youth system, Tottenham could easily emerge in even loftier positions for years to come. No one would truly begrudge them such success, since no Oilgarchs were necessary in this instance.
There is no doubt that football is suffering on Merseyside. Tranmere continue to languish at the bottom of League One, Everton alarmingly underachieve at the start of every season, and now Liverpool must contend with the Europa League Proper.
Both of the performances against Trabzonspor were not inspiring in the least, and ultimately The Reds will be tired by the additional “half” season that the Europa League provides.
Although the group is relatively easy, Liverpool continue to look vulnerable against opposition usually considered “equal” or “inferior”. With a trip to Old Trafford looming large, there may yet be a chance for Liverpool to amend their dismal start to the season.
Unfortunately their football is at present eerily and disquietingly reminiscent of the early Gerard Houllier days, a dark age hallmarked by defeats to the likes of Watford and Bradford. Let’s hope for their sake it doesn’t get that bad…
Manager Mark Hughes has built an attacking side evidently capable of taking on the very best. Their ruthless destruction of Port Vale was just the beginning of the end for all Fulham doubters. Their immediate fixtures until the 16th October are all very winnable, and with the right approach could be in their best position for many years.
The days of modesty in the Craven Cottage trophy cabinet will soon be over, and with no Europe on their minds, Fulham could easily get a cup under their belt. A favourable draw is all they can possibly ask for.
What was that about last ditch offers from United and Liverpool for Bobby Zamora?
WATCH THIS: A man pretends to spin the London Eye with his hands and it really moves, creating a disaster.